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(13 Posts)
CHERO57 Tue 03-May-16 12:38:04

I am a grandmother of 4 grandkids and due to having MS I can't help as much as I could when first diagnose with this disease. How do you deal with the guilt of wanting to help but can't?

PRINTMISS Tue 03-May-16 15:13:57

OH, no, there is no guilt there, surely - no-one would expect a grandmother with MS to help out. You will obviously do all you are able, but you are the first priority here. As I have grown older, I have taken the view that I have been there and done that, and it is time for me. Treat yourself kindly, anyone who expects any more than you are capable of giving would in my opinion be extremely selfish.

ninathenana Tue 03-May-16 17:17:35

I can understand a feeling of sadness that you can't be hands on but I'm sure your family would be upset to hear you feel guilty about something which you have no control over.

Galen Tue 03-May-16 17:45:54

I'm disabled as well so I can sympathise. I do what I can. Mainly reading to them

CHERO57 Tue 03-May-16 18:31:40

Thank you so much for all your replies, I ws able to help out more when my first grandchild was born 7 years ago now and then came my granddaughter his sister 1 year later but the MS is not the same now for the lst couple of years it's been getting worst. I can still drive but my energy level is not the same and my other daughter had twins couple month ago and this is where now I can feel how my energy and balance is getting worse when tired helping out my daughter and sometimes I feel by the way she says things that she is frustrated because I can only do so much, I feel so bad and I know that I shouldn't but I can't help it. Thanks again for all your replies.

harrigran Wed 04-May-16 18:38:51

I am in this position at present. I used to help out in the school holidays and have weekend sleepovers but chemo drains me and even if they visit with their parents I have to rest up the next day.
I would not feel guilty, we can't help it if we get ill. I would expect your DD to be more understanding, my DIL is run ragged but does not complain.

Wendysue Thu 05-May-16 01:42:41

So sorry about the MS, Cher. And about your having to have chemo, harrigan.

But hey, I couldn't do as much with my grands now as I did 10 years ago, either, and, fortunately, so far, I don't have any serious illness. So please don't feel "guilty," Cher - you are definitely not alone!

rubylady Thu 05-May-16 02:51:56

None of us should feel guilty or be made to feel guilty for not being able to help as much as we would like to. None of us do it on purpose, having illnesses or disabilities and if family members don't understand then it is their problem and not ours.

The number of Grans and Grandads on here who do childcare is amazing and should be given gold medals! But it should not be taken for granted by adult children that we will take up the slack when they have children and need to work. It should be worked out beforehand and, if a problem arises healthwise, then the childcare arrangements should be looked at again and the parents should have a plan B in place, just in case. We have done our rearing and should be reaping the benefits of being able to sit back and enjoy grandparenthood, not be, in my opinion, the main carers. It is our time to do a bit of what we please, we have earned it. It is exhausting to bring a baby up or to look after for a short time depending on energy levels.

Cher You need to find ways in which you can spend time with your little ones but keep your health as good as it can be, like Galen said, reading is a good one or on a tablet if older, maybe. Get a little table that can be used where you sit, slide under the furniture and do some little jigsaws or board games or play snap or colouring books. Play 0's and X's with older GC or hangman with pen and paper. Play "guess that tune" with a cd they know. Sing along to some nursery rhymes on a cd, depending on age. Just please don't feel guilty, it is a worthless emotion because it gets us nowhere. Believe me I've had a little over my dad dying even though I tried to do my best, there is always room for guilt. Take care and look after yourself. And to everyone else suffering in some way, be good to yourselves, we are very important people. smile

Alea Thu 05-May-16 07:44:43

Although not disabled,( but creaky) , I too feel sorry I cannot be more hands on with the DGC because DH 's health issues and increasing dependence on me means I can no longer stay over to babysit or have any of them for "sleepovers". Hard to explain to an enthusiastic 4 year-old and I am finding that the close relationship I had with DGS1 is not possible with DGS2 or DGD although I love them to bits and every bit as much. CHER057 you have my sympathy, but there is no need to feel guilty, because ultimately you can only do what is possible and your DGC's parents need to consider your needs too so that you do not miss out on the pleasure either.

Nelliemoser Thu 05-May-16 08:25:02

My co-inlaw who lives very near our DGS's is also very disabled and could not do hands on small child care. I know she is not happy about this. She can mind the three yr old but not the crawling baby who makes a bee line for everything he should not touch.
At least though she is just round the corner. sees the two of them very regularly and gives them that bit of regular granny contact.

Lesleyann9 Wed 26-Dec-18 02:45:16

I want to ask some other people on the forum for feedback
First of all my husband and I will be caring for a short part of the day for three grandchildren and all day for one grandchild. I was told not to continue with childcare by an NHS therapist who is a physiotherapist because I have ME. There are several reasons why I can’t stop
First of all my husband won’t allow it Then I have a daughter more disabled than me with MS and we look after her three days a week as well as her three year old daughter who goes to nursery these three days from 9.00 in the morning until 3.00 in the afternoon We also have a grandson aged 2 from another daughter who will be coming three days a week from 7.00 in the morning until 4.00 and he goes to playgroup the same hours as grAndaughtdt. Finally there is a 12 month granddaughter who will come the same hours 7.00 till 4.00 but we will look after her all day but she will have naps and my plan is to sleep when she does. So we give them breakfast the two older ones go to playgroup nursery and then come back in the afternoon and get a snack. My daughter with MS stays the three days to get a break andnovernight with her daughter. So it is full on for three days. I want to do it for them but I am worried about my health . My other worry is my husband has developed some illness. He is being tested for dementia but it could be a mental health issue. The matter is under investigation He gave our last 12000 pounds to my daughter as a loan to buy a car. But he refused to arrange a repayment plan and I am forbidden to talk about it. I am worried as we are short of money every month but the girls give us money for the children’s expenses so that is not the problem . I put some money away in the bank but that is not going to be touched as it is for emergencies. Life is getting difficult. My husband is suspicious paranoid forgetful and can’t always follow a conversation. I cry every night and can’t sletp. I had a week away on my own in October but it is not enough. I have a cleaner two hours a fortnight but again it is not enough. I love all my family so much but things are getting to me

agnurse Wed 26-Dec-18 06:53:28

It sounds as if your husband is controlling. Whether this is a sign of his illness I don't know. What IS clear is that it's unlikely you'll be able to continue providing childcare. You say your husband "won't allow" you to stop, but if he is being investigated for possible dementia I'm not sure he is safe to be around small children without an able-bodied adult to supervise.

You may have to go to your AC and tell them that continuing with childcare simply isn't an option. They'll have to make other arrangements. You do NOT need to feel guilty. While it is kind and generous to provide childcare it's not an obligation.

I'd also encourage you to consider speaking to a social worker and maybe a solicitor about your current financial situation. If it turns out your husband does indeed have dementia, the question of whether he is even in a position to handle finances may become an issue. You may also need to begin considering options - if it is dementia, it will likely progress, and how will you handle his future care needs?

I'm sorry. It sounds as if you have a lot on your plate. I think the key thing to remember here is your health, plus the safety of the children. Look at it this way. If your husband is having difficulty making good decisions, he certainly shouldn't be making decisions about young children. If your health won't permit it, you can't look after 2 toddlers and an ailing adult. It simply isn't safe. You may need to put your foot down. I'd also suggest speaking to your AC. It's possible that they may be able to get through to your husband if they phrase it as "We are concerned about you and Mum's ability to safely care for the kids, so we're putting them in day care or hiring a carer", rather than you saying you can't do it. Then it's their parenting decision, not your decision.

M0nica Wed 26-Dec-18 13:02:24

Guilt is a selfish and wasteful emotion. You are ill, you did not make yourself ill. Why waste time beating yourself up over it.

Just think hard about what you can do with your grandchildren. Someone has already mentioned reading, what about talking to them? Nothing is more precious to many young children than having an adult they can sit and talk to, bring to you their deepest thoughts and know you will listen, treat them seriously and not just dismiss them as many adults will.

Think positively about what you can do and stop beating yourself up over what you cannot do.