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Grandparenting

The ups and downs.

(33 Posts)
morethan2 Sat 01-Oct-16 13:06:26

Some of you know my DiL is ill. She's in hospital at the moment so I've had my granddaughters. They are really lovely girls 7&4. The four year old was sitting behind the settee with my iPad 'chattering' to it and I noticed her kissing and then trying to cuddle it tight. I took it off her and asked what she was doing and she said "talking to mummy" when I looked there was a picture of her mummy taken some years ago. She said forlornly look it's mummy before she had a sore back. Honestly I wanted to cover her with love and kisses. The 7 year old has spent hours making cards with messages saying 'get better soon mummy' 'I miss your best cuddle' and 'I miss your lovely face mummy' l look at her innocent little face and want to make her mummy better. I got up this morning and my husband had tidied up and emptied the dishwasher before leaving for work at six this morning. I was so grateful. The downs are that the girls have been bickering all morning, the 4 year old has just started school full time this week and she's snotty( there are dozens of snotty tissues all over the living room) and irritable. She's spilled orange juice over the carpet. The older one spoilt the game of pairs and snakes and ladders. It's raining so I can't take them out. I'm sitting here and I can hear the four year old upstairs pulling things about I'm almost to scared to go up in case there's a mess. I think I might start to agree with the I don't want grandchildren thread. To top it all I feel horribly guilty.

ninathenana Sat 01-Oct-16 13:43:54

This brought a tear to my eye. I feel for your GD's and for you.
Coping with two lively girls the extra work they bring and your emotions must be hard (hug) I hope your D is better soon wine wine flowers

cornergran Sat 01-Oct-16 13:48:00

My heart goes out to you morethan,guess its going to be like this because it's how children, and sisters, are. Not sure where the guilt is coming from, if it's about being fed up with the girls then doesn't that happen to us all? You're humna, are doing so much, you must be tired and worried. Why wouldn't it get on top of you at times? Please don't give yourself a hard time, wine for later and flowers.

Maggiemaybe Sat 01-Oct-16 14:17:53

Oh, morethan2, wishing you ((hugs)), sunshine and flowers. Be kind to yourself - you deserve it.

Greyduster Sat 01-Oct-16 14:30:47

Thinking about you, morethan2. You're doing a sterling job with the girls; you have nothing to feel guilty about, please don't put yourself down. flowers.

Lona Sat 01-Oct-16 14:32:08

more than flowers it's heartbreaking when little ones miss their mummy or daddy. You want to make it better but you can only hug and love them. Then when the tiredness (yours!) sets in, it makes you a bit tetchy. I know that feeling well hmm
You can only do your best, hug them and make sure that you get some rest. Xx

Luckygirl Sat 01-Oct-16 15:02:35

CBeebies or a nice children's video. Needs must. Sit them in front of it with a packet of crisps (or, if you would feel better if it was something healthy, some raisins or sliced apple) and go and put your feet up.

A wet walk with wellies and umbrellas (little girls just love umbrellas!) might get rid of some energy.

Board games are just a source of strife with siblings - ditch them! (the board games, not the girls!)

It's rainy day and the children are missing their Mum - just go with whatever takes their mind off it all and holds their attention - the rules go out of the window in this situation. Just make life easy for your self. They won't get square eyes, but they might just be contented and happy.

Good luck with it all - how good that you are around to help.

morethan2 Sat 01-Oct-16 16:00:53

I'm just so worn out. I've only been home from my two week holiday for a week. Im just so anxious that I won't be able to cope with what's ahead of us. I spent some time with her poor mum last week while visiting the hospital and I was asking her how she was. I asked how she was sleeping and she she said she felt she'd never ever have another good nights sleep for as long as she lived. She's probably right. I can't talk about how I feel to anyone really because they've all got enough to worry about and my poor husband must be sick of me and I know he's worried about the affect all this is having on our son who on top of everything else got laid off last week. He's found another job but of course he has to settle in. What with work,our own household jobs and picking up children, shopping and the mass of stuff needs doing in such a big family household I'm not sure any of us will cope. Sometimes I feel like I'm going to have a heart attack.

mcem Sat 01-Oct-16 16:20:37

morethan I feel for you as I'm in a similar situation although DD is not in hospital at the moment. Over the last year alone we've had so many birthdays 'celebrated' by her hospital bed. Her own 40th and my 68th but the poignant ones were the 6th and 7th of the wee ones. She missed the 18th of the eldest too.
It's hard to keep the little ones going at times and all I can do is abandon any kind of housework to focus on them and then try to sort out the chaos when they go (by which time exhaustion is setting in).
I don't know of course what your DD's prognosis is and I hope things improve.
My daughter's is a nasty chronic condition which is not right now life-threatening but there's little hope of significant improvement.
My GC's have known only this all their little lives but I'm proud to see how resilient they are and how they cope with mum's absence for weeks at a time.

ninathenana Sat 01-Oct-16 17:31:57

flowers my thoughts are with you to mcem

morethan2 Sat 01-Oct-16 18:39:31

Thanks all. mcem I hope both our our women have a better health for a time. My DiL has breast cancer and secondary bone cancer. She just had a mastectomy and they found it had spread to her neck. She's responded well to the treatment for the secondary and it is contained for now. My own GP has told me its generally 3-5 years but can be longer. It's early days for us just 7months since the diagnosis but it's been harrowing. Just when I think I'm coping well somthing will bite me on the arse bum and I'm back to were I started just terror stricken. I just don't seem to be able to find a balance. I'm so worried about the little ones 7.6&4 and the affect it's having on them. I don't want the 18 year old to feel she is saddled with all the responsibility. My son is coping admirably but even he has the occasional wobble and I know he's terrified. Her family are wonderful but worn down by it all. Today was a bad day and I don't really know why. I've calmed down a little now.[ Phew emotion ]

Luckygirl Sat 01-Oct-16 19:28:28

Oh morethan - what a dreadful business. So stressful and distressing for you all. flowers - look after yourself too.

grannyqueenie Sat 01-Oct-16 19:33:48

Lovely as they are, it's demanding caring for youngsters even when life is on an even keel never mind when there are big health worries in the family as well. Don't beat yourself up mthan2, you're doing a great job in supporting them all. Hope both you and Mcemcan find support to look after yourself too, you're in for the long haul with your family and you're realistic enough to know it's not going to be easy. We all hope we won't have to watch our children face situations like this but know too that we'll support them to the hilt if that's way life goes for them.My heart goes out to you both xx

ajanela Sat 01-Oct-16 20:54:18

My daughter also suffered Breast Cancer. She is a single parent and my fear was for my grandson. I discovered I didn't have the energy and our lives change but like all the other GP we just do our best. Now all is going well

I know it is a wonderful service but I did find the adverts for the Macmillan nursing service difficult to watch especially when my daughter and I were watching TV together. We just sat in silence, me hardly breathing.

Sorry not really relevant but I just needed to share that.

Badenkate Sat 01-Oct-16 21:02:49

My heart goes out to all of you who are facing these heart-breaking situations. It puts my petty problems into proportion. I have such great admiration of the way you are dealing with the situation. Take care of yourselves, you are the rock of your family - they need you so much flowers

morethan2 Sat 01-Oct-16 21:19:45

Oh ajanela thank you so much for sharing that. I really thought I was odd. I simply cannot watch or hear any of the adverts for cancer charities. I too hold my breath the whole thing is unbearable. I know without people contributing to these charities my DiL prognosis would be much shorter. I also her life may depend on a breakthrough supported by these charities. But for now they only remind me of how bleak our lives have become.

ajanela Sat 01-Oct-16 22:31:50

I am so glad I mentioned it

The adverts are meant to be hard hitting to raise money but they are painful for those who may be scared they might need those services.

When you have lived all your life in a country with such a wonderful welfare state as the UK and you have contributed your fair share if not more towards it, it is bewildering in your time of great need the service you need depends on charity.

This is not complaining but just honestly expressing how I felt when I was in that situation. I am always very grateful when I hear of people and groups raising money for cancer charities and I do participate in some but I find it hard, yet every month I raise money and shop for baby food and toiletries for a family charity centre.

ninathenana Sat 01-Oct-16 22:32:47

morethan MacMillan nurses can be a wonderful support to the patients family too.
Perhaps think about contacting them.

foxie Sun 02-Oct-16 09:48:03

I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you do your best it will be for the best because you can't do better than that. Sounds to me Morethan2 like you're an angel in disguise and in years to come the children and your DiL will recognise that and thank you for it. Nothing more other than to wish your Dil a full recovery as I'm sure she will.

Janet14 Sun 02-Oct-16 09:52:35

My heart goes out to you, are you in touch with the caring for carers services through the GP? They can sign post you to other sources of help and also give you space to talk, express feelings etc. There are no easy answers but I hope you find some solutions. With love light and healing for you all, xxxx

dizzygran Sun 02-Oct-16 09:56:55

Dear morethan2, I read your posts with a tear in my eye - I know from looking after my own DG how tired you can be and no matter how nice the children they often squabble. From what you describe the children are finding the situation hard to deal with and must be missing their mother. Please use any of the supports available to you - McMillan / MC / Dorothy House and talk to the school in case they notice a change in the girls' behaviour - schools usually have pastoral care. Most of all take care of yourself - maybe find a cleaner / send the clothes to be ironed or anything that will free you up so you are less tired.

I agree with other comments - get some videos for the girls - these can be found in charity shops or from libraries and are often reduced in supermarkets, etc. Take them to the local soft plays for an hour or two to work off some energy and to the local parks when the weather is good (or wrap up when it is not so good). I do hope that your DIL can be helped - as a long term supporter of Cancer Research it is good know that people are benefitting from the walks, etc. my friends and I have gone on over the years.
Best wishes

hulahoop Sun 02-Oct-16 09:59:02

More than it must be very hard for you we all know how hard grandchildren can be and with all what's going on they must be picking up moods . I think you are doing a very

Hard job take care of yourself sending hugs to you all and I hope your dil is home soon 💐🎀

Sheilasue Sun 02-Oct-16 10:24:09

Our grandaughter lives with us permently she has lived with us since she was six. She was always untidy until she got in her teens she is better now but I have to nag her to put her uniform and clothes in the laundry bin, which is at the bottom of her bed.
I think your doing a great job and it can't be easy what with the worry of your daughter too.

oznan Sun 02-Oct-16 10:29:19

Morethan2 you are doing a wonderful job during this very difficult time for you and your family.Your grandchildren are naturally missing their mother and worrying about her which is bound to affect their behaviour to some degree.Please don't feel guilty-children of this age are hard work at the best of times.It sounds like your husband is helpful and supportive-why not give the girls a special "grandad" half hour,where they sit and watch tv/videos or read a book together.This wouldn't be too taxing for your hubby after a day a work and would give you time for a walk or a lie down or whatever would refresh you.You need a break and to take care of yourself too! I hope that things will soon improve for you all.

Im68Now Sun 02-Oct-16 10:33:21

Morethan2 I'm so sad for you please be strong and remember life is like that, so don't blame yourself.flowers