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Tired Granny

(117 Posts)
hopeful1 Thu 02-Mar-17 19:51:07

I am wondering how other Grandparents cope with looking after the Grandchildren. I look after a 2 year old GS 2 days a week from 7 til 6 on average and drop off and pick up my 8 year old GD for school then care. I am finding this really exhausting even though I am only 57. I have got to the stage that after a full day with them I need the next day recovering and do little else, I am lucky that I was able to take early retirement. I love them dearly and put a lot of effort into making their days worthwhile. I do suffer from anxiety so work hard at not letting it control my life however this is not quite how I envisaged retirement. Do others feel like this.

Anya Fri 03-Mar-17 12:54:42

'Cuse typos.

ajanela Fri 03-Mar-17 13:15:43

I question why you have to stick to the parents rules. Of course the child must be safe and happy but this is a partnership with the parents, if the children were in a nursery it would be the nurseries rules not the parents.

If the parents choose to work they can't tell you an experienced parent how to care for their children especially if it makes you anxious. Not saying you shouldn't listen to there opinion, discuss things with them but there has to be a compromise. Very easy to set down rules but these are rules that suit the parent maybe not you and I wonder if they stick to these rules at home.

Nelliemoser Fri 03-Mar-17 13:31:11

I am baby sitting for both mine tomorrow night. I have done it for Biggest quite often but I don't know how the Littlest will react. He is about 22 mnths now and still likes a "mummy milk" drink last thing at night.
It has taken quite a while to get round to doing this but we do live 50miles away and DD works shifts so finding a weekend free is a little more complicated.

At the end if last year he seemed scared of me or I was at least a "strange" face in the wrong place. His big brother had been just like that with DDs MIL when she came round to their house. He was fine when he saw her at Grandma's house.
Strange creatures little ones.

HildaW Fri 03-Mar-17 13:49:02

ajenela.....oh its a mine field and varies from family to family. Thankfully my daughter and I are of the same mind on all the major points. SIL is a little bit more nervous about certain things.....hes a bit of a handwasher if you get my drift. On GN we have heard of many families that almost issue a handbook when they hand over their children as if Grandma and Grandad have never safely reared so much as a guinea pig!

Anya Fri 03-Mar-17 13:55:26

Parents' child so parents do have the right to set rules. I usually agree then just do my own thing, within reason that is. If they say 'no electronic games' before school them I simply say 'mummy said...' so end of argument.

But when they were little and DD or DiL said they have a nap exactly at 11.47 and 30 seconds, then I'd settle for anywhere between 11.30 and 12.00 depending on the child. Common sense rules.

Nowadays neither DD nor DDiL much care what I do with them, as all that avid do-it-by-the-book enthusiasm has given way to 'whatever works'. My grandparenting style could best be described as 'benign negligence' hmm

PS the grandchildren seem to be growing up fine and independent

HildaW Fri 03-Mar-17 15:09:58

Sounds good to me Anya! grin

Ceesnan Fri 03-Mar-17 15:51:17

Anya benign negligence is the way I do it too. DGD is 11 now and I have had her for five days a week since she was 8 months old. I gave up work to care for her and have never regretted it. We have a great relationship and I would do it again in a heart beat.

Riverwalk Fri 03-Mar-17 16:11:04

Parents' child so parents do have the right to set rules.

Anya are you not the one doing the favours, in relation to childcare? I'm shock at that, plus you had 3 under fives and school runs!

I must be the worst Grandma on GN - er, no imposed rules when you come to my house.

I do run a smooth(ish) operation, good food, big-ticket events, activities and a safe environment but wouldn't follow any rules laid down by DS & DSIL!

ajanela Fri 03-Mar-17 16:19:19

Thanks last few posts for talking about how you compromise. Hopeful1 having heard how others manage you can relax and do your best. As we were told at school you can't do better than your best.

Anya Fri 03-Mar-17 16:22:52

It's not a Big Deal Riverwalk - my reasoning is ...if I'm used to 30+ in a class then 3 was a dawdle. And I do feel privileged to be involved in my GC's lives, not everyone is. As I mentioned the DD and DDiL are now 'tamed' and accept my 'anything goes' approach but, as others have found out to their cost, you do have to take it easy with first time parents. They soon mellow and learn to trust your judgement.

My two GDs are due any minute now for their fortnightly over-night stay and I'm looking forward to having them. What's wrong with that? They make me smile, they make me laugh, they melt my (very cynical) heart with their cuddles.

Yes, it helps that at 70 I'm still fit and strong granted, but when you've been denied the opportunity to see one grandchild grow up, then those that remain are doubly precious sad

flaxwoven Fri 03-Mar-17 16:45:32

I look after my nearly 3 year old and 9 month old grandsons 2 days a week from 8.30 to nearly 6 pm. It is very tiring but I love it, they change very week, and luckily my husband helps as I would find it very difficult on my own (I'm in my 60's). My son died 2 years ago aged 39 and the two small ones bring joy and laughter into my life. They are only tiny for a short while and the nearly 3 year old will be starting school in about 18 months. Everywhere we go we see grandparents caring for little ones - in the park, the garden centre, the town centre shops, toddler groups etc. It seems to be the way of it nowadays. I do have my escapes, my swimming, art classes and walks. I do feel sorry for mums who just have to work not out of choice, as I think they are missing a lot and instead of "having it all" many women just end up "doing it all".

Ceesnan Fri 03-Mar-17 16:48:40

The only time there has been an awkward moment was one morning when DiL turned up with an obviously unwell DGD and said that she was not well enough for school. Before I could stop myself I heard myself asking "In that case, why on earth have you brought her here?" DiL turned scarlet and said she hadn't thought it might be a problem -.As it happened I could rearrange my day to care for DGD,but a lesson was taught that morning, and they have never since taken me for granted!

grannypiper Fri 03-Mar-17 17:20:01

My house my rules. Luckily DD's parenting style is very much like Anya's grin

annsixty Fri 03-Mar-17 17:21:43

How many parents dictate to a nursery how they want their children to be cared for or lay down rules as to timetable etc. They trust that the staff will do what is needed with great care and they should trust GP's to do the same.

Anya Fri 03-Mar-17 17:36:14

Very true Flax - it takes two wages to survive these days. So sorry to read about your son (((hugs)))

Witzend Fri 03-Mar-17 18:18:22

I used to do one day a week with Gdd, now 22 months, and still do a lot of helping out since dd also has Gds, 7 months, who is not a good sleeper. I take over sometimes so dd can get some sleep! Yes, I do find it tiring, but am glad I am able to help, and do have a lovely relationship with Gdd.

Having said that, I don't think I can cope with two when dd goes back to work, not on my own. So we will very likely be helping with the extortionate childcare costs, instead.
I do sometimes wish dd had had her babies 10 years earlier, when I would have had late 50s energy levels instead of late 60s, but then the time wasn't right for her then, plus I was still working and had a mother with dementia needing a lot of time.
So it's all been for the best.

MissAdventure Fri 03-Mar-17 18:19:12

I'm far more relaxed with my grandsons than I was with their mum. They're aghast at her stories of how strict I was, so she knows I won't stand for any nonsense.
We have very similar views, luckily.

Witzend Fri 03-Mar-17 18:23:55

Just to add, dd has never imposed any particular 'rules', and I wouldn't have undertaken any childcare if there had been rules I considered daft or over the top. I would never give Gdd anything sugary, but once or twice when I've been hard pressed she's certainly had microwave chips for lunch, and I must say I find CBeebies a godsend! God bless Mr Tumble and all who sail in him...

Carol1ne63 Fri 03-Mar-17 20:50:28

I childmind children from 2 years-12 years usually from 7am-7pm each day. On a Friday night I finish at 6pm and two of my grandsons arrive to stay over and go swimming on the Saturday morning. Sometimes they only stay Friday night, sometimes Friday and Saturday. For childmindees I have to meet Care Inspectorate criteria, for the grandchildren it's "my house, my rules" as someone else has posted.
I enjoy it. It's tiring but I feel privileged to be able to spend this time with them and not being mum means I'm a step removed so don't get as stressed out over their behaviours as I did with my own children. But also I think I got stressed with my own because I had to work as well as bring them up. Now I just get to play smile

beccyb Fri 03-Mar-17 21:56:29

I feel your pain! today I had my DGDs from 7.30 till 6.30, one is 4 and one is 1. I am exhausted, I love them more than life itself, but 11 hours of the little treasures is very hard work! Littlest one slept for 2 hours, but then its craft and cooking time! Even the weather was against me, pouring rain!

etheltbags1 Fri 03-Mar-17 22:30:43

Just done a shift with dgd I'm knackered, I couldn't manage another so im glad dd has said that 1 is enough. Why are they so exhausting.

Starlady Sat 04-Mar-17 05:34:36

Yes, lol! Love when I get to watch my dgc, but it can be exhausting! As pps have said, however, it changes as they get older. Someday they will be all grown up and too busy for us. Then we will miss these childhood days, won't we?

flaxwoven Sat 04-Mar-17 08:57:10

Thanks Anya.

radicalnan Sat 04-Mar-17 09:27:12

What happened to the afternon naps that kids used to take? They are full on now non stop all them but it is shattering at times and I don't do it very often.

harrysgran Sat 04-Mar-17 09:29:01

When I read all the posts about how exhausting it is looking after grandchildren it makes me quite thankful I work full-time so I'm unavailable ?