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Grandparenting

Daughter and I are not speaking

(101 Posts)
retirementisgreat Mon 06-Mar-17 10:58:45

After discussing arrangements with my DD for future babysitting and my saying I will not have all five DGC once a month for a whole weekend, it came to a head when she sent me an abusive text message during the night and posted on face book that she had no family support. She has made some hurtful accusations e.g. I'm just like her DF - that's my Ex. I have never said I won't help at all. She gave me an either/or choice, so my last text to her was to agree to have the three girls. I have not responded and resolved to wait until she apologises which probably won't happen. Should I make the first move - or wait for her to say sorry?

janeainsworth Mon 06-Mar-17 11:10:09

Wait for her apology. You don't have to take shit like that accept that sort of behaviour from anyone.

glammanana Mon 06-Mar-17 11:17:52

Don't be bullied into something which does not suit you,your DD knows very well she has support from you and she is just trying it on, my DD has 5 children (abet much older 13-26yrs) but she has never asked us to have them all together for any reason she has always taken the responsibility for her children and we have supported her if need be.

nina1959 Mon 06-Mar-17 11:18:59

The comment I hear frequently is 'I never expected to be a full time unpaid childminder after I retired'.

The next comment I hear also frequently 'If I don't say yes, they will cut me off and stop me from seeing my grandchildren'.

If it were me, I'd offer what you feel is right for you then leave it up to her. xxx

Starlady Mon 06-Mar-17 11:33:51

"She gave me an either/or choice, so my last text to her was to agree to have the three girls. I have not responded and resolved to wait until she apologises which probably won't happen."

I'm a little confused. What was the "either/or choice?" Did she say, "Take all 5 kids or none?" "Take 3 or more or you'll never see them again?" What?

Also, you say you texted her that you would "have the three girls." But then you say, "I have not responded." Do you mean, "SHE has not responded?" Or that you didn't actually send that text but have it saved? I'm confused.

Ana Mon 06-Mar-17 11:40:41

So am I. Especially as I don't see how DD's going to agree unless she can get someone else to look after the two boys so she can have her monthly weekend 'break'!

rosesarered Mon 06-Mar-17 11:50:18

I think that most of us have said on ( the other thread) that the expectation/hope of your DD wanting a weekend break where you or other have her five children is ludicrous.Ignore what she puts on Facebook when she is angry, but equally do not committ yourself to more than you can handle.

Starlady Mon 06-Mar-17 11:53:26

I would be very hesitant to do/not do anything that would get me co from my gc. Otoh, I wouldn't want to be pressured into doing something I didn't feel comfortable with, particularly if it's to be an ongoing, "once a month" thing. Emergencies are different.

I once heard a lovely saying, "Give only what you can with a glad heart." Maybe that applies here?

So sorry for dd's nasty text, cruel fb post, etc. (Why do some people insist on airing "dirty laundry" on fb?) But perhaps she's just sounding off? I think you need to wait and give her time to cool down and sort it out. She might not apologize so fast, but she might accept your offer and find someone else to watch the other 2. Or she and sil might decide to put their weekends away idea on hold till the kids are older.

retirementisgreat Mon 06-Mar-17 12:19:00

Starlady - in answer to your first comment
My previous text was in answer to her question - would I have the three girls and not the boys (aged 15 month & 8 yrs.) or just not the baby (leaving 4 DGC to look after ). Neither situation was ideal as I did not want to permanently exclude any of them. But in the middle of the night I was not going to get into a discussion. She insisted on an answer so it was easier to say I'll have the 3 girls. The abusive text followed. There has been no contact for the last 5 days. I don't think she understands how hurtful her comments have been. I'd like her to so she's sorry. I'm angry that she thinks she can speak to me like that too. But in order to see my DGC and DD I might have to respond first.

Christinefrance Mon 06-Mar-17 12:25:45

I think your daughter would be extremely lucky to have a regular weekend break retirementisgreat, not many mothers have that option. It was her choice to have five children not yours to look after them. As Starlady said have a cooling off period then try for a compromise. I have a friend in exactly the same position but with 7 children involved and she has stipulated only three children at once and not the three youngest. I think you have to be clear with your daughter about what care you can safely manage. FB has a lot to answer for as usual. Good luck resolving this .

Faye Mon 06-Mar-17 12:54:43

I was wondering too why your DD had five children. You have to love the work it takes to look after that many children. Then I read she has a baby too and wants you to babysit once a month, her five children, one a baby, all weekend. confused I think your DD will be phoning you before you have to phone her. Do not apologise, possibly tell her you don't mind helping but don't want to be tied down for a whole weekend every month. It was her choice to have so many children, not yours.

Luckygirl Mon 06-Mar-17 13:01:21

I agree that it is good to let her cool off - she will work out which side her bread is buttered. Keep in text contact "How are things?) and be resolutely polite and positive." Don not play her at her own game. She needs your help, she knows it and she will have to come to some compromise in the end.

Your message needs to be loud and clear - I am very happy to support you and help with the children, but I am getting older and am clear about what I can manage. Say it positively - what I CAN manage as opposed to what I cannot.

I have a large assortment of GC, but my DDs are very clear that we should only do what feels manageable for us and they know it is their responsibility to look after their own children, and we are just supplemental and out of the goodness of our hearts!

Bide your time and stay cool.

jusnoneed Mon 06-Mar-17 13:02:54

If she asked you about having just the girls, does that mean she knows she can get you to have those three and someone else to have the boys so that they can have their time off from looking after their children?
Have to say she sounds very selfish, I wouldn't answer until she apologises, and then make sure not to give in to her.

retirementisgreat Mon 06-Mar-17 13:25:14

jusnoneed - I have no idea what she intends to do with the younger boys if she goes away - she's said before there is no one else to look after any of the children. Maybe she will take them with her - but if that had been an option already we would have explored it. I don't want to choose one DGC over another. My suggestion would now be that I look after the three girls and then DGS (the older one) the following weekend. But having the baby overnight is something I'm not prepared to do again - just yet. I'll wait a little longer before making any further suggestions and see if DD contacts me in the meantime.

TerriBull Mon 06-Mar-17 14:25:37

Does she actually go away on the "once a month" week-end break, or is it merely a break away from the children and they stay at home? If they do go away, they must spend some money on that, couldn't they use that to provide paid child care instead of exploiting you? Why do they need a monthly break anyway, it sounds very unorthodox to go away quite that often. I believe from the previous thread you said the five children are not all your daughter's, a couple are from her partner's previous relationship, why don't they therefore go to their mother? or other grandparents? I think you have been unbelievably good to them in having all five children previously, it's one thing having the older one who I believe you said was 13 and therefore able to do things for herself but babies, toddlers and even young children need a lot of looking after. My heart goes out to you, your daughter sounds unreasonable and whilst you have been your daughter's age, she hasn't been yours so has no idea how much less energy you have now. I hate the way some people put out all this personal stuff on FB, she is only presenting one side of what should be a very private matter. Actually I don't think extended family support is an entitlement anyway unless it's offered without undue duress. I doubt whether there would be a person on GN who wouldn't sympathise with your situation. As others have said, hold firm, this is her family set up and she has to find a way of dealing with it without encroaching on her good natured mother in this way.

Riverwalk Mon 06-Mar-17 14:52:24

In your previous thread you said that no other relatives are available, I'm just wondering why this is?

If I've got this correct, your daughter & SIL both have children from previous relationships, plus one or two between them.

So to repeat the question I asked on that thread - as there is at least one other father, one other mother and at least three other sets of grandparents of the various children how come nobody else is available for any babysitting at all? And do they get bad-mouthed on FB?

Norah Mon 06-Mar-17 16:12:30

I watch several GC at a time, they play together quite nicely. To me the hard bit would be activities for the older GC with an 8 month old underfoot.

Maybe you could watch the 3 or 4 and ask her to find other care for the baby?

How old are these kids? Do they all live with your DD? Do they have other parents and GPs?

I'm sure it's personality. I may approach my DDs wrongly, I wouldn't burn bridges by refusing to go on without an apology. I don't believe I'd risk estrangement from my DDs by stubbornly insisting.

janeainsworth Mon 06-Mar-17 16:26:41

Would your DDs go no contact with you norah if you said to them that doing something they had asked you to do was too much for you to cope with?

live7 Mon 06-Mar-17 16:39:47

What? She said she has no family support!! She wants you to have 5 children once a month for a weekend!! Flabbergasted....
My 3 children's grandparents never had any of them for an overnight stay - ever. It would have been wonderful but they never offered/felt able to, and it certainly didn't stop me talking to them.. It seems there is a real sense of entitlement here and it's time things are put on a new footing. It sounds very much that she's taking you for granted with very little thanks.
She doesn't know how lucky she is.

retirementisgreat Mon 06-Mar-17 16:42:46

TerriBull and Riverwalk - All of the other parents and DGP's are out of the picture for very valid reasons that I cannot discuss.
I am the only one that can look after DGC that my DD trusts.
The face book comment did not mention me by name but was a bit obvious as it followed on from the abusive text the night before.
I don' think DD realises that I don't have the same energy as her, even though I have tried to say so.
She seems to think I am blowing things out of proportion and has backed down on her original request once I stood firm.
I shall contact her in time, even if I don't get the apology I think I deserve.

Anya Mon 06-Mar-17 16:57:12

I'm a very hands-on gran. There are two GSs sitting here as I type and two GDs just gone home BUT even I would balk at the idea of having all four of them one weekend every month.

I have all four together overnight for just two nights per year - once around Christmas and once in the summer so my son and daughter and their spouses can get together. I wouldn't contemplate all four for a whole weekend.

Norah Mon 06-Mar-17 17:29:34

janeainsworth as I posted, "it may just be my personality, but I wouldn't burn bridges by refusing to go on without an apology. I don't believe I'd risk estrangement from my DDs by insisting."

As to if my DDs go no contact if said something they asked was too much for us to cope with? I'd not risk angering them over an apology.

I have said, when there were baby and toddler GC, "all GC is a lot, unless they're sleeping".

Our DDs seem to like weekends away - I understand that bit. They try to be flexible, I think.

overthehill Mon 06-Mar-17 17:32:56

Our GS who is 8 has quite a lot of sleep overs with his friend and our DD returns the favour and has the boy back at hers. Our GD is only 3 but even she has spent the night with her brother at a friends house. Couldn't your DD tap into this sort of thing.

Our DD is more than considerate I have to say and it is not very often she asks us to have the two of them, but if she does we do have them overnight sometimes.

I prefer having one at a time and she knows this and respects it.

TerriBull Mon 06-Mar-17 17:50:52

retirementisgreat, you are the only one your daughter trusts with the children, but at the same time she thinks it's ok to send an abusive text, albeit in the heat of the moment and nasty veiled comments on FB. I'd be inclined to write to her pointing out that you are the only one in the extended family who has taken on a supporting role, but are finding it increasingly difficult to manage five children at your age, it's simply too much for you. Why does she and her partner feel it is their right to take a monthly break to presumably relax and recharge whilst you will be overburdened and stressed with the demands of their five children that they brought into the world shock

FrodoVagins Mon 06-Mar-17 17:52:22

Is there a history of favoritism on your behalf with the girls that DD may be reacting to? Not accusing you of anything...just trying to dig into possible explanations.