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Is she too demanding or am I too soft?

(54 Posts)
dreamspirit Sun 31-Mar-19 16:07:00

I was standing behind the door when they handed out spines, with the result I have had neck problems, knee problems, shoulder problems, lower back problems, you name it, all my life: nothing major, just different aches and pains requiring osteopathy, physio, chiro etc. to keep me 'upright', as I put it, (lol) since I was a teenager. Now, at 72, naturally these problems are not improving! However, I take every step I can to alleviate them. Every morning when I wake, I have pain somewhere - it might be my neck, my shoulders, my hips etc. etc., but I can gently unfold myself and do various appropriate stretches, until I reach reasonable mobility. If I'm still not reasonably comfortable, I take anti-inflammatories. I then go out walking my dog - which, of course, oils my joints and helps a lot. I follow that with yoga. Now .... I have explained to my daughter, who lives 35 minutes away, that I can no longer 'jump' out of bed and tear around as when I had to get to work, and I need more time to 'unfold', or I have more muscle spasms to deal with. She, of course, only sees me once I've got everything moving and I'm quite a 'sparky', fit granny. I have explained to her that I do not want to babysit at 9 a.m. which requires me to get up at about 6.30 a.m. to do all the above, including walking the dog, in order to leave my house at 8.20 to get to hers. I love seeing my grandsons and am happy to start at, say, 10,30, but, I've just received another request list from her of possible school holiday 'duties', starting at .... yes ... 9 a.m. again!! I'm exasperated! How many different ways can I explain that I just can't do it? I made the mistake of making an exception once in an emergency (for which my back suffered!), but that set a precedent, so I laid out the law and and told her 'sorry, but no babysitting before 10.30 because I can suffer for days otherwise', but now, this request from her AGAIN! It makes me feel mean and I hate that. How on earth can I make her understand? We have a good relationship and she's a wonderful daughter, but this seems to be a complete blank spot, and she doesn't seem to realise how much pain I'm in most of the time, presumably because I'm slim, active (once I'm oiled!) and don't LOOK decrepit! Any tips, without us falling out?

notanan2 Tue 02-Apr-19 13:48:13

I guess that's the point of posting here MamaCaz smile

I dont know how you make am effort to find something that doesnt exist. Babysitters round here have 4hr minimums, friends will have your kid if they will tag on to plans, but not to sit in all morning wasting their kids holiday, and holiday clubs charge per session even if you collect early.

It is very hard to effectively tell someone you love that they arent useful
This may be the position the DD feels she is in because the OP keeps coming back with wantinv to help after it has become clear that she can't!

We have been in that position with FIL and driving and it was very very difficult indeed.

notanan2 Tue 02-Apr-19 13:53:07

In reality, I might (secretly) be anything but happy about it, but those words are simply my way of leading in to the closest solution I can offer.

I guess we are all guilty at times by causing confusion and sending mixed messages in an effort to try to find a way to be kind IYKWIM.

It doesnt sound kind to say "if you cant do office hours you are of no use to us in terms of holiday childcare" when the mum seems keen to find a way to help.

The DD may be hoping that by not saying it outright her mum might come to the conclusion herself so that the DD doesnt have to be blunt and say "you are not able to be helpful in this way any more" by going ahead and booking all day childcare instead!

dreamspirit Thu 04-Apr-19 14:53:24

Thank you all for your support and suggestions. I agree with the point that our children should have other options open for childcare - I remember, although my mum helped me, I always had other friends or 'aunties' and didn't rely solely on mum. However, this situation has been resolved now- I think because my daughter twigged (because she's a personal trainer) when I told her my latest injury is to my sacro iliac joint (very painful), and that means I really can barely walk on my right leg when I first get up. Anyway, she messaged me to say 'perhaps I could get Cassida to have the boys till 10.30 a.m.' Oh dear, why didn't she think of that in the first place, but never mind! My perceptive husband did say 'because you're so energetic, slim, barely have a line on my face and people think you're 20 years younger' (probably thanks to my personal 40-year anti-aging experiment!), maybe my daughter finds it difficult to remember my real age. She does say she always thinks I'm 42 (which is funny, because she's 42 this year!) Still, I mustn't complain. As I said, I've always suffered with back pain and I have no other illnesses or conditions so no meds, so in a way I'm lucky. Perhaps after this episode, any babysitting requests can begin at 10.30! Here's hoping!