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Looking for some advice

(33 Posts)
SingleGram Mon 04-Jul-22 12:22:12

I started caring for my granddaughter now age 3 a few weeks after she was born. I can only do this at her home as she is not allowed in my car. I won't get into all the details but this is my son's daughter. I share this childcare with my son's partner's parents they do Tues/Thurs/every 2nd Friday and I do Mon/Wed and every 2nd Friday. I am alone so it is a bit different for me I also have other grandchildren which her parents do not. Anyways I am tired of doing this and would like to move on to doing some other personal things as the "job" is making me feel quite limited as I cannot leave when I am at their home and there is nothing around that is within walking distance as it is in the country. I feel that I do not want to do it anymore that it is affecting my health (I am a diabetic and have some chronic issues) I can't seem to get out of it in any way I have tried politely. Even when I had major surgery I was back in no time. Without going to far into my life story here haha I don't have any other support. When I do not do these 3 days which is also a lot of driving too, I do not see her (my gd) How can I get out of this obligation they have no plans to put her in preschool and the other grands are willing to go on forever. Ideally I would like to finished in the Fall at the latest. I have had no luck in telling them before I don't know how it happens but his partner does not seem to like me which I am ok with but she tells my son and he of course sticks up for her and I feel insulted as she calls me unreliable etc. I have never missed any of my days except for a major surgery which was unexpected. She compares me to her parents and I fall short. My confidence is failing here I was once a preschool teacher and was put off work due to my arthritis and kidney disease. Can anyone give me some advice? It was a hard decision to come to as they spend a lot of time with her parents but have visited only 3 times in 3 years for me so it is likely I will not see her. Thanks!

Charleygirl5 Mon 04-Jul-22 12:33:16

You are obviously not appreciated for the hard work that you are doing. It is a commitment and you want to be free. You have tried talking to her and that has not worked so sort out a last working day date and put it in writing.

It is up to you how much notice you give but 6 weeks I think is reasonable.

Decide if the reasons are your poor health or whatever but that will be asked I am sure.

Good luck.

Franbern Mon 04-Jul-22 12:35:18

Do they pay you for this childcare? If not why not? That is a lot of childcare you are doing. And, why is she not not allowed in your car? Either they trust you to care for her or not. Bet, that rule will change very quickly as she gets older and they will want you to transport her to and from nurseries, schools, activities, etc.

You are being taken advantage of. It is up to you just to say quite clearly that you are unable to continue due to your own health issues, etc. Give them a good notice period, so they can make other arrangements. See if they would be willing to drop it down to once a week or a fortnight.

Also, point out that you really hope that they will understand that you still wish to continue a good relationship with this g.child and hope some sort of alternative arrangements can be put in place for you to see her reasonably regularly.

You need to enjoy your own life now. And they should be happy to understand that it is THEIR child (not yours) and THEIR responsibiltiy

Keep us informed as to how things go.

Doodledog Mon 04-Jul-22 12:36:14

It's very difficult to know what to suggest when we don't know all the people involved, but are you able to sit with your son, tell him what you've told us and see what he suggests?

sodapop Mon 04-Jul-22 17:07:27

I really don't understand why you say you can't get out of child care duties SingleGram surely you just need to say that ill health prevents you continuing as before. Can you offer a reduced amount of time or help to pay for child care.
I think as Charleygirl5 says you need to to be clear about what you intend to do and give them a six week period to make alternative arrangements. I'm sorry if you feel that you then won't have much contact with your granddaughter but your health care is very important.

crazyH Mon 04-Jul-22 17:25:59

singlegram you have to be upfront with them. I had a similar issue with my youngest son. I was asked to do pick-ups about 3 days a week. I had to decline, because I was already committed to my daughter’s children and could not chop and change with daughters in-laws.
I offered to babysit, if they wanted to go out in the evening for meals etc but just could not commit, as it would mean I had no free time for myself, and like you, I am on my own. They probably were miffed at first, but all is well now. And frankly,I had no qualms because they are highly paid professionals and could afford paid childcare.
I have a great relationship with the little ones and see them regularly.
Hope you manage to sort things out - from your post, I think you are in the USA, are you? Nice to have posters from the other side of the pond …

Shelflife Mon 04-Jul-22 17:33:36

You are doing a huge amount if childcare! One day a week is enough for me . I love my Grandma duty and have a good relationship with my AC.
Your health is your priority. Child not allowed in your car ? You also say that when you are in their house you cannot leave, is that because there is no where to go or because your son and his partner do not want you to take your GC out? You have other GC and the other Gran does not , this makes a difference. So much childcare is very restrictive and impinges on your personal life. IMO that is unreasonable. Obviously I am unaware of the background story , however that does not change the fact that you are now weary of your responsibilities. Time to speak out and explain your feelings, so many parents expect so much from Grandparents. This may cause trouble but you must put your health first .

silverlining48 Mon 04-Jul-22 17:54:36

It does sound like a job, you certainly do a lot and if you can’t get out it’s long days having to stay at someone else’s home. In my experience I would have preferred my GC to be brought to my home when they can get used to my house plus it’s easier to occupy yourself in your own home when they are asleep, occupied etc.
Anything more than one day a week is a chore ie a job, and even one regular day a week can also get to be a tie because often your things have to be moved around or missed if it’s one particular day.
I do understand, and have had that conversation, which was a bit awkward, but even one day a week was a restriction. The other grandparent now sees the children and her adult child more than I see mine but it’s a price I am prepared to pay.
Given your health issues think it’s not unreasonable to want and need time fir yourself. As one gets older it gets harder and you have other children and grandchildren you presumably would like to see too.
Finally if your gc is 3 it’s possible that a second child may follow soon and if you are still enmeshed in this high level of child care they will probably expect you to continue.
You are not being unreasonable in wanting time fir yourself.

keepitsimple Mon 04-Jul-22 17:55:08

The question is - who is looking after you and your welfare ? I honestly don't think you have any choice but to tell them the truth. All this is making you ill. Relationships aren't improving no matter what you do . Not visiting you is a crying shame. Why people are so unkind to others never ceases to amaze me especially when they have done nothing to deserve such treatment.
You love the child and want to help care for her but the time has come when you physically can't and they have a responsibility to you which won't have even occurred to them . It would be futile to point this out however but please bear this in mind. Good luck and be brave.

eazybee Mon 04-Jul-22 18:02:26

I think the core of the problem is that SingleGram feels that if she doesn't provide the free childcare she won't get to see her grandchild, as her son and partner visit only rarely, and don't live close by.
A difficult situation to discuss, as her son and partner seem overly critical and unappreciative.

LOUISA1523 Mon 04-Jul-22 18:08:55

Very difficult situation to be in OP ...I hope you can work it out so you still get to see your GD

Hithere Mon 04-Jul-22 18:57:58

Why dont parents want to pay for daycare?Unless they have a good reason (medical, SN, etc), they are very selfish

Anyway, the gc will eventually go to school and your help wouldn't be needed anyway

You may have to give them a date and quit.
Or you can tell them what you can do (1 day a week, for example) and renegotiate new rules.

Look after yourself first

Hithere Mon 04-Jul-22 19:00:35

As for not seeing your gc so often, yes, it is a natural consequence of no longer babysitting as you do now.

However, you and your son could still arrange family visits

SingleGram Tue 05-Jul-22 13:06:05

Thanks so much for all the tips as I am sure many of you have gathered I have used a lot of excuses in the past to try to politely stop health etc but they did not accept it saying that she was easy. (I love her but at 3 she is not easy especially with no other children to play with living nearby) I suspect the only way to stop is to give no excuse or reason as they will counter it as they have in the past. I will have to be much tougher than I have been in the past and I do know there will be consequences as it is the only time that I see her. I can't offer less days as I did try that but they have the days divided up between the grandparents and they will not take the days I do not do so it just makes the day I am there stressful. She is not allowed to come to my apartment or go in my car as my daughter in law who is a vet can work different types of hours than say an office job so even her own parents have to come pick her up and take her to their house. Since they live in the country and she is not allowed in my car I have to stay there and there is nothing at all nearby. The other part of it isn't just that I will miss her, but she will miss me. She asks me all the time can she come with me or come to my house and I feel so bad. Under different circumstances I might be able to continue but I have to accept that these ARE the circumstances.

SingleGram Tue 05-Jul-22 13:20:12

I meant to add to my post but do not know how to do it that I have cataracts in my eyes although that was never given as the reason why I am not allowed to drive her anywhere it is just my son's partner's rules. Her mother also had cataracts and drove her and she recently had the surgery but I am still waiting for them to say it is time. I only got my drivers license at the age of 60 so have only been a driver for 5 years but I believe I am a safe driver and have never had an accident. Their house is in a beautiful country setting but with the rivers and streams comes a lot of responsibility when outside. I can only do it for so long each day. It really isn't about the money for them as they are being super protective and although I could use the money it would not make the job any easier and not sure I want to be their employee. I think at this point she would actually benefit from some sort of contact with other children it is part of why it is so hard to care for her she wants me to play like children would. Most might have some of that in their neighbourhood but due to where they live I have not even seen another person let alone a child! I am in Canada by the way! Across the pond smile

Daddima Tue 05-Jul-22 13:27:29

‘ I’ve decided I can’t look after child any more, so I’ll be giving up on date. That should give you time to make other arrangements’

No explanation necessary.

silverlining48 Tue 05-Jul-22 13:46:44

If you only did one day a week then they would have to find somewhere fir the other 2 days, not ask her oarents to cover fir that too. Clearly it’s not the cost of care if they are both in good jobs. There must be nurseries etc within half hour drive, what will happen when she goes to school. That will require getting her there and back or us transport laid on. Either way pre school children need to socialise and a nursery would provide that opportunity. . I know Canada is big but Surely there is a town somewhere where they shop, see a doctor/dentist, buy petrol, have a meal out? School, church, nursery?
They, not you, are responsible for their child’s care and if you are finding it too much they will have to sort something else out.
I would be very upset if I wasn’t trusted to drive my gc, I know my dd is nervous if we do, but but has to accept it as necessary sometimes.
I suppose they may think you are seeing enough of your gd as you are there 2 or 3 times a week, but it’s not the same as a social visit when parents are present. When or if you stop/reduce the child care would hope your son woukd ensure you still see them all anyway. Be brave, have a chat and stick with your end plan. Good

silverlining48 Tue 05-Jul-22 13:52:46

Would also say child care is always much harder fir one person. Two can take it in turns and have a break, but one person has to do it all. You might point this out.

GagaJo Tue 05-Jul-22 14:00:06

To make sure you can continue having contact, could you cut down to one day a week?

It would mean they'd have to find other childcare for the day and a half you can't do, but that's life.

I look after my 4 year old grandson, but he's at nursery for 3 hours every day, and will be off to school in September so it'll just be before and after school then.

Farmor15 Tue 05-Jul-22 16:57:31

SingleGram - it sounds like your son and dil are anxious first time parents who only want their child cared for by family members! The refusal to allow you to take her in car is also due to anxiety.

Have you met the other grandparents and do you ever talk to them? You mentioned that they cannot do more childcare than the current arrangements, so they may also be finding it hard, even though there are 2 of them. If you managed to chat to them you might find they also see the need for her to mix with other children and also do less childcare!

H1954 Tue 05-Jul-22 17:09:31

It's time to put your cards in the table, they are well and truly taking advantage of you and treating you like a doormat. Only you can put this right so put on your big girls pants and speak out.

Shelflife Tue 05-Jul-22 17:39:02

Tell your son and his partner you have had enough ! They are taking advantage of you big time , your sons partner has rules about you taking the child in your car !!! WHAT??? MY DD and SIL are low wage earners but manage nursery fees. It seems to me your DS and his partner want it all their own way . Even one day a week is a great offer - that's what I do . Nursery the rest if the week. I would not do childcare in their house I prefer my own territory! Daughter drops her off and collects her , she is more than happy for me to take her out in my car , and is grateful for the help I given. You are being taken fir a ride - put a stop to it asap.

welbeck Tue 05-Jul-22 18:52:08


‘ I’ve decided I can’t look after child any more, so I’ll be giving up on date. That should give you time to make other arrangements’

No explanation necessary.

don't discuss, don't try to negotiate.
just tell them, or better by text/email. for records.
sounds like you were trying to get their permission previously. that is tail wagging dog.
don't be a people-pleaser.
good luck.

Madgran77 Tue 05-Jul-22 19:53:57



‘ I’ve decided I can’t look after child any more, so I’ll be giving up on date. That should give you time to make other arrangements’

No explanation necessary.

don't discuss, don't try to negotiate.
just tell them, or better by text/email. for records.
sounds like you were trying to get their permission previously. that is tail wagging dog.
don't be a people-pleaser.
good luck.

That sounds so straightforward to do doesn't it SingleGram! However I suspect what is stopping you is the fear that you just wont see them or your grandchild any more if you give up. Could you sit the parents down and tell them that much as you love them and love your grandchild the care is just becoming too much for you now. But that you are so worried that if you give up you would miss them all so much. Be honest about your fears. Talk it through

Having said that only you can know if that sort of conversation is feasible with your son and DIL or whether it will be "used against you!" flowers

welbeck Tue 05-Jul-22 22:27:13

what if they don't care how she feels.
then she has given them ammunition to use against her.
if they had her doing duty shortly after major surgery, it don't sound like they give a monkey's how things affect her.
she needs to look out for herself.