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How often do you see your grandchildren?

(148 Posts)
April0 Thu 05-Dec-19 21:17:00

As grandparents, how often is reasonable to see your grandchildren?

I have a 9 month old son and am currently on maternity leave. I'd like to be socialising with other young mums but I feel under a huge amount of pressure to spend the week with my mum instead as she's so desperate to spend time with my son.

She lives a 30 min drive away so says she can't just pop round every day like all her friends do, so instead she'll come round for the whole day at least 4 days a week.

I don't want to upset her so I don't say anything but I'm just wondering if this is normal or not?

agnurse Thu 05-Dec-19 21:21:58

IMHO, that's WAY more than she needs to be seeing him. Once a week or a couple of times a month is plenty.

Growing up, we probably saw my mum's parents every month or every couple of months. We saw my dad's parents two or three times a year, as they lived quite a distance away.

We see my parents every few months, and Hubby's parents every few years as we are in Canada and they are in the UK.

It doesn't matter how much time her friends spend with their GC. If she's complaining that they get more than she does, you may say to her, "Mum, you really sound as if you're a child complaining that so-and-so gets to do something and you don't. If I'd said that to you back when I was little, what would have been your response to me? Why should it be different now?"

HettyMaud Thu 05-Dec-19 21:23:06

As a grandmother I can understand why she wants to see so much of her GS but 4 days a week is possibly a bit much. I live near my one GS and have looked after him p/t while my DD works. I have loved every minute of it. Grandchildren are very special. Will Mum be able to help once you go back to work? Sounds as if she would be very happy to do so and the little boy will be well cared-for. Have you discussed this? Please don't make her feel unwanted whatever you do.

Blinko Thu 05-Dec-19 21:24:52

We feel lucky to see our GCs three or four times a year!

jura2 Thu 05-Dec-19 21:26:41

That is far too much. You need to pluck up courage to make arrangements to meet friends or do other stuff, and tell her you are busy. One or twice a week for half a day would be 'normal' and fair. Bonne chance.

Scentia Thu 05-Dec-19 21:30:05

I live 15 minutes from my DD, SiL and GS and see him for 20 minutes at bedtime on Wednesday evening then every other Friday we will spend the day together. Some Sunday mornings I will pop over and take him for a walk if the weather is ok. He is 7 months old. You need to ask your mum to back off a bit I think.

notanan2 Thu 05-Dec-19 21:31:19

How often did you and your mum see each other before the baby?

Some mothers and daughters do live in each others pockets, and thats okay if it suits them both. So when babies come along those GMs naturally see the baby several times a week.

It doesnt work that way of youre not normally "best friends" with your mum, baby aside.

Im close to my MIL as are my kids. We see her about once every 8 weeks. We are good friends, but neither of us are "live in each others pockets" types.

There is no right or wrong if it suits everyone but in your case, you feel like you are missing out on mat leave which is not okay. You need to set your boundaries. Your mum doesnt need to see your baby 4 days a week. Thats a want not a need. But you as a new mum do need to feel you are getting to experience a normal new mum maternity leave. And if you wanna go to groups (bawk) then do that!

welbeck Thu 05-Dec-19 21:36:03

i think she is crowding your space.
you obviously feel it is too much.
could you try to be busy/ out so she doesn't visit so often, so you can gradually train her to once a week, esp as she stays for most of the day.
you'll just have to say or maybe email might be easier, oh don't waste your time coming over on Monday, as i'll be out.
then have an appt for Tuesday, stay and play Wednesday.
could she fit in Thursday perhaps, if it's convenient.
if she protests at the change, just don't engage in why.
take the high ground. you don't owe her any particular time with you and your son. so don't discuss it. just announce when you are not avail/ might be avail.
you don't have to justify your use of time. good luck.

Curlywhirly Thu 05-Dec-19 21:43:55

We see ours once a week, at the most twice (once because I look after each of them on separate days, and occasionally we see them at weekend when we give their parents a rest and have them overnight). To me, 4 days a week seems really excessive (unless of course you are childminding).

BlueSapphire Thu 05-Dec-19 21:45:23

Yes, that's way too much. My DS and family live 15 minutes walk away and I am lucky if I see them once a week. I would never dream of just calling in, or demanding to see them more often. They have their own lives to lead and are a busy family with both mum and dad working, so I know they need their own family down time. I wait till I am invited. I do pick younger DGD up from school twice a week if necessary. And I provided two and a half days a week free childcare before the DGDs went to school, so saw loads of them then. I am glad now though to have my free time back! The upside was building a good relationship with my DGDs.

I somehow think my late much-loved MIL would have been round every day if she could if they had lived near us though, but we live in the Midlands and she lived up North! So we saw them about 2or 3 times a year.

Grannyknot Thu 05-Dec-19 21:52:12

Too much! I live just over an hour away from my grandchild and (as much as I love him) one halfday visit a week was enough when he was a baby. I see him about once a month now that he's at school.

My grandchild is not my life, he is part of my life.

Oopsminty Thu 05-Dec-19 21:55:59

Goodness me. Far too much!

You either have to be blunt or tell her you're going out to certain activities/visiting friends etc etc

April0 Thu 05-Dec-19 22:02:46

She says on a regular basis that he's her whole life now and that's all she's got for the rest of her days. Understand that having a grandchild is very important but it puts me under a huge amount of pressure. She refuses to go more than 3 days without seeing him and even after a day she's very over the top saying how much she's missed him and how sad she is waking up if it's a day she's not going to see him. Very hard not to feel guilty!

notanan2 Thu 05-Dec-19 22:08:51

She says on a regular basis that he's her whole life now and that's all she's got for the rest of her days.

Right well that's not healthy for her either, so you are doing her no favours by enabling this level of dependency.

If you set some boundaries it might encourage her to go and find other ways to enrich her life. In the long term, better for everyone!

TrendyNannie6 Thu 05-Dec-19 22:25:35

Oh goodness me that’s far too much, you have a young baby and you should be out socialising with other mums and their babies, he shouldn’t be her whole life, he’s part of it, with her saying that’s all she’s got for the rest of her days is quite OTT . Has she not got any friends or partner or other interests, of course she loves him, we all love our grandchildren, but this sounds to me like she’s obsessed with him, you must feel very suffocated . I see mine twice a week but I look after him couple days after school. I think you need to have a word with her, I feel it’s not fair on you, I’m sure you can’t be doing anything you would like to do

Tangerine Thu 05-Dec-19 22:38:56

I should imagine you feel overwhelmed with your mother visiting 4 days a week. Find out where the nearest Toddler Group is and when it runs and, for a start, tell her firmly you're going. That should be a start.

Your mother shouldn't be so dependent on seeing her GS. What if you moved away? What would she do then?

SueDonim Thu 05-Dec-19 22:55:01

‘All she’s got for the rest of her days’? Your mother does know that your baby won’t be a baby for long? In thirteen short years he’ll be a lanky, monosyllabic teenager and won’t be wanting to see his gran four days a week!

I think you need to be less available to your mum and encourage her to develop some interests of her own.

Just for the record, I see two of my GC once a year at most, two of them I see maybe four times a year and one I see two-weekly.

quizqueen Thu 05-Dec-19 23:05:04

Cut her down to two days a week, initially- one at yours and then you go to her once (and none at the weekend if you have a partner at home then) and maybe a special trip out once a month. Tell her you have invitations from other mums the rest of the week and she needs to get herself a life away from you and the baby. Then cut it down to once a week and the occasional babysitting evening. You need to put your foot down NOW.

GillS Thu 05-Dec-19 23:10:29

4 days each week is far too much. Of course your mum wants to see your child, but she will bond with him just as easily if she sees him on a regularly set day once a week or even every 2 weeks. It is important that you and your child meet up with other young mums and their babies. If you’re lucky you will make lifelong friendships.

Grammaretto Thu 05-Dec-19 23:22:45

Oh goodness me. You need to help her find some other interests!! Pronto.
That is too much pressure on you and the baby to entertain DGM.
Sure you can ask her to babysit sometimes but once a week max.

Bagatelle Thu 05-Dec-19 23:26:20

What will happen when you go back to work?

BlueBelle Thu 05-Dec-19 23:30:02

Overpowering and rather selfish of her and extremely unhealthy for her and for the baby to be her only ‘entertainment’
Once a week unless she’s going to have him while you go out and about, (unless of course as a mum and daughter you were in each other’s pockets) Shes obviously not got enough to do
You are being uncomfortably over powered, who has their mum with them four days a week
You need to be taking him out to meet up with friends or in baby groups You have to be kind but firm he is not her baby or her playmate

Smileless2012 Thu 05-Dec-19 23:34:08

Yes that is a lot April and can't leave much time for you to spend with your baby and do the things you want too.

Don't allow her to make you feel guilty when she's not seeing your son and maybe you should start scaling back the visits say down to 3 times a week and then down to 2 and eventually 1 which still makes her a very lucky GM.

You need to be looking ahead to when you return to work. Your maternity leave is a very special time for you and your son. As Bagatelle has asked, what's going to happen when you go back to work?

Your time with him then will become even more precious as you wont be with him full time. It's lovely that your thinking about your mum, but you need to think of you and your son too.

notanan2 Thu 05-Dec-19 23:54:36

Oh goodness me. You need to help her find some other interests!!

No she doesn't
Her DM needs to do that for herself (or not)
You cant "cure" someone of an unhealthy dependancy on you by trying to help them! You just have to step back and let them sink or swim

April0 Fri 06-Dec-19 00:05:04

Going back to work is actually my current issue!

I'll be returning 3 days a week. I've asked if she'd kindly look after him once a week, with the other two days in nursery to help with socialisation etc.

This has caused a big fallout with her saying that it's cruel to put him in nursery for any length of time at this age and that research has shown it makes children more aggressive later on. The rest of my family apparently also feel the same way.