Gransnet forums


Is my step granddaughter being reasonable?

(28 Posts)
Kartush Fri 24-Jul-20 11:03:21

My son in law had a child when he and my daughter married over 25 years ago. The girl was raised by her mothers family.
I will be honest, She and I rarely see eye to eye as she is selfish, demanding and manipulative.
Her mother is ill, and lives over 2000ks away. She has had to have open heart surgery. The girl has left her children - a girl aged 8 and a boy aged 3 with my daughter and son in law and gone to be with her mother. Yes It is natural to be worried about your mother ...but.... the children have now been here a month and it looks like they could be here for another month.
My son in law runs his own business and my daughter is part owner of a busy cafe so juggling the children is becoming difficult. The only way they manage it is taking the children to work with them or leaving the little boy with me as he is a bit of a handful.
Am I wrong in believing that the girl should get herself back home and resume her duties as a mother? How can anyone leave their children for a month or more even if they are being well looked after? She has not even spoken to her children in over a week.
I know this may make me sound heartless, but even if I was on my death bed I would not want my children to leave their families to look after me

MissAdventure Fri 24-Jul-20 11:09:19

I suppose it depends on how ill the mum is.

Can your son not ring and find out what's going on?

lemongrove Fri 24-Jul-20 11:30:06

Sounds very fishy to me, and certainly not what any normal mother would do ( in any circumstances.)

Baggs Fri 24-Jul-20 11:43:07

We don't know the details. We are not in a position to judge. That includes the OP.

Kartush Fri 24-Jul-20 11:46:44

Miss Adventure the mother has been ill for some time she has heart issues and brain issues all of which have been ongoing for over a year or more. She was scheduled for surgery on a certain date but the surgery was moved twice.
My son in law does ring his daughter only to be told that she is the only one capable of looking after her mother and that she may have to go back home with her mother to make sure she will be ok.

Baggs Fri 24-Jul-20 11:58:52

Thing is though, kartush, the impression given by your OP is that you are complaining about your step GD because you don't like her rather than because what she is doing is intrinsically wrong (it isn't), and this makes a difference.

GagaJo Fri 24-Jul-20 12:24:12

They are your sons grandchildren. Quite reasonable for grandparents to look after grandchildren in these circumstances.

Not to mention, it isn't the children's fault you don't like their mother.

vampirequeen Fri 24-Jul-20 12:31:31

It's not fair on the grandparents or the children. The grandparents have jobs and, whilst being sympathetic, they can't be expected to juggle work, children and life indefinitely. That said, I'm more concerned about the children. They won't understand why their mother has disappeared (to all intents and purposes). If she doesn't return soon they'll start to feel abandoned and even more behavioural issues will arise. It's a difficult situation but the needs of her children not the needs of her mother must come first.

sodapop Fri 24-Jul-20 12:42:01

I agree GagaJo but it is a long time to leave your children. Not sure how it all works given the current restrictions.

Lolo81 Fri 24-Jul-20 12:48:29

As much as you are concerned OP, this isn’t your judgement to make.
Your son In law is an adult and has agreed to watch his GC. It is crystal clear in your post that you don’t like “the girl”, so I think this is colouring your view of the situation, which quite frankly isn’t really any of your concern.

Alexa Fri 24-Jul-20 12:54:57

I hope you like how your daughter and son in law trust you to care for the little boy. You might have been overjoyed to be given the opportunity to be an active member of the family.

In later years you will have a relationship with the little boy that you will be thankful for.

jenpax Fri 24-Jul-20 13:02:36

When my own mother was seriously ill with cancer I went to stay with her every weekend for 3 months I was her only child and she had no siblings so it was just me I would have been very upset if anyone suggested that I had abandoned or neglected my children who at the time were 8,10 and 14.
Two years ago I too was seriously ill with cancer and sepsis and in hospital in London for 8 weeks two of my 3 daughters stayed in an hotel on and off throughout the 8 weeks as they were very worried about me. Long term none of this has done any harm to either my now adult daughters or my own granddaughters. I can quite understand why the children’s mother feels she needs to help her own mother and why she felt it ok to ask her own father to step in for child care.

Kartush Fri 24-Jul-20 13:40:32

Hmm I did wonder as I wrote the original post if in fact my feelings for my son in laws daughter did colour my views, but I don’t feel they do to the extent some of you think they do.
My issue is the open ended extent of this , there is no date for her return, no plan, nothing. Originally her trip was to be two weeks, now who knows. And yes it is my son in laws and daughters choice to have the children, but the ability for them to do this hinges on my willingness to be available to baby sit. And I was never actually consulted on this, it was just assumed I would do it. And I do, I have had him three days this week, he is a lovely little boy but it exhausts me.
And I have always taken care of him when he comes to visit his grandparents and they have to work.

Grandmabatty Fri 24-Jul-20 21:06:06

Your dislike of her comes through very strongly despite your protestations to the contrary. If you don't want to look after the small boy or feel unable to, then you should discuss that with your son. You really don't know all the details.

welbeck Fri 24-Jul-20 23:48:38

but surely your grievance should be with your DD and SIL for assuming you would help with childcare.
yet because you see their mother as the baddy in all this, you put all the blame on her.
how can she know how long her mother will be seriously ill, these things are unpredictable; not only because of the illness, but the treatment and aftercare options.
what about the children's father, is he unavailable to look after them.

Kartush Sat 25-Jul-20 00:58:12

Thank you all for your comments.
I see that for the most part you feel that I am wrong feeling this way and I appreciate your input.
I would like to say a couple of things
Jenpax you say you were with your mother when she was ill, but only at weekends, you did not leave your children for an extended period and I am assuming they were at home and their routines were not seriously impacted. Then you say your daughters stayed with you on and off, but not for the entire duration of your illness. Do you see the difference
Grandmabatty if I refuse to look after the little boy it will make my daughters position even more difficult than it already is, and yes, I do know all of the details
Alexa I have always been an active member of their family, from the time the children were born actually.
GagaJo I have never ever let my feelings for the mother interfere with my feelings for the children, I love them both and I have looked after both of them periodically since they were tiny.
And finally a question... are you all saying that you too would leave your small children for an extended period of time, and I am talking weeks and weeks, regardless of who was ill? I am sorry, I would not.

Kartush Sat 25-Jul-20 02:17:11

wellbeck I am slightly annoyed with my daughter and son in law but they have been placed in a difficult situation.
And yes the mothers illness could go on a long time, so does this mean the children are left here for months?
I am sure the little girls father would, if asked, look after her but the little boys father is another matter entirely. And that would mean splitting the children up. Their mother has a partner at the moment but he is unable to care for them as he is a long distance truck driver.

Hithere Sat 25-Jul-20 02:20:41

Unfortunately, this is between the mother of the child, your son and his wife.

You strongly disapprove of the step gd, the mother. It comes across very clearly

Your opinion of what should be done holds no weight.

You can choose to help babysitting without passing judgement- verbal or non verbal.

It doesnt matter what other mothers would do in this situation. Our opinions won't change the current circumstances.

GagaJo Sat 25-Jul-20 10:34:25

It's her mother that is ill. I think the decision about her being there is between your SiL (her father) and her. To a lesser extend, your daughter. But not you.

I would imagine she is planning to stay with her mother until she dies.

If you are really can't cope with it, you could talk to your daughter about it. But tread carefully. She will already be stressed and not want a heated discussion.

Oopsadaisy3 Sat 25-Jul-20 10:56:30

Kartush you aren’t wrong for feeling the way you do, but you are wrong if you make your thoughts known to your SIL and DD.
It is none of your business, it’s your daughters and her husbands, if you aren’t happy about looking after the little boy, then you should either tell your daughter that you are unable to help, or you should buckle up and help out where you can.
Do it with a good will or not at are spending too much time worrying about things that don’t concern you, if your DD comes to you for your opinion then that is a different matter and it doesn’t sound as though she has.

paddyanne Sat 25-Jul-20 10:59:09

Do you think she should have taken the children with her? Surely that would hav emade it all much harder on her,trying to care for her mother with two wee ones under her feet.I cared for my mother for a long time,when I stsrted my youngest was 5 there was no way when mum was really ill I could have had him with me and he often stayed with his other GP's for a week or more as Dad worked very long hours .These situsations are never ideal but as daughters we do our absolute best for the mums we love and who raised us.Maybe you could be kinder to your GD (or is she ALWAYS "STEP") Shes trying to do her best

MissAdventure Sat 25-Jul-20 11:58:33

I think it's reasonable to want to know if there's an end in sight, or at least to be kept informed.

I wouldn't want a long term babysitting job that was just expected of me.

Kartush Sun 26-Jul-20 03:04:01

I have read all the comments and agree with some of what you are all saying, and I will continue to help out where I can and keep my opinions to myself.
I have also noticed that I seem to have, by a few words, cast myself as the villain of this saga and have been told to be nicer to my son in laws daughter. I will not bore you with all the gorey details but will just say that I have never been unkind to her. She is welcome in my home and I am always pleasant when we meet but after years of unacceptable behaviour on her part I find it impossible to like her or agree with many of her questionable decisions.

Summerlove Sun 26-Jul-20 13:20:29

Good luck Kartush. You’re in a tough position.

You are kind to continue to help out your daughter. Try to think of it as helping her, not step daughter.

Callistemon Sun 26-Jul-20 14:21:28

I used to have to drop everything and rush to look after my parents 200 miles away on several occasions, leaving two under 10s for DH to cope with (my lovely neighbour helped as DH was also working) but I took the 2 year old with me. It was difficult but I think in some ways it helped them too even though my DF was extremely ill, DM chronically ill.
I was never away for more than a week at a time though.

Could the little boy go to nursery one or two days a week, Kartush and you have him for the other one or two?
Perhaps your SIL feels some guilt for not being there for his ex-wife too.