the needy

Airwave!
Airwave! Member Posts: 2,427
edited 19. Jul 2016, 08:47 in Community Chit-chat archive
We now have four lovely grandchildren and up till now we have been looking after them three days a week, two little'uns and the older two (5and 6) after school, now with holidays approaching its a full time job. I'm falling to bits and have an elderly mother to look after, I now struggle and feel my week is not my own. As I slow down the work falls on my OH. I have refused to have two of them on my own.

We have told one set of parents we are reducing the time to two days as we have for the other, by sending one little'n to play school(on the third day), we will pay for the first term after that its up to them.

The emotional strings are being pulled and balancing everyones feelings is hard work and a strain on both of us and our finances.

What do the rest of you do?

Comments

  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,041
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh Airwaves I am so glad you have spoken up, we looked after ours for 1 day then 2 ... till they were sleeping here most of the week, so school runs got harder..we never spoke up but boy has it effected our health, we love them more than anything ..but there is only so much you can do..we now have a 4 year old from our youngest son and they knew it wasn't right to ask ..we help were we can but like you say you now need some me time..good luck
    Love
    Barbara
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    There is no doubt that the pressures of modern life are affecting all the generations involved. I was not spoiled (because it was the norm) that my mum was at home with me, my Pa came home after work and my grandparents were people I saw at the weekend because that was life in the 60s but now? When the pressures involved in daily life are so different? Do your offspring realise that you and Mrs A are getting older, or do you remain the people they knew as their parents? Younger people do not understand the pressure of ageing because they are not (or so they like to think). DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • applerose
    applerose Member Posts: 3,621
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It is a difficult situation. My daughter and her family moved to Australia a year and a half ago. My daughter only got a job 6 months ago so was at home to look after the 2 kids (now 3 and 5) until then. Shortly before she started work, she asked me to go and live with them so I could look after the kids from 6.30am till at least 6.30pm during the week. I would have loved to have done it but I know it wasn't practical. I couldn't guarantee I could get up on time or that I would have the energy to look after 2 very hyperactive children on my own so I said no. I felt as if I was letting her down but I think it was for the best.

    My son lives a short distance away. I often look after my 3 year old granddaughter for the day and have babysat now and again. My son and his wife realise I can't do as much as I once could so don't ask very often. They are lucky though as my daughter-in-laws parents are now retired and are in quite good health so they do most of the babysitting.

    I think you do need to think of your own health though. Tell them you have to cut down if you're not coping. I'm sure they'll understand. Maybe they just don't realise how difficult it is for you if you keep saying yes.
    Christine
  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,427
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Yes, its a balancing act between offspring and parents, I love ours dearly but feel the tug of emotions and their expectations. Having each one of our GC on their own is fun and they do mean a lot to us but we need to set limits, four all day is not fun, or end up not enjoying it.
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,041
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This is it Airwaive..like you we loved them to pieces..but after a few days you get so tired its spoils it all...I am sure you will sort something out..and carry on enjoying there company... :D I also know that when I was young , I didn't have to work the same..I did on and off till they were at senior school, then full time, but today I feel for the young people having to struggle..but we can only do so much...better go I'm rambling... :lol:
    Love
    Barbara
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,157
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    What do I do? Well, I banished both sons to other countries. That sorted my babysitting problems :lol:

    Seriously, Airwave, this is a problem that many retired people now face whether or not they have arthritis. Chuck in the difficulties of arthritis and generally not so robust health and it becomes greater. Add the fact that our can-do attitude can result in our children being blissfully unaware of the latter and it all becomes too much.

    There's no easy solution. Due to my RA I couldn't work when mine were young. The result was they always had someone there but, equally, they had second hand clothes, fewer, cheaper holidays and nowhere near as many, or as interesting, toys as their friends. Now, though, parents often need two wages just to pay the mortgage – if they can manage one.

    However, at the end of the day, the childcare is the parents' problem not yours and you should not blame yourself for what you can't do. That's one of the lessons that arthritis has – eventually – taught me. I think you've adopted a very thoughtful and sensible solution re the Play School. Please do whatever you need to do for your own sake and that of Mrs A and don't feel guilty about it. The word recreation is, essentially, the same as 're-creation'. We all need the latter in order to function as well as possible. That benefits both us and our children and grandchildren.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,554
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    No-one helped me.

    In fact my kid's Nan, (not my side), wanted them more than I wanted to let them go!!

    Seriously though it is becoming a real issue. People these days don't seem to want to settle for a 3 bed semi anymore, have tellies in every room Sky and aspire to 2 abroad hols a year.

    The consequences is very often the need for both parents to work :(

    If necessary, when the time comes, (Stickywicket - this idea is foolproof!!), I shall emigrate!!!

    Hehe!!

    We've done our bit bringing up our own. Not many of us on here are well enough to do the next generation too :?

    Airwave - I hope at least one of your kids will think about it and realise they have asked too much. Then hopefully over time they will speak to the others and things will settle I'm sure.

    ((()))

    Toni xxx
    Love

    Toni xxx
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I don't know the details but depending on what they earn tax credits help pay towards child care. You can get help from 3 years of age.

    I know my OH's Sister has had her child looked after by Nanny since she was 1 year old and could never understand why she couldn't pay for herself as they were both earning good money. Nanny has her from early morning so feeds her and dresses her and drives her to-and-fro (quite a way because the local school had bad reputation) and then feeds and baths her ready for Mums return not to mention full time in the holidays. I must say I find it galling as being so unwell I struggl to care for mine and get zero help.

    You do need to look after yourself and it sounds like you have a lot going on.

    Take care
    Elizabeth
    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh and I've had 2 lots of children from 2 relationships. I stayed at home for the first two as I could afford to but was diagnosed with RA (when my Son was nearly 2) for the last 3 childrenso had to be at home.

    Also I have refused to have OH's Niece when Nanny has been busy. I see no reason why they cannot pay for care like most people have to.

    Also factor in babysitting duties you'd never get a life of your own.

    Elizabeth xxx
    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,713
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Distance and employment are quite useful at taking you out of the loop!
    When my son and DIL decided to start their family, son announced quite firmly that neither I nor the other grandparents would be expected to undertake childminding(just as well as we all live at least 120 miles away and have jobs of one sort or another!) - 'If we can't afford the costs of looking after our own child we shouldn't choose to have one'. Originally he was going to be a stay at home parent as DIL was earning considerably more and at that stage wasn't feeling maternal. Once GD arrived things changed - babylove hit hard and DIL didn't want to go back to work, but she managed to reach a workable compromise, by dint of part-time working which includes nights, and my son taking and collecting on those days GD goes to nursery(which she adores and is spoilt rotten apparently as there are only 2 other children in her age group so she has a great deal of adult attention). Yes they are fortunate to earn good money but living in London and paying a mortgage doesn't come cheap. They make full use of the parks, libraries, play schemes, swimming pools etc that are free or offer yearly passes, and generally live modest lifestyles.
    I had no help with my 2 and much of the time was a single parent as OH worked away from home during the week. We were chronically short of money(not a situation I had foreseen when we decided to have them), couldn't afford childcare and had no family close enough to help, so I just had to get on with it. I'm afraid I get a bit irritated at those who seem to think that they should be able to have children and a job and the size house they want, the holidays they want, the car they want, and help from family as of right.But I don't say it because it's something which is guaranteed to get folks fired up.
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    We are like you, Daffy - our grandsons live in York, about 80 miles from us. Their other Nan lives in Hampshire, so if there's an emergency we can be there in 1hr 15 mins ( ish ) but my DIL & her friends have a baby-sitting circle for nights out etc. DIL & my son said we'd done our bit with regards to bringing up children with our own two sons.

    This works well - we love having the boys to stay, and don't miss out on school events, cricket/football matches.

    When my children were small I didn't go back to work until they started school - being a teacher meant I had school holidays. We were also fortunate the OH had ' flexitime ' in his job. My DIL went part time when our grandsons arrived, & put them in a lovely nursery for a few hours when needed.

    I think with some families it can be a very thorny problem.
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/childcare-costs

    I don't know if this is any use. It depends on their earnings but if they have high earnings and don't qualify for tax credits then they should be able to afford some child care.

    The other option is to work different hours so at least one is at home caring for the children and only using you and your wife in emergencies.

    Elizabeth.
    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein
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