grandparent issues... - Page 2
This is my big thing with grandparent care - it's the only way to establish a close relationship with a young child. Meeting a little kid's needs is how you earn their love and trust. Now that my older kids are beyond that stage, the time they spend with their grandparents is more like a visit than a babysitting stint - but if the initial caregiver relationship hadn't been established, they wouldn't WANT to visit. They wouldn't know and love their grandparents on their own terms - they would just be old people who Daddy and I loved.
i think Texyan and Smithie both have intelligent thoughts on this matter.
the sooner you let go of "expectations" of other people, the sooner you will be able to appreciate the good things, rather than resenting the not-so-good. they are YOUR children; ANY help you get is a "bonus," not a regular thing to be expected.
that said, it is the GRANDPARENTS who are missing out! if they don't like to visit with the little ones. not to be doing daily babysitting or child care for free. but to have some nice long visits on a regular basis, and to be helpful to you on occasion, because they remember (all too well) how hard it is to raise up little kids...
I agree with Texayn. My mom likes watching the kids and giving us a break while we have an occasional night out, she's not an every week babysitter. She's an almost-every week dropper-inner for coffee and a visit, though. She loves the kids and wants to be the fun grandma who lets them get away with murder, not the grandma who has to be a disciplinarian because she's responsible for them for a significant enough amount of time that spoiling them would actually spoil them. I think her terms are pretty good, actually!
Unfortunately, i think the 'it takes a village' mindset doesn't work so well in our modern world, where there is more emphasis on the individual than the community.
I agree with PP that you need to let go of any expecations of your parents. My father basically acts like my daughter doesn't exist, but both parents are on the other side of the world so it doesn't really matter. DH's parents are much more involved, but he comes from a close-knit family. I'm grateful for what help we get - I know we're very lucky. There are lots of people who have none, like the OP.
Sometimes I feel like I didn't get what was 'advertised'. My FIL and MIL (divorced and each single) carried on and on before and during pregnancy that they couldn't wait for a grandchild. 17 months later, I find myself pleading and bargaining with them for basic childcare duties! I find myself looking longingly at other older folks out with children and I'm starting to feel, well, resentment. It's horrible. I just feel like they aren't holding up their end of the bargain, you know? Being a SAHM for 11-12 hours a day on my own is really catching up with me...and I feel like I have no safety net, even though my IL's are each less than 20 minutes away. (And see, now I feel like I'm tearing them apart! They aren't horrible mean people...just kind of...not...what I need them to be...)
I guess it's hard for me to swallow, not having my own parents to depend on.
Anyone else struggle with these feelings? Some days, especially by Friday, it just gets overwhelming.
Thanks for letting me ramble. I needed it.
I understand what you mean about being all spent especially by Friday. But I also don't have any expectations that other people (ie grandparents) provide basic childcare duties so I don't have that resentment on top of the exhaustion.
My line of thinking is, my child(ren), my responsibilty (along with DH, of course). If anyone offers to help, that's a bonus.
In order to recharge, is it possible for your husband to take over childcare duties one night a week or one day a week (on the weekend) and you can get together with girlfriends just so you can have some "me" time?
I really do think that it is unfair to put the onus of childcare relief on the grandparents.
leaveit2beeker, I can relate. My husband's mother just couldn't go on long enough or loud enough about wanting grandchildren, or how upset she was when we moved far away (from both our families) that she wouldn't be close when the grandkids came. Now her granddaughter is here, and her effort is minimal. I have to remember not to gripe to my husband about it, because it truly hurts him, and I have to remember not to gripe to my mother about it, because my mother does not encourage me to do better, but rather takes the bad ball and runs with it. I'm trying to let go of my expectations, but it's hard. It doesn't help that MIL and I did not get off on a good note. To me, this is "just one more thing". In contrast, my family has been all over this baby, and can't do enough for her, even from a distance. It's very frustrating to see the differences. Even worse, MIL has a grandchild living with her (the mother of the grandchild, MIL's daughter, has returned home under less than good circumstances) and that grandchild receives all kids of attention. I just keep reminding myself to do my due and move on. But it's hard. I want to defend my daughter. I want her grandmother to treat her the way she deserves to be treated by all of her grandparents.
Is it possible that they're scared of being alone with your kids? Or will get worn out after an hour or so? I know my mom--who after some initial reservations is super happy being a gramma, and now that we live relatively close by will drop in at least once a week to see DD--will gleefully claim DD for "gramma time," but only as a "mama's helper." That means that she will play with, soothe, etc. DD for a while, but any feeding, diapering and major-meltdown-defusing duties go back to me; and furthermore, that she expects me to be within a couple minutes' walk at all times (eg. I can walk to the apartment workout room, but can't drive to the grocery store). My DD is pretty intense, and I completely understand that it would be too much to give her to my mom and leave.
On the other hand, an hour of "mama's helper" time goes a long way to let me make a snack and a cup of tea, work out, do some chores, go to the doctor (they come along) or whatever... It's worth asking your parents if they'd be willing to play with the baby like this just to give you a break! It's less scary for them and they know it'll be over after a short period of time (before they get worn out or baby gets too bored), and you're there to rescue them if they need it. And seriously, knowing that somebody else will amuse the kidlet for an hour is such a great break, even if you're just in the next room (or in the same room, to get some adult conversation... :) ).
Another thing we did is that my mom played with DD with me there a bunch at first...over time I would go out of the room more and more. Now DD is fine with her for an hour, as long as she's not hungry. Going gradually built confidence for both my mom and DD that they could do without me.
But if your parents/ILs aren't participating...do you really want your kids to be left alone with them? I don't think I would want someone looking after my kids, if they really didn't want to partake. I think my kids would be better off without them, but that's just my take.
Agreed. They have no childcare obligations whatsover to you. They have an opportunity and it sounds like they do see their grandchild. Very different than being obligated to relieve you of the role you've chosen.