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post #21 of 29
I think you should just stop asking her to stop babysitting -- but don't cut her out of your DD's life or anything! Could you just ask them to come over for a relaxing dinner? And not worry too much if they don't interact with DD, but this way DD can still get to know them a little & won't be complete strangers to her as she gets older. Your mom can socialize with you & any other adults & still be around your DD without the stress of having to entertain her or keep her safe.

It sounds like you have a very specific view of how grandparents 'should' act. I think that's actually how many people think grandparents act, but they aren't all like that. Some grandparents just aren't into babies. Some aren't into kids of any age. Some have other priorities. Some are too old or sick or worn out from a rough life to be able to give their all to a little tiny helpless person. And if your mom is depressed, only getting 2 hours of sleep a night, etc. I really don't expect her to even change out of her pj's, nevermind come over & babysit! And as someone with a chronic illness, I can understand why she might be too tired to even take a walk in the driveway.

My own parents aren't currently a part of our lives but my mom was similar to yours in that she didn't interact with DS. I guess she wanted to see him but didn't want any of the work involved in engaging or playing with him. She straight up told me that she would never be able to watch DS while I work like other grandparents she knows do for their grandkids. She just isn't very high-energy, she wants to watch TV and stuff. Neither of my parents are allowed to see DS right now though, for unrelated reasons. DH's parents invite us over and claim to be eager to see DS but when we're there, they hang out in the other room drinking while I play with DS. I'll be honest, I don't always see the point in visiting, I can play with DS at home lol, but we do it anyway because at least he will sort of know one set of grandparents. None of DS's four grandparents have ever babysat him. Not all grandparents can be the warm, cuddly, tell you stories & bake cookies type! I'm so sorry, though, that she is not able to be the grandmother you want for your DD.
post #22 of 29
Originally Posted by brneyedmama View Post

 I guess what I'm asking of all of you is, how are your kids relationships with their grandparents? Do they live close by, and if so how often do they babysit? Do you think this is an unhealthy relationship to expose DD to, and should we stop asking (even though it's so minimal) for any babysitting and see how long she actually goes without seeing DD?  I dunno, I don't want to feel like I'm depriving DD either. What do you all think?

I think you should find someone you are actually comfortable with to babysit and stop trying to get your mom to be that. Just take your children for visits without leaving them alone with her.

It may be your mother will be better with your kids when they aren't so young.

My mom died last year. She was the only grandparent who ever babysat dd as a young child. We lived very near her for about 4 years but in a different state for the rest of the time. When we lived nearby I tried not to take advantage of my mom so we didn't ask her to babysit often. She was an awesome grandma and very involved in her life even though it wasn't babysitting. She did things slightly differently than we did with dd.

Dd's other grandparents never ever babysat dd. I never would have left her with them. They have not been super involved grandparents. One can't even remember how to spell her name. We visit as a family a couple of times a year.

All my grandparents died when I was quite young or before I was born so it makes me sad  that dd's grandparents are the way they are. I can't force them to have the grandparent/grandchild relationship I think is best though. They are the ones missing out not dd.


post #23 of 29
Originally Posted by transylvania_mom View Post

I'm sorry for you OP, I understand your frustration. I also wished so deeply that my parents would care about my children, instead, as other PP mentioned, they feel it's not their responsibility to help raise their grandchildren. I feel so saddened about it, because I was raised by my grandmother as a toddler. My dad says he's not a "kid person" and he sees no benefit in spending time with children (his own, or his grandkids).


Anyways, what I wanted to say is that it's their loss. I finally came to terms that my parents will never be the grandparents I wished for my children. Do you have a MIL or FIL who is more involved? Just ONE involved grandparent will be enough for your child. I'm lucky that my MIL and FIL want to spend time with my dk. I'm so happy and sad at the same time that my dk ask about them and miss them, and wish so much that my parents could have been that important in their lives.


As for babysitting, I'd just hire a babysitter and not expect anything else from parents. Don't wait for them to ask, you might get disappointed and frustrated.


Hope this makes sense.


Boy oh boy could I have written this. I feel the same way about my parents and spent a lot of time being horribly disappointed and sad until I made peace with the fact that they will never be the grandparents I'd hoped they would be.My folks never even ask to see my kids and they live 5 minutes away. And I'm an only child so these are their ONLY grandkids. Sometimes DS1 even forgets about them. Thankfully MIL is an angel to my kids and treats them the way they deserve to be treated.


I found that not asking them to babysit did wonders for my stress level in many ways. Paying someone I trust is much easier and I didn't feel the hurt I did when I asked my parents and they would hem and haw about it like it was between babysitting or performing brain surgery.


post #24 of 29
I can relate in so many ways. My own mother is probably worse, like she prefers to spend time with me alone, when my son is around it seems nerve racking/annoying to her. She has said things about my brothers small children that indicates she doesn't have a realistic perspective about how small children behave and how to interact with them.

I went to a therapist for a while that really helped me sort out my "mommy issues" when I was in college and it really helped me let go of any expectations or dissappointments I had regarding the type of parent she was and is to me. Thankfully, that alone has allowed me to deal with what kind of grandparents she is.

By the way, I would never consider her to babysit, it would be asking a lot to her, not worth it to me.
post #25 of 29

i'd drop it and not ask, and not even push for them to have a relationship. it sucks to have a child who knows a grandparent doesn't like them...if i had a do-over i'd have stopped even trying long before. i know it hurts having parents who don't want to spend time with their grandchildren. i grew up with all of my grandparents and spent time with them, up to a week at a time. my mom loved having my older two kids, then #3 she just does not like. after that started showing, none of my kids stayed with her anymore. my kids have my in-laws and i'm happy for that. they don't ask to babysit but their house is always open, and we do the same for them(they are raising my neice).

post #26 of 29

I'm another in the disappointed camp, although I should have known better, as I don't have a great relationship with my parents either.  Like yours, they live nearby, but rarely ask to see DD, and have only watched her a few times.  They sometimes ask us to go visit, but then my mom just sits in her chair and stares and my dad babbles away about various personal things while I'm struggling to control a bored toddler and totally ignoring him... I'm usually the one that ends up entertaining DD when we go there, and I usually can't even manage to keep her in the living room with my parents while I entertain her.  It's frustrating because we moved here specifically to be near family.  Honestly, it seemed like a good idea at the time, but my folks seem to get a little nutsier each year, so I guess I should have updated my expectations before we uprooted ourselves :)  Now my sister has a little one and she's really upset about our parents not being a part of her baby's life.  At this point I've just counted them out.  I've had to accept that the mom I knew in childhood is just plain gone, and she's not going to be there for my daughter either.  Usually I don't think about it, but at times like now (writing this post) I remember how excruciatingly sad it makes me. 


I mean to say by all this that I know where you're coming from and how hard it is to accept that your parents are not going to be the grandparents you envisioned for your child, even though you KNOW that that's just how it is.

post #27 of 29

My parents are all over our kids. They live fairly far away, but make every effort to see them, call them, etc. My father used to be terrible, but as he's gotten older, I think he values family a little more than he used to.


DH's dad is so-so, but his mother really wants nothing to do with them. We used to live about a ten minute drive from DH's mom, and she told us the day that our oldest was born that we shouldn't expect her to babysit, ever.  I thought that was a bit rude and piss poor timing, but whatever. She's selfish.  It really used to bother DH that his parents were so uninvolved. He's just used to it now.  I am not surprised, to be honest. They were piss poor parents. Why would they be good grandparents?


Having said all that, I would never assume that my parents would want to babysit my children. I think that it's fairly presumptuous to think that just because you're related to someone, they should be on call for childcare duty.

post #28 of 29
Originally Posted by Alphaghetti View Post

It really used to bother DH that his parents were so uninvolved. He's just used to it now.  I am not surprised, to be honest. They were piss poor parents. Why would they be good grandparents?


DH and I often have the conversation on why he had higher expectations for MIL and FIL (DH's step-father)?  Nothing they ever showed him would have given any indication they would be involved/interested yet he is still so angry that they aren't.  When I asked him why he expected anything different from them, he replied that he just hopped they would do better the second time around, meaning a grandchild would be a second chance.    They are hyper-involved with the other grandkids, who live nearby them, and I think that adds to the sting.


For the first year or two, I made an effort to send pictures but never once got a response or a thank you so I stopped.  We visited twice and certain events (surprisingly not relating to their relationship/lack of relationship with DS) transpired that really, really turned us off on visiting again so unless they come to us, I don't know when or if DS will ever see them again. 


DH's aunt (sister to MIL) is horrified by all of this and never passes up the chance to scold her sister about it. 


post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 

It really moves me to read that so many others have the same type of experiences.  I too, knew deep down that uninvolved parents would most likely transpire to uninvolved grandparents, but there's always a hope in there somewhere, ya know?  I think what adds to the sting, is that DH's father died 15 yrs ago, so this will be our kids ONLY grandfather, and DH's mom lives in S. Africa and desperately wants to be the "Grade A" grandparent, but can't be.  She always asks on skype, "oh your mom must be over ALL the time."  I don't have the heart to try and explain it.


Anyway, thanks everyone for your input.  I'll certainly stop asking her to babysit, and we'll just go with the flow.  #2 arrives in a couple months so I'm already setting extra $ aside for paid help.

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