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Unreliable Grandmother...How to approach?
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#26 rach1971

Posted 26 February 2010 - 06:41 PM

LoV,e if I waited for any of my three little guys 3yo& 20 month twins to stop having a "difficult moment" or to not coincide with sleeps etc we wouldn't leave the house until they were 5. Not being b**chy but seriously babies can sleep in prams and take some toys.

What on earth would we have done 20 years ago when there was no daycare etc? There is no reason she can't go when her DH is home to look after his child.

#27 NewMum8

Posted 26 February 2010 - 06:48 PM

I really sympathise with you.  If you and your Mum have always been really close then this must feel really hurtful.  Anyone who has a close bond with their Mum could reasonably expect them to want to babysit because 1) it gives her time to bond with her grandchild and 2) it helps you out and 3) she probably gets to spend some time with you too once you've come back from being out.

I think you should speak to your Mum and say that you feel really disappointed with how your relationship has changed since your DD was born and see what her response is.

#28 Prancer is coming

Posted 26 February 2010 - 06:51 PM

I do agree with the majority of the posts about how your DH needs to step up.

It must be upsetting though for your mum to keep letting you down, particualrly when you had expectations that she would help.

I'd say from her actions she does not want to babysit and I would not ask her again.  It does not mean she does not love you or your baby.  My mum loves my kids and will babysit for me, but at the same time I have come to realise that she does not like discipline and just wants to keep the peace.  So if DD asks for 5 biscuits she'd happily give them to her.  I think it is more that she just does not know how to say no and does not want them crying.  So this is the consequence of leaving her.

Even when we are together, she is more than happy to play with them, but if there is hint of conflict, or a nappy that needs changing, she does not want to know.  DH works long hours and I would love to have a break from changing nappies, but at the same time, it is my responsibility.  Mum wants to know the exacts of when my kids need feeding, sleeping etc.  Whilst I have a rough idea, I also just go with the flow and sometimes wonder if mum has forgotten how to look after babies.

I just think they are from different generations.  Mum's focus is on a tidy house and I often get lectures how I need to find a way to keep on top of it.  Whereas I'd like to be tidy, but happy kids and a bit of me time in the day are more important.  I've learnt to tune out what she says, plus I think she understands my toddler is so busy that I just can't do things to her standard.

I'd focus on spending some time with her so she can enjoy your DD and feel confident around her.

#29 Jeneral

Posted 26 February 2010 - 06:52 PM

My mum has never babysat.  I dont' think I have even asked her to!  She has offered to help out occasionaly and does, but that is it.

OP, just accept your mum isn't going to be the 'grandma' you envisioned and maybe talk to her about what role she wants to play in your child's life.  

She may just not remember how to deal with babies and be really uncomfortable???  I know my mum is lot more helpful now the boys are older though she still wouldn't take full responsibility of the younger ones for more then a few hours!

#30 justpeppermint

Posted 26 February 2010 - 06:52 PM

QUOTE (anon60 @ 26/02/2010, 06:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A 10 month old? In the pram.

Obviously never had one of my children. FWIW I tried it for a normal hair cut, waited till sleep time and everything. Lasted about 20 mins last 10 mins was a rush because of all the fidgiting/whinging/crying/screaming. Never again.

OP your DH needs to give you a break now and then. Simple as that, you need some grown up time. I know that feeling.

As for your mum it's ok for her to not want to babysit, find someone willing or hire someone. Grandma does not automatically = baby sitting service.

I do understand the not so involved grand parent. My parents live in qld we are in sydney, they have seen the children in the flesh twice, fair enough we don't go up there either. I live with MIL. We don't see her at all even though she is home everyday. She just doesn't come the 5 steps out the back to see them. EVER.

I can get her to baby sit occasionally. For a few hours at most in the day as long as they are already fed changed and have DVD'S at the ready. She will have them over night as long as they are fed changed and in bed asleep.

Basically she watches them to make sure they don't hurt themselves, its a bit weird but I'll take what I can get, generally we only as her as a last resort.

#31 ~tinkerbell~

Posted 26 February 2010 - 06:56 PM

I am extremely close to my mum, like you say you were with your mum.  My parents absolutely love my two children, who are their only biological grandchildren.  They visit them regularly and spend heaps of time with them, so I can see your point of your mum judging your house etc, and cleaning rather than spending time with your little one.

However, I dont ask my parents to babysit if I can help it.  It is not their duty.  I think Mum has babysat the kids for us 3 times.  Every other time I have asked DF to help out if he can.  Otherwise it is up to me.  I take the kids to the hairdresser, most understand.

I think you need to realise that grandparents are not babysitters.  Yes she has promised and let you down, but calling her a bad grandparent is horrible, and really with an attitude like that can you blame her for being the way she is.

#32 baby-bliss2

Posted 26 February 2010 - 07:02 PM

I feel for you OP. It must be really hard to not be able to have the break you're so desperately asking for.

I know what it's like to have a mother quite close until you have a baby. Everything changes. I guess the same thing could go for most relationships/friendships. The dynamics change.

I guess the worst part I could see is the promise your mother gives you to look after your DD and then takes it back at the last minute. To look forward to something for so long (it seems you ask well in advance) and then have it taken away at the last minute, it's just cruel for a worn out mother needing a break.

However, I agree (to a certain degree) that your DH needs to step up more than what your mum does. He needs to recognise when you need those well-earned breaks and take Lucia off your hands for an hour or so. It's not babysitting, it's daddy-daughter time wink.gif

I think you just need to realise that your mother is not going to be reliable when it comes to watching your daughter. She shouldn't really have gotten your hopes up by saying she would only to back out when something seemingly better popped up.

Sadly, the relationships we expect for our children with their grandparents sometimes just don't work out that way. You could try talking to her and asking her what she would like to see (ie: more time with you and Lucia, not just babysitting her when you need/want to do something - not saying this is the case all the time, but you never know what your mum is thinking) and then telling her what you'd like.

Come to a compromise. Obviously things aren't working out as either of you would like so communication is the key.

I honestly hope you get that break you need. Even if you hire a babysitting for an hour or so every second weekend so you can get your hair done or have a pedicure or read a book. Time out is important, and despite what anyone says it's okay to ask for it.

Edited by baby-bliss2, 26 February 2010 - 07:04 PM.

#33 jellybean809

Posted 26 February 2010 - 07:08 PM

I don't have much to add that hasn't already been said - have your DH look after Lucia more often and maybe think about a babysitter.  I don't know how you can do it day in and day out without a break - it is important that you look after yourself too.


#34 2~gorgeous~boys

Posted 26 February 2010 - 07:14 PM

QUOTE (rinne @ 26/02/2010, 04:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Gee, I think people have been a bit harsh on the OP.

My mum is a bit like this. It is frustrating but easier once you accept it. I do think that we shouldn't just assume grandparents want to babysit (although lots do, and those with those grandparents are lucky!).

So, the best thing to do is just use other options - a reliable paid babysitter, a good occasional care centre, another reliable family member (your cousin). How about doing things like getting a hairdresser who comes to the house?

I agree with the above poster.  

OP my mum sounds a lot like yours.  I don't ask her anymore.  She sees the kids when we visit her or she visits us, but she doesn't babysit.

Without knowing the whole story between you and your DH, I would be leaving your DD with your DH more often too.

#35 belliebee

Posted 26 February 2010 - 07:16 PM

OMG Im never posting on this thing again...

So my husband DOES help me out but HE WORKS 6 days a week!! and I know I had this baby myself... I never said it was my mum responsibility but I just would of thought other mother out there would have at least 1 person to rely on for assistance when they needed a day to do something important to recharge batteries... like take a walk or something...

I havent done a grown up thing in a year and what you all are so perfect, you have support do you...

You know what????? next time you are enjoying a 5 min break without your screaming child.. remember me, who hasnt had a second to myself and has "F" ALL support...

thanks for listening u bunch of b**ches

#36 FeralZombieMum

Posted 26 February 2010 - 07:16 PM


You can't change how your mum is, but you can change how it makes you feel.

It's time you had different expectations from her. If you don't expect anything from her, then if she does do something with you, think of it as a bonus.

If you need to seek professional help to work through these feelings, then have a chat to your GP who might be able to refer you to someone.

As others have said - get your DH involved more. He is the other parent, he should be there for when you need time out (when he isn't working that is).

My DH kept refusing to look after the kids by himself, so I had to force it upon him. One day, I got them tea, got myself ready, and as soon as he walked in the door from work, I walked out, and told him I was going out 'shopping' and would be back in a few hours. (I didn't own a mobile for him to call me on wink.gif )
He is fantastic most of the times now. He is lucky that his work can be flexible - he was able to work from home this morning whilst I went to school

I started doing it on a regular basis, that I was able to do it whenever I needed to, and he learnt to expect that I might head off somewhere without kids at ANYTIME.

My mum isn't interested in my kids, but does make an effort with her other grand kids. It's her loss and I have been able to let go of the hurt and frustration.

Once I had to ask her to collect my child from school (she lives only 300 metres away!) and I asked one week in advance, and she did agree, but was annoyed. I had a doctor's appointment in Outpatients, so had no control over time or date (you can wait up to 3 hours to be seen). I then reminded her the day before. My appointment finished earlier than previous appointments I'd had, so I drove past my DD's school and saw my poor DD waiting out the front! School had finished about 20 minutes earlier, and was pretty deserted. I picked up my DD and went home. I never brought it up with my mum (I wish I had) and she has never mentioned it. I thought that perhaps she was starting to get a bit forgetful in her age (she was only young 60's), but a few years later I found out she was then driving into town (a 30km round trip) to collect a step grandchild. She was happy to make an effort for my brother, but it was too much to do one small favour for me.

If you are feeling isolated, I suggest you see if there are any groups you could join.
Is there a MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers) in your area? It's a fantastic experience, and you might make some great friends.

#37 baby-bliss2

Posted 26 February 2010 - 07:26 PM

Wow OP, maybe read all of the responses and actually see what people are trying to say before you go off like that. I'm pretty sure we can all relate to how you're feeling and that we've all been there at least once before.

My DH works 6 days a week too, but he knows that if I turn to him and say "hon, I really need a break", he'll find a way to give it to me.

We're not all b**ches.

#38 justpeppermint

Posted 26 February 2010 - 07:29 PM

WOAH someone needs a bex and a good lie down  rolleyes.gif

Get over it, you are NOT the first person to be in this situation.

Yes it is difficult blah blah blah. If you have no support then reach out to family friends, if all else fails and you still can't cope there are associations who can help.

Geez louise, you asked we answered, sorry not everyone is pandering to your every whim but we are being objective.

If that's the way you reply to answers that YOU ASKED FOR then I hope you don't post on here anymore either.

You know what????? next time you are enjoying a 5 min break without your screaming child.. remember me, who hasnt had a second to myself and has "F" ALL support...

Oh and I don't know if you've noticed but you have a husband, there are a lot of single parents on here with no husband AND no support, so have your whinge go ahead, I'm telling you now it could be alot worse. Unlike you I don't go around wishing it on people!

Edited by justpeppermint, 26 February 2010 - 07:32 PM.

#39 DontKnow2015

Posted 26 February 2010 - 07:36 PM

I have no grandparents in the state.....No routine babysitters either and my husband works FIFO....  He is not here for 8 days.....

You have the ability to set up your life to get the breaks necessary.....  

Talk to your husband work out a way in which you can have a routine break.  Once a fortngiht.  Once a week...

Some grandparents don't cope well with the baby phase but come on in leaps and bounds when the children a little older...  Your mum may be a little overwhelmed about having to look after your bub...

#40 ~Bloom~

Posted 26 February 2010 - 07:36 PM


Wonder why your mother isn't wanting to spend time with you...

FWIW you aren't the only person who's partner works 6 days a week. Like justpeppermint said, at least you have a partner to help when you really need it.

#41 anon60

Posted 26 February 2010 - 07:54 PM

Obviously never had one of my children. FWIW I tried it for a normal hair cut, waited till sleep time and everything. Lasted about 20 mins last 10 mins was a rush because of all the fidgiting/whinging/crying/screaming. Never again.

Honey, I once ran through Woden Square with my hair half up in perming rods as DS1 (23months) had escaped the twin pram restraint while 6month old DS2 laughed.
I had DS1 take off up the escalator at Roselands when I let got of the reins to get my purchase off the counter - I had DS3 in the baby carrier and DS2 in the pram.

Edited by anon60, 26 February 2010 - 07:54 PM.

#42 justpeppermint

Posted 26 February 2010 - 07:57 PM

Lol anon then why do you think it's weird that she wouldn't want to take the child while she gets her hair done for 3+ hours?

You are a braver woman that I that's for sure.

#43 Dino-Mite

Posted 26 February 2010 - 08:02 PM

I agree totally with Justpeppermint's post.  I have no family support either; infact neither set of grandparents have even met there newest granddaughter!   All of our family lives interstate and Ollie gets deployed often.  Instead of whingeing, I get on with life and when I feel lonely or need some adult company, I catch up with friends!  Just catching up with friends is enough to give me a break!  

Because I haven't had any family support since Harley was born, I have set myself up with a great friends network.  We have moved every couple of years so it is like restarting each time, but it is necessary!  

You mentioned that you would like to go for a walk;  why not take your child in the pram?  That way, you get some time out and your child also gets out!  

It is time for your DH to step up... he is not the only one that works 6 days a week!!

#44 anon60

Posted 26 February 2010 - 08:03 PM

QUOTE (justpeppermint @ 26/02/2010, 08:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Lol anon then why do you think it's weird that she wouldn't want to take the child while she gets her hair done for 3+ hours?

You are a braver woman that I that's for sure.

At 10 months, they usually haven't figured out the restraint mechanism. DD (number 4) on the other hand, had to be evicted from the pram  - she'd happily sit there for hours as long as she had her favourite doll, toy mobile phone and 1 or 2 other toys.

Edited by anon60, 26 February 2010 - 08:03 PM.

#45 Silvergirl12

Posted 26 February 2010 - 08:07 PM

Seriously people, there is no need to be so awful to the OP!! Everyone's problems are huge to them, the OP was not venting to have people write back with bigger and better problems or to tell her to harden up, she was simply coming here to vent and for a little bit of support. OP for what its worth I think you have every right to feel upset, I certainly would.

#46 mischiefmaker

Posted 26 February 2010 - 08:08 PM

thanks for listening u bunch of b**ches


#47 abeni

Posted 26 February 2010 - 08:10 PM

At 10 months, they usually haven't figured out the restraint mechanism. DD (number 4) on the other hand, had to be evicted from the pram - she'd happily sit there for hours as long as she had her favourite doll, toy mobile phone and 1 or 2 other toys.

See mine would never have sat there happily at 10 months for more than 30mins even with all the toys in the world, she'd be screaming and carrying on, wanting to crawl around.  Every child is different.

#48 abeni

Posted 26 February 2010 - 08:14 PM

Seriously people, there is no need to be so awful to the OP!! Everyone's problems are huge to them, the OP was not venting to have people write back with bigger and better problems or to tell her to harden up

Actually she was askin what we think she should do.  And then when no one wrote back saying 'oh you poor thing your mother is a horrible, horrible person' she got nasty.

#49 msro82

Posted 26 February 2010 - 08:16 PM

Its hard without help but you do get used to it. You need to talk to your mum about what has changed in your relationship.

Is DD the first grandchild? Maybe she isn't confident looking after her.

MIL never wanted to look after DD to the point the only time I had to myself was when I returned to work, DD was incredibly hard work and cried constantly for the first 6 months of her life. We found out recently after DH confronted MIL that her problem was she didn't know what to do with her and wasn't confident looking after her and she was different to the "boys" (her grandsons). Very true my little girl is very different, very social etc. She now happily looks after her after some tips and talking it out. DD is almost 3, it took us that long to get to the bottom of it.

I think your last two posts were harsh. I really feel for you, but no need to be immature and call people names. I understand that your husband works 6 days a week, but surely he can squeeze in one night a week for you to go to a movie or do a course? Book it in so he knows when it is happening and there are no excuses. I started doing this and it works wonders.

#50 PopsiclePeach

Posted 26 February 2010 - 08:16 PM

I think some of the replies have been a little b**chy, TBH.

You know, sometimes when we're feeling stressed and down we just want to have a foot stomping tantrum like a toddler - in this case the OP has chosen to have a bit of a vent.  Granted, it's not in 'venting' but she is obviously upset and feeling the stress and I think although there are some valid points, perhaps her 'nose shouldn't be rubbed in it' quite so much.

Of course there are people out there who are worse off than her, I don't think she's claiming to be the most disadvantaged person around - she is just expressing her disappointment in the lack of support from her mother.  I'm sure she probably had an idea in her head of how her relationship with her mum would be after having her child and is obviously struggling with the fact it didn't turn out the way she had hoped and dreamed.

Anyway, OP, I don't know if I have any constructive advice for you, but do try and make time for you - on your husband's day off could he take your baby while you met the girls for a coffee or something.  What about a gym, lots of them have creches which might give you a bit of a break (bugger the classes, head straight to the cafe LOL)  As for the hairdresser, hmmm not sure there, I didn't get to the hairdresser's myself til DD was 18 months LOL.  Needless to say I am not blonde anymore, it was too hard!!  I think you should definitely try and meet some other mums, your daughter is at a great age to start a baby playgroup or something like that, you may make some really strong friendships and then swap childminding duties etc for things like the hairdresser.  It does get easier in time, and it is hard now, there's no denying it.  Don't let people on here get to you, there are so many genuinely lovely people - there are also others who are not nice and also have been through really tough times which can make them be unsympathetic.

I wish you all the best, and enjoy your little girl, she sounds just divine.  As for your Mum, give it time, perhaps just don't ask her to babysit now and try and find someone else you trust.  I think you need to rebuild your relationship with your mum first before babysitting comes into it.  She may not feel very confident with looking after a baby, my MIL was the same - now the kids are a little older she can't get enough of them.  

Well, that's me off my soapbox, I need to go write my list for the highlight of my week - going supermarket shopping ALONE while DH takes the kids to the Farmer's Market to get the fruit and veg LOL.  Hey you take time when you can!!

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