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Thread: How much do Grandma's help??
05-01-2006, 06:15 PM #1
How much do Grandma's help??
Hi everyone. I'm just curious about how much do ask of my Mom or Grandma? I'm a sahm of a 4 yo and 2 yo. We live about 2 hours away from my mom and stepdad. My father passed away when I was 11 and my husband's parents are both gone as well. So the kids only have 1 grandma still living. She is 50 yo. I just get an uneasy feeling if I ever ask her to watch the kids, which is very, very seldom. She never calls to ask if they can come visit or anything. We are going to be moving back to our hometown, where she lives over the summer. I am graduating this summer with my teaching degree and hope to find a teaching job there. The kids will be going to preschool then, hope to work at the same school.
But this is why I'm wondering how much do Grandma's help. If I got a job at another school further away, I might need help picking the kids up from preschool. But I don't want to ask for her help if she doesn't want too. If she did want to see the kids more would she ask??
When the kids where born she did not come visit like what I expected. I am very disappointed in our relationship, and her relationship with the kids. I have talked to her about it, but nothing has changed. I made it clear to her that I wanted to see her more and for the kids to spend time with her. But she makes no effort. It's really hard for me to understand!! It's also hard to not have anyone that wants to do things for my kids.
One example of our relationship. I had interviewed for a teaching position, thought I had a good chance of getting the job. Unfortunately, I didn't and I was upset. I called her to tell her and was upset crying that I didn't get it. She couldn't talk at the time, and told me she would call me back. Never did. After that, I just think she must not really care. She never calls hardly and if she does it is usually just for a couple minutes.
It is really hard because I don't have anyone else to turn to that cares about me or my kids like a parent or grandparent should. Sorry so long. Any advice from Grandma's out there??
05-01-2006, 06:42 PM #2
- Rep Power
My kids are already in their teens, but we have similar relationship with my inlaws. I think it´s very sad. My husband is their only child and our kids are their only grandchildren. They are 60 years old, the other one retired and the other works only every other week. They are quite wealthy, very fit and healthy. They never call and neither does my husband call them. They live quite close to us. I have confronted them about this situation and it didn´t go well. I think they hate me. This thing used to bother me a lot. Now that I am very ill, I would like my kids to have as many people around them as possible. But I can´t force them. Now that my kids are bigger, they don´t want to be with "mummo" and "pappa" anymore. I think they are a little bit scared of them. Sad, but what can you do?
05-01-2006, 06:47 PM #3
I'm very sorry that you are experiencing pain over this. Sad to say, I think there are women who just don't have that natural maternal instinct with their own kids or with their grandchildren. I think that if I were you, I would not ask my mother for help. It's seems clear that she is not willing to offer it. I know that this is hurtful for you, but perhaps you may need to move into "self-protection mode." This will help to safeguard you when you are feeling very vulnerable about her lack of care and concern. Concentrate on your own family and being the best mother that you can be. Lower the expectations you have of your mother. Look for other sources of help and support. She simply may not be capable of giving you the attention you want and need. Be respectful and polite, but pour your love and energies into your DH and children. Sadly, it will be grandma's loss that she is not involved.
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05-01-2006, 08:01 PM #4
My kids only have hubbys parents to rely on. And that very often even before we moved 45 min. away. When hubbys brother had twins they were more needy and their marraige was on rocks, so they took advantage of her all the time. We kept the piece by not saying anything, and when we did ift never lasted, she'd only bother with them once in awhile. I feel for you, I'm still there. my kids are now 13 and 10. But they still iss them, They will be ther for Confirmation Day and the last time they took them over was right after Christmas for 2 days. They come to visit very rarely. I gave up, i tried years ago. Some people U can't force to close too or your kids. I use to cry myself to sleep and now I don't. I know I'm giving them the best I got, thats all they need. Our kids know we love them.
05-01-2006, 09:01 PM #5
My inlaws were offstandish when my girls were small. As they grew older they became more involved. I didn't understand it then and I still don't know why my mil was like that. Hang in there, as the kids grew older my inlaws warmed up. The girls are as close as can be with my mil now. They are the ages 18 and 20.
My own parents were more hands on and my mother provided daycare for my girls when I did work. She just loved all of her grandchildren and enjoyed every single one of them.
05-01-2006, 09:19 PM #6
- Rep Power
My kids have a great relationship with my parents. When they are not at my grandma's house, they spend nights at my mom's house. They spend a lot of time with my grandma. They have a blast with her. She is 80, but doesn't look her age at all. My inlaws are a different story. They live in FL, and very seldom get to see the kids. They really don't have much of an interest in spending time with them. They are in their 80's.
05-01-2006, 09:40 PM #7
I think you've done everything you can to facilitate the relationship...for whatever reason, it's just not happening.
I have heard my mom's friends complain that their adult children just expect child care and taxi service at the drop of a hat. Some felt used, others were turned off at the sense of entitlement, and of course others wanted every minute they could get with their grands.
I'm not at all suggesting that you are wrong in your feelings...it was just interesting to listen to the very different viewpoints about what was an acceptable (and happy) amount of involvement with their grandchildren.
I hope you are able to make peace with your relationship with your mom. I can read the pain in your post. I also believe people come into our lives when there are "holes". Since you are moving soon, you may experience that too. Please take care of yourself and your emotional health.
05-01-2006, 11:34 PM #8
I am 50t . My first GD lived with me most of the time, we had so much fun with her, then she hit the teenage years and of course did not want to walk down the street with us. now she has kids and with work schedules and sick folks,(had a sister and brother pass away with cancer in the space of two weeks apart recently) so I have not had time to spend with them. My other GD lives in Tennessee and I worry she won't love me or know me not getting to see her very often. But I intend to travel when I can to go visit. They grow so fast and I want to spend what time I can with all of them. They are so much fun to watch, The Doctor I work for says baby's are just baby's. He won't even look at their pictures. I told him God would change his mind one of these days, and I hope both his son's have twins. I say try to enjoy them and do what you can for them or you will sure miss alot of fun in life
05-02-2006, 12:03 AM #9
Midwestgal, you said something about not asking my mom for help and going into self protection mode. That is where I am at right now. I am so afraid of rejection it is affecting me in many ways. I find it very difficult to ask for anyone to watch my kids. I guess I think if my mom doesn't enjoy spending time with them, no one will. Even looking for a teaching job, I get really nervous thinking no one will want me. I don't even want to call my mom now after being rejected by her, so I feel I am in self protection mode. When I open up to her, like about not getting the job, then she never calls me back, I put up a wall to protect my feelings. I feel like I won't make that mistake again. My dad was such a wonderful father and so proud of me and my sisters. Still to this day people comment about how much he would love his grandkids. I just long for a relationship like that with someone. I miss him so much. I know if he were here I could ask him for anything and not even hesitate. I feel like a beggar if I ask a favor from anyone at this point. Thanks for all your replies. I guess I just needed to vent.
05-02-2006, 12:26 AM #10
a link that sometimes helps if you happen to have a narcissist for a parent (NOT SAYING YOU DO, but just if) is http://www.halcyon.com/jmashmun/npd/
because sometimes, its because the person is unable to love back. They have a problem. It doesn't have to be your problem or the children's problem, but it does need a different approach, which may feel funny.
Something that helps may be to say to yourself, What IS, just IS. Can't change it, can't change her. CAN change me, what I will put up with and that is healthy.
It is perfectly normal and healthy to go into that "self protection" mode when someone who "should" behave normally isn't, and can't and won't.
It's healthy to then form other relationships (friends, adopt a granny) that meet those needs. By all means keep up whatever part of the relationship you are able to cope with (and it may be very limited) based on what your parent is able to cope with (and if she has troubles she may not be able to form or keep normal relationships).
For your own mental health, and that of your kids, get some counselling just to help you understand that you aren't crazy, and that this is different and it doesn't have to run your life off in a negative direction.
When dealing with someone who is strange due to mental illness, drugs or alcohol, they aren't normal, and it can be disconcerting to wake up to the fact that after all the excuses, they are just very different. Accepting them as they are, not how you wish they were takes a lot of the pain out, but also putting up some boundaries, some reasonable barriers is also a good way to keep a lot of pain out.
HTH and a big hug.
05-02-2006, 12:33 AM #11
Sadly some people just don't have that grandparent/parent instinct and it causes pain like this.
Know that you ARE a worthwhile person, be thankful to your mom for raising you to be a good and caring person and know that blood doesn't always make for the best family, sometimes others will come into your life to brighten it. In your move you may end up with WONDERFUL neighbors that become like family to you, I've seen this before and it's wonderful for all involved.
I don't have children but know that if I did my mother would be a bit like yours but also domineering and tellling me all that I was doing wrong (I come from one of those families that puts the fun in dysfunctional, lol). I know that hubbies mom would smother us and be under foot 24/7 if we had kids.
Hmmm, lol, wonder why we don't have kids?
05-02-2006, 01:12 AM #12Originally Posted by canadian gardener
Very interesting. This would explain a lot. Thanks!
05-02-2006, 01:13 AM #13
my hubby's parents are the same way. they might call and ask about the kids, but NEVER ask for them to come visit, or come over to our house very often at all!! they live 20 min. away. my parents, on the other hand, have always been way more hands on and want the kids to come stay with them and come over whenever they can. we learned a LONG time ago (when our 5 yr old was about 4 months old), not to ask his parents to babysit unless we absolutely had to!! my mom has always told me, if we EVER need a sitter , just let her know ahead of time. even when she lived 5 hrs away! now she is only an hr and 15 min away and the kids see waaaaaaay more of them than they do hubby's parents! it does bother me....a LOT!! we have just learned to deal with it....and never ask them to babysit!! heck, we hardly EVER go anywhere as a couple, because we do not have a sitter! and they live 20 min away! i could go on and on....but it just bothers me more and more!
05-02-2006, 01:58 AM #14
- Rep Power
well as a mommom to 7 and 1 on the way, i can't say i understand. i work nights and take care of my grandbabies during the day, no way do i want them in day care. i used to buy all the diapers and most the clothes, as the kids have gotten on their feet i have stopped that. but still do more then maybe i should. the babies call dh at home almost night to say they love him and go to his work alot. we have family dinners and movie nights and try to go to the beach or fishing or the farm during the week. now my mom on the other hand, watched my oldest but by the time the others came along she was done, she very seldom sees them now and she is fine with that. i decided i would never be that kind of grandmom.
05-02-2006, 02:53 AM #15
- Rep Power
My parents have always been there for the kids, even now with the youngest getting ready to graduate they still come over here or we are over at their house. If one of the boys cars breaks down they call they're grandfather and he goes and tries to figure out whats going on. When they we're younger my mother always went to grandparents day or if they had a special lunch, she went.
As a grandmother, I talk to my granddaughters every day. They live about 35 minutes from us. Plus when they are in town, they stop at our house and usually we get to keep them for the night. When they are here I drop what I'm doing to listen and to just enjoy them. I get alot of joy being with them and so does my dh and youngest son. He will be a good father one day, so much patience with little ones. My son was coloring for an hour with his niece and teaching her to read.
I really feel the pain your experiencing. My exs parents didnt get much involved with the kids. Have you ever sat down and talked with your mom and asked her how she felt?
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