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Discussion Starter #1
I love spending time with all my grandchildren but find that my daughter in law is happy and friendly when I will watch the grandchildren so she can do things but has little time for me otherwise. Does anyone else feel like this at times? My son works long hours so does not see the whole picture.
 

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You are not alone in your feelings by a long shot.
I have those feelings on a regular basis and I know of other grandmother's that do also: but some I know have a feeling of obligation. My "obligation" ended when I raised my children.
May God bless you and give you peace.
 

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I have told my sons while growing up; I will not babysit full time. I raised my family. I do babysit; but my one son was bringing his son over quite a few Saturdays and leaving him here overnight. I told him he should be waking up to him and not me.
I felt bad for the night; but they won't know if you don't tell them.
 

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I feel for you!! MIL/DIL relationships can be challenging enough as it is. You have the right to stick up for yourself and say, 'I can't today' without feeling guilty.

Growing up my parents always told me that 1) they didn't "want" or "not want" grandchildren, and 2) if I had children, they were all mine and they (my parents) weren't planning to raise any more kids. Now I'm 30 and have absolutely no plans to have children. My parents are enjoying their retirement in peace haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the reply's. I love my time when I have one grandchild at a time over to my house and we have special grandparent time. I want to be invited to school activities etc. and this used to be the case. I am now only invited when she wants me to watch the children. Monday night is family home evening time in our church and I am never invited to be part of this. My husband has been in MI, our other home, a lot so I am alone and feel left out of the important times with the grandchildren. I spoke to my son about my feelings but it just puts him in the middle. Ugh.
 

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I know this is in the third-ager forum, and I don't really qualify as a third-ager, but as a momma to two young ones that is asking her MIL to baby-sit, I thought I would offer a different perspective.

I do ask my mother-in-law to baby-sit, maybe 2-3 times per month. She can't always do it, and it's not over night very often. It's nice for me to not have to pay a babysitter and I know the kids love her. She tells me no when she can't and there are no hard feelings.

With our family situation being the way it is though, I can't always invite her to do more with us and the kids except for when I need a sitter. Hubby works second shift so we don't see a lot of him. So on his three days off, we want to spend time together as the four of us, because we only get that approximately 6 days out of the month.

I would love to have invited grandparents to Wesley's Christmas program at preschool, but that would have been 6 grandparents and 4 great-grandparents that would have had to have been invited and our preschool asked us to limit it to parents/guardians and siblings due to a lack of space.

And there for awhile, when I was really stressed and busy with the new job, pregnancy, Wesley, etc, I did shut my mother-in-law out. It wasn't something I did intentionally or that I had even realized I did. It wasn't until she called me out on it (in a very nice and gracious way) that I realized she was absolutely right. And since then, I've made an effort to call her more frequently just to talk, to have Wesley talk to her, etc. Since I can't have her to the preschool programs, I asked her to take my place as a 'preschool pal' on Wesley's day as snack leader so that she got to go and spend the morning at preschool with him.

So to sum it up, I would advise to talk to your daughter-in-law about how you are feeling. Do it gently, with no accusations. I don't know about your DIL, but I know that I feel like I am being pulled in about 90 million directions and if MIL had came at me and just bluntly said everything she had to have been thinking, I would have gotten defensive.

Good luck to you!
 

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I guess I'm lucky with my situation.
My grandchildren live about a 3 hour drive away.
My daughter will call and ask me to come up and stay with the girls only if it's a special event (planned well in advance) and if it's been awhile since I visited.
For last minute events, she's on her own!
 

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So I'm not a grandma either but...
My mil lives cross country now but when she did live here I never asked her to watch the kids or come to events because she was raising my bil's 3 kids and I didn't want to burden her. I often wonder if that was right because I think she may have thought we didn't want her around.

My mother does live here and we don't ask her as often as I would like to because she always made it clear how she felt about how much time her friends spent watching their grands.

I believe in both cases I'm doing a lot assuming.There is really only one way to clear it up, talk about it ;) Freeze ~Don't tell your son how you feel, tell your dil. Tell her you want to be included in Family outings too.
 

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I know this is the Third Agers section, but I have noticed the extent to which minding grandchildren has affected my own parents. They frequently look after the children of one my siblings and are becoming very stressed by it.

The annoyance has mostly arisen from the fact there has been no clear communication around when the child minding is meant to take place, so it is not only inconsistent week by week, but recently it seems to be increasing without my parents having been properly - and courteously - asked. They've been left feeling very used and disrespected.

From my perspective, having watched how much the babysitting situation has hurt my parents, it is understandable that you would feel this way. I agree with McD about bringing it up in a gentle way if you want to improve your relationship with your DDIL and still see your grandchildren frequently. Best of luck getting this sorted out. :hugz:
 

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I watch 3 of my grandkids 4 dAYS A WEEK. By choice. My son goes to school and his wife works and goes to school. They are safe with me. There are days that I would love to just rest. But it will be over soon.
Fern
 

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I always told our daughter's that I wouldn't be a full-time babysitter either, or for that matter, a part-time one. I raised our children (still raising a 10 year old) and I AM DONE. After I come home from work, I want to relax with my husband and take it easy, I don't want to be saddled down with anymore babies.

BTW, our oldest had our first grandchild last September and we visit and will occasionally sit for a few hours. Our daughter has been very respectful and has not asked to sit for long periods are overnight and we appreciate that.
 

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I'm not a third-ager either but I thought I would throw in my 2 cents. I'm a young mom it's just me and dd, I dont ask my mom to watch dd often because anytime I ask she usually comes up with an excuse. In 2 1/2 years she spend 3 nights there, it bothers me that she doesn't like to watch her because my dd loves going there. It's not like I'm asking her to take her every weekend. Maybe once a month if that and not even over night. I'm a single mom, raising dd myself her dads side has barely anything to do with her. The one thing that bothers me with my mom is that she pretends like she takes dd all the time if someone else asks her. I find that around here everyone expects everyone else to raise their children. I know lots of young moms that pawn their kids off on whoever will take them every single weekend, it's sad and not at all what I want for my dd. But a little help or a break would be nice every once and awhile!
 

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My daughters are grown now, my mom only watched them for "grandma time" as they grew up. Most of those years we were long-distance from each other.

Now my mom has moved closer in an effort to be closer to all of us, and I'm watching from afar as she negotiates the waters with her DIL. They have four very young children. I hear the situation from both sides (my mother and my SIL) and I don't have an answer for them as they can't seem to just talk to each other and I refuse to get in the middle to mediate.

From what I've seen though there's a pattern of:

1) SIL wants them to be babysat on her terms only, but doesn't realize she does this. SIL shuts out grandma all other times, including socially at holidays. She realizes she does this but can't seem to stop, gets annoyed easily with my mother.

2) grandma (my mom) wants to babysit on her terms only, and does not want to be saddled with doing this for reasons like the DIL picking up a job or a hobby or anything else that my mom doesn't consider necessary. (see what I mean by her terms only?) My mother feels shut out socially and therefore doesn't feel she can speak up about, she's afraid it will risk what little time she has with the grandkids as it is.

3) my brother wont touch the situation either.

I do understand what you are going through, and I wish I had a fix but I think both people have to try and communicate with each other. Hugs to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Okay will try communication and see what happens. In the past this has been with me just doing what she wants to keep the peace. She has not been one to get how others feels. I believes this goes to her own family life when she was young. It was not a very loving healthy one.
 

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Had a talk with DIL and went very well. We cleared up a lot of things. I am off tomorrow to spend time at grandson preschool for a special grandparent book fair (I guess better bring some money). I don't think I would had known about that if we had not talked today. Thanks for all the input.:)
 

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Hmmm...this is very interesting to me. I am not a third-ager but I do have two small children and must say that my MIL has always been very helpful when I am in a bind, but I would never expect her to watch our children on a continuous basis. I have respect for her time and realize that she has raised her children, and that my children are MY responsibility.

That said, My biological mother is severely being taken advantage of by her step son. She has raised her children! She works 5 days a week and on the weekends typically watches her grandson while her step son goes out. I have addressed this several times. She complains that she is tired and does not feel refreshed on Monday, due to the hectic weekend. I have told her to talk to him, but she wont. I'm glad that you were able to communicate with your DIL...I hope that my mother will feel comfortable doing the same after I share your story with her. Mahalo!
 

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I watch 2 of my 3 grandchildren for my daughter. One is 5 and the other one is 8 months. I started babysitting them the day after I retired. In fact, one of the reasons I retired a year earlier than I had planned was because my daughter needed the help. It helps her financially. Part of the week, I go to her house and the other days, the kids come to mine. She gives me money for gas. It does tie up my time a lot and many days I am exhausted, but I wouldn't do anything differently. Next school year, the 5 year old will be gone and I will be down to one child.

**I did tell my daughter that this was the LAST baby I'm watching**
 

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My Grandchildren live 2.5 hours away from me. I try to visit them for a weeend at least once or twice a month. I take them for a week every summer, to do fun stuff together and to my house when possible. That being said, at times when I visit, I do feel as if my daughter uses the opportunity to run errands, do chores/shopping etc, leaving me alone with the little ones. But I normally encourage it since I know she and her hubby have no time alone together what so ever unless I am there to help out. Sometimes it would be nice to have some time with my daughter to go to lunch or shopping but I dont see the grands enough as it is. The difference I think is that DD and her hubby include me in their life always and would like nothing more than to have me live closer to them. We often take vacations together, spend holidays together and talk at least weekly on the phone. I get photos, emails and news about their lives on a regular basis. So I dont feel like a babysitter but I sure do feel like a part of the family! LOL
 

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I am about 8 hours away from my parents so they never really babysat. They did take the kids for a week every year. But my sister who could well afford a daycare, nannie, had my mother driving 2 hours on sunday night and staying the week and leaving on Friday to babysit her child. She did this for about 2 months until my father said no more. If god blesses me with grandbabies, after my kids get an education and are married, I don't mind helping out and watching them sometimes. But what I will not do is become mom.
 

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I was being very much taken advantage of by my daughter and her husband.They had 6 kids together two boys age 8 one his one hers,girl age 6 hers ,boy 5 his kid the terror that was a sneak.Girl 2 hers and his,girl age 1 his and hers.I had them here for months 24-7 .I did everything for them as my daughter and son-in-law are basically lazy and would take off for days at a time.Besides that everything I have belongs to my daughter my money my house ,car everything is hers so she thinks.I just blew up at them today wanting to use my car tomorrow.I started yelling since I'm so tired of it all that I'm tired of you losers.They left but I'm sure will be back tomorrow wanting it again.Here lately I get into it with them every other day the only time they show up is when they want something from me and I have very little to give living on $138 a week.I have very little here to eat I sit in the dark all the time I never go anywhere,I go without everything in order to give it all to them.I'm just sick of them both and don't even want them here at all.If they really wanted to they could find jobs instead of being no good losers and freeloaders.But when I try to tell them anything I'm the no good bitch.Sorry to take this over but I'm still so mad right now I could SCREAM!!!
 
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