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Old 01-24-2011, 09:34 AM   #21
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I think that grandparents or sisters or aunts or whoever that can pitch in to help in tough situations are wonderful people. A 40 something woman I have gotten to know who works at a local grocery raised her niece from infancy right up until now and the niece is a college sophomore now. Sister was a druggie, rest of the family was kind of shakey, but this woman was and is rock-solid.

I can't comment on FD's family situation, as there is clearly a lot I don't know. One thing does seem clear- whoever this partner is, if it is a man, there might be long waiting list for any vacancies that turn up!

Yeehaw!

Ha
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:54 AM   #22
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FD, since you were home for the holidays but don't live near your mother and aunt, do you think they were just venting to you? I love to vent to my DD but I don't do much of it, because her response is always "that's interesting, now why don't you go tell the people who can do something about it?" Then I realize my vent is my stored-up, one-side-of-the-story frustration. Maybe your mom and aunt feel better having shared it with you, but they don't find taking care of their grandchildren to be as onerous as they said.

I do have a friend who watches her very young grandson for free while her DD and SIL work four days a week. I think she realizes she doesn't have the energy or time to do this and she will probably cut back to two or three days soon. Maybe you could encourage your mother and aunt to talk to their children about how they feel and to cut back?
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:15 AM   #23
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I guess I shouldn't have posted the story. Sorry for wasting your time.
Not at all! My mom has a similar issue, but with my grandmother. For years my mom has tied herself to my grandmother, insisting she needs to be here just in case. Now my grand mother worked until she was 88, has more money than god and can afford any care she might need. In the meantime, my mom complains about the fact she cant' travel the way she wants too, or sell her house and live in her RV. We've told her that she could travel, home is only a plane flight away at worst. Mind you my grandmother is totally able to care for herself and has a medical alert system in place.

My mom does it out of guilt and obligation. I'm sure your relatives do it for the same reasons. Some misplaced sense of guilt that their kids are working so hard and have it so tough that they must put off their plans and life to help the kids. Same as the people that insist on working to help fund their kid's extravagant lifestyles.

As for your sister and other parents you write about, they are probably not doing it maliciously. You mom and the others enable them.

Not much you can do about it. I think most people that do stuff like that, do it because it's comfortable. They don't like to do it, but its safer than saying no and living life on their own terms. No hurt feelings, no confrontations, no risk.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:37 AM   #24
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Agree with many others on this thread that guilt and a sense of obligation tie grandparents to excess childwatching but no one can stop that but the presumably overburdened grandparent. My mom and dad did a lot of this for my brother's kids and didn't put a stop to it until they physically couldn't keep up.
It bothered me, but I figured it wasn't my place to say anything.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:51 AM   #25
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This topic made me wonder about our situation with my son, who's now 11. Grandma offered to stay all week at our place or wanted us to drop him off at her place when he was a baby, all day everyday during worktimes. This went on for 2.5 years until we found an opening at the daycare location close to home. When she stayed at our house, Grandma used to own a take out, so she even made us dinners daily. I'm sure she figured this was the last grandchild she'd ever have since DW was her youngest. We're now paying back helping them out as Grandpa needs help w/doctor visits and Rx trips as they gave up driving over 15 years ago. I feel were doing right by them as the other grandkids came by for Christmas and took all kinds of foodstuffs from their house for their own use....even took all the coffee, creamer and sugar on the kitchen table! It's not like the BIL is poor, he has a high paying job, but I don't know the mentality of taking their food over Christmas was all about.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:03 AM   #26
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... as the other grandkids came by for Christmas and took all kinds of foodstuffs from their house for their own use....even took all the coffee, creamer and sugar on the kitchen table! It's not like the BIL is poor, he has a high paying job, but I don't know the mentality of taking their food over Christmas was all about.
Sounds like it's all about being a no class schmuck.

Ha
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Old 01-24-2011, 12:16 PM   #27
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Forums that cater to women with children are full of mother's complaining because the grandparents don't step up and offer to provide free childcare on a daily basis. I was often gobsmacked at the sense of entitlement some of these women have.

For me, it is for the grandparent to decide if they want to offer assistance with child care. I don't see it as an obligation. Just because a grandparent has time I don't believe they are obligated.

If you choose to bring a child into this world you should be doing so knowing that you are responsible for it's care 24/7. It's nice when families can make it work between them and save stress and money for all involved, however don't think the parent has the right to complain when the grandparent doesn't take on full time caring duties.
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Old 01-27-2011, 11:36 PM   #28
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Forums that cater to women with children are full of mother's complaining because the grandparents don't step up and offer to provide free childcare on a daily basis. I was often gobsmacked at the sense of entitlement some of these women have.
My DW gets that from the working people we know and interact with. they assume that because she works 20-25 hours a week from home, she has all the free time in the world to volunteer to do any number of things. Just because you are retired or work part-time doesn't mean you don't have anything to do and you should never judge what you do by other people's standards.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:01 AM   #29
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Just because you are retired or work part-time doesn't mean you don't have anything to do and you should never judge what you do by other people's standards.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:14 AM   #30
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Retiree guilt was really what I was getting at with my original post. How can you, as a retiree, fend off demands on your free time without feeling guilty about it... In my mom's and aunts' cases the demands came from family members, but you could just as well become overwhelmed by the demands of charity work for example.
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:02 PM   #31
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When I first married, MIL told me she raised her children and I was expected to raise mine. She was still working and she made it clear that she did not intend to babysit. She looked after my children only twice and both times were for the afternoon and were real emergencies. Neither of my children ever spent the night at grandma's house. My DS and DD are grown and only see their grandma at Christmas, if that side of the family makes an effort to have a family Christmas party.

My childhood memories are full of special times spent with my grandma: weekend visits (8 hour round trip) at least once a month (my mom was a real momma's girl) and I spent two weeks every summer on the farm with grandma and grandpa. My memories are so sweet and they still make me smile. I am sorry that my kids don't have those kind of memories.

I think it is up to each grandparent to determine just how much time they want to spend babysitting. Some people need to be needed and spending all of their time with a grandchild may be just the ticket. From someone else's point of view, the babysitting may be viewed as a burden. In the end, it is up to the grandma to determine just how much of her time she wants to devote to babysitting. Only she can set those limits.

How do I fend off demands on my free time...sorry, I have other plans; sorry, I already volunteer at XYZ charity. Guilt...what guilt! On the other hand, I never turn down a request from my kids...but they are very independent and seldom make them.
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:20 PM   #32
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How can you, as a retiree, fend off demands on your free time without feeling guilty about it... In my mom's and aunts' cases the demands came from family members, but you could just as well become overwhelmed by the demands of charity work for example.
Maybe I'm just a bad person but I, umm, don't feel any guilt and don't feel obligated to do those things. If I do them and do get overwhelmed I see that as my mistake. But really I don't feel that just because I have free time that I owe it to someone else.
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:25 PM   #33
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FD... sorry you feel you shouldn't have posted. I disagree. I think several of us have learned a valuable lesson on setting boundaries with relatives.
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:54 PM   #34
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Maybe I'm just a bad person but I, umm, don't feel any guilt and don't feel obligated to do those things. If I do them and do get overwhelmed I see that as my mistake. But really I don't feel that just because I have free time that I owe it to someone else.
I would have to agree with you. While I will never have grandkids (and never face the situation), I do remember how I was raised long ago (back in the 50's).

My parents both worked, and my fraternal grandmother (who lived just a few houses away) watched me for a good portion of my life in those days.

However, my grandmother did not do it for nothing. My parents did pay for her "services" every week, on an hourly basis. And no, I was not the "recipient" of any of this money (e.g. gifts, trips, etc.) Since she was a first generation immigrant who fled Europe after WWI, she certainly knew the value of a dollar (of course, in those days a dollar was worth something!)...

She certainly had the time, IMHO. Being retired, married, and me being the only child in the family, and my parents both working and paying their own way did not mean that she was in a position that she felt obligated (of course, she never did feel obligated; she was a person - along with the rest of the family that expected every member to pull their own load).

Then again, that was another time, with different family values and expectations...
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:11 PM   #35
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DF has done an excellent job of explaining a current problem that many grandparents have today. Children now expect their parents to babysit grandchildren primarily because of one of two perceived reasons: 1) Babysitters are too expensive 2) Childcare workers cannot be trusted.

In my view this is a very common problem in today's society. I have to agree with Chinaco that these children probably would put Mom or Dad in a rest home at the very first sign of trouble, even though they've spent countless days babysitting the grandchildren. Nice guys finish last.

Wake up folks, the Leave it to Beaver days are over. Your children will indeed dump their kids off on you. They expect you to do it and be happy about it, no matter how miserable your retirement becomes.

DW and I took care of this problem five years ago. We moved to another state a thousand miles away, the month after we retired and have never regretted it. We now see our grandchildren on our own terms.

FD, you could not have presented a more accurate portrayal of a very common social problem. Watch out folks, your children may be master manipulators. Some are very even experts at making you feel guilty.
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:54 PM   #36
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Retiree guilt was really what I was getting at with my original post. How can you, as a retiree, fend off demands on your free time without feeling guilty about it... In my mom's and aunts' cases the demands came from family members, but you could just as well become overwhelmed by the demands of charity work for example.

I think most people think if you are retired you don't have a life . When in fact we have a very full life .
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Old 01-29-2011, 12:00 AM   #37
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Retiree guilt was really what I was getting at with my original post. How can you, as a retiree, fend off demands on your free time without feeling guilty about it... In my mom's and aunts' cases the demands came from family members, but you could just as well become overwhelmed by the demands of charity work for example.
I think the key to the solution is that every person has the ability to decide whether they're going to be overwhelmed by trying to solve all the world's problems for everyone else-- or if they're just going to do the best job they can to solve the problems that they feel are worth solving and that they can tackle.

I don't want to solve all the world's problems. I feel that I give an adequate portion of my net worth to charities which I think should have a stab at solving some of the world's problems. I found it very fulfilling to write a book that will hopefully direct a firehose of money toward military charities. But I ain't no Mother Theresa, and I will still enjoy surfing living my life in a way that makes it worth living.

If your mother & aunts want to provide childcare then that's what they should do. But if they don't feel like it then they need to discuss terms under which they'd feel they're being valued & fulfilled. Maybe that's offering fewer hours/week, or only on birthdays/anniversaries, or only for $50/hour. Fuming in frustration & anger is not the communications method which usually leads to a successful resolution.

Otherwise those grandkids are gonna grow up awful bitter & cynical...
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:53 AM   #38
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Ever have your kid come home from school and just throw crap on the floor, not pick up after themselves, complain because they don't like dinner, want you to drop everything to haul them to their "gonna die if I don't get there social life with some obvious numb skulls"

Well there ya go... fast forward 10-15 years and that's what some of them act like as an adult.


Hey wait a second... that description sounds like me.

Forget what I said!
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:02 AM   #39
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I don't have gchildren (yet) but my brothers have three between them. DB1 sees his occasionally for a outing, movie, etc. Seems like a healthy relationship. He loves seeing the kids but also loves seeing them depart. His DIL is staying home with the kids.

DB2 is a different story. Daughter married, had a baby, and divorced all inside of two years. His DW is now a full time babysitter. DD has large mortgage and car payments, etc. and must work full time at a demanding job. DB2's other child is jobless, dropout, etc. They love the grandchild, but now they are likely to be the primary caregivers for this child.
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Old 01-29-2011, 08:34 AM   #40
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Wow! Some of these stories make me really appreciate my family and extended family and all that we share that makes our lives so much fuller. I guess you don't always realize what you have until you read about others in such pathetic, dysfunctional situations.
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