Grandparents

Lindsay - posted on 04/08/2010 ( 36 moms have responded )

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So how often, if ever, do the grandparents( or should the grandparents)babysit?

Should they be paid for their childminding services?

Do you allow input in your family/kids decision making by grandparents?

Do you ever feel like saying"my family/kids.....my way....my rules"?

Or do you appreciate and value their support and wisdom.....or are they overstepping the mark and interfering too much?

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Lindsay - posted on 04/11/2010

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My parents and Josh's have very different views on how they interact and spend time with their grandchildren. We understand and respect both sides and pretty much cater to thier needs. I totally understand that they've done thier times raising kids and now it's time for them to be grandparents, not parents again.

That being said, when my mother found out I was pregnant with my first, she immediately said, "Good, I'm retiring and am going to babysit. I couldn't stay home with my own kids but I will stay home with my grandkids." She knew I needed to work and that's what she wanted. After we talked it over and over and over some more, I told her OK. So from the time Madeline was about 3 months until she was 18 months, mom kept her while I worked. Then came Cooper. I knew the toll that have 2 so young would take on her so I made the decision to put them in daycare. For awhile, mom would call me at work midday and ask if she could pick them up for the afternoon because she missed them. This went on until her position she had left opened back up and she went back to work part-time. Now, my parents will randomly stop by or call to take them for a few hours or for a weekend. They see the kids with us a lot but they really enjoy that special time with them alone. I don't set up any rules with them. They know what they are doing. I am fine after all. They spoil them and probably let them have too much junk, but they are building memories. The bond my kids have with my parents is such a strong one. Even though they see each other so often, I can't get enough of seeing how mom and dad or Madeline and Cooper light up when they see each other. If they are staying the weekend with them, I always send some church clothes. Even though I don't regularly take them to church, I know my parents go every weekend and I don't expect them to alter that for me.

Then we have Josh's parents. They love their grandkids but are not babysitters. We respect that and don't ask them if we need a sitter. They are much happier having us come to visit for an hour or so once a week. But they want us there too.

We are very go with the flow people. It would cause way too much trouble for me to demand that Josh's parents be more like mine or mine be more like his. We let them set thier own plans and roles. It goes much more smoothly! =)

Krista - posted on 04/11/2010

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Krista how do you go with living next door to your in-laws. Is it a bit like Everybody Loves Raymond ?


No, thank heavens. They're actually really respectful of our privacy and we are of theirs. We don't just "pop by". We always call first, unless I happen to be out and see them outside, in which case I'd stop by to say hello. When it snows, my FIL is over plowing out our driveway with his tractor before we go to work. They're absurdly helpful and generous and cool and are just really great people -- I'm very, very fortunate.

Jess - posted on 04/11/2010

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One day they decided to change religions. So catholic was out and witnessing was in

Jess - posted on 04/11/2010

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Oh I wish they catholic, I could hande that. Nope they are Jehavous Witnesses !!

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I can't believe they actually go door to door " witnessing "......that's crazy! My mom's family are all devout Catholics, as are my dad's Polish side BUT NO ONE goes door to door! LOL!



Sorry, I don't mean to laugh but good luck with that! ;)



I'm here if you ever need to vent!

Jess - posted on 04/11/2010

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Oh, nothing we could say could move them on their religious point of view. They take my partners 13 year old "witnessing" with them, basically they drag him door to door to complete strangers homes and try to talk to them about their god.... over my dead body will Ava ever be doing that. We celebrate easter and christmas to their disbelief. It was funny when they saw our christmas tree, I could see them cringing. They use to be devout romain catholics.... oh they have soo been excommunicated now !!!

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Awww.....that is sad! Have you ever tried talking to them? Or getting ur ' hubby ' to talk to them?

Jess - posted on 04/11/2010

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My in-laws are the nicest people you will ever meet. And they adore my daughter, but they always put their religion first, even when she was in special care ! And they will never spend 1 cent more then they absolutly have to. If they give my daughter a biscuit, any thing that she drops or just doesn't eat my MIL will pick up and eat herself. She say's "why waste?" GROSS !!! My daughters soaky biscuits are not for anyone else's consumption. They live in a mini mansion, trust me they can afford to throw away half a biscuit.



It made me really sad when they choose a week long church meeting over my daughter when she was first born and in the special care. My parents drove the 2 hour round trip every day to visit her after work.

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Everybody Loves Raymond......HAHAHA! Love that show!



Jess: my mom's family is harsh Italian....LOL! Sounds like ur in-laws are pretty ol' skool?! Sorry to hear that! I've had a much different experience with my Italian relalatives! Good luck!

Jess - posted on 04/11/2010

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Dana, my inlaws speak Italian. They are lovely and they treat us very well but they are very budget consious, despite being super duper wealthy. So they have nothing for my daughter to play with and she gets bored and cranky there very easily. They could spare one of their 100 room for a playroom or nursery but they won't ! My parents on the other hand who don't have much money at all saved up during my whole pregnancy and used my dad's inheritance money to set up a nursery.



Neither set of grand parents live close enough to offer an kind of day care. My parents are in their very early forties so far from retirement age. They live an hour away. And my inlaws have been retired for over a decade now, but they are super busy with their church, we don't share their faith and are trying to keep our daughter away from it. They live 45 minutes away.



Krista how do you go with living next door to your in-laws. Is it a bit like Everybody Loves Raymond ?

Krista - posted on 04/10/2010

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My in-laws live next door, but I never assume that they'll babysit. Sam goes to daycare during the week, so our in-laws are more of a backup/emergency sitter, or if we want to go somewhere in the evening.



We've offered to pay, and they were insulted. :)



Bless their hearts, but they don't interfere in the LEAST with him. When they watch him, they always ask how we want things done, and never have they tried to undermine our authority.



My mom sometimes interferes, not in a mean way, though. For example, she wanted to buy him one of those Fisher-Price jobbies for his crib with the lights and the music and the fish and all that stuff. It was hard, and I felt like I was hurting her feelings, but I told her that I was worried that it might overstimulate him when he needs to sleep, and suggested another toy instead. Or when Sam was first born, she wanted to rock and sing him to sleep every night, and I had to tell her that I didn't want him getting too used to that, because once she left, he might still want Gran to rock him and sing to him, and then what would I do?



That's about as bad as it gets, though. I'm pretty lucky so far.

Patricia - posted on 04/10/2010

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Very rarely did I have my parents or anybody for that matter watch my children....but when they did watch them, I always said that since it was their house, my children were to follow their rules...as far as advice giving, I believe that it's because of how my parents raised me, that I was/am able to relate with and to my children. Simple things, like don't buy them something every time you go into a store, respect your elders....just like when we were all younger, we thought our parents knew nothing. As we got older, we were able to look back and realize that everything our parents said was true. And as far as payment, there are so many things one can do to help out. When my parents watched my children, I made sure they were fed, bathed, snacks, their favorite movie etc...in return, I would clean my parents house or any other favor if needed. I never had to have them watch my children too often, but appreciated the times that they did. My parents have a HUGE influence on my children..they respect them so much that even at 15 and 18, they still hug and kiss my parents..they enjoy their company as well...I guess I feel that if you have no other choice but to use your parents as babysitters, than in return, you need to do something for them...and yes, I believe that the support and advice from your parents can come in handy...only if they are coming to your house and trying to change the way you do things should you say something..Like anything, if it's advice...take it or leave it.

Sharon - posted on 04/10/2010

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When I lived near my mom she was one of my babysitter backups and sometimes my primary but I worked with her around her schedule and I did NOT expect it from her, she wanted to do this. She did not want to be paid. But I also had another primary caregiver who I did pay.

I trust my mom and would allow her to medical decisions for my kids. She knows I let my kids make their own decisions regarding certain things, hair, outfits, etc

SOMETIMES my mom gets to be a buttinsky. Like when she got pissed off because my 7 yr old said "Obama is great." My mother hates him. She called me all pissed off and I told her "DO NOT INVOLVE CHILDREN IN POLITICS." its such bullshit.

Generally I appreciate her advice & help.

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I agree with you Esther......if you're using either sets of grandparents as full time day care while you're working then I would definitely offer to pay at least half of what you'd be paying a daycare.....

Esther - posted on 04/10/2010

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I differ a little from the majority here. I think if you expect your parents to babysit on a regular basis, where in essence they function as daycare, and if you can afford it, you should at least offer to compensate them. I think there are a lot of people who take advantage of their parents. I see it with my cousin. My aunt & uncle absolutely adore their grandsons but they are not getting any younger and it is definitely a strain on them to watch them several days a week while they are at work or when my cousin and her husband go out or on vacation or whatever plans they have that do not involve the kids.



I have two separate friends who have their mother watch their son 5 days a week. One of them pays her mother $1600 a month, which is equal to what she would be paying a daycare center. I don't think that is unreasonable at all, particularly since the mom can use the income. The other friend had her mom move in with them so I guess she gets room & board.



It works for both of them to a degree but there are problems too. The friend who pays her mom has a mom who just does everything the way she sees fit, even if it is the polar opposite of what my friend wants her to do. The other friend has an amazing mom who is very unobtrusive and just wonderful, but she's not very apt at discipline and at stimulating her grandson - and he is now quite a bit behind in his speech (actually both of my friend's kids are). The latter friend's son's vocabularly has finally started to grow ever since my friend decided to start sending him to an actual daycare a few mornings a week).



I would not like to have to rely on my parents like that. I don't like owing anyone and I would feel like I did owe them. I also would not want to get into situations where I have to tell them to do something or stop doing something and have it cause friction between us.



I also worry that if you have your parents be the primary caregivers for a large portion of the week, they and the child lose that special "grandparent" role. Kids are supposed to be able to do things at grandma's house that they can't do at home - like have icecream in bed at midnight (that's what my grandma did when I was a kid). You lose that when grandma becomes another "mom", another disciplinarian.

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Good for you for setting boundaries early, Jess! Sorry bout the in-laws......what language do they speak?

Jess - posted on 04/10/2010

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My daughter has so many people asking to baby sit her, I could start leasing her out and make a profit !

My parents love having my daughter stay over, they even have a full nursery set up, including a fresh coat of paint and teddy bear wall paper to trim ! Its adorable. But my partners parents on the other hand only have the stuff we have given them, like a pak n play. Recently they bought a bag of nappies thats about it ! Neither set of grandparents would ever accept money for their baby sitting time though, I think it would insult them, thats just the way they are ! My parents want to babysit, they want to spoil her rotten.

There have been times when I have put my foot down and said no, like with solids. I wanted to be the first to feed her solids so I almost died when my mum tried to sneak her a finger of a gravy ! And my parents are very pro smacking, so I've made it clear that once my daughter is old enough to need punishments smacking is NOT allowed.

But in general my parents are great and as for my in-laws, well they mean well but we don't visit too often. They are much older and they don't speak much english. Not much fun is had there !

Tah - posted on 04/09/2010

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i think they should be able to babysit when they want to, and if you need help as long as they agree to it and enjoy it then it should be fine, i dont think they should be paid unless they need the money, or agree to it,some wold look at you funny if you even brought it up, i would do special gift cards and things like that. I def look to my parents for advice sometimes. I think my parents did a great job of raising us. Sometimes, i feel like my kids my rules, but thats if im just talking to my mom, anything she does with my children is fine, cause she has done with me and i am here to tell the tale, so its not like she smokes around them or gives them beer. I absolutely value their support and wisdom, I think maybe more people should.



here is where i know people will disagree, i see so many threads started about grandparents that i think are petty, like one about the grandmother speaking a second language to the child, i mean what in the world. why are your panties in a bunch, or the chick who didnt want cigarette smoke around the baby, ok i get that, but she smoked that good during her pregnancy..can you say hypocrite. I mean if they are doing someting to really hurt the child then fine, but sometimes moms get worked up over nothing. I mean one girl didnt want her mother(who was well off) to put money away in cds or something like that ( cant remember) for her because she might groe up and buy a car...i mean please lady you have 26 years to worry about it and if grandmom wants to spoil her, she prob will anyway. I think grandparents should be involved and allowed to be grandparents , let them spoil them a little and what not..geez..not to the point where they are pure rotten but a lollipop and a trip to the beach is not going to ruin your precious angel. I mean yes there are exceptions and boundaries, but there are well meaning good grandparents that are happy to be just that really want to help..so let them...geez....

?? - posted on 04/09/2010

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My parents live almost 3 hrs away. Mom comes here quite regularly to visit and spend the night or weekend with us. It's very rare that we go out when she is here because I want to spend time with her too, so usually, it's ALL of us going out. I think there's only been maybe a hand full of times since Gabe's been born that mom has watched him while we went out, and those times, once was for my birthday, once at Christmas so we could go shopping and the other couple times have been cause we forgot something for dinner so we ran to the store and got it while she watched Gabe.

Dad comes to visit every couple of months. He works up north though, so he's not home too often, when he is home, he comes to visit every other weekend. He's never babysat Gabe but he has put him in a stroller and went for a walk.

Devons parents we see almost everyday. We have been living in their basement for just over a year now and we'll be here until July. If we just have to run to the store, Gabe will go upstairs and spend time with his grandparents, we're back within 30 minutes and he doesn't even realize we were gone. They have babysat maybe a hand full of times too. For birthdays or anniversaries where we were going to dinner with friends or just by ourselves.

We've never spent the night away from him and I honestly have no idea how any of us will react to that but I think when that does happen there will be a hard time figuring out who he will stay with.

The only time I see them watching him as babysitting is when we have plans and we specifically ask them if they can watch him for a couple hours while we go to a movie or to dinner. And whenever we do that, we schedule it around their schedule, we ask them if there is anything we can get for them while we're out, if they would like to be paid and they always look at us like we're nuts. We usually bring home a dessert for them or offer to buy them dinner or ask if there's anything they would like from where ever we're having dinner.

But all those other times, where he's playing upstairs or dad has gone for a walk with him, I just see it as them spending time with their grandson. My parents come here to see him, we go there to see them, they spend time together. Devons parents come downstairs to see him, we go up there to see them and they spend time together.

When we move into our house there will be a bit of an adjustment not having his grandparents upstairs and I'm sure there will be plenty of times where we stop by here and drop him off to play while we go run errands and then pick him up again on our way home, we'll probably stop and visit too before going home. But I see it more as a 'playdate' than 'babysitting'. Unless, we're dropping him off and we have scheduled plans with them to watch him while we'll be gone for a couple hours and we can't take him with us.

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My parents see our daughter almost every day......I'm very close and spend a lot of time with my mom! My in-laws probably see her a couple times a week on average......they live a half hour away but we both make the effort to get together as often as their work schedules allow! * NOTE * My hubby works out of province and is away for sometimes months at a time! My in-laws are the only family our daughter sees on a regular basis because her daddy is away the majority!



If you're using the grandparents as a daycare, with a set daily schedule 5 days a week while ur at work then maybe but I don't believe they NEED to be compensated for their services! Each family needs to determine healthy boundaries! I guess it depends on each family but isn't that what grandparents are for?? LOL! Free babysitting!?



I would definitely allow advice from grandparents on both sides, AS LONG AS it's offered in a constructive and positive manner! Ultimately my hubby and myself make the decisions together!



Do I ever feel like saying, " my family, my kids.....my way....my rules " ?.......ABSOLUTELY and I'm pretty sure I have! LOL! My family knows how to offer constructive advice/criticism BUT also knows when it's time to keep their opinions to themselves! So far everyone has respected these boundaries and I hope it continues!?



I definitely LOVE, RESPECT, APPRECIATE and VALUE the SUPPORT and WISDOM of both my parents as well as my in-laws! I feel that I'm truly blessed and I know there's a lot of families with situations VERY different from mine! I couldn't imagine having a miserable relationship with my parents or my in-laws! What's that saying? .......It takes a village.....?

Jocelyn - posted on 04/09/2010

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My father will take Conner for a sleep over about every two weeks. My mother has offered to watch Conner, but when ever we ask she says she's busy, so we've stopped asking. Her loss. My dh's mom watches both kids on Wednesdays when I am working and my hubby has rugby practice. We don't pay them (they refuse) so we always get them really good presents lol (for christmas, birthday etc). They don't really have a direct say in how our kids are raised, but I am open to any idea's that they might have. The both are really good at following the kids schedule, so we've never really had a problem with that either. My MIL does get a little worried sometimes about overstepping her bounds, but really she hasn't (for instance she got all worried that she was invading my space by coming over to cook thanksgiving dinner; but I don't cook so she was more than welcome!)

Rosie - posted on 04/09/2010

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i don't think they should be forced to babysit, but i don't believe they should be paid when they do offer to babysit or if you ask them to. i don't understand how a grandparent would want money to be around their grandkids anyway.

i occasionally ask my parents to watch the kids while we go on a date. it's never been while i go out to drink, or party or anything (that rarely happens anyway. it's been since jan. since i drank, and the time before that was probably august). my husband and i took our "honeymoon" 6 years late last august. my mother watched the boys for 3 days, his grandparents watched them for 2 days, and my best friend ad her hubby watched them for one day. his mother couldn't be bothered, and it really pissed me off. why wouldn't you want to be around your grandchildren (she rarely sees them, and lives like 3 blocks away), and why wouldn't you want to help your son and daughter in law out and let them have a honeymoon they never got to have? she really irritates me.

as for having them abide by my rules, the only one i get angry about is their water intake. my kids all have a disorder that causes them to want to drink massive amounts of water. they do need it, but just not as much as my parents give them. when they have to much, they will either get water intoxicated and vomit, and they end up peeing , and peeing and peeing. and with one kid who still pees the bed, and one still in diapers it's not very conveinant for them to drink like little mad men. but my parents feel guilty i think if they don't let them have water. i understand that, i felt like that at first, until i had to clean up puke, and pee all the time, and realized my kids electrolytes were getting waaaay off balance. i found a perfect medium, my kids electrolyte checks are always great, and they havn't vomited from water intoxication in a long time-i'd like it to stay that way. however i do understand why they do it, and it is the only problem i have with them. they don't interfere in our parenting styles and say this way is better or anything, so i guess i'm pretty lucky!! :)

Sarah - posted on 04/09/2010

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Most of you guys are SO lucky! LOL.
My Mum very, very rarely babysits. She lives about an hour and half away. If i ask her to babysit overnight, then she will come to me and look after them. She has never offered tho.
My mum comes down once every 2 weeks, she see's my youngest each time, but eldest is usually at school. This week my Mum had my eldest while i went to work, so they had a good few hours just them which they both really enjoyed!

My Dad takes my eldest to school for me every morning so he see's us all every week day which is nice. I REALLY appreciate him doing that for me (having driving lessons now so he'll be redundant soon! hehe)

My husbands parents see the kids most Sundays, but we always go round for lunch too, so they don't babysit. It's nice to have a family lunch most weeks tho.

If i do need someone to babysit overnight, i usually ask my Dad's ex girlfriend (long story! lol) she's FAB and i've known her since i was 10 and she's great with the kids. She has a new man though now who has his own kids, so we don't see so much of each other.

To me it seems like in my family, everyone is busy doing their own thing, so spending time together as an extended family has fallen by the wayside. It does make me sad.
Hopefully once i can drive, i will be able to go visit more easily and stuff and it will be easier to see everyone.

Jodi - posted on 04/09/2010

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Wow, you are all really lucky to have your families so close!!! My in-laws live about 1 1/2 hours drive away, but they are in their 80s and not in the best of health, so I really can't leave the kids with them for extended periods. My parents live about 7 hours drive away, so not even an option. They have not retired, so still work for a fair bit of the year (seasonal work). We see them about 4 or 5 times a year for 2 or 3 days at a time. Occasionally, the will come to our place and babysit the kids for a week while hubby and I get away on our own, but that might be once every 2 or 3 years. So really, I don't consider them regular enough babysitters to interfere with any of our parenting in any way.

So basically, the kids' grandparents spoil them rotten when they see them!! I'm ok with that, even if they are here a week. I even let the kids skip a day or two of school if their grandparents are here, because we don't see them often, we want to enjoy every moment of it :)

Many times I have wished my mum lived closer, especially when I was doing it on my own with my son after my first marriage broke down. I used to listen to other mothers complaining about their mother or mother in-law doing this wrong, or that wrong when looking after the kids, and I really felt like screaming at them "just think yourselves bloody lucky you have family to be able to help you when you need it!!!". I was tempted at the time to move back near home, but my job was here, and so was my son's father, so it really wouldn't have worked that way either.

So yeah, the grandparents can spoil my kids as much as they like when they see them!!!

Joanna - posted on 04/08/2010

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My mother-in-law watches my 2 year old whenever I need her to, really, within reason... she works until 2 pm during the week, so if I need to make an appointment she'll come over and watch her. Or, if my husband and I do the very rare date night, she'll watch her for a couple hours on the weekend. She has never mentioned being paid, I think if it was something that was regular that might be an option but she's never said anything about it, and I think she just enjoys being able to spend time with her grandchild. She also never really gives any imput on the parenting aspect or tries to break any rules we have. She is the perfect mother-in-law, really. She's there when I need her and she knows we love and respect and appreciate her and I think she just enjoys being a spoiling grandmother!

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ours watches her at least 1 day on the weekendif not busy and occasionally overnight.she does it free.shes always giving us advice,if i agree i'll take it if not i just listen and go along and if not then i wont use it. i dont ever have to say that to her tho, i let her do what she wants when she has her.i dont have my mom around so shes like my mom and i am glad when she gives advice or helps out.

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My mom takes my son overnight about 3-4 times a month. I don't pay her, but I do take care of her monthly phone bill, and I always treat her to dinner when I pick him up. Briefly, when I worked and we didn't have a nanny, she kept him 20-30 hours a week, obviously, I paid her for that, but much less than I ever paid our nanny.
My mom-in-law asks to keep my son for a few hours a couple times a month, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on her schedule.
They both keep him according to their schedules, it's not like I can just call them and say "I've got something going on, could you keep him Thursday night?" or something like that. They get him when they ask for them, unless there is an emergency, then I can almost always count on them.

Kylie - posted on 04/08/2010

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My mum and dad have my oldest for a sleep over on average one night per week. They would never expect payment and I've never offered. My mum always offers her opinions and input and usually i just smile and listen I'm not the type to say my rules my way to her. My mum adores the kids and would do anything for them..she spoils them rotten which can be a bad thing like when I've asked her not to feed my daughter cool drink and lollies but she still does it occasionally. My mum walks a fine line..i really do appreciate her support but she does over step the mark sometimes though she has gotten a lot better since the second child.
My inlaws are the polar opposites of my parents they have babysat twice and we see them on average once ever 2 months ..they are great with the kids for the 4-5 hours we visit then we don't hear from them for weeks..My MIL always asks me before she offers the kids any food or toys or does anything with them. I've told her how i feel about my mum making me feel like she knows better than me so i think she tries hard to be the opposite.

Caitlin - posted on 04/08/2010

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My mom loves watching the kids! She gets to spend time with her grandkids, and because she lives 14 hours away, when she comes into town and stays with us, she's always there to watch them so I can go out and get stuff done or have a nice romantic dinner with the hubby (we have one planned for may, i'm sooo looking forward to it). If she lived closer, she'd watch the kids more often, because she loves it, and i'd never dream of paying her, because she talks about it for weeks afterwards, so the experience is enough for her. I listen to other peoples input, but honestly don't get much unless I ask. Because our oldest has a ton of allergies, i've avoided most of the discussions about what and how I feed her and there are no problems with my kids being spoiled with food, because tankfully she's allergic to most junk. My mother-in-law on the other hand would not be allowed to keep my kids, she's very passive, she tends to make my daughter cry (she's at that shy stage) and she has NO IDEA about allergies or honestly raising kids at all because she didn't raise her own kids, she ignored them and let them fend for themselves, and I will not have that for my daughters.

All the people that watch the kids know to follow my rules and schedules, or they wont be watching my kids again.. That and not following my rules could have fatal resualts, so most people follow my instructions to the letter for fear of doing something wrong!

Charlie - posted on 04/08/2010

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My mum has Cooper overnight once a week , should she be paid ? no she offered it .

Do i allow input ? yes but Jamie and i make the decisions .

I constantly tell mum mum she must use my methods of discipline or not have him at all , shes a spanker , i am most defiantly against it , i explain my methods and reasons shes starting to get it .



I very much appreciate her support and value her input .



As for dad he hasn't had cooper stay over his place yet as he is in Chemo but he regurlay comes over and plays with him takes him to the beach so its really nice .



Oh yeah if mum had it her way she would have Coop all the time !! she even gets upset when we pick him up to take him home as if we are doing it to hurt her LOL .

ME - posted on 04/08/2010

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My mom babysits a lot...but she LOVES IT! She has been waiting for grand kids since we all started moving out 20 years ago...she finally has three. NOW...I don't ask very often, I usually wait for her to ask if she can have the two year old for the night (about once a month). She has not had Mayah alone yet (6 1/2 weeks old), but she does keep my sister's 3 1/2 month old almost every day for a couple hours in the evening, and she kept my son last year one or two days a week while I was teaching. She and my dad raised 5 kids, and did a pretty great job. I am very happy to listen when they talk, that doesn't mean that my decisions are based only on their input, but I don't think it hurts to listen! My dad never "butts in", but I have felt like telling my mom to butt out once or twice...always having to do with Religious issues. She means well tho, and I try to remember that...

Ez - posted on 04/08/2010

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Being a single mother, my parents, and in fact my whole family, have been invaluable to me. My Mum has my daughter while I work 2 days a week. My step-father has her while Mum and I go to our weekly Weight Watchers meeting. My Nana lives 2 blocks away, and although I don't leave my daughter with her for extended periods of time now that she's so big and strong and prone to the odd tantrum (Nana's only a tiny lady), I know if I need to duck out for an hour or so (like to the hairdresser), my Nana is only too willing to help. Even my 26 year old brother offers to babysit, and has done several times when Mum hasn't been able to have her while I worked (he is a shift-worker).

I don't think family members need to be paid for watching my daughter, but then I don't take advantage of the situation either. I never just assume they will be able to watch her - they all have lives too. Just recently I actually turned down a dinner invitation because I felt guilty that Mum had already had Milla one night that week while I had something else on. It was her that insisted I go, and she came and sat with Milla at our place.

There haven't been too many cases of anyone overstepping their mark, and that's probably because I'm confident in my parenting decisions. Of course I have asked for advice at various times, but everyone respects my role as Mum. The only conflicts I've had so far have been the ongoing discussion regarding getting Milla baptised (my Dad's family are Catholic), and the odd 'oh she needs a smack' comment. Both times I have respectfully voiced my stance on the issue - no she won't be getting baptised, and no I won't smack her - and it's been left at that. I do believe that when you leave your child in the care of someone else, that they are entitled to an opinion. But it doesn't mean you are obliged to follow it, or that they should nag about it.

Amie - posted on 04/08/2010

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My in-laws walk across the street and watch the kids whenever we need them too. My parents take the kids for extended periods during long school breaks. We've offered money but they got offended. So in return I cook for my in-laws and just give groceries to my parents when they pick them up. Our kids eat a lot after all. LOL!

They have no say in how the kids are raised though. It is very much, our kids, our rules.. don't like it, there's the door. Both sets had some issues adjusting to that but it didn't take them long to come around. Especially after I asked them how they liked it when their parents tried to interfere. You don't have to agree with us but you do have to respect our choices for our children.

I have no problem with advice when it's asked for. Constantly butting in though and trying to get us to do things there way, no dice. I will ask when I need your help.

It took 2 years after having my oldest for my parents to get that message and they've done well with leaving us be to raise them. His parents, they still have their moments and it's going on 5 years now... but when I tell them they're overstepping they back down. =)

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I agree with LaCi on this one. I appreciate what my parents and in-laws do. They love to babysit my daughter and are always willing and ready when I ask. In fact, sometimes they ask me when they can babysit. To them, it's not babysitting, it's spending quality time with the granddaughter they love. And they don't overstep their boundaries. I parent very similarly to the way my mom parented so there is no problem there. My MIL and SIL do things a little differently, but we've worked through the differences. One ex. I breastfed, but MIL asked if she could buy formula so my daughter could stay with her for several days. I said no to the formula, but okay to the staying. I just pumped like crazy. We compromised because having happy healthy relationships are more important than being "right". And who wants to be in a power struggle with a family member?

LaCi - posted on 04/08/2010

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My boyfriends mom watches him 2 days a week while I'm in classes. My parents take him out on sundays. and occassionally my grandmother wants him on a friday for a couple hours. He actually goes out quite a bit lol. I appreciate it VERY much. I didn't want to put him in daycare on school days and I'm very happy he gets to stay with family, the other days allow me to get some real work done-studying, yard work, mega-cleaning, etc. It's extremely nice of them to do so, and they love having him around.



They also never step over any boundaries as far as rules or anything. They respect my decisions as a parent and have always asked my permission before doing things i may not agree with. I actively seek advice, so they never give unwanted opinions. If I don't agree with them I'll let them know, but I appreciate feedback from everyone with parenting experience.

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