3
   

Grandparent issue

 
 
4thtwin
 
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2021 09:22 am
I've got a question. How much involvement should a grandparent have with their grandchild?

This may seem like a loaded question but here's my dilemma. When I met my wife a number of years ago she had 2 sons from her first marriage. I had a daughter from a previous relationship. I got full custody of my daughter when she was about 2 years old and it was me and her against the world. I made sure she had everything she needed. Mom was in the picture but not that much of a presence in her life. My goal was to get her through high school and college without having a baby. I succeeded. She graduated college a few years ago. Last year on my birthday she gave me a card to say that I was going to be a granddaddy again. My wife's oldest son, my step-son, has 2 kids by two different women and I love his oldest to death. The other child's mom won't let us see that baby so we've not seen her in almost 2 years.

Well, when my daughter gave birth she moved back home with us for about a month because she had to have a c-section and needed time to recoop. I had constant contact with my new granddaughter. My wife, on the other hand wasn't too happy with an extra person in the house. She tends to be a private person and doesn't want many people in our house even the kids and grandkids. My daughter went back to her apt but during the covid crisis I, along with my mom and sister decided it was not the best idea to put the baby in daycare so we are splitting up watching her during the day. Me, my wife, and my sister are working from home. My parents are retired so we're splitting babysitting duties so my daughter can go back to work after maternity leave. She works at a car lot so she doesn't have a normal Mon-Fri, 9 - 5 job. She typically works every weekend but has a few days off during the week. My wife hates that we have my/our granddaughter every weekend. She feels the baby is taking time away from my time with her. I love having this baby around but my wife feels my daughter needs to find another babysitter on the weekends so she and I can have our time back. My wife and I spend enough time together and I don't think having a baby with us on Sat or Sun is stopping us from doing anything. We typically go shopping or out to eat. Nothing like bungee jumping a hang gliding where we can't watch a newborn. I honestly think she's trying to limit my contact with my granddaughter so she can have me all to herself. What grandparent doesn't want to spend time with their grandbaby? I've discussed it with her but she thinks the baby is here too much. Am I wrong?
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Question • Score: 3 • Views: 633 • Replies: 42
No top replies

 
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2021 10:01 am
@4thtwin,
There's no right or wrong in this. It's just how everyone feels about it. I understand your wife not wanting the baby there the whole weekend, and it's not because she wants to go bungee-jumping. It's an intrusive presence in her life. The baby needs a lot of care and attention and maybe at her age your wife feels she's done with raising kids.

I know you want to help your daughter, but you live with your wife.

What you should do is really only for you to say.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2021 10:06 am
@4thtwin,
Well, she may feel this situation was just dumped on her without her input. And, be honest: when your grandchild is over, how much of the scut work do you do? I don't mean taking her to the park or reading to her and other pleasant activities - I mean changing a diaper, dealing with her if she won't eat, etc. You know, the chores, which can often be messy and/or loud. If those are all or mostly falling to your wife, then she's probably none too thrilled to be going through an instant replay of new motherhood, 20-30 years later, when her back and knees hurt more, and she's long ago come to the conclusion that banging on pots isn't amusing.

That's not a lack of interest or affection - it's a person who wants their life back.

If you are doing the majority of the heavy lifting (perhaps even literally), then your wife has less of an argument, although she's still going to be woken up if the baby cries in the middle of the night, etc. But if you aren't doing the lion's share of this work, then it's about time you started.

If you want it to be easier for your granddaughter to be around, you're going to have to step up.

Oh, and PS, having other childcare arrangements (assuming they are affordable) is a good idea anyway. What if either of you get sick or injured? Or you want to go on an actual vacation? Your granddaughter would benefit from more interactions with other people - and it would be best if she met an alternate sitter long before you need the alternate sitter to step in.
Mame
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2021 10:25 am
@jespah,
Even if grandpa is doing all the heavy lifting, the child is there too much for his wife. Even if she did nothing towards the child care, she can't just say, 'let's go for a walk' because the child is napping. I would be mighty resentful to have my time dictated by someone else's child, even if it were my own grandchild.

I think the baby is there too much for her. A couple of hours here and there, sure, but the entire weekend? And who knows how many other days?

Spending time with grandchildren is great, but to be committed to every single weekend would not go down well with me.

She's done her time raising kids; she wants her life back.
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2021 10:26 am
@Mame,
You'll get no argument from me
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2021 10:46 am
@4thtwin,
The amount of involvement from a grandparent really depends on the family situation - what the parents and grandparents want.

I think I am on the other side, but with more limits. BUT it depends on a lot of things that I/we don't really know.

Is your granddaughter there the entire weekend? I was taking it that she was there just while your daughter was working and not the entire weekend. I think if she were just there while your daughter was working it wouldn't be so bad.

How do you feel about having your granddaughter there? Do you want her there or is she being dumped there because there is no one else (or you are a freebie babysitter)?

Like others said are you fully taking care of the baby? Maybe talk with her wife and have some sort of compromise. I mean she is only going to be a baby for so long so I can understand you wanting to be there while she is a baby. Is there an end in sight when you would not be watching her every weekend - this might help if you have an end point for your wife. Also, could you change it up so it is not every weekend? To me part of it is it is every weekend so maybe do every other weekend or once a month.

I honestly think there is a compromise in there. Every weekend in your wife's defense (even if you are working from home - you are still working) you need some downtime. Having a baby is a full time job and if you are both working full time during the week whether at home or not - this mean you are working 7 days a week. Babies are wonderful, but they are constant work - I suggest working out a compromise and cutting out at the very least every weekend.

Quote:
I don't think having a baby with us on Sat or Sun is stopping us from doing anything


YOU don't think - but she may think otherwise. You do need to consider her feelings as you have a partnership. I would hope if you give a little she may as well. Be considerate of her feelings and she is more likely to bend a bit and maybe even welcome the baby.
4thtwin
 
  0  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2021 12:34 pm
@jespah,
In regards to the "grunt" work I'm doing most of that. I have no problem changing a baby, giving her a bath, feeding her, putting her to sleep, dressing her, etc. I was comfortable doing it when I had my daughter all to myself and I'm still comfortable with it now. And she's not here 24/7. She does go home with her mom at night. Her mom drops her off in the morning on her way to work and then picks her up later in the afternoon. AND, we're not keeping her 7 days a week. A few days she may be at my parent's house, her great-grandparents and my mom will watch her a day or so. Or she'll be with my sister, her great-aunt a day or so each week. We're all sharing the duties of watching her. Yes, typically on the weekend she's here with us. Since she was born and since they went home after her c-section recovery she's only spent the night with us once. And that was because mom got off late and had to be back at work early the next morning so I told her to just leave her here for the night. Prior to her being born my wife and I converted one of our spare bedrooms, after all the kids left, into a bedroom for our older 5 year old granddaughter and we also purchased a crib for the baby. So there was a plan in place for her to be here with us and even spend the night. She's only 3 months old and at that age kids are still pretty much in the sleeping phase.
0 Replies
 
4thtwin
 
  0  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2021 12:38 pm
@Linkat,
Let me clarify. When I say we have her on the weekends that doesn't mean from Fri till Mon. She's only here when my daughter works. She may go to work at 10 AM Sat morn and she'll drop her off around 9:30 then she comes back and gets her after she gets off work. It's not a continual 72 hours straight.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2021 12:43 pm
@4thtwin,
That still doesn't address the way your wife feels. Maybe trade a weekend day for a week day with one of the other carers. Or maybe just say one day on the weekends. Maybe your wife will have suggestions.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2021 01:13 pm
@Mame,
Mame wrote:

That still doesn't address the way your wife feels. Maybe trade a weekend day for a week day with one of the other carers. Or maybe just say one day on the weekends. Maybe your wife will have suggestions.


Agreed - I think it is wonderful for you to be able to spend so much time with your granddaughter - and personally I love the idea of a baby with a family member rather than a day care situation (but that is me, personally and I had that advantage my kids were infants).

Any way - there are two people involved - you and your wife so you do need to consider her feelings. My take - now granted I am coming completely from a point where I do not know either of you - just a hunch - is your wife probably wants a day with just you. You should consider yourself lucky that she does want time with you. I think you showing a little bend on your side and that you do consider her feelings could go a long way.

But ask her - let her know you understand she is not happy with the situation as it stands. You want to work with her and see what you could do to compromise - to ensure the baby gets the care she needs while you make time for the two of you as a couple.
0 Replies
 
4thtwin
 
  0  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2021 02:15 pm
@Mame,
We do. She's not here everyday. My daughter usually is off 2 days during the week so she keeps her baby at home. Maybe another day she is with my mom, or another day she may be with my sister. If' she's here 3 or 4 days a week then my wife assumes she's been here 7 days.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2021 03:02 pm
@4thtwin,
Can I ask what age group you're in? Maybe your wife isn't into babysitting or having a little one around that much.

Also, could your daughter not afford to pay for a couple of days of daycare? It seems you two are doing the bulk of the sitting, with your mom and sister doing one day each.

I was suggesting you ask your mom or sister to trade their day for a weekend day so your wife will see you're listening to her. Just give up one of the weekend days.

Your daughter is extremely lucky that she has so many family members willing to care for her daughter; not many people have that much support. I hope she doesn't take advantage of it.

Surely she can afford to pay for a day of daycare each week.

PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jun, 2021 01:39 pm
Make sure you plan a fun and exciting day with your wife on your “ free” days.

It sounds like there might be a little resentment from your wife about the time and effort you put into the care of this child.

Go away for the nite at a nice vacation spot. Indulge her in her hobby.

Re: babysitting - I would not provide care two consecutive days. Mother needs to provide care for this child once in a while. And your wife needs her home to be for you two. You can always go to care for the child at your daughters home, too. The child needs to bond with her own home and bed.

0 Replies
 
4thtwin
 
  0  
Reply Mon 21 Jun, 2021 01:47 pm
@Mame,
Again, that baby is not here every day. 2 days a week my daughter is off work so she keeps her daughter at home. In addition to us keeping her she's also with my sister (her great-aunt) and my mom (her great-grandma). My wife tends to think that if we keep her 3 days a week then she's here 7 days a week.

Yes, we do typically have her on the weekends because neither of us are working. We still do our running around and things like that but typically now we have a stroller with us. On Sundays we'll take her to church and then I'll take her with me to my parent's house where the rest of the family is always gathered and we all enjoy here there. My wife is typically home alone that day because she doesn't like coming around my family. She says we're too loud of a crowd when we get together.
4thtwin
 
  0  
Reply Mon 21 Jun, 2021 01:48 pm
@Mame,
And you can't just pay for day care only for the days she goes. You pay for the full week to hold your spot whether she goes 5 days or 2 days.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Jun, 2021 02:03 pm
@4thtwin,
Well it is bothering your wife and she is half the partnership - you don't seem like you want to compromise but just confirmation that you are right.

It is not matter of being right or wrong. And I am of the mindset of it would be better for a baby to be with family members...but your wife should have a say. It does impact her -- personally I think if you were willing to compromise a bit she would as well.

But I don't think that is what you are looking for - you are looking for others to agree with you.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Jun, 2021 03:33 pm
@4thtwin,
4thtwin wrote:

My wife tends to think that if we keep her 3 days a week then she's here 7 days a week.


You've said that twice now and I don't even know what that means. How can 3 days be 7?

4thtwin wrote:

My wife is typically home alone that day because she doesn't like coming around my family. She says we're too loud of a crowd when we get together.


So it's really 2.5 days for your wife.

I agree with Linkat that you just want agreement. I suggested the following earlier and you didn't respond:

"I was suggesting you ask your mom or sister to trade their day for a weekend day so your wife will see you're listening to her. Just give up one of the weekend days."

Can you not do that? Or does your mother and sister work weekends?

And can't she find a babysitter for a day a week? Not daycare, but a babysitter. Really, this problem is your daughter's. Or a friend she can pay? Put an ad on Craig's List or Kijiji.

But I would definitely not be liking to have to look after or have a young 'un that young around 3 (not 7) days a week for so many hours. It would cramp my style and maybe be a little annoying. I've done my parenting and it's not like the child is 8 and can amuse itself or play cards with others.
0 Replies
 
glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Jun, 2021 06:43 pm
@4thtwin,
It sounds like you successfully solved your earlier problem https://able2know.org/topic/542943-1
or am I'm thinking of another 4thwin?
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jun, 2021 04:27 am
@glitterbag,
Good catch, GB.

How can this guy have all this time to chase some tease when he's got a wife, a job, and 3 days of babysitting? Does he think his wife will babysit while he runs out to the Motel 6?
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Jun, 2021 05:26 am
@Mame,
Well that explains a lot. He didn't seem concerned about his wife 2 years ago and even in another situation he doesn't seem concerned about his wife's feelings now.

Sounds to me to be type that wants what he wants and that is it.
 

 
  1. Forums
  2. » Grandparent issue
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 07/28/2021 at 06:05:52