Author Topic: Overnight stays with Grandchildren?  (Read 2324 times)

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Offline Ruth

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Overnight stays with Grandchildren?
« on: August 22, 2011, 03:16:13 PM »
 I'm lately feeling a lot of pressure from my DD regarding my two GS staying over night with us on the weekend.   My DD is recently divorced.   Father keeps GSs every other weekend, so she has two w/e a month to socialize and see her friends out late if she wants.  My DH and I don't stay up late, we aren't retired and pottering around the house.  My DH works 50-60 hrs a week, and I manage my own business.  I deeply love and enjoy my GSs, both of them age 13 and 17.   They are real good boys, but the older one wants to stay over just to hang out with my DH (actually his step grandfather).  DH has told me he is not up to over nighters.  He says he feels he's still at work, because he has to be witty, clever, and always entertaining.  The boys don't come over and entertain themselves, we've been 'conditioned' to take them out to eat, find interesting things to do and talk about, activities, etc.  This is great occasionally, but we'd like to initiate it whenever possible, instead of being asked in a covert, complaining kind of way that seems to be aimed at inflicting guilt.   I'm feeling strained about this.  I don't remember any of our generations having grandma or grandpa entertain and keep grandchildren from being bored.  They (we) brought our toys, books, games whatever and just hung out with the grandparents.  I somewhat resent DD telling me they are  bored, and putting a guilt trip on me that we don't 'keep them over'.  I spend a lot of time with my GS, and have never neglected being active and lovingly involved in their lives.  I don't like overnight stays however.  Also, my house is too hot right now, as the upstairs doesn't have a/c.  Also, they live one mile away.  I have responded to DD that it would be fine for her to plan to go out, and just let me know a few days ahead and we'd plan to have the boys until 11pm on a Sat night.  DD says just forget it,  that ruins everything.  DH says most Moms don't even get one w/e a month to themselves, and he thinks its selfish.   Does anyone else have this kind of issue?  It really is more with DD than GSs.  I don't think its parents jobs to keep children from being bored.   If the 17 yr old got a part time job, he'd be much less bored in my opinion!   We are exhausted from cookouts, and sunday dinners, and always trying to be on our toes.  I feel a lot of pressure to be a good g/p as I made such a mess of being a Mom.  I don't know how to run interference and don't want to tell my GS no or cause further conflict with DD.  I feel guilty that I'm not having the boys over on the w/e but I also feel I can't put DH into a role he doesn't feel up to. 

Offline pam1

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Re: Overnight stays with Grandchildren?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2011, 03:35:48 PM »
Ruth, I don't think you should feel guilty!  I completely agree with you, grandparents aren't built in babysitters.  13 and 17 seem kinda old for sleepovers anyway, does DD not let them out with their friends?
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Offline Begonia

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Re: Overnight stays with Grandchildren?
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2011, 03:58:14 PM »
Hi Ruth:  I resonated with what you mentioned about your DD only having the children every other w/e.  My DD was in the same situation and I would bet that overall the two girls (myGDs) have spent less time at my DD home than they have with their dad, his family, me, my ex-H family, etc. I do think my youngest GD has felt really pushed aside by her mother's eagerness to unload her on one or another of us while she and her new husband have their "alone" time. 

It sounds like you are looking at all the angles. And I would imagine it's tough having them live so close too.  You have sure listed quite a few valid reasons why this is not going to work and resentment is right up there on the list....  I know that resentment with me has built and built because I let things go way too long with my DD.  Good luck finding your way.  And how wonderful that your GS are nice boys...good for you!!
Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Sassy

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Re: Overnight stays with Grandchildren?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2011, 04:08:34 PM »
I too am having difficulty imagining modern teenage boys wanting to spend entire weekends with their grandparents.

DD only wants to spend one weekend a month with her sons.  And she's trying to pack you for a parenting guilt trip?

They live a mile away, and her reply to watching them (I mean, entertaining them) all day and until an 11 PM pick up is "forget it, that would ruin everything"?  Overnights or nothing?  This isn't advice, but possible insight.  The last thing this is about is your GSs.  DD had a loveless marriage, at least for the last few years.  My guess is DD has a new love now, and she is making up for lost time. She's decided you're supposed to watch the children for her so she can persue her new interest....in nighttime privacy. 

Don't feel guilty for not accepting the offer to sacrafice your personal life for hers. 

If GS 17 tells you he's bored, ask him if he's thought about what kind of jobs he might enjoy doing. 



Offline Pooh

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Re: Overnight stays with Grandchildren?
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2011, 07:22:10 AM »
I bet the GS's enjoy your company so much because they do get attention from you guys that they are not getting from their Mother.  At that age, they recognize they are being pawned off and I feel very bad for them.  No, it's not your fault or responsibility, but I can't help feeling sorry for them in this situation.

I think everything you are doing with them is far more than many GP's would do to spend time with them.  I think your offer was more than fair to keep them to 11 and her comment to you just made me mad!

P.S.  I asked my Mother maybe once every three months to have my children overnight.  It would only be for a special occasion or event and she loved it.  My MIL would ask for them about once a month for an overnight.  Other than that, they were always with us!  We visited alot with them to both sets of GPs, but we went too and did all the parenting things (fix them a plate, clean them up, get onto them) so they could enjoy them.  I didn't consider my parents or his parents as babysitters.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

Offline Scoop

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Re: Overnight stays with Grandchildren?
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2011, 08:40:22 AM »
The only scenario that makes sense is the one where she wants to entertain an overnight visitor - good catch Sassy!

I would totally play dumb on this.  "But ... but ... DD, WHY do they have to spend the night?  Even if you want to go out, they can spend the evening at home alone.  We're only a mile away if they have an emergency.  And all their gaming systems ect are at home!  I just don't understand WHY they have to spend the night HERE.  I'm sure they'd rather wake up in their own beds.  But ... but ... WHY?"

Although, I do think it's to her credit that she doesn't want to entertain overnight visitors with her sons around.  It would set a bad example.

Belle

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Re: Overnight stays with Grandchildren?
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2011, 08:46:01 AM »
Sassy & Scoop are right - the "overnight guest" is really the only scenario that makes sense.  But doesn't she have 2 OTHER weekends out of the month to do that????  It sounds like she needs to take that medicine.  Divorced parents juggle their  custody schedules all the time, she needs to learn how to do that.

Offline Pen

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Re: Overnight stays with Grandchildren?
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2011, 09:07:21 AM »
I hope a way can be found to assure the boys they are loved by their GPs while getting their mom to see she's got to manage her social life w/o depending on her Ps. Awkward all around, for sure.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline Ruth

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Re: Overnight stays with Grandchildren?
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2011, 10:11:36 AM »
DD is still very childish.  Also has always been a princess.  Motto in the home was 'if Mama ain't happy nobody ain't happy', and they always laughed about this and thought it was funny.  I always thought it was sad, and I think it explains a lot about the divorce.  Grandsons are also immature for their age, but as I said, sweet, pleasant boys and no behavior problems. The older one is starved for a mature male role model and he's lonely with dad gone. 

Today I spent the morning with Grandsons and we had a nice outing.  For the past two or three years I've tried to make Tues our day together when I could manage- which is most of the time, and I decided that when this stay over issue comes up again I'm going to talk to the boys and explain how their g/f is tired after long work week, and help them to understand without trying to deal with DD. I'm not sure that the sleepover issue isn't even coming from grandsons but from DD, they might not even be really asking, but it might be 'suggested'.  I think I also just have to inure myself to DD's tirades and temper tantrums.   Good idea about the boyfriend, duh, I hadn't even thought of that.  what the heck is wrong with me that I don't think of these things?   Today I helped older g/s fill out a job application.  You wouldn't believe how it looked when we started working on it.  I had to take him to get another one so we could start over.  Why can't DD see that he needs help and tutoring to learn to fill out a resume and cover letter?   there was just NOTHING on it!

Offline elsieshaye

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Re: Overnight stays with Grandchildren?
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2011, 03:12:31 PM »
My guess is DD has a new love now, and she is making up for lost time. She's decided you're supposed to watch the children for her so she can persue her new interest....in nighttime privacy. 

I was thinking the same thing.  However, one crucial thing that I learned after my divorce is that it's more than possible to have sex during the day too.  ;D  I worked my relationships around my custody time.  It definitely doesn't work well for "playing house," but if the person wants to make it work and empathizes with your situation, you can make it work.
This too shall pass.  All is well.

Offline pam1

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Re: Overnight stays with Grandchildren?
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2011, 03:30:28 PM »
LOL elsieshaye!

You gals are some smart cookies, I read it as she just wanted to sleep in lol. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

Offline Begonia

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Re: Overnight stays with Grandchildren?
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2011, 03:37:23 PM »
Years ago, as a young single parent, just coming out of a hurtful divorce, I wanted to just let loose and LIVE after living in hell for a few years with an alcoholic husband.  Also, my experience is that a woman will do almost anything to please a new suitor...or find someone who thinks she is attractive. "Yes, come up for the weekend, you can stay at my place", etc). PLEASE, not to say this is your daughter's deal at all....But, If the oldest is 17 and this is the divorce, she has been in the marriage for quite a long time.  And most of us hang in there.  I did some crazy things and my kids did stay over at relatives so I could do them.  And I protected my kids from any of that craziness by making sure that I was responsible about never bringing anyone home when they were in the house....(Well, maybe there was ONE time I had a sitter and invited someone in after dinner...lol). 

The main thing is that these boys sound like great kids and I bet they love the security of your place and the love you have for them.  Kids are reeling after a divorce...what an unsettling time.  Everyone is sensitive.  My guess is that your daughter will like the boundary.  "No, we just can't have overnight guests, we are too old (LOL).  That seems to be something our kids won't argue with....

Good luck....circle of love....
Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Offline Pooh

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Re: Overnight stays with Grandchildren?
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2011, 05:35:16 AM »
I plead the fifth.....
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell