November 30, 2023, 09:39:47 AM


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Rant and questions please advise

Started by Bookworm, June 26, 2018, 04:21:21 PM

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So I recently wrote for the first time in "Sad and feeling sorry for myself". Thank you to all who posted and provided support. I have a dilemma which I have already dealt with but am feeling guilty over. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have a soon to be 30 yo DD who is the mother of my 2 adorable grandchildren ages almost 8 (DGS) and 5 (DGD).

I was unaware that the rage nowadays is to celebrate your "Dirty Thirty" birthday, in any event, my DD made it clear she did NOT want a party, specially a surprise party. Her cousin, my niece, is the sister she never had and is coming from NYC to spend the weekend here for DD bd at the end of July. I asked my SIL if they had anything planned and he reiterated that DD had been adamant she didn't want anything. Come to find out that he has planned a birthday weekend at the beach and will be having a small gathering with some of their friends, which would involve going to clubs on South Beach (we live in Miami) and doing the whole party thing. We are not invited, nor are any of the older relatives, which is fine, as none of us are interested in that scene at our ages.

However, he told me he had hoped to count on me for babysitting the grands for the ENTIRE weekend. I guess what bothers me about this is that they must think DH and I have no life at all, as he just assumed that I would be available. I do what I consider to be a lot of babysitting already, often at the last minute so they can go to happy hour or have an outing. In May DH and I took care of our grandchildren for 4 out of 7 days while DD and he celebrated their 10 year anniversary in Italy (his parents did the other 3 days). We have had them multiple times on many occasions when they have gone away for a long weekend or had a "date night". I pick up my grandson every Tuesday at summer camp and take him to tutoring and then either bring he and DGD to my home or back to theirs, depending on DD request. If they get sick I am called on to care for them so that DD or SIL don't have to take PTO and I am happy to do so as I did not have that kind of help when I had my own kids. If DD wants to go to the gym and SIL is working, I have the kids over, although not as often (the gym thing).

I want to reiterate that I LOVE my grandchildren but I am not interested in babysitting so often. DH and I enjoy spending time together and going out on our own. To be fair, SIL's mother does a LOT of babysitting but often at her own request to have the kids come over on weekends "just because". I am not like that. The grands are wonderful, but together, they are quite a handful, so I don't mind helping out but I also don't wish to be taken for granted.

I guess I am feeling like a crap grandma because until a few months ago, I used to spend quite a bit of money buying the grands toys, uniforms, shoes, clothes until I realized that as a retiree I can't afford to continue to do so, I would rather spend my money traveling while DH and I have good health. However the other grandma continues to spend like there is no tomorrow and is constantly buying the grands everything in sight. I mean that pretty literally, she enjoys buying for them, as I do, but does not travel or do things with her husband.

So as I can see I am feeling badly for not wanting to babysit as often, feeling bad for making the decision to stop throwing toys and clothes at them and focusing more on DH and I, I am also feeling guilty for not wanting to have them the entire weekend of DD birthday. I told SIL that I could do ONE day, Friday, picking them up from summer camp and then taking them to his moms by noon as DH and I have plans.

Any words of wisdom ? I feel like a terrible mother and grandmother for feeling this way.

I told him I was only available on Friday an


 I meant to say I told SIL I can only do Friday night until Saturday at noon and that perhaps he can ask his mother to do Sat-Sun. Sorry I don't know how to do an edit on the posts  ::)


Hi Bookworm,
It sounds like you are feeling guilty about what you see as changing how much you give of your time and money to the grands.  My take is that nobody else is going to take my perspective into account and stand up for me except me.  I can't expect them to know or understand what I want or how things affect me.  And I deserve to make myself happy.  Others will figure things out for themselves and make their own choices, but I don't have to compare my situation to theirs or make their problems my problems.  I find that I'm a happier person and give everyone my best when I give it freely without resentment or hesitation and choose to have a good balance in my life.  As far as that weekend goes, it sure seems like a good balance to say that you will take the kids for part of the weekend, as you did.  SIL might have hoped for more, but that is not your problem.  I would not take ownership of that issue.  I'd let him figure it out as every parent must do. You have already parented children and figured those things out. You now have earned your time and resources for yourself, to spend by yourself or with DH or whoever else you choose.

Wishing you well   :)

Things happens

Hi Bookworm,

I am glad to see you figured things out. You were more then generous to offer your time for a day for your DD birthday weekend. Maybe next time he will check first. I wanted to chime in about the Grandkids. While I am not blessed with any yet. I do have lots of Grand and Great Grand Nieces and Nephews, and they all fight to spend time with hubby and I. Their Grands and others spend lots of money on them etc. But the kids do not appreciate or remember it.

They love coming here because hubby and I give them our undivided attention.  We will take them to museums, or other fun places that are low or no cost, pack a lunch and they never ask for things from the Gift shop. We will build or make things with them, playing games are a big thing. Or visitors range from 2- Adults, the one thing that they all know is our rules. Act up while out, I have no problem leaving and going home. At my home they follow the rules as I have no problem taking you home. And the adults who use to come to our house talk about the memories, and they had nothing to do with buying things. But the time we invested with them. Parents find it hard to believe but there are no electronics going on, and very little TV. The one thing they know I will buy for them is books, I am a big believer in reading and books. So I guess I am saying, if you give them lots of love and undivided attention, that is worth a lot more then anything you can buy in the store.

Now enjoy your retirement you and hubby deserve it.


Thanks Bamboo2 and Things happen ! Your words of support mean a lot to me particularly because I am feeling really guilty, why I don't know.  I had  DGS  over Thursday night to Friday morning as he was unable to go to summer camp and DGA All day Monday as she had a tooth abscess that the doctor had called and was not feeling up to going to camp. I have to admit that with her I didn't cave and buy her 2 Barbies, wanting to spoil her while she was with me.  But it was done willingly not out of guilt. And you are right In that they enjoy the time with us more when we actually have activities rather than toys. When I take them to the local splash pad, bike riding or just coloring with them, they seem to enjoy that more and I feel we are creating memories, which will last much longer than any toy. I just didn't want to feel so guilty but you are both righr in that I put in my time and it's time for the parents to step up to the plate. Thanks so much for your support!


My sister has always said that if my Mom was invited to a lavish banquet and there was a rotten apple in the corner marked "guilt" my Mom would put that on her plate and eat it.  My Mom is gone now but I do believe that my sister is right and that the trait she described is just the way good mothers are.  If our children are angry we are sure that we messed up somewhere and caused that anger.  If they react poorly in social situations we are always sure we could have done something sometime differently that would have changed that particular trait.  We should have given them a car or we shouldn't have given them a car, made them pay rent or not made them pay rent, kicked them out of the house or not kicked them out of the house.  The truth about the matter is that there is no such thing as a perfect parent, and honestly there is no such thing as a perfect child.  Every adult who leaves the hospital with their first newborn believes (incorrectly) that they can "do it right" and if they are like me they find out pretty quickly just how difficult parenting is.

I got tired of eating that moldy apple.  I did the very best I could when I raised my children.  They are doing well, not in jail, and they seem happy with their lives.  Now they have their own lessons to learn.  One of those lessons for my DS/DIL was that they are responsible for raising their own children.  I am a grandmother.  I do not discipline very much.  I give in.  Parents have to toe that line of discipline and if they don't hold their own they will pay their own prices.  One of my grands is quite a handful.  She gets her personality mostly from my DIL and I am finding that difficult to deal with so, by and large, I am declining all baby sitting 'privileges'.  Yes, I sometimes feel guilty but I remind myself that I deserve to enjoy these golden years and it is my option to add only the things that make my 'golden years' better.  Now I see the grands when my DS brings them over which happens fairly frequently.  He helps me look after the grands and he and I get some time together as a bonus.  I am really enjoying these visits and this new phase of my life. 

You deserve to enjoy your life!  You worked hard, did your best and now it is time to let your DD/SIL figure out what raising children is all about.  It is often about giving up the 'date nights' and birthday parties that only include certain ages.  Why are they leaving their children out?  Once my children were born they were included in every celebration that our family had, period.  There were a few times when we got a babysitter, but honestly not many.  I asked my Dad to help when the children were sick but by the time I got around to having children my parents were too old to keep my children for long.  I made it, and so will your DD.  Volunteering for one night was, in my opinion, very generous.

Good luck!!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown


Stilllearning thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. It is accurate to say I am eating that moldy apple of guilt but getting sick of it. For years I have blamed myself for everything, including things I had no control over that I feel affected my children. And indeed they may have but upon thinking about it a little more, I think of the thousands of things that happened to my siblings and I which were out of our parents control which affected us but they did not appear to feel guilt over. And why should they have? It had nothing to do with them, the events that affected us were totally out of their control (we were refugees from Cuba during the 60's and witnessed the communist revolution and all the bloody drama that entailed).

I did do the very best I could and true perhaps it was not good enough but it was the best I knew at the time. My kids were exposed to a bad divorce and neglect from their bio father but none from me or their stepdad. In fact I bent over backwards for my kids to overcompensate for their own fathers lack of interest.

But enough, I am done (I hope), sick and tired of feeling guilty for circumstances I had little control over. I truly don't mind watching them once in awhile but would love it if DD would just bring them and VISIT me rather than just drop them off and run off to her activity.

Truth be told I am angry because I have been very ill for almost a week and she knows this, knows I was in urgent care and I have not received a call to inquire as to how I am doing. She knows because she is on a group chat with my family where they have inquired as to how I feel, but it has not been enough to elicit a call from her just to check in. Nor has DS. So I am pretty fed up at this point. I am reading a book called "Done with Crying" about parent/adult child relationships and it is helping somewhat.

Sorry for the rant and thanks for your feedback.



Bookworm, I'm sending you warm wishes for your recovery back to good health  :)
Please take care of yourself and focus on that!  That book you are reading sounds like a great way to heal as well.