I never thought I’d have such ungrateful children.
Sometimes I have a sleepover for my grandchildren, who are 4, 3 and 2.
My daughter and her husband are expecting their third child in a month and my elder son and his wife have found their sleepless 3-year-old a challenge so they all enjoy a break.
It’s not a break for me. I find it hard going at my age and much prefer to have one of them on their own. When my youngest son and his partner have their first child later this year I’m stopping the sleepovers though I know that will annoy everyone.
I love my grandchildren but I find being in charge of them and responsible for them a worry and very tiring.
They would like me to do all their childcare and my refusal is causing real tension with my daughter
They’re a lot of work and I feel too old to be running around after children but my daughter and son don’t understand. They would like me to do all their childcare and my refusal is causing real tension with my daughter. She and her husband work fulltime and his mum takes the children for two days and they go to a nursery for the other three days but they’d like me to do two days’ childcare.
I’d be more likely to consider it if they showed any appreciation for the babysitting I already do, but I’m totally taken for granted.
My son’s wife works three days a week and their son goes to a nursery. None of them understand that if I do it for one of them I’ll have to do it for the others and by the end of this year there will be five of them. It’s too much.
I can’t face looking after young children all over again
If I start childminding fulltime that will be at least another five years of it before they go to school. Then they’ll need to be taken to school, picked up and looked after when the school day is done and if I start I can’t then change my mind. My son and his wife would like more children and I don’t want to be childminding Monday to Friday, 11 hours a day.
I can’t face looking after young children all over again for years. I’m 63 and a retired nurse and working to make ends meet were the major things in our life for years. I married Robert when I was 24 and we saved for ten years to afford a house and have a family. Robert was a mechanic and started work early so he’d be back to help with bath and bed before I went on a night shift.
We were well into our fifties before we stopped worrying from one wage to the next.
When we finally paid off the mortgage and retired we had two years of enjoying ourselves before he died very suddenly. That first year without him was dreadful and the arrival of my granddaughter definitely helped pull me back into the land of the living.
I’m fairly comfortable with our pensions and, like many others, our house is now worth so much that I couldn’t afford to buy it
All our children stay quite close so I could help my daughter whenever she needed it and I was happy to do that, especially with a first baby. Back then she was happy I helped, but she soon took it totally for granted.
The occasional thank you or bunch of flowers would be nice, especially when I do a Sunday lunch for everyone and they all relax and don’t help with cooking or clearing, while the children run rampage through my house.
My daughter was going back to work just as I started to rebuild my life. Most of my friends are retired and we all keep each other going. We walk, go to the gym, occasionally have a nice lunch out or go to the cinema or a show. After Robert died I lost all interest in everything and it feels good to want to get up in the morning again.
I’m fairly comfortable with our pensions and like many others, our house is now worth so much that I couldn’t afford to buy it. We were happy that we’d be leaving our children a nest egg each when it came to selling the house, but even that’s starting to cause problems with my daughter. They have a lovely house but she’d like something bigger, which is why she went back to work fulltime. A lot of her friends are quite wealthy and I think that makes her discontent and want more.
My daughter said they were considering private school for their children and suggested I downsize because “the money you give away before you die is worth much more than you leave”
When she asked me if I’d look after the baby two days a week it took me by surprise. Two friends of mine look after their grandchildren for 2 or 3 days a week and they’re exhausted, can’t organise anything for themselves –the school holidays make no difference as the children still need looking after – and their retirement is far busier than work though they’re less able to cope.
I told my daughter I was still too sad and unsettled over her dad’s death and it would be better to make other arrangements. She wasn’t happy and showed it by not seeing me for two months. Every time I suggested meeting for coffee or them coming for Sunday lunch she’d make snide remarks like “Don’t want to cause you too much trouble.”
It was sad but I wasn’t going to be bullied. She’s always been very forceful but when my elder son’s first child was born he hinted at me doing their childcare, as if copying her, so I ignored that.
Last week, my daughter said they were considering private school for their children and suggested I downsize because “the money you give away before you die is worth much more than you leave.”
I feel like changing my will and leaving everything to charity
I laughed but very quickly realised she was totally serious and said quite sharply that I wasn’t downsizing for another 20 years. When she said I was wrecking the only chance of her children getting private education I said the local schools had been good enough for her and her brothers and I wasn’t selling my house.
I don’t think she’s given up but that’s really hardened my heart. I love my grandchildren but it’s horrible to feel that my children just see me as good for childcare or to finance them. I can’t remember the last time one of them took me out for a meal, suggested a day out or brought me a little present that wasn’t birthday or Christmas.
Robert and I worked hard and sacrificed a lot for our children and I can’t tell them I feel used and neglected, but I feel like changing my will and leaving everything to charity.