My daughter-in-law has a new 4 week old baby and a 6 year old not yet in school. Fortunately they live within a few miles from me and I work a 5-11 pm shift. I began to sense that she was feeling depressed that she wasn't able to get time to do necessary things . A little afraid of hurting her feelings I decided to take the bull by the horns and offered 2-3 hours of my day to come out and spend time with the kids so she could do something she needed to do, whether it be showering, running an errand or just getting some extra naptime.
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Everyone here seems to be so level headed. My husband's work forces him to travel and I'm traveling with him at this time and loving it, but I'm having a war in my mind and heart over my grandchildren. Their single parent works a rotating shift (between days and nights). There is nothing to do about the job. At this time they are being left with various babysitters overnight 2 nights a week.
I've searched for a nanny and can't find one. An older person has counseled me that I have raised my children and now it is their time but in my heart I feel like I should be there to fill in if they are not able to because of work. My grandchildren are making good grades and have not complained. I'm just so worried! If I go and take over I will have to be apart from my husband which will cause marital issues. And not to mention I would have to go back to work full time to afford being there. I have prayed and prayed over this. What should I do?
Unless and until your son/daughter asks for you to "go and take over," leave it alone. Why are you so worried? Sounds like your son/daughter have everything under control and are handling the situation the best way possible.
Here's my advice:
Grandchildren love getting phone calls from Grandma, letters, emails, gifts to let them know you are thinking of them. (This means more when you're away than right under their nose) Encourage them and most children love receiving admiration from Grandma and Grandpa, so don't do anything that might cause a split. (Only if there's a major problem where parent cannot contend and you and your husband need to assist, would it be necessary to be around all the time)
If the grandchildren appear to be content with their situation, then you should accept the situation and you could always alter your journeys by going with husband and sometimes staying home. I wouldn't want to travel constantly, but the experience is wonderful. When you see the grandchildren you can teach them more about life as you broaden your own.
Maybe you could take the grandchildren on a trip with you if it's affordable during their vacation away from school or give them a camping out experience with swimming, fishing and hiking available. You could rent a pontoon boat and enjoy a picnic on the lake together. Children don't look at a high price tag, but the time they get to have with their family.They know you love and care about them, so give motherhood time a break and enjoy your present life experiences with your husband.
My heart just cries for you. What a hard thing to have to decide. I am a grandma myself. I am not married so that part makes it easier to be around my grandchildren all the time.
Here, you can key in your zip code to locate some certified babysitters in your area and interview them before hiring. Pictures are included on this website. Hope this helps.
I also thought of these ideas. Do a Google search and key in the name of the county where your daughter resides and add Municipal Court Records. They are free to browse and can supply enough information on someone if they've been to court for something or convicted. Also, check the county and state sexual predator list and look for the interested party for child care and see if they are on that list.
It wouldn't hurt to have a back up system just in case the child care provider cancels a work day leaving Mom without a sitter for her children. Hope it is helpful to your family.
I am a care giver to 4 young children. Occasionally one of the mothers has to work an overnight shift. I find that the children are fine with being here overnight and it is the parents and grandparents who are stressed out. The children will be fine with a good sitter, so relax and enjoy them whenever you can. Like another post said, phone calls are great. Children love talking to a loved one on the phone. Stop feeling guilty and just call them often, and let your child know you support him/her. Don't keep on about a situation that can't be helped. It only makes them feel guilty. Another option is a laptop computer with a web camera. Then you and the children can see each other every day.
I agree with everyone. As long as the children are fine with a good sitter they will be just fine. Children do not understand the complexities of family relationships and love those who love them whether it is the baby sitter or Grandma. Talk to your child and see if they are comfortable with the sitters they have chosen and then ask them what you can do (when you are able to be there) to make things easier for them. Perhaps a day of housecleaning, laundry, maybe even just a dinner out. That way you will be helping everyone.
One last thing, by keeping your marriage happy and having a loving relationship with your husband you are setting a wonderful example for both your child and your grandchildren.
You didn't say but do you have to go with you husband every time he goes out. Maybe once every 2 months or once a month you could stay with the kids and travel with your husband the rest of the time. That way you are traveling with him and you are spending some time with your grandchildren. As long as they have a babysitter that is good and loves them don't worry too much about them. They will do good.
I lived in a town I hated three times over the last 12 years, so I could be close to my single daughter and my grandson. I helped as much as I could, but if I were 15 miles away, I could have helped just as much.
My daughter is married now, with two wonderful "blended boys" from her hubby, and my grandson is 18 and off to college. That is why I was able to move to VA...because this is now my time. The best example, as stated before, that you can give your grandkids is to put your health, husband and happiness before them. I know that might sound selfish, but it's not. By staying where you are, you send several messages.
One, that you love your marriage, which is why your kids and grandkids are even there and doing as well as they are.
Two, that you trust your kids to know what to do with their kids...something that is often hard to do.
And three, that your grand kids don't feel like the reason you are not with your husband, and the strife that might cause, is due to them. They are doing well, and you should enjoy this part of your life.
I chat with my daughter and the boys every other day on line and sometimes on the phone. And I know that if I were truly needed, I am a four hour flight away. If you have raised your kids to be good parents, then you have done your job. Now go out and enjoy a job well done!
Remember: We can give our children only two things...one is roots and the other s wings".
I agree with those who responded that you need to consider your marriage first. You did not say where you travel, and how long you stay in one place. You mentioned searching for a nanny. Who would pay for this option? You? Your daughter? If you can afford to pay a nanny, then perhaps you could come home on occasion to be with your daughter and grand kids? You say the kids are doing well in school et. Keep in mind your daughter may marry one day, and if you don't keep a happy medium in your marriage you may end up alone. Keep in contact with your daughter and tell her how you feel, maybe extra money could be sent to her for a little pampering. Perhaps a cleaning service to lessen all she has to do. You didn't say what your daughter's profession was. God bless.
Sometimes the best thing we can do for our grown children is to "just butt out". If they ask for help occasionally try to do what you can but other wise.
This will be short. If the children are doing well, and if you and your husband need to move, move!! You raised your children. You love them, for sure, and your grandchildren. As one or two of the previous guests said, write, call, e-mail if you get the chance, or they do. Send little cards to let them know you are thinking about them. By all means don't spend money on them like crazy to "make up for" not being there. Love them from where you are. Trust their mom.
Keep in touch with the children and let them know you're thinking of them (not moaning about the situation, just letting them know what's happening in your life). They don't have to be long letters, maybe cards from where you're staying...more important is that you send them regularly, every couple of weeks or so, and sometimes include a stamp so they can write you back. All my love.
Oh how I wish my husband were here so we could travel together. Please take good care of your husband and your marriage. Remember your wedding vows. Your husband should come FIRST above all else. My husband passed away last year. We had a wonderful relationship because we put each other first. It sounds like you already have the answer and you know what you should do. Perhaps it's not the answer you were looking for and you're waiting to find someone to tell you the oppisite and take care of your grandchildren. I think that would be a huge mistake. I hope you do the right thing and honor your husband and your wedding vows.
Wow! What a devoted grandma and mother you are! I would give anything if my own mother fretted over me and my kids like you do! However, I must agree that your marriage is number one and you should honor your husband's wishes to be with him. Unless your grandchildren are moved from babysitter to babysitter often, they will be fine. I wholeheartedly agree with staying in contact with them, phone calls, post cards, etc. Let them know you adore them and just try to see them when you can. And plan things to do when you do see them to make it memorable!
My grandchildren live far away. I call them twice a week, but I think it's not enough. I want to be a part of their life. Can you advise exciting ways to communicate with kids?
Can you FaceTime? Video chat? Ask how their day is going. Tell them to show you their drawings, or watch them play, etc.
You could also write letters/cards and ask them to send you a picture/card or something :)
This is a page about baking bread with your grandchildren. Teaching your grandkids the basics of cooking can help prepare them for their future and be lots of fun.