Thursday, October 21, 2010

Baby Sitting Limits

The Sunday that Grandpa died I had my son here with his three kids and two dogs.  Keeping in mind that we still have my nephew Kyle here. (More later on the “Kyle Project”).  I  was tired, emotional and needed some time to myself.  As Austin put it, I kind of “lost it”.  In looking back, I think that was a good thing, because some changes needed to be made.  I had a talk with my son and told him I just could not have both of his dogs at my house for more than a few hours, along with the kids,  especially when they are not here with them.  I also made it clear that after the next three baby sitting commitments I already agreed to, it really had to slow down.  I love the grandchildren to death, and they are a huge part of my life, but I just need to have more time to take care of my own house, work and hobbies.  In writing this it’s even sounding selfish to me, but I just want to be Grandma, not a parent again.  There’s a reason why I only had two children and had them in my early 20’s! 
So at this point I have been to their house for almost two weeks in the past month.  Then we had a week of out of town family and funeral arrangements going on.  Two days after the funeral and the day after all the family left, I was back down to their house to  take care of the three grands and two dogs by myself for four days.  If this were an occurrence a few times a year, I would enjoy it.  Three times in a month is just too much for me. 
Now this weekend my son and DIL are off to a family wedding in Maryland.  They are taking the baby, so Bob and I are picking the boys up tomorrow and bringing them to our house until Sunday.  They told me they are making arrangements for the dogs, so I hope they did.
Things are slowing down a little bit, but it’s still something we’re all working on.  On Sunday, Bob is taking the boys back home, then he is continuing on to Cincinnati with Kyle to take him back home.  The Kyle Project didn’t work out as completely planned, but some progress was made. (Again, more on that in a later post).  Bob and I just know that we’ve done all we can and we’re done taking care of others so much.   My son and DIL also agree with us in slowing down their lives, which in turn will calm us all down.
Next Sunday is the start of some time for us.  It’s a Las Vegas trip that we’re really looking forward to.  Then one more prior babysitting commitment the day after we get back.  Four more days of me back to the kids while their parents go to a retirement party in Virginia. 
We’re all looking forward to the Holidays after that and son and DIL also agree that they need to stay home more, get rid of at least one dog, and slow down a little.  They have quite enough going on with three small children and their own jobs.  They need to stop taking on extra trips and activities.
Chaos and I just do not get along!  I HAVE to have order, plans and organization.  I’m not real sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it works for me and makes me happy.
That’s the new plan.  We’ll see how it works! 


Grandma Lizzie's House said...

You should not feel guilty or selfish. What makes us great grandparents is the fact that we have other things in our life that are enriching. Then when we are with our family/grandchildren we can give them our full attention and not resent that we are missing out on something else. I think it's hard for a mother/grandmother to do but we have to do it.

Anonymous said...

I'm tired just reading this! Wow, you've had a lot going on.

I've made a commitment to slow down the "giving" this next year. Hubby and I came to the conclusion that often we are taken advantage of. I've really had to reevaluate the meaning of the word friend.

Theresa said...

Nothing wrong with that Nina! Fortunately my Daughter is very considerate of my time and doesn't take many trips! She has 4 kids and 2 dogs:) Hope you get some rest and things slow down a bit for you! I just got back from my VEGAS trip and it was AWESOME! Can't wait to go back! Have a blessed and hopefully a peaceful day! HUGS!

Denise said...

I don't consider your request selfish at all, my three sons are grown and only one is still home, but he is in college so not here during the school year. More and more grandparents are being asked to watch the grandchildren for overnights, etc because the parents made plans that don't accomodate the children.....When my children were younger I think we asked our parents a total of four times to watch our children overnight, we just didn't make plans that wouldn't accomodate bringing them. I could tell you exactly where we went and why.....the rest of the times were just for a few hours but not on a regular basis! You should be able to enjoy being a grandparent, loving them, maybe even a little spoiling then back to their home they go, LOL.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nina,
No that is not being selfish. Dave and I have set limits too when it comes to the grandchildren. We are grandparents not parents.
Relax and take care fo yourself.

misssrobin said...

What you did is so important. You need to know and respect your own limits. Giving and giving isn't healthy and it will cause you to resent them; that's not the kind of relationship you want to have.

Setting personal boundaries often feels selfish and in a way it is. A healthy way. Your boundaries are not there to control your family. They are there to protect yourself. You are the only one who can truly know what you need or want. You are the only one who can nurture and take care of yourself like that. You are the only one in charge of your happiness. I applaud you for seeing that you needed a change and speaking up for yourself.

As someone who is raising teens and already looking forward to being a grandma, I have thought ahead to times like this. I hope I can be as wise and loving as you.

Best of luck in this endeavour. Change is hard and you may need to state your position over a few times as they adjust. But they will adjust. Be strong!

Stopping by from SITS.

Tolentreasures said...

I hear you on the dogs. I love having the kids, but have set no uncertain limits on having any of their current or future dogs. Thank goodness the "grandparents" of the dogs on the other side actually like keeping those animals!

Aruna said...

Hope you have a great time in Vegas. Sounds to me like you deserved the break!


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