WWYD if g-parents only want awake, fun time with LO instead of watching LO when it helps parents? In-laws only want to see 5m old when she is awake bc they want to play with her (and they complain they don’t see her enough). But we have to work their time into her wake windows and can’t rely on them to watch her when we actually need help like to go to dinner or a baby shower during nap time. It adds to our full plate for them to see her. What is reasonable here? SO and I have different views…

likesmart
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My MIL announced the day my sone was born that she doesn't want to do any house chores but only wanted to play with my son. Till date I hold a resentment on how I (3 days post C section bleeding insanely and in worst pain) was cooking and folding laundry while my MIl was playing with my baby. Don't give up what's yours! Hire paid caregivers so that you get some me time, and enjoy all the baby moments. Grandparents don't have the "right" to anything unless they pitch in to help or are the village we need

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My husband had to be back at work. He was an ER fellow at that time so during pandemic, he was required to come back to the hospital to probably save lives? While my MIL came over to support me and newborn as my husband was at hospital, but it ended up me being in charge of all her and my FIL meals/cooking/cleaning/folding clothes/ in addition to also pumping/BF/changing diapers (my in laws refused to do that) with little to no sleep. So yeah I am annoyed at my husband but given the situation at that time, I have made peace with him but my MIL on the other hand has my resentment for life. Not that it matters to her and neither do I need to justify my resentment to anyone.

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Why do you have any expectations that they babysit? They don’t have any responsibility to help you out. Sure it would be nice and appreciated, but there should be no expectation. It’s a very different exercise to play with baby for an hour with you around, versus babysitting without you around. You can certainly set boundaries for when it works for you for them to visit, and be firm about wake windows/nap times, but that’s a different discussion.

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Not that I expect you want to hang out with them, but are they explicitly wanting you to leave her alone with them?

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For us, grandparent help has been so overrated. When I was a kid we lived with my grandparents and my grandma was basically a second mom to me. My kids’ grandparents see them once a month or quarter. They do complain that they don’t see them more but they don’t make much effort to change that. When they do see them it’s usually to visit, not to help or babysit.

I know this is rude and probably stereotyping but I can’t help but feel like Boomers took advantage of their parents to help them raise their kids and now also don’t want to help much with their own grandkids. 😅

likesmartfunny

Our parents could have had very young parents as they got married early and they were able to take care of their grandchildren.
Now we are getting married at 30 and expect our parents who are aged to take care of our kids.
Also life spans become short and people tend to get ill at a very early stage.

Nah, we had a rule. In the first few months, we're happy for you to come over, but you need to help us with a chore or bring food before getting any baby time.

I don't actually need your help with the kid, I need help managing the rest of my life. It's not that I need someone to play with my kid, it's that I can't play with my kid, cook dinner, do laundry and clean at the same time. No one is entitled to time with the kid aside from the parents, so find a balance. Now that we're 14 months in and those boundaries are respected, the in-laws take the baby and are prepared to handle the good and bad times.

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Nope not appropriate. Set boundaries now or this will continue as they grow. Be clear with your husband about how this drains your bandwidth when you should be resting and caring for yourself in those rare moments instead of looking out for his parents. Absolutely ridiculous.

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Neither set of grandparents wanted to watch our kids at night or overnight because they didn’t want to risk any sleep loss which I respect. But we still found good pockets of time during the day that were helpful. I think the “awake” only rule has to go because her awake window is what…90 minutes? They should expect a nap to be involved.

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Omg my in-laws are the same. And they are retired, have no friends or other family here. We are the closest ones around. So idk why they can’t help like they said they would when I was pregnant. My parents now take my son overnight during the week so we get a night or two off.

We have realized we have to lower our expectations of my in laws and if they really wanted to see their grand baby then they will make more of an effort and we will not rearrange our lives for them

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Do they drive? If so, they come to you. They can play with the baby while you clean, do laundry, have a shower. Husband cooks his family dinner or gets takeout. If he doesn’t, they don’t eat. Make your husband take some responsibility here, and make the visits work for you!!

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It’s very important for grandparents to be in the lives of their grandchildren. But you can set the boundaries. I agree that they’ll need time with baby awake, not just asleep because the baby can hear their voices and form a relationship with them. But I get it. Can you ask them to watch baby 1x day a week while you work? Could they do daycare pick up? Or relieve the nanny 1x day a week? Could you SO take baby to grandparents house for a few hours every other Sunday or Saturday and let you sleep in? Could you all meet out for brunch or just your SO meet GP for brunch and bring baby? Could GP watch baby on a date night but be in charge of bedtime?

If none of that is possible, let your SO figure it out. It’s not your job to accommodate them, IMO, it’s SO’a job. So if prime weekend time is coveted to you, they how can they work around that? Where is the compromise? May be you have flexibly with a visit from them 1-2x a month? Find a way where you can leave the house and do something for yourself if you tend to get annoyed by them. This is a very fluid situation and both parties can show some flexibility.

likehelpful

Your tone feels angry, AC. I am not demanding anything is the duty of the GP’s. Just coming up with ways they could try to compromise: appease the GPs request to see LO when the baby is awake and appease parent’s request for GP’s to be more helpful/supportive.

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You need to assert yourselves. You are in charge now with YOUR family. Tell the in-laws how it’s going to work. Don’t mince words and don’t coddle them. They will come around and respect you in the end. But they need a hard reset. They aren’t giving you the respect and empathy you deserve. Take off the kid gloves and be firm with them.

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They only want prime weekend awake time with her and my SO thinks we need to make that effort for them but it annoys me that they make my life harder and not easier when they want to see her. And that is the only time I get to spend with her too!

likesmarthelpful

I’m on your side on this one. It is hard enough being a parent, let alone a WORKING parent. And when you add on all the other responsibilities we bear (household, professional, social, etc.) I think it is completely reasonable for others—especially YOUR parents who know how hard this stage is—to accommodate you a little bit. Grandparents are not entitled to time with their grandkids (especially prime awake happy time). It is a privilege to be in their grandchildren’s lives. And if they are not willing to “take what they get” when it comes to spending time with their grandkids, then maybe they shouldn’t get time with them.

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Stop expecting them to be helpful and start treating visits with them like any other taxing but (hopefully?) worthwhile/enjoyable family activity.

Your husband needs to adjust expectations accordingly; you wouldn’t do the latter by default every weekend.

I also think bonding with baby for anyone but parents/siblings/daily caregivers is overrated and unnecessary. They will get along fine with grandparents when they’re older regardless of how “close” they seemed as a baby. Baby bonding is so baby can instinctually trust and relax around their ongoing caregivers; not necessary for this type of grandparent.

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That’s why I share the advice! It probably took me that long too. Kids are 7 and 9 now; it’s marginally easier…

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My in-laws are like this too. Unfortunately it has resulted in very little time that they get to spend with their grandchildren. That’s the consequence of their decisions, and so they’ll have to live with it. We do make efforts for them to visit or for us to come over, so we’re averaging like once a month. It’s a shame too because children in that first year have so many milestones that they’re missing out on.

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Grandparents have zero interest in supporting parents. Unfortunately, we are on our own. My attitude has been that my priorities are my kids and my mental health and if you can’t respect that, WE need space. But when you ruin their rhythm, I’m left with the fussy baby or child. I’m the exhausted one. So if you want to see them, this is their schedule make it work!!

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Many boomer grandparents had little interest in parenting. Why would they change just because it’s grandkids? My parents and in-laws are basically away traveling as often as they possibly can. And my mom would help if I ask but she’d then act like she raised the Titanic by watching the kids for an hour.

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As someone who has a mom and MIL who do very little to have relationships with my children, I think it is great that they want to spend time with the baby when she's awake. I understand how helpful it would be if they were able to accommodate your daughter's schedule more and help when you need help, but it isn't their responsibility to care for your child.
My mom lives 4 miles away and sees my kids only at family events. My MIL couldn't even be bothered to come meet my third baby after birth. She waited until he was 4 weeks old when my husband forced me to pack up my 4 week old, 3 year old, and 5 year old and drive them to go see her 12 miles away in her non-toddler proofed home. It's been 2 years and I still haven't let that go. (Distance included to show they aren't so far that it'd be inconvenient.)
Back to you, though, if they have time with her awake now then as she gets older and her wake periods are longer she will feel comfortable with them and it will make it easier for them to help the way you desire.

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Neither my parents or in-laws are the caregiving type of grandparents. But they also are fine seeing us at our convenience. In your case, I do wonder if they think it’s helpful to entertain the baby (rather than taking up your time when the baby is sleeping, and they figure you’d rather be napping or having quiet time on your own)?

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If they have so many stipulations on the quality of the visit, you control the timing. Maybe that sort of visit only works for you once a month. If they would like more frequent visits, they need to be more flexible on other things.

That being said — you cannot make someone watch your child when it works for you without guaranteed payment. If you are going to set firm boundaries around visits, be prepared to hire a babysitter for dinners out, etc.

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This is so hard.. I don’t have a solution but I see you! Keep open communication and don’t feel bad about your needs for help, time w your child, alone time, relief from the enormous mental load of being a working parent + human + partner etc… then maybe you and your SO can find ways to REASONABLY accommodate grandparents while also ensuring you’re meeting your needs too.

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dont think too much, they'll complain even if you do accommodate all of their requests, so just try to visit them during holidays or long weekends. i say it again "no matter how much you do, they are gonna complain".
do know they are also family, so visit with your kids when you can do it. other times just convince your spouse that we are all busy.

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