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Do You Expect Grandparents to Pitch In?

Grandparents have often been portrayed as the family members who provide "intergenerational care" to cut down costs or offer their two cents in child rearing even when it's not solicited. But, a recent New York Times article focused on an emerging new type of grannies and gramps — those who can't be bothered. Done raising their own children, the mature men and women are no longer about sacrificing their time and energy to focus on tots. And, many of their offspring are put off or hurt by their attitudes.


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granmarie granmarie 5 years
i think its all to do with if the grandparent is happy to do it. I have my grandchild one or two days a week whilst my daughter works. But i feel i have the right to say no to doing overnight help, if i feel too tired to do this, but its not fair if you are made to feel guilty if i dont want to commit to this.
mnjen mnjen 8 years
I voted "yes" that they should help out occasionally, but unfortunately thats not the type of grandparents my kids have. My mother lives in another state and has seen my boys 2 or 3 times. My inlaws live not too far from us but wouldnt even help out to watch them when I was in the hospital for two days. My husband and I are of course bitter and angry about it, but what can you do? If they dont want to participate in their grandchildren's lives, we cant make them.
Lily-Inferno Lily-Inferno 8 years
I would love help from the grandparents, but sometimes theres only so much I can take. I have my own views of raising my child, and my family seems to get what Im going for but my in-laws are all about babying my son, almost to the point of chewing his food for him or even still makin him drink from a sippy cup. Its just..I would love the help, but dont go overboard.
RunninginBoston RunninginBoston 8 years
My dad was mostly cared for by his grandmother because both of his parents had to work full-time, and who had ever heard of a day care center in the 1950's? However, it's much more common today for both parents to work, and people retire later now. Both sets of my daughter's grandparents both work full-time. Sometimes they have less free-time than we do. I would never make them feel guilty or oblidged to baby-sit.
Sarana Sarana 8 years
It shouldn't be expected of them to watch the grand children for an hour or even a weekend. If they want to, that's great. If they don't want to that' ok too. I think it' unfair to expect grandparents to adjust their live to your working schedule. They are finished working they should finally have freedom!
Akitkat118 Akitkat118 8 years
skigurl - just because my parents do not want to watch babies for a long weekend does not make them grumpy or self absorbed. they are neither. but there are reasons why they can't be tending to crying children all night long or infants that can't communicate what they want. my parents would volunteer more to take the kids for a long weekend when they are school aged. but they are not grumpy or self absorbed. save your judgements.
macgirl macgirl 8 years
The only person I expect anything from in regards to our kids is my husband. It was our choice to have a baby and why should we expect anything from anyone else? With that said I am always shocked when I hear stories of grandparents that don't care about their grandkids. I think that comes from growing up with two sets of very loving grandparents. I can understand not wanting or being physically able to keep them overnight or for long periods of time. My husbands parents are older and it is much harder on them. My mother and father can't get enough of our kids and often want more time with them than I want to give up. I think I'm going to go tell my mom how much I appreciate her now :-)
katedavis katedavis 8 years
Wow- I'm surprised at the singling out of "young parents." My parents and in-laws keep offering to watch my son overnight, but I would just miss him so much. :) I've gone away once since my son was born- I met my husband in LA while he was on a business trip for 2 days and my parents watched my son. We've only left him with a non-family member babysitting once. It's not that we make family babysit, but we just don't go out unless a family member can/wants to watch him.
sass317 sass317 8 years
I dont EXPECT anything from my parents or in-laws, thats very presumptuous. My parents and in-laws are friends with a couple that I swear have their granddaughters more often than not. That being said, Im 5 months pregnant right now and they are so excited they dont know what to do with themselves- I know we will all be spending a lot of time together once my daughter is born, but DH and I will be there too- we already all spend a lot of time together. In fact my parents bought a cabin in the mountains down the street from my in-laws cabin after my mom pointed out to my dad that once DH and I had kids there wouldnt be enough room for all of us at my in-laws and that would be a lot of time they would be missing with the grandchildren.
luckyme luckyme 8 years
I don't like the term "pitch in." I sincerely hoped that my parents and in-laws WANTED to be involved in the lives of our offspring, but I had limited expectations of what exactly that would be. I did know that I did not want our kids to look at Grandma and Grandpa as a primary caregiver. That is mine and my husband's job. My niece is with her Grandparents almost everyday and it has blurred some boundaries and made for some very uncomfortable circumstances. I did not want my husband, myself, or our kids to be put in the type of situations they are in. I think it makes for healthier relationships for everyone involved if Grandma and Grandpa are Grandma and Grandpa and nothing else. Anyway, that's not to say that the Grandparent's have not watched our daughter, because they have, but the times they have done it have been few and far between.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
No, it should not be 'expected'. If they want to help out that's one thing but help should never be expected of anyone not even your parents.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
i guess it's "to each their own" in this situation, but i'd be a bit surprised if my parents said they wouldn't take their grandchildren for a long weekend!?!?!? maybe not EVERY long weekend but not even sometimes? some people are grumpy and self absorbed and it doesn't make for a happy family unit
Akitkat118 Akitkat118 8 years
i am actually very opinionated on this issue. My mother has made it abundantly clear that when I have kids, she will love them, spend time with them and babysit - OCCASSIONALLY. she already said she will not take the kid for a long weekend if we want to go away sans kids... not until they are in school at least. my parents are older since they had me later in life and do not want to be caring for babies 24 hours a day. my mom can't stand that one of her friends dropped her life when her daughter had a kid and now serves only to her grandchild. But the way my parents are will be hard for my fiance b/c his parents (who already have 3 grandsons from his sister) are always babysitting and watching the boys while the parents go on vacation. We also know that we won't reap the benefits of his parents as much as his sister does since they live an hour away from us while my parents only live 10 minutes. i guess it is a classic "to each their own" situation.. but i wasn't raised with my grandparents taking care of me which is why my mom is the way she is. And I don't expect my mom to be any different. But if a grandparent voluntarily wants to be a caregiver - that is great. But no, children shouldn't just expect their parents to step in for them.
kikidawn kikidawn 8 years
"i won't be able to keep my mom away, and my boyfriend's mother either! they'll be fighting over the kid!" I'm in the same situation skigurl :) I don't expect my parents to help raise my kids - that's my job as a parent. I do expect them to want to see the kids and be a part of their lives.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
i think that they should do more than issue christmas gifts (same for everyone) and expect their grand kids to listen with bated breath while they recount their own fabulous lives and ignore the children's events/activities. this is what we have with my inlaws. to be treated as family i think you need to act like family. i don't expect them to watch my kids (and wouldn't even want them too) and i don't expect gifts for any occasion. but i do expect phone calls for things that are important to my girls (birthdays, death of someone important to them). we get none of that. so to me, if the grandparents can't be bothered, neither can we.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
My parents have helped my sister and myself out, she was a single mom with 2 kids trying to work full time and go to school. My husband and I are just struggling financally. I know it's hard on them but we would all be worse off if they didn't help. I've always asked my mom if watching my daughter bothers her and she's always said, "Sometimes it's hard for me, but I know what it's like to work hard and not have anyone help you. My mom never helped me, and I don't want to be like her, I actually enjoy my grand kids fits and all."
skigurl skigurl 8 years
well obviously they should help out and want to - what grandmother wouldn't be thrilled to have a grandchild? they shouldn't be assumed babysitters, however, and i hate when young couples feel their mother or mother in law should be a free caregiver while they are off working all day long i won't be able to keep my mom away, and my boyfriend's mother either! they'll be fighting over the kid! but both have said they don't want to be babysitting 40 hours a week either...and fair enough!
mhg mhg 8 years
i think there is a huge difference between helping out (i.e. babysitting here and there) and raising the child. and i hate how these lilsugar questions are worded. yes familiies help each other out (my SIL and i take turns watching each others' kids) but my husband and i are solely responsible for raising them.
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
I don't think grandparents should have to pitch in. Its different if they want to pitch in. this whole topic just bugs me because I've seen so many new moms and dads (esp. young ones) just dump the babies off and grandma's house (without really asking grandma if she wouldn't mind babysitting for a evening or something. they just ASSUME that grandparents got nothing better to do).
MissSushi MissSushi 8 years
Maybe im missing something, but while i absolutely want my parents to be excited about grandkids and be in their lives (and they are, overly so, both sides), I obviously dont expect them to start raising my kids, its not their responsibility... Is this even a question? it seems ridiculous to me
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