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How much does your Mum (or other close rellie) help? Lock Rss

My mum and I are really close, and she was a great very maternal SAHM for the whole of our childhood.

Now I am 32 and have 2 boys, DS1 is 3&1/2 and DS2 is 11mths.
My question is this... how much does your mum help you with your children?

Do you regularly get her to babysit?

Does she come over and just pitch in (as if they were her own children)? As in, bath, feeding, maybe fold the load of washing that's sitting on the couch... things like that?

Does she offer to come and pick them up and take them to the park etc? Or do you have to ask?

Does she offer to have them for sleep overs occasionally?

The reason I'm asking is we had a (very rare) huge fight the other night as I was really starting to think that she didnt want to be around or do things with the boys. In 3 and a half years she has taken my DS1 to the park for an hour or so only twice (no exaggeration). She has babysat for us (very rarely - let's say on average once every 4 months?) and even then the kids are bathed, fed and in bed and asleep and so she just has to sit on the couch and watch a movie - nothing else.

Her reasoning is that her parents never did anything like that for her (well they didnt live in the same town!lol, my mum lives one suburb over!). Plus she does HAVE to work full time (no other option as my mum doesnt have a partner and has a mortgage etc to pay all by herself) so of course she is tired.

I just really saw her as being much more 'grandmotherly' than she is? Am I expecting too much?

If you have gotten this far - thank you! smile
My Mum currently has my nephew 2 days a week so I will be fighting with him for babysitting time!LOL

I'm sure she will have Elodie when she is a bit bigger but I do think it is different if your Mum works fulltime. My Mum and Dad are both retired (My Dad retired early, they are in their 50s) and have the luxury of no mortgage and plenty of spare time.

Maybe you should ask her more often? I guess she knows now it's all come out but before that she may not have realised you'd like her to take them?
I am going to say that yes I think you are expecting too much and I think you had these expectations because of how your mum raised you.

My mum and dad live 10 mins away. These will be months where we do not see them. They have babysat maybe twice and my kids don't really know who they are. I think there attitude is that they have done their bit raising us and now it is their time. They are the ones missing out - so be it.
We moved just around the corner from my mum. Sometimes we go a week or so without seeing her. She has babysit before but hasn't for a while. It's just because we haven't asked though, we haven't needed a babysitter lately. She comes with me every Monday though and looks after Emilie while I take Maddi in for her swimming lessons. And when she's here she does start to tidy sometimes and I tell her off lol, like if I invite her round for tea she wants to clean up afterwards.

But it's not like we see her every day and that she's just cooking and cleaning for us. She's involved in our lives a good amount, not too little so I think we hardly see her but then not too much that we want her to go away lol.

My mum feels the same - that she didnt get any help from her parents so she is the same. She lives in another state so she doesnt help at all. Which is fine, they ARE my kids.. hehe We dont get help from anyone. By more grandmotherly - do you mean motherly???? Taking the kids out so you can have a break and doing some housework so you can have a break?? I like the set up we have actually - they come visit and spend some quality play time with the kids with no responsibility and the same when we visit them... They need and deserve a break I think after raising us.. But if they are willing and wanting to do these things, then sure, let them, but if not, then thats ok I think... I think you might be expecting too much, but I also think you had all these ideas about how it would be with her and are now perhaps a little disappointed???? I hope the 2 of you are OK now after your fight. Take care smile
My mum has never taken ds 3yrs or dd 10mths to the park. In fact she has NEVER baby sat for us. OK so she does now live in a different state to us but even before she went we never spent much time with her. My Dad i could count on 2 hands how many times he has seen either or my kids. HE's not the grandfatherly type.

DH parents on the other hand are awesome. Ds has sleep overs every couple of months, They take him to the park etc etc and once dd gets a bit older she will join in on the fun.

But IMO they are our kids and i do not expect anyone else to take responsibility for them.If ds goes to the inlaws 99% of the time it is their choice. I can think of twice since august i have asked them to mind him. And i only ask for important things not just things where it is a pain to have him there due to him being bored.


i''''m baking a baby

I get absolutely NO HELP from my mother (or other close rellie!) - seriosuly, could dedicate a whole thread myself to this! (but will stick to answering your question sorry!)
- not sure what it is , but my mum just expects that I should do it all myself - she isn't here to look after my child for me (as she told me once!) - as she sees her other elderly friends dumped with their grandchildren while their parents go for manicures and hair appts - and she outright told me that she would never do that! - but if I did need her so that I could go to the doctors or something like that she would be there - but guess what, when i had an appt for a pap smear once, i asked her to come and mind dd (as wasn't going to take her in of course!) - and she told me to change the appt to a weekend so DH could look after DD! (so there, even though she said she would help - she NEVER, NEVER does! she never visits, even though we only live an hour away!
I get a bit down about it sometimes, like when i go to the shoopping centre and see mums with their mums and their grandchildren all shopping together or having a coffee together an know that it is something that i and my dd miss out on!
sorry - hope i havent vented too much!
Unfortunately for me we live in Melbourne and my parents live in Nth Qld and MIL lives in WA so I get no help from them. I think they feel that they miss out and would love to spend more time with DS.

Correct me if I am wrong but from what you have written it sounds like you want her to 'want to' help out. Not because you need it, more because you want her to be involved. Maybe explain to her that you felt that she was a fantastic mum to you and you want your children to experience that love that you had growing up. Let her know that you understand that she is tired but maybe make a special time every couple of weeks that is for her and the grandkids??

Umm I think what you're looking for is an Au Pair or nanny!

I don't expect my mother to help me with the daily dealings of raising my kids or looking after my household. She's done her time with that raising us lot!

If I am in a time of need and I ask for assistance, she will help me - for eg I had to ring her at 1am to come and take me to hospital. Next day she finished work early and came and watched the boys so DH could get into his work for a couple of hours. While she was here she did some washing, ironing etc to keep herself busy - but only because I was comatose...

She doesn't just randomly show up to complete acts of housework though! I think it would be extremely self-centred of me to expect her to.
My theory so far on this topic is that most of our parents are baby boomers and that generation is quite selfish themselves these days.

I don't get much help at all, nor do I ask for too much because they are all busy! I think the most frustrating part is that I know how much help they got as new mums back in their day. They were with their mums most days and I remember spending a huge amount of time being baby sat by my grandparents too.(I loved it) I think they were spoilt.

Yes I may sound like I am talking like a spoilt brat wanting help but I actually would just like more involvement too. (not to mention a hand when one of the grandmas is sitting there watching me breast feed a new born and stop the other child taking off a dirty nappy on the floor whilst also trying to console my crying eldest who hurt himself - thats just poor initiative or laziness!)

I think when somebody offers to help or take an interest in your life and your kids whether you accept it or not makes you feel worthy and somewhat important and that is what it is really about at the end of the day - self worth
Posted by: LA78
Umm I think what you're looking for is an Au Pair or nanny!

I don't expect my mother to help me with the daily dealings of raising my kids or looking after my household. She's done her time with that raising us lot!

If I am in a time of need and I ask for assistance, she will help me - for eg I had to ring her at 1am to come and take me to hospital. Next day she finished work early and came and watched the boys so DH could get into his work for a couple of hours. While she was here she did some washing, ironing etc to keep herself busy - but only because I was comatose...

She doesn't just randomly show up to complete acts of housework though! I think it would be extremely self-centred of me to expect her to.


Perhaps I wasnt clear in my OP - although I thought it was pretty clear. My mother and I are very close. I am not looking for her to come and take and raise my children nor to do random acts of housework. I didnt think I needed to clarify that point - but obviously I do. I think you have totally misinterpreted what my question was. I am far from being a selfish, self centered person.

Mum2Owen - spot on! I would like her to WANT to be with them more - I dont NEED her to help more with either of my boys nor do I require I housekeeper to do my housework. It is all fine again between us as we have talked it all out now. I was just curious as to what other grandparents are like. For example my Aunty helps out a lot with things like just popping in to feed and bath my cousin's baby so that she gets a break. Or by taking the baby for a few hours so that my cousin can catch up on sleep.

Igglepiggle - again - spot on. I overheard a woman at the checkout the other day who had 2 grandkids in her trolley squishy all her groceries and she was positively gushing about how great it was being a grandparent. I honestly just wonder if my mum feels that way. I makes me a bit sad that she cant spend more time with them due to her circumstances.

coco3 - thanks for making me feel somewhat normal! lol



Thank you for your replies smile
[Edited on 20/11/2009]
DP still lives with his parents and sisters so they 'help out' a lot, usually B will want Nana over Daddy anyway while he's there!

My parents also help out whenever it's needed or wanted, they have him for a sleepover once a fortnight usually (because they want to, not because I ask) and they will both call in after work during the week to have a coffee and a play with him. Mum came with me to the dr yesterday so B didn't have to watch me have stitches taken out and then sat with him while I got some results and more tests ordered, she'd just come straight from work and no complaints.

Even my godmother has him for sleepovers when she's on school holidays, again because she asks and wants to.

I can't even tell him that he's going with any of them until that morning or he is just beside himself with excitement, lol.

Friends will also help out and vice versa, our kids are all happy to go for sleepovers with various family members and friends, especially when on holidays, one couple will look after all the kids for a few hours at a time so everyone gets to have a relax with their partner.

So it's just normal in our family, and circle of friends. We're very lucky that we have a 'village' to raise all our kids, not because I don't want to raise my own son but because that's just how our life is really! Having said that, he is with me and/or DP one on one 95% of the time each week, we don't just hand him over every couple of hours to someone else to look after, lol.
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