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September 24th, 2012, 10:50 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
This is my first post here, and I joined actually to get some feedback from you all on kind of a delicate situation about my parents. Sorry if this is long but I wanted to give you the full picture so you can really help - because I need it.
My parents are nearly 70 and 66. They have two older grandchildren (both in HS) and now my daughter Emily who turned 2 in July. I knew when I conceived that they likely would not want to keep Emily overnight; they are in good health overall, but my dad had a kidney removed about 2 months before Emily was born and just gets tired more easily than he used to. My husband is a stay at home dad; he emigrated here from England so his mom and sister are both back in the UK.
What I didn't expect was for them to NEVER ask for time with her. The only time they see her is when I take her over there most Saturdays. At that, I am always there unless I have a quick errand to run. My sister and her two teenagers are usually there too and help with Emily. The only times they keep her beside that is if my husband has a doctor appointment or the rare times I asked them to keep her for a few hours so we could go to dinner and a movie, etc.
Any 'overnight' visits have been handled by my good friend Karen. The last one was two weekends ago when we went up to Chicago on a Friday morning. My mom had told me that they'd like to pick Emily up on Saturday and have her for a few hours which was fine by me. They had her from 11 - 4:30. However - when they dropped Emily off with Karen, they proceeded to tell Karen how my husband and I 'had no idea how exhausted it makes them' to keep Emily.
When Karen told me that, I felt like I had been punched in the gut. I have gone out of my way NOT to overburden them with babysitting and have only asked when we have no other options (I am working and he has an appointment) or when Karen can't keep her and we'd like to go out for a few hours and have a date. I thought that's what grandparents were for. Not to mention that I didn't even ask them to come get her on the weekend we were gone - they volunteered!
At this point, I am angry and frankly hurt by their selfishness, let alone the way they sort of dogged us out to our babysitter instead of saying such a thing to my face. I can't tell you how hurt and upset I am to be made to feel like my child is something to be endured, not enjoyed. I could see it if we thrust her on them every time they turned around, but that simply is not the case. My husband never gets a break from her, and has been so down about it lately that I made him go to the doctor for depression. Given my work week and commute time, there are about 45/50 hours a week that I simply can't help him either.
In the face of this, I want to stop making the 'every Saturday' visit a routine thing and I also want them to know their 'message' got back to me. I feel if they want to see Emily, they should ask for time and it shouldn't always be when it's easiest for them. But how do I go about this? I don't even know where to begin or what to say. I'm still so stung by it that I've had to avoid talking to them all together because I'm afraid I'll say something I'll regret.
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