I feel like a bad mother

United States
March 31, 2008 12:49pm CST
So here's the story. Me and my husband and daughter live with my grandma cause basically we are terrible with money and can't afford to pay rent anywhere. She watches our daughter while we are at work. We never go out and do things by ourselves as husbadn and wife. I don't get to see my friends, ever, ever, ever. So this weekend I take Mike to work and leave Stephanie home with gram cause she has an ear infection. I go get my haircut which my gram knew about. My friend Steve wanted to meet for lunch so I called her and she flipped out on me saying that i never ask her anything I just do it and I go out all the time. We are lucky if we go out once a month and it's only to his friend's house to watch wrestling. So she says just go out with your friend. Well when I got home she flips on me again saying that I don't care about my kid and that I am always dumping her on someone so I can do what I want. Um not true. If you have a problem with watching her while we are at work then we will get a sitter. If you don't want to watch her while we go out then say something and we will make other arrangements. Now my mom calls me today after talking with gram and asks me if I love my daughter. What kind of question is that? Now I am really mad because my feelings for my daugher and my parenting skills are being questioned. My mom drank all the time when I was growing up and my gram raised an alcoholic and a gay son so who are these people to give me crap about my kid?
8 people like this
29 responses
@tinkerick (1257)
• United States
31 Mar 08
It sounds to me like your grandma is getting a bit tired of having you all in her place. I bet if you somehow managed to get a place of your own, and THEN had her watch your daughter, it would alleviate some of the "flipping out". As well, having a different babysitter for your rare "going out" occasions would also help keep her perspective on the right path. Since she already watches your daughter all week, having her for extra time makes her feel like you are never with your daughter, although I'm sure she knows in her heart that it isn't true. All this flipping out is probably stemming from surface stress, and I don't think she really truly believes that you are a bad mother.
6 people like this
@tinkerick (1257)
• United States
31 Mar 08
After reading the other responses, I do agree that you should offer more compensation to your grandmother. Offer her something for watching your daughter - especially on the extra occasions. Leave it up to her to refuse the offering. Don't just expect not to pay her anything because she is family. Family still likes to be shown they are appreciated, and not being taken advantage of. We used to have my husbands older daughters (grown up and on their own) watch our kids for our rare going out occasions, and we always offered them monetary payment. Sometimes they'd refuse, but many times they accepted it, after all, who couldn't use a few extra dollars?
4 people like this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
17 Jun 08
I would definitely be moving out, pronto, and I would always use another paid sitter, forget about grandma. She's not even appreciative of this time she gets with her granddaughter, so I guess she doesn't deserve it. This isn't the only case of this, i've seen situations like this repeatedly. I do agree that maybe they should offer her payment, but if she won't take it, then you can chalk it down to family. Before my older daughter moved out, I would pay her to babysit if I left the house. If i was just busy in the house and not leaving the property, I did not pay her, although I would ask her first and if she was getting ready to leave or doing homework, then I'd just wait till later. Family does tend to take itself for granted, which is one of the innate problems in dealing with family. They seem to feel that rules and boundaries do not apply to them as family, or that they deserve special privelages because they are family. I disagree heartily with both of these suggestions, family needs to follow the same rules and boundaries as anybody else, and any privelages are given specifically to people based on their own merit, not family vs friend vs stranger. In my personal life, I have given many more privelages to my friends rather than family, because friends do not take advantage and they are not freaking nosy, nor do they try to 'take over' my kids or do things that go against my parenting philosophies.
@kezabelle (2985)
31 Mar 08
SOrry but lol at raising a gay son does this make her any less of a person to comment on parenting skills? errr no i dont think so I fail to see the relevance to be honest. If I got my gran to babysit every day while I worked im sure she would get pissed at having to watch my children while I then went out, and forget its family you shouldnt have to pay of course you should , she is giving up her full day to care for your child, if you can afford to make other arrangements like you say then you can afford to pay her for her time, that and 100$ is nothing for a family of three you are very lucky!
5 people like this
@sedel1027 (17868)
• United States
31 Mar 08
Sounds like your grandmother is tired of you freeloading off of her. Since you both work, you should be paying her rent as well as food and daycare. She feels taken advantage of and I don't blame her for going off on you.
4 people like this
• United States
31 Mar 08
well that was the agreement we had when we first moved in there. She set the rent amount and that money is used towards the utilities/food, etc. We do buy food and I get WIC so I get the milk, eggs, cheese, cereal for everyone. IT's not like we don't contribute anything.
2 people like this
@sedel1027 (17868)
• United States
31 Mar 08
In reality, what you contribute does not out weight the baby sitting she does or the stress you are putting on her. She probably thinks that since you can not manage money that you will never move out, seh probably worries about what will happen to you if something happens to her...that is a lot to handle on top ob having additional people in her home and being a free baby sitter. You guys need to get you act straight and move out.
3 people like this
@icyorchid (2566)
• United States
31 Mar 08
I agree with you on that. Now they can take a class on how to manage money and then they can move out. If you can't handle money and gram wasn't there, what would have happened? I don't know how long you have lived with gram, or when that price was set, but $100 does not go a long way for 3 extra people using electricity, water, phone, etc. You may get WIC, but WIC doesn't supply everything your gram does. It is too much on her and you need to help her more. If you can't move out, at least make her feel at ease and that you aren't trying to take advantage of her and that has to be how she is feeling.
2 people like this
@deebomb (15347)
• United States
31 Mar 08
First I have 2 questions. Do you pay Grandma to watch your children and do you pay board and room?
4 people like this
• United States
31 Mar 08
we pay her $100 rent but we don't pay for babysitting cause she's family and we shouldnt' have to. Plus she's never said anything about us paying her.
4 people like this
@icyorchid (2566)
• United States
31 Mar 08
First of all with both of you working, you should be able to afford more than $100 a month. With the economy the way it is right now, $100 a month is very cheap Second just because your gram is family, it would be a nice gesture on your part to pay your gram for watching your daughter. Maybe not while you are at work, but when you go to the friends for wrestling or out to meet a friend. You said it in your discussion if she has a problem with just watching your child, then you would make other arrangements, in my opinion that states you are willing to pay someone to watch her while you are out, so why not pay your gram. Third, it doesn't matter what they did, the thing is maybe they may see you doing the same thing or recognize you may be going down the same path and don't want to see anything happen to your daughter. These are just suggestions, I am in no way putting you down. I was a mom at 17 and made mistakes, but I have a great relationship with my daughter after realizing some mistakes I made and apologized for. My daughter is now 25. Have a great day
5 people like this
@jaredlp (418)
• United States
2 Apr 08
Problem is she isn't living with her grandma she is living off of her grandma. I will garrentee that grandmas bills have risen by far more then a hundred a month with two adults and child staying with her, not to mention I doubt they give a lot toward food, just dont seem like the type. Solution was harsh but so is the reality of the this situation
@deebomb (15347)
• United States
31 Mar 08
Lets see $100.00 for rent. Most places around here are any where from $400 $700.00 for a half way decent place and that with 4 bedrooms. Eggs, cheese, milk and cereal. Well groceries for three of us run about $200 per month with 3 grown adults and 2 not here for half the meals. Utilities so far this winter are $200.00 per month. Now I'm a grandmother and I have practically raised my 2 grandchildren. That makes me spending 40 years of raising kids. I'm tired of it. I don't want to spend my time babysitting any more. It's not easy being 63 years old and raising kids. We aren't as patient as we used to be. It takes much more energy to care for a little one. You can't do what you really might want to do. This has nothing to do with whether or not we love those little ones. Just maybe your grandmother had some planes of her own. With 2 of you working it shouldn't take too long to get on your feet and out on your own too.
4 people like this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
17 Jun 08
You know, grandparents should not be raising the new generation of children. It just shouldn't be happening. I know some people do it because they happen to be there, but what about a little tough love and telling your grown kids that they have already raised you and their job is done. Doing it out of obligation or because you feel you have to is silly, step back, let your kids do it. If they are forced to sink or swim, most of them will learn to swim. Another thing, parents should be raising kids who by the time they are older teens WANT to leave home and strike out on their own. If this isn't the case and they'd be quite happy to keep living with you till they are 35, you've got problems. Make the situation uncomfortable for them. Charge them increasing rent, expect them to clean up after themselves as if you weren't there, buy their own groceries, do their own laundry, be home or quiet by a certain time of night. I guarantee they will think more and more of moving if just to have freedom. It is not natural to want to keep living with your parents once you are an adult and enabling it isn't good either.
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
31 Mar 08
Well it sounds like you have a whole lot going on and really need to get out of there and on your own feet. Some of this could be stemming from the fact that they may think that if you two were really responsible parents you would get yourself good with money so you could provide a home for your child. Going out once a month is a priveledge when your a parent. A lot of us wish we could go out that often. Even though it doesn't seem often to you it really is in comparison to a lot of other parents. The question I have is...How involved are you with your child's care while you are all at home? Could your grandmother feel like she is taking on more than her share of the household responsibilities too? It sounds like you all nee to sit down and figure up a workable schedule for everything...including when the three of you can move out. (and by the way, we're living with his parents so I know how stressful it is and how hard it is to move)
4 people like this
• United States
31 Mar 08
It sounds like gram is looking for her own space. Seems like you's need to start looking for your own place. She is getting annoyed at everyone being there all the time and she lashed out on something that did not seem like a huge deal. Let me just say though if your going out once a month even if it is only to a friends house than your lucky. My son is 6 years old and if i could get away at least once a month for a few hours I would be more than happy. You gram watches your daughter during the day and than watching her once a month so you's can go out. And she opened her doors and let yous live there. Seems like she is bending over backwards. Maybe you need to rethink some things.
4 people like this
@Darkwing (21590)
31 Mar 08
I have a few questions which I hope you don't mind me asking. Firstly, if you're really bad with money, and you know you are, why aren't you getting help with budgeting and finding your own home? I'm sure your Grandmother charges you almost enough to cover rental on a place, anyhow, and you would just have to find money for food and the baby's necessities. Secondly, do you reward her for babysitting on he spur of the moment? You had already gone out to get your hair cut, and perhaps your Gran had something she wanted to do when you got back. That's why she was mad. Perhaps a bunch of flowers, a box of chocolates or a few dollars would have been nice, for taking care of your baby? Perhaps also, you should have told your friend Steve that your baby had an ear infection and you needed to get home, but you could meet for lunch the next week? It would have avoided all this bad feeling. It's possible that because of her ear infection, Stehanie was fretting, and your Gran was finding it tough to quiet her or something, and whereas it would normally be ok with her if you go out, perhaps this time was a little too much, huh? I don't think you should be mad at anybody, and I think you should leave the past to rest. What matters is your situation here and now. Go out and buy your Gran something nice, even if it's only flowers, give them to her with an apology, and tell her you don't like the ill feeling between you, as she does a lot for you, and you love her for it. It's better to forgive and forget, and make somebody you care for happy along the way. Brightest Blessings.
@Darkwing (21590)
1 Apr 08
Tut tut... I think maybe you could stop the hurtful name calling and give a more subtle opinion? After all, you only know what you've been told and that's not the whole story. Mylot is a good place to get positive feedback. I have found that out over the past fifteen months, but I think we could tone down the negatives, at least, just a little. Brightest Blessings.
1 person likes this
@chazsgirl (256)
• United States
31 Mar 08
I think your grandmother is just getting tired of baby sitting and maybe just wants to live her life children free. May-be she wants to have her life too. I understand totally with the fact that you can't afford anything but there are so many gov. programs to help find and pay for a baby sitter, housing food, everything, maybe it's time you left and tried it again on your own. you had the kids and it's time to take responsibility. I am not saying anything against you but sounds like everyone feels like they are raising your child and you aren't ever there. I got crap from my husband for never being there because I was the only one working and he took care of the kids but just because you are working doen't mean you don't care. all they see is you never there, they don't care why. I say leave and find your own way. you are adults and it is possible!
3 people like this
@ebsharer (5519)
• United States
2 Apr 08
I have to ask how old is your grandmother. Thats your daughters great grand mother. I seen on your profile you are 25 so your grandmother is between 60 and 70 right?
1 person likes this
• Australia
1 Apr 08
Well, while I agree with you that your mom and Grandmother seemed to be going a little overboard with this one, I have to say that you have no one to blame but yourself for putting you and your daughter in this position. If you're bad with money, then don't you think it's time to grow up and get better at handling your finances? I mean there's a time to grow up and if you are a married woman with a child, then now's the time! I wish I could say "oh, well, I'm bad with money, so, my husband and I need to live with a relative." That's not the real world. The real world is making it on your own and taking responsibility for yourself. If you were single, I think I could understand it a little better but you are a grown married woman with a child and you need to get your own place and learn to start handling your money like an adult....
2 people like this
• Australia
2 Apr 08
I'm sure she wants to bust me in the mouth for that but since she asked for our opinion, I thought I would be honest LOL...
2 people like this
@jaredlp (418)
• United States
2 Apr 08
to me it obivious she wanted to hear people say she a good mom and poor her. she not likeing that most is saying she needes to grow up
2 people like this
• Australia
2 Apr 08
Yeah, I noticed she hasn't responded to anyone. Oh well, sometimes people can't handle the truth...
1 person likes this
@Mamagee (392)
• Malaysia
3 Apr 08
Ya, there's somthing happen that we can't avoid at all. There' s one thing you should understand about your grandma. An old people usually has vary sensitive feeling and react negatively. It is because of their age factor.
2 people like this
• United States
3 Apr 08
well as much as I hate to admit I have thought a lot about what EVERYONE had to say. Maybe I can treat her a little bit better and when we pay her the rent this weekend I am going to add an extra $20 to it for her watching Stephanie on Sunday night. It's not much but I know that she will appreciate the gesture. We are planning on moving out and in our town there is a program called ProjectSave where you save money and they match what you save up to 1k and you have to take classes on how to manage money which I know I am terrible at. So thank you everyone for the advice/responses/backlash. Maybe I needed to hear it.
2 people like this
@tessah (6638)
• United States
2 Apr 08
first off.. the fact your uncle is gay has nothing to do whatsoever in the parenting skills of yer grandmother. geeeesh. secondly.. why should you even doubt yer parenting due to things said by a person that was a drunk while you were young? thirdly.. if you dont like the way your life is being dictated.. grow up and get a place of yer own instead of leaching off yer gran.
2 people like this
@ebsharer (5519)
• United States
2 Apr 08
Talk about hitting the nail on the head!
1 person likes this
@mflower2053 (3227)
• United States
31 Mar 08
I wouldn't listen to them. If your doing all you can to give your daughter a good life then do what you have to do. It may be too much for your gram to watch your daughter right now and I would find a different babysitter if I was you. That way you wouldn't have any problems. Maybe only ask her to babysit when you go somewhere like to the store but for a while let her cool off and maybe she will come around. I would have a talk with her if I were you. I think she may be tired of you guys living there also. Even if you have no other place to go.
2 people like this
@schilds (410)
• United States
2 Apr 08
Her daughter had an ear infection - she wasn't dying from the black plague. I have often left my children home with coughs and runny noses, and yes - ear infections to go run errands or Oh! No!... eat. If no one is home I take them with me, but if there is someone who is well able to care for them I leave them home where they are comfortable, and not spreading their illness around to others. So unless you have some other personal knowledge of this girls life that she didn't share with the rest of us it sounds like she is in need of help - we have all been there. And your judgemental crap isnt helping anyone
1 person likes this
@Elixiress (3893)
27 May 08
WTF? How is your Gran a bad mother for raising a gay son? Anyone off that point, maybe you should sit down and talk to her and discuss whether she wants to look after your child and explain that you have to leave her with someone has you need to go to work in order to have money to clothe her and feed her. Maybe come to some agreements between you's, you and your husband go out one day and your Gran can go out somewhere some other day etc.
2 people like this
@asgtswife04 (2482)
• United States
15 Apr 08
I think that if you and your husband were to handle money better and get a place of your own to raise your family, then your family wouldn't have such a problem watching her as much. She's probably just a little frustrated when she watches her all day and then you and your husband want to go out and probably feels like she has her more than you do. also, it could be her age. she might just be feeling overwhelmed by everything. maybe you and your husband could come up with a plan on how to handle your money better, whether it's to put some in an account that is only for bills and can't be touched unless it's to pay bills like rent, elec., etc and then whatever you have left over you spend. i would say that your family just needs to see the two of you trying to get out on your own and to mature when it comes to money. i don't think that your a bad mother what so ever, but you definitely need a place that you and your daughter and husband can call your own instead of living with someone else. good luck and God bless
@mansha (6301)
• India
14 Apr 08
I can understand your plight quite well as I am stuck in the same boat too. I have noone to watch my kid so I do not work. But the money is becoming an issue these days, having to ask him for it all the time, is bugging me a lot and having to stay hoem all the time is getting on my nerve too. You are not a bad mom but you do need a break now and then,may be your gran does too, do get a stter next time and tell her its just to help her out with the child. Beieve me she will be happy.
2 people like this
@sunrisekn (1468)
• United States
3 Apr 08
My grandmother watches my son and they have a great time. I pay her 25.00 per day and sometimes he's there 3, 4, or 5 days a week. I just depends on my work schedule. I would NEVER try to have her take care of him without compensation. She doesn't like to take it, and most times she turns right around and buys my son clothes or new toys with it, but other times she puts it in her savings account. Anytime I ask a family member to keep my son I offer to pay them. It's common courtesy. They choose not to take it, but it is their choice. Your gram sounds like she needs alittle break from everything.
@Debs_place (10551)
• United States
1 Apr 08
Gram is not a youngster and having a child living with you and watching her is very tiring for her. So let's see, you live with Grandma and from what I read you pay very little rent. She is your babysitter. Daycare I'll be these days is $800 or more a month. Grandma is saving you a small fortune. Do you buy food, do you cook for Grandma, drive her around and help her around the house? Are you saving your money with plans of moving out and getting your own place? Ok, now my next question is -- if you think Grandma did such a bad job raising her kids - then why would you want to leave your daughter with her and why would you live with her. It sounds to me like she is pretty darn good to let you move in. Grandma may be tired and not feeling well...have you considered that?
2 people like this
@relundad (2312)
• United States
17 Jun 08
Ok here goes(you're probally not gonna like my response)...First off Gram is probally just plain old tired! If she watches your daughter while you are at work then it seems to me that if you want to do somethng outside of work that you should be able to get another sitter. Only fair. She has no obligation to be the live in sitter. The financial situation that you are is not Gram's responsibility nor problem to fix. When you say that you and your husband aren't very good with money, says to me that you have consciously made some bad financial decisions and unfortunately as a result then your marriage and social life suffer as a result of. I suggest that you take a hard look at your situation and rely on yourself and your husband to fix it. Your Gram has apparently helped you guys out alot at a point her life that she should be taking the slow road.
1 person likes this
@carolscash (9504)
• United States
9 Jun 08
No, I don't believe that you are a bad mom or that you are taking advantage of grandma, other than I think that you should pay her something for watching your daughter. Do you help her around the house with cleaning, etc.? If not, then she may just feel very overwhelmed since she has the child and has all of the work to do. Just offer her some money or at least find someone else who will watch her when you are going out for a special occasion. As far as leaving your daughter when she was sick making you a bad parent, that is crazy as most working moms leave their child when they are sick and that doesn't make them a bad person.