‘We are being used’: Gran’s struggle as daughter relies on her for childcare

For many grandparents, perhaps the only downside of having grandchildren is not being able to see them as often as you might like, however one woman has bucked the trend and admitted she actually feels as if she sees too much of her young granddaughter.

The woman, posting anonymously on forum site Gransnet, revealed that her grown-up daughter and only grandchild turn up at her home almost every evening, following the breakdown of her daughter’s relationship with the father of her child.

Admitting her “guilt” at revealing her struggle, the woman said: “My daughter split up with father of the child a year ago and things are not good between them but he has regular contact with his daughter at weekends.

“My daughter has a new boyfriend (early days), a good job, friends, a nice home, no issues with drugs/alcohol, etc. but she clearly does not like being at home alone with her child in the evenings. Every night when I come home from a very stressful job she arrives with the granddaughter, asks what’s for dinner and then the granddaughter puts on her favorite TV program and gets all her toys out, and they stay for 2-3 hours, often until my bedtime.”

The woman said that, while she “loves her daughter and granddaughter dearly”, she no longer feels as if she is able to live her own life and says she often wants to relax in the evenings and simply read or watch television in peace.

She added: “Sometimes I want to read my book, watch TV, talk to my husband or just chill and not speak to anyone but this has become the routine now and I feel as if I don’t have my own life anymore. I don’t know if I should just put up with it and hope that once her life settles a bit she will not be here every night or what.”

Before asking for advice from fellow Gransnet users, the woman added that she feels she is “being used to entertain the grandchild” as her daughter does not come over in the evenings when her ex-partner is looking after their daughter.

Many people replied to the post, offering their own stories and messages of support for the grandmother. One person told her to put a stop to the behavior as soon as possible, writing: “Nip this in the bud, now. Sorry but don’t know how but this would drive me crazy, much as I love DD and DGC’s. Best of luck – You are certainly not being unreasonable.”

While another suggested she should just go along with it and enjoy the time she gets to spend with her granddaughter, adding: “I know it must feel wearing – but just go along with it. It won’t be forever and how lovely that they can come to you like this.”

One person suggested her daughter may simply be feeling lonely and suggested that the gran should avoid saying or doing anything that may upset her or cause a strain on their relationship.

Another wrote: “I do sympathize. I think you should do something about this situation. Does your husband know how you feel? How does HE feel? Might he be the best person to tackle your daughter? One or both of you need to make it clear to her that she is overdoing the visiting and is taking you for granted.

“You could suggest she limits her visits to a couple of times a week or try telling her in advance that you will both be out on Monday/Tuesday/whatever next week but you will look forward to seeing them both on Wednesday/Thursday/Friday/whatever. Good luck!”

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