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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default Please help me make a decision

    Hi all, I am a bit conflicted on what to do. I have 5 kids - aged 16 down to 6 and my husband and I have the opportunity to go away together for 5 days to Perth (we live in Qld) and initially my mother agreed to look after the kids for that time - staying in our house. Mum's personality is very much that of a worrier and catasrophiser (is that a word? haha) and although it's still a couple of months away, she has started up the fretting about things that most people probably wouldn't even worry about. I have rarely asked her to take care of the kids, but she has spent a lot of time with them as we are a close family but I learnt early on after having my first that she doesn't deal well with the responsibility of taking care of them. Mum and Dad are together but Dad point blank just won't do anything he doesn't want to do, and taking care of my kids is one of those things. He will do plenty for us, but will not commit to taking care of them for a week. They are getting old now - 73, but fit and active. I suppose everything gets more challenging as you get older. Having said all of this, there is NOONE I trust more than them to take care of my children. My husband asked his mother, but she said no, it was too much to ask.

    We don't go away together as a couple, it's always with the kids, if we do - and I think it's good for a marriage if we can spend time together, but my mother has a very old fashioned view that once you have kids everything else should ALWAYS come second including marriage, but although I mostly agree with that I think that things are obviously better if a marriage is kept healthy. My parents have a very disfunctional relationship and not something that I would want for myself. But that's their business and they're too old for change.

    I have noone else I would ask to take care of the kids, I know that a week is a long time, BUT my kids are not difficult children, they're all pretty independant, even the little ones and I just don't think it should be such a big deal for my parents to do what we do, all the time, for just one week.

    Clearly they do though, so my question is, would you just "ignore" the fretting and go ahead with the plan to go (she hasn't outright said NO, just made it very clear she's NOT confident about us going) or cancel the whole thing and just accept that unless I find other people I can trust to look after the kids, just accept husband and I will get no time together as a couple until they've all grown up and left home!

    One thing I have learnt from my parenting experience so far, is that when I'm a grandparent I will do as much as I can to allow my children to nurture their own marriage. I don't think my parents get it - but then again they don't have what I'd call a good marriage.

    I'm feeling very flat

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Before canceling the trip try to find as many ways as possible to lighten the load on your mum. Can you organise after school care or play dates for every child every day that you are gone (including having them dropped home). Can you have dinners cooked and in your mums freezer for every night you are gone. Can you organise a cleaner to come after you are back as a thankyou and in case the kids leave their house a little grimey. That's all I can think of for now..... I think it is important to invest in your marriage but you also need to listen to your mums concerns. It sounds like she WANTS to have them but is unsure if she can manage- I think that's a fair concern. Good luck. X

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    I would sit down with her and go over the things that she finds the most overwhelming and concerning, then come up with solutions and ways to make everything as stress-free and easy as possible for her.

    Sounds like it's just her nature to be a worrier. Some people are like that, but when it comes to the actual challenge, they cope fine.

    I hope you go ahead with your trip and have a wonderful time

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    I would talk to her and find out what she is worrying about. Try and have plans in place in case her worries come to fruition.
    I also agree that nurturing your marriage is extremely important, I would do everything in my power to make the time away happen! Good luck!

  7. #5
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    I would sit down with her and try and talk through all of her concerns (note that that probably isnt possible, but it may alleviate some of her more major worries).

    the 16 yr old should be able to take care of most of the things anyway ...

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  9. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    I feel for you

    My parents are coming up to look after my kids when DP and I go to Cambodia for 10 nights.

    I would talk to your Mum and point out the things you are going to organise to make it easier for her.

    What I'm planning to do for mine is.

    Order tuck shop online for each day the tuck shop is open. Pre-pack snacks for their lunch boxes and label each day.

    I'm going to meal plan for Mum (up to her whether she follows it or not) with the recipes out.

    Have a calender out with a checklist of things the kids have to do (for them to check off).

    Any after school activities I'm going to cancel for the time we are away (unless Mum says otherwise).

    That's all I have thought off at the moment.

    Don't cancel yet, try and talk to your Mum.

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  11. #7
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    My nan often looked after the 4 of us for 1-2 weeks when we were kids when my parents went on business trips. Probably at a similar age range too. My nan would have been in her 70s then but she was much more confident. I'm thinking the 16 year should be mostly able to look after themselves which will make it easier. Maybe try and reassure your Mum and address any worries she has however irrational you think they are.


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