Wedding Woes

Can you work in some weekend days?

I’m at an impasse with my parents that I no longer know how to address. I work as a nurse overnight, three nights a week. I have been doing so for eight years. I started when my son was little and now he is 13, almost old enough to stay by himself but not quite there.

My parents, of course, have gotten older as well. They are now in their mid-70s, though still in great health for the most part. They are active. My son has mostly gotten along with them and, except for the normal teenage issues, they have very little problems with him.

Here is where the issue comes in. Over the last two years (pandemic times), I have found that for my mental and physical health, working my three nights all at once is better for my health than splitting up one on, two off or two on and one off. The problem is my parents are completely against me working that. They say it’s too hard on them to deal with getting my son up and out the door on school days three times a week. But when my days are split up, I find my energy is bad, I don’t get much in terms of recovery, and I find myself easily slipping into depression. I also snack more as well which is impacting my weight.

I keep getting the push back that since they are providing child care, I should bend to them, but I don’t know if I can take the mental hit any more. Any advice for discussing this rationally? Half the time my mom either shuts the conversation down or she gets very upset. For what it’s worth, my father seems fine with the idea. I’ve been in therapy and the last therapist I had (insurance changed so I’m between at the moment) agreed that I did better with multiple in a row.

Re: Can you work in some weekend days?

  • You have a few options but I get none of them seem great; adjust your work schedule to accommodate your (free, generous) childcare until he’s old enough to stay alone, try and switch your nights to the weekend when he doesn’t need to go to school, find a job where you can work days instead of nights, find another childcare arrangement. 

    But you can’t just expect them to do whatever you want them to if it’s impacting their health or lives too. 
    ILoveBeachMusic
  • The getting a kid up and out the door for school at 13 is about as low energy as it gets for a grown up.    

    I don't think the subject line is going to work unless there's another person available.  IMO, the LW may need to look into alternative childcare or a different schedule type if the mother and father are making this an issue.    

    I'm somewhat sympathetic to the grandparents in that they don't HAVE to do things that are out of their comfort zone but if it was my ILs who said this I'd roll my eyes.  

    LW is going to need to start to brainstorm other options.  Maybe it means moving to days (which likely doesn't come with the shift differential) or see if maybe there are other alternatives for the nights that they're working .  They're also going to need to be clear to their parents about the mental toll that the prior schedule took on them to their parents.  If the current schedule is good for the LW  but no good for the parents then their mental health needs to be considered too. 
    charlotte989875
  • Could LW not look into a carpool situation for school? 


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    MyNameIsNot
  • mrsconn23 said:
    First of all, your son needs some expectations put on him to be responsible.  13 is not too young.  DefConn is 10, sets his own alarm, gets up and prepares himself for school without any intervention from DH or me.  

    Secondly, sure your parents are in good health and active...but they're also done with their kid raising years.  Three nights a week is a lot to ask of anyone.  

    Third, I understand the type of shift work described is a very difficult pattern to maintain.  I know people who do it and some handle it better than others.  But asking your parents to bear more burden is not the answer.  Talk to your employer and see if there is another shift or schedule that you can work out OR start looking for a new job with a schedule that will serve your physical and mental health needs and works for your childcare.  Your parents are making it clear that their partnership in childcare has limits.  It's up to you to work within them. 

    My mom made it clear she did not want to be a regular caretaker for any of our kids.  She just wanted to enjoy being a grandma.  She had friends who did take roles in raising their grandkids and hated to see how it made them feel about their kids and grandkids. 
    That's what I'm wondering too.  Can there be SOME kind of compromise here if they can find someone to pick up the kid?  Then it's "He will stay at your home on these nights and will get himself up and ready for school in the morning.  His ride will be here at 8.  I'm sending breakfast and casseroles for your home for the week." 

    If that's not doable so that all grandma needs to do is give the kid a hug in the morning and put out a cereal bowl then LW has to come up with another option.

    Mental health is SO important to everyone - not just the working. 
    charlotte989875mrsconn23
  • mrsconn23 said:
    First of all, your son needs some expectations put on him to be responsible.  13 is not too young.  DefConn is 10, sets his own alarm, gets up and prepares himself for school without any intervention from DH or me.  

    Secondly, sure your parents are in good health and active...but they're also done with their kid raising years.  Three nights a week is a lot to ask of anyone.  

    Third, I understand the type of shift work described is a very difficult pattern to maintain.  I know people who do it and some handle it better than others.  But asking your parents to bear more burden is not the answer.  Talk to your employer and see if there is another shift or schedule that you can work out OR start looking for a new job with a schedule that will serve your physical and mental health needs and works for your childcare.  Your parents are making it clear that their partnership in childcare has limits.  It's up to you to work within them. 

    My mom made it clear she did not want to be a regular caretaker for any of our kids.  She just wanted to enjoy being a grandma.  She had friends who did take roles in raising their grandkids and hated to see how it made them feel about their kids and grandkids. 
    This is real- we’ve had to have very candid conversations with the grandmas about how our whole situation works (my mom 4 days a week, Hs mom once). MIL doesn’t want to fo more than that regularly although she will fill in if needed. But we never want to get to a point where they feel they don’t want to be involved with M. 

    As he gets older we’ll move to daycare but it’s a situation everyone needs to be clear about but it sounds like the LW and parents are not signing from the same songbook here. 
    mrsconn23
  • mrsconn23 said:
     Secondly, sure your parents are in good health and active...but they're also done with their kid raising years.  Three nights a week is a lot to ask of anyone.  

     But asking your parents to bear more burden is not the answer.   

    My mom made it clear she did not want to be a regular caretaker for any of our kids.  She just wanted to enjoy being a grandma.  She had friends who did take roles in raising their grandkids and hated to see how it made them feel about their kids and grandkids. 
    I'm here too.  It's good that LW has figured out what schedule is best for them and their health, but it shouldn't be at the grandparents' expense.  And LW is leaning really heavily on their 70-something parents.  
    My parents are world's best Nana and Pop Pop but I couldn't imagine asking them to watch my kids that much.  They raised four kids already.
    charlotte989875MyNameIsNot
  • mrsconn23 said:
    First of all, your son needs some expectations put on him to be responsible.  13 is not too young.  DefConn is 10, sets his own alarm, gets up and prepares himself for school without any intervention from DH or me.  

    Secondly, sure your parents are in good health and active...but they're also done with their kid raising years.  Three nights a week is a lot to ask of anyone.  

    My mom made it clear she did not want to be a regular caretaker for any of our kids.  She just wanted to enjoy being a grandma.  She had friends who did take roles in raising their grandkids and hated to see how it made them feel about their kids and grandkids. 
    1st - I'm kinda thinking same. At 11 I was walking myself to school super early without a parent home - after school was different, I had to call my nana when I was home so someone knew I was safe {and if my BFF was with my or not lol}

    2nd - my mum watches BK after prek but she offered
  • As a former latch key kid, I don't understand how a 13 year old can't get himself up and ready for school. 
    I'm guessing it isn't that he can't get himself up but that he'd still have to get himself up in the mom and dad's house.  I was a latch key kid but never overnight.  So the question in this is can the grandparents do this and be hands off?  

    I'm assuming that this involves the son staying with the grandparents for those nights and that they are not all under one roof.
    ei34charlotte989875
  • Or it's an excuse because they just don't want to do it anymore (bc it seems silly that a 13 year old can't get ready, etc himself).  Which is totally valid, but they should just say that.  
    charlotte989875STARMOON44
  • I think the parents are using it as an excuse as they no longer want to be doing it but are afraid to just outright say it.  Unless the kid is a disaster to get ready in the morning it probably isn't all that hard, but maybe the parents don't want to have that responsibility 3 days in a row every week. Maybe they want to sleep in, or go meet friends for coffee without worrying about a kid. 

    Especially now my parents have offered to watch DS more but I cant imagine them doing it all the time because I want them to continue to have a nice, fun grandparent relationship without parental obligation toward him.  I know there may be a time or two when I will need them for an overnight or helping to get off to school some time but not a long term deal like this.
    charlotte989875ei34mrsconn23Casadena
  • Pay for childcare, leave your son on his own, or do what they want. 
    ei34CasadenaMissKittyDangerMyNameIsNot
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