My grandmother might have been good by looking after my sister and I when we were little but when I had children, before my second marriage to Mr Furlong, we got very little help. My first husband’s parents used to baby-sit for us occasionally on a rare evening under quiet duress. They did not enjoy it and made us feel very guilty for asking them to endure such a thing. If we were “late” – they used to be very short with us. They never, as far as I remember, ever looked after our children during the day – even though we did not have a “maid” to do it for us. We used to go out a lot – all the children could sleep anywhere under any conditions so we just took them with us.
My own mother did not baby-sit at all because she lived in another city and she loathed my husband and he her. My father took no interest in his grandchildren and died at fifty-nine. My Grandparents on my father’s side had died by then, but my own grandmother also took no interest in her great-grandchildren.
I think all these grandparents might have liked my children, though they never said. They never indicated in anyway that my children were particularly meaningful to them.
I had no good role models.