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Child care commitment

(40 Posts)
cherry1957 Fri 10-Jul-15 23:08:19

My husband and I have recently retired and moved near to our daughter and grandchild. My daughter is soon going back to work and would like us to do some of the childcare. My husband is really keen to do several days a week but I don't honestly want to do any. I've only just finished looking after our (many!) children and I was so looking forward to a peaceful time with dh, and really relishing the thought of time to ourselves to pursue hobbies, chill in the garden, take up new activities etc. I absolutely adore my grandchild and I want to have lots of Grandma time but I don't want to take on a full or even part time carer role. I suggested compromising on one day a week but my husband is implying that I'm being selfish and that he loves our daughter and gc more than I do. AIBU??

cherry1957 Sat 11-Jul-15 11:12:10

Thank you all so much for your input, I think I'm seeing various issues much clearer now. I've had another word with dh and though we haven't exactly sorted anything out, he is now in no doubt as to my feelings! I like Soontobe's idea of doing one day's care together and letting him do one day alone; that could work well. In fact, I'm feeling the excitement rise at the thought of a day a week all to myself to do what I want with!! And Coolgran, I think you in particular covered most bases brilliantly for me, thank you!!

Sugarpufffairy Sat 11-Jul-15 20:00:15

I have been asked to cover shifts that my dd took on without even mentioning anything to me. It is 7 days of 14 hour shifts starting at 7 a.m. and ending at 9 p.m. I dont think that is legal for DD to work those hours in one week. I dont want her to work shfts like that. She is going through a break up. I think she should re-assess her life quietly and calmly. She is very stressed and needs to rest ad become calm. It is the school holidays here and she shoud spend time with DGC. It is her choice to work these hours. She does not seem to understand that I am old (more than twice her age) and not in good health. She knows that she could get Carer's Allowance for me. Yet even so expects that I can babysit. She was knew last year that the Dr said I should not be babysitting.
She s stressed and making mistakes but wont listen. I was going to pay for a holiday for DD and DGC. DCC might be autistic and can be difficut.
The youngsters dont realise how much they are putting upon the GPS

Deedaa Sat 11-Jul-15 21:43:09

I would definitely talk this through thoroughly with your daughter. If you can come to an arrangement with her, with perhaps you having DGC one day a week, then you have something you can present to your DH as a workable arrangement. I agree that me may feel he's missed out on his own children, but it doesn't necessarily mean he's going to enjoy the reality of it so one day may be plenty.

Luckygirl Sat 11-Jul-15 21:54:18

As others have said - he missed out first time around as he was earning the money to make a large family possible. He obviously feels strongly about it to make comments about differences in how much you care for your GC - I am sure he knows that this is unreasonable and it is just a reflection of how strong his need to do this is.

It is just an example of partners having different views on things - happens all the time I guess. There will be a compromise based on the strength of feeling on both sides. His stance is not unreasonable, and neither is yours; but there needs to be a way forward that meets both needs in some degree or another - daggers drawn will neither give a happy retirement full of shared activities, nor a man happy in his time with his GC.

If I were to be strictly honest I have a bit of sympathy with your OH; but I am a frustrated mother as I always wanted 6 children, and only had 3!

Good luck with this conundrum.

Smileless2012 Sun 12-Jul-15 17:18:09

Well I suppose if your husband thinks you should have your dear GC for more than one day a week, perhaps he could take care of him/her for an additional day on his own.

Our GC is 3.5, we haven't had contact with him since he was 8 months old due to the estrangement with our son, and I was supposed to have helped out with childcare for at least one day a week which I was more than happy to do, and utterly devastated when it was taken away from me.

That said, I see their friends mother 3 to 4 days a week collecting her GC at 7.45 am and taking them home sometimes as late as 6.00pm and can't help but think, as much as I miss our little GC, that that would have been too much for me.

I'm sure there are plenty of grand parents who just want to be what they are and not the unpaid givers of child care. It isn't about how much you love your grand children it's about how you want to spend your long awaited and well deserved free time.

Luckygirl Sun 12-Jul-15 17:33:52

It is not unusual for the wider family to be involved in child care, and I think this has probably always been the case. The idea of either relaxed retirement time or special "granny time" are perhaps new luxuries that we have come to expect.

I do not have a problem with making a time contribution to the care of any of my GC as long as my health allows.

I would rather be with my GC than off holidaying or cruising or whatever. It is good to be able to contribute something useful.

The problem arises when partners are not in agreement with each other about this; or when children are not sensitive to their parents' health needs. In neither situation is it easy to resolve.

fluttERBY123 Sun 12-Jul-15 22:39:35

Let hub have a practice couple of days doing the childcare on his own and see how that goes (!) Stick up for yourself, if you don't want to do it and let it happen you will be resentful.

Don't know how long hub has been retired but you might find a day or two having the house to yourself very welcome. There is a huge difference between volunteering to babysit for a day or a weekend or an emergency and having to do it all the time because the parents are going to work, even if it is only one day a week.

Greyduster Mon 13-Jul-15 13:16:07

I'm with fluttERBY123. Hasten slowly. We have looked after GS for eight years, for the two days that DD works. If she had asked us to do more, we would have, but she was adamant that she did not want us to while ever there was no reason for her to extend her hours. With hindsight, I think we had the right balance. We've loved every minute and still do, but GS has always been a very energetic little soul and the older and more mobile he became, the more grateful we were for some breathing space, and the opportunity to do our own thing. Once they start school, your input will diminish to some extent. If your DH is willing to fly solo on this to see how he gets on, let him. If he's anything like mine, he'll be a whizz! Hope you find a happy solution.

abnerbenjamin Fri 31-Jul-15 21:26:55

Message deleted by Gransnet for breaking our forum guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

downtoearth Fri 31-Jul-15 21:33:21


whitewave Sat 01-Aug-15 10:16:29

What I was not prepared to do was to commit to a weekly arrangement because if I did it would mean that we couldn't do anything on the spur of the moment. What we do is cover all holidays their parents can't cover ( this summer it will be just over 3 weeks) and all sick leave that mum or dad can't cover. That has worked well. Daughter knows exactly where she is, we don't get too exhausted, and get to "know" the boys and we are seen as fun as we always do stuff every time we see them. For instance this 3 weeks we will be going to the athletics in London, river trip and airline in London. Next week it is trip to Historic Dockyard as well as beach and perhaps cinema and our last week is the air thing with amongst others Red Arrows in Eastbourne. So you can really enjoy your time with them without feeling you are overdoing it.

Stansgran Sat 01-Aug-15 19:22:10

Brilliant post coolgran. I have always said I would drop everything and fly(literally in many instances) to my DDs aid with their children. This can also bite you on the bum. We agreed to have two of the DGCS every summer as both parents worked full time and where they lived the nursery was closed for Eight weeks. For one DGD I had sole responsibility for her for a month plus extra time for illness and half terms when she was at school. It totals up so far to a year in terms of her little life. This year we heard nothing and we re told nothing until we asked had we done something for this radio silence. Dd decided she didn't want to bring them over/ the children hadn't enjoyed their holiday last year maybe I don't know but they have been booked in holiday courses and have time with their other Gps in a luxury house in the south of France. I am as you can imagine hurt beyond belief. I had spared no expense of effort or finance to do our best for them. We both had to stem tears and I know this sounds maudlin but it was awful. Especially as DGD has phoned and said she wished she was coming to us. Her other grandmother I like and admire enormously but is petite pretty and has a cutting tongue. DGD is at the gangly gauche not very pretty stage and tall. A reader and observer whereas her GM is sporty . She doesn't nudge she tells. As I say things can change and a deep attachment to the DGC can end up causing sadness.

Penstemmon Sat 01-Aug-15 19:59:33

I have chosen to do 2 full days a week childcare for DD1 and I do the school drop off pick up on those days for DD2s children too and DD1s older child.

I find that is fine for me but we are all different. I know some friends who say that their role is 'back up' when other childcare arrangements fail for reasons of illness etc. and do not want to be part of the 'core' childcare plan. Personally I would find that harder as I prefer to have the set days. That is not to say that if I am free and needed to cover an 'emergency' that I do not offer!

You need to find an arrangement that is good for all of you. It has to be a mutual thing or resentment will spoil the fun of having regular contact with our grandchild. Another option, if you can, is to offer to pay for a day of the childcare. I offer this if I am going on holiday. TBH it has never been taken up but I think she likes that I offer!

Aludra85 Sat 12-Sep-15 08:28:13

Recall a much younger friend saying to me that when she went to pick up her 3 boys from the MIL who had them after school, the school bags and gear were in the hall and ready to lift. My young friend felt this indicated she wanted the boys away as soon as possible. I tried to explain to her........ indeed this is probably and absolutely the case but look at it from your MILs position, she is more than twice your age and not as fit and able. I told young friend that I do the same, all is packed and ready for my dgc to go home, have loved having you - by bye-bye for now.

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