Gransnet forums


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??

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.

Visit my <a href="">page</a>

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!

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.

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.

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


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

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

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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

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!!

trisher Sat 11-Jul-15 10:19:13

I agree that giving him one day and another for you both is a good compromise, but I would have a trial period before your DD goes back to work. You don't want to set something up and then find it doesn't work and you are pushed into doing 2 days. Perhaps you and DD can go off somewhere and leave him to cope (a spa day maybe). If he isn't used to child care he may imagine it's just like visiting to play. The hard work involved in doing everything may just put him off. You could also tell him that committing to 1 day a week isn't the end of it, you will be called in when child/mum is ill, when there is an important meeting, on all sorts of excuses

Wheniwasyourage Sat 11-Jul-15 10:18:55

Of course YANBU! Could you point out to all involved that after many years as a stay-at-home mother you are also keen to retire from your job, and doing regular child care, however much you love your DGC(S) would just be carrying on the job which you have been doing for so many years. I too stayed at home while our DC were young, and don't regret it, but it was great when I was finally able to get out and do some paid work for a change! We enjoy liking after our DGC now and again, but don't live close enough to be asked to do regular stints - I've done my bit and don't want to do it again now that retirement looms.

Good luck in getting it all sorted out flowers

kittylester Sat 11-Jul-15 09:42:24

Coolgran's post sums it up for me exactly!

Marelli Sat 11-Jul-15 09:36:19

Good idea, shysal. Bet it won't be long till he's on the phone....!

shysal Sat 11-Jul-15 09:05:31

If DH won't see reason, perhaps you could show him this thread, unless you think it would anger him.
Working fathers who have never done sole childcare haven't a clue how hard it can be! You could suggest a few trial runs for him alone at DD's while she goes out or comes to you for the day, so that he understands all that it would entail.
I hope you manage to reach a mutually acceptable solution. flowers

Greenfinch Sat 11-Jul-15 08:48:52

I agree with nightowl and Anya. Your husband may feel he has missed out first time round and now wants to experience something different from work. We have done this for our twin grandchildren for 8 years and wouldn't have wanted it any different .DH does the lion's share including the whole bedtime routine, the imaginative games and the ferrying around and he loves every minute of it. We do things as a mini-family like fun days out and meet young parents which is great. In fact we are sad that our DS and DiL have not asked us to do the same with their children.

Coolgran65 Sat 11-Jul-15 08:48:06

My dh and I look after our dgd 7 and dgs 5, one day each week and have done so since they were born. A child minder looks after them on the other days. When a there became the need for a change of main child minder DS asked if we (me) would be interested in taking it on full time as a paid job. My immediate response was No!

My dh supported this, if I'd wanted to do it full time he would have been ok about it but we both agreed that we didn't want that sort of committment. We did say that they would never be stuck and we'd always be there for any emergency or child care 'let down'.

I felt that to take it on as a full time paid job would change the balance of things, would I get resentful if they were late on pick up etc.

Of course as well as our one day child care we do the spontanious sleep overs etc.

Our ds and ddil understood perfectly.
They are very appreciative of the one day we provide and are very generous when they regularly take us out to dinner or ask us to join them on a day trip, paid by them.

If dh and I plan to take dgc out for the day, eg the zoo, they arrive with £20 for expenses, though we make sure the £20 goes back home with them. smile

We all live near each other, the other child minder and I are very willing and cooperative and if a day needs swopped we happily accommodate each other.

One day a week is grand but still tiring after a 12 hour shift. It was much easier when it started - over 7 years ago with just one child. My dh is very hands on and if occasionally I find myself doing the care on my own it is a much bigger task. However even with dh present, it is still me making lunch, sorting dinner etc. etc. thouogh he will do it if asked.

I can understand that it would be hurtful for OP that her dh and dd do not appear to be taking her views seriously. And to say that she loves her dgc less is ridiculous. Retirement is time for DGP to take things a little more as they would prefer to do and not be automatically considered as a child-minding-service.

Perhaps OPs dh is indeed feeling a little lost and needing a focal point for his day to day routine. If dh wants to look after the dgc in their own home, let's see how he feels after 3 months, the gloss may have dimmed a little.
I wonder is OPs dh trying to put OP on a guilt trip trying to get his own way. I'd be most upset and very very angry if my dh ever suggested that I cared less. Happily we both agree that we love to see them come and are delighted to see them go.

I 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 !!! Big kiss and cheerio smile

Anya Sat 11-Jul-15 08:19:35

My first reaction too was that men are more than capable of taking on a child care role. If he is willing, and it sounds as if he is really keen to do this, then why not let him? But possibly part-time.

My youngest GC starts school in September, so barring school runs and the occasional 'X has been up all night with a tummy bug/thrown out a rash/has an INSET day' I'll be seeing much less of them having offered almost full-time child care until now.

I will MISS those baby days, toddle moments, learning to speak, helping them to understand the world days, so much. But despite it being hard work I wouldn't have had it any different. These are the experiences you have already had, but your DH has missed out on while providing you with the means to be a full time mum envy

Us working mums understand this and it's probably why I chose to look after my GC.

It would be a shame to deny him this amazing opportunity with his grandchildren.

kittylester Sat 11-Jul-15 08:01:36

JaneA's point is very valid. We have 5 children and all three daughters have children. When DD1 had our first svc I was thrilled to be asked to have him one day a week. Eight years later I am still doing it as he has a younger sister who I didn't factor into the equation. Doing one day a week for DD1 means that there is pressure to be available for all the others.

Alea Sat 11-Jul-15 07:29:49

Good advice Soontobe!!

soontobe Sat 11-Jul-15 05:55:43

I think this is what I would do.
Tell your DD that you will offer two days in the first instance, as a trial.
One where you both go, and one where he does it alone.
And let his alone day be the first day of the week, before yours.
That way, he starts to be and feel in charge of all of it.
Interestingly, I note that you said he wants to do the nappy and feeding part, more than the fun and entertaining part.
I wonder whether this is either because he feels he missed out with his own kids, or whether he still has lots of energy and wants to "work".

Also, if he is in charge, it takes some pressure off you.

I also see that your DD is not really listening to you either.