Gransnet forums


First time on here

(25 Posts)
PaulB Sun 11-Sep-16 08:31:06

I've recently retired and will be soon moving in with my daughter, her husband and 6 month old. I'm going to be taking up most of the babycare duties when she goes back to work after her mat leave and was wondering if any of you guys have any tips for a first time Papa

Grannyknot Sun 11-Sep-16 08:41:55

Hi Paul and welcome. I don't have any tips for you, but I'm sure you'll have lots of fun with your grandchild. There's always advice available on Gransnet if and when you need it.

tanith Sun 11-Sep-16 08:46:58

Welcome PaulB enjoy the site . I'm sure you'll get lots of good advice here, you are taking on a mammoth task for sure not something I would even think about taking on i can only wish you luck I hope all goes well for you and your family you will need plenty of patience and stamina wink

kittylester Sun 11-Sep-16 08:47:59

Welcome, Paul! brew

Your heading might not attract the attention of people with the answers. Try something a bit more specific as a heading then you will probably be inundated! grin

notnecessarilywiser Sun 11-Sep-16 08:48:10

Most important thing is to follow your daughter and son-in-law's rules. Parenting techniques have changed somewhat over the years and it's important that you're all singing from the same hymn sheet. I joined Mumsnet to get insight into current thinking re children and have learned a lot!

Lisalou Sun 11-Sep-16 08:51:15

I imagine you have a very good relationship with daughter and Son in law, or you wouldnt be moving in with them. Is the house big where they live? Is there somewhere you or they can go for privacy? Sharing a house with your children when they are adults can be a minefield and everyone needs space. Make sure you can all get away from each other at times.
As for your baby grandchild, congratulations! I think a wise idea is to set down teh rules from the beginning, make sure you know exactly how they want to parent their child and follow their lead.
Good luck in this new chapter in your life.

janeayressister Sun 11-Sep-16 08:51:37

Well don't take on too much. You may start very enthusiastically but then regret it. It is easier to start how you mean to go on.
Let them have the evenings to themselves. Don't sit there all night watching their TV. Both of you need space and they need time to unwind after work,
Don't take sides in a argument.
Make sure that your room is comfortable and has everything you need including a kettle and a small fridge.
Research all the Mother and Toddler clubs and go out to them as much as possible.
Ask them what they want you to pay towards your upkeep and pay it promptly. Don't offer yourself, but always pay an increase willingly. Pay them, even if they say they don't want any money. Yes, you are babysitting but they presumably need money.
Organise Family meetings to iron out how things are going. Most Misunderstandings come from not communicating.
Do listen to what your DD says regarding feeding the baby sweets etc. Babies digest an awful lot of sugar which is often hidden
Put the seat down on the toilet and clean it after use.
Good luck as it is not going to be easy.

PaulB Sun 11-Sep-16 09:01:53

Thank all for the prompt, and very kind replies. Nice to see there are quite a few people up early on a Sunday morning (i'm in London). I like the advice about having my own space, as this is something my daughter and I have touched on. Also, the advice about not taking sides in arguments is very important. I had the chat, over a few whiskies, with my son-in-law about any doubts he has regarding me being so prominent in their lives and he says he's looking forward to it (??). One area that concerns me is taking my granddaughter to Mother and baby clubs as I'll probably be the only Papa there. I know society has moved on a bit from my generation but do the stigmas still persist?

Lisalou Sun 11-Sep-16 09:06:04

I suspect that the baby groups will be welcoming and full of good advice. The stigma is no longer what it used to be, especially with the amount of young fathers who are very much involved in the day to day upbringing of their children. You may find that you are rarely the only male there!

PaulB Sun 11-Sep-16 09:07:26

Lisalou, thank you, very comforting words

Riverwalk Sun 11-Sep-16 09:08:03

How old will the baby be when you take over childcare duties? I presume you're involved with the baby at present and are confident handling him/her.

Sounds like a big commitment - good luck!

Elegran Sun 11-Sep-16 09:10:14

I have a feeling that once you and your grandchild have met the mothers at the Mother and Baby clubs you will get on like a house on fire.

kittylester Sun 11-Sep-16 09:11:12

I obviously lied!blush

Riverwalk Sun 11-Sep-16 09:20:08

kitty I think the reason there's been such a quick response are the combination of a granddad taking over full-time baby care, and he's moving in with his daughter and her family, something most of us throw our hands up in horror at when anyone on here is considering doing this!

mumofmadboys Sun 11-Sep-16 09:21:16

Your D and SIL are lucky to have you! How old are you if you don't mind me asking? It is a big task ahead!

hildajenniJ Sun 11-Sep-16 09:23:13

Welcome Paul. I don't think you need worry. If you were a hands on father to your daughter, it will all come back to you. Baby care hasn't changed that much over the years. Once you get into the swing of things I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Charleygirl Sun 11-Sep-16 09:28:45

I agree with others you have to make clear that you all need your own space and you must make it clear that you are not on call 24/7. Are they going to give you plenty of notice if they want a night out because from the start you must tell them that you also have a life.

Have you thought beyond the childcare duties? Will you be taking the child (children) to school until they can go by themselves? Are you moving in permanently?

Who will be doing the housework? Will your daughter and sil be expecting a cooked meal when they come home after work? All of these questions should be ironed out before you move in. Good luck.

Cherrytree59 Sun 11-Sep-16 09:55:35

Research your area for a grandparent and grandchild group
I joined with my oldest grandson and now take his baby brother
as oldest is now at nursery.
We have fun time
Once a month we (the grandparents) go out for a meal together.

PaulB Sun 11-Sep-16 09:55:41

Well, pleasantly taken aback with all the kind replies. Here we go...I turn 60 in 5 days time, took early retirement (with a nice pay off, so can still enjoy some of the finer things in life, malt whisky etc.), cooking won't be a problem as I love to do it, pretty good if I say so myself and, as to the housework, that will be shared, with outside help once every 2 weeks. Believe it or not, I find ironing very therapeutic, did most of it when my wife was alive, so that's not a problem. I still intend to keep up most of my personal life, love to write and am signing up for some courses. So expect to see some long diatribes on here as I practise.

nanaK54 Sun 11-Sep-16 10:10:35

Hello Paul
All sounds very positive to me - enjoy!

Grannyknot Sun 11-Sep-16 12:04:58

Hi again Paul smile re the "Baby mornings" - my son took his little boy to a "Dad's Club" on Saturday mornings since he was a week old (although has progressed to other activities now). The dad's would meet in the local pub (only allowed a half pint each) wink. So you may find something similar. Whereabouts in London at you?

I agree your family are lucky to have you, especially as you like cooking as well!

kittylester Sun 11-Sep-16 13:27:18

A plug for your local library which will probably do Rhyme Time or similar and also have info on other things to do.

Anya Sun 11-Sep-16 14:00:51

Just go along to some local 'play and stay' groups and see how it goes. Some are more welcoming than others. There are also 'music' groups ( I use the term loosely) for babies, swimming groups, story telling at your local library (in the unlikely event if you still having one) and so on.

In 18 months or so you will be able to teach your GS to use an iPad or similar and this will allow you to put your feet up and catch up on some sleep, do some writing, log in to GN, etc.. wink

Alishka Mon 12-Sep-16 14:54:09

Hey! This is SO exciting!

Just remember the toilet seat down rule, take your lead from the kids (and keep your thoughts to yourselfwink)and have a blast!


Deedaa Mon 12-Sep-16 21:23:49

The music group I used to take my grandsons to often had dads or grandads joining in. no one minded at all.