Gransnet forums


Not to do childcare

(36 Posts)
romaroot Mon 26-Nov-18 23:37:32

From Mnet, thought it should be here too.

Hope the link works

Iam64 Tue 27-Nov-18 08:33:22

I saw this on the other site yesterday, this morning I read the last couple of pages. Brilliant to see so many young mothers in full support of the OP.

Teetime Tue 27-Nov-18 08:43:04

I think she should stand her ground she will only resent it if she gives in- the very idea of looking after a five month old baby for more than an hour fills me with horror!

MawBroon Tue 27-Nov-18 08:46:42

Good grief Teetime
To be fair I have not read the article so I may be doing people a disservice. I was still working when DGS1 was born but retired shortly after and was happy to help out once a week.
As for looking after a baby for more than an hour how on earth do you justify that?

aggie Tue 27-Nov-18 08:48:38

depend on your age , I had 1st grandson from 4 months , on and off , his Mum was poorly and sad , he and I have a great bond . His Brother I didn't have till Primary school , it was 4 years between them , another 4 years and Sweet little granddaughter arrived , but I was too old . She comes for 30 mins at a time now , but that is long enough for both of us , she is 6 going on 60 !

EllanVannin Tue 27-Nov-18 08:50:10

Goodness me what a liberty. A lot of people,I feel, would have felt obligated but good on the grandparent for saying no.

MawBroon Tue 27-Nov-18 08:50:38

OK seen it now.
The sticking point for me is that it is not her own grandchild, so yes, taking a liberty!
That said, my SIL who is another DD’s godmother did in fact offer help and does one day a week by her own arrangement.
Whatever it has to be offered , not demanded.

aggie Tue 27-Nov-18 08:52:00

Just read the thread on Mumsnet ! it isn't her grandchild , it is her friends DD who has the problem , she needs to drop said friend .

Grannyknot Tue 27-Nov-18 09:11:41

I haven't read the thread but it reminded me of when I was young and a good friend at that time, involved in a new relationship and wanting to spend uninterrupted time with her new man, would drop her children off with me at short notice and on two occasions that I can recall - when the four year old was ill!

I think finding help with looking after children must be a perennial problem, and there will always be someone looking for another someone to take care of their children.

petunia Tue 27-Nov-18 09:23:59

The childcare issue raises many opinions. Some do, some don’t, and some will some wont. We are all individuals with our own hopes and dreams, no matter how old.
For those of us who do do childcare, life is full of up and downs. We do 3-4 days of childcare for a 2 two old and the school run for an older sibling. We have done childcare for the past five years.
On the one hand, we love it. Watching our precious grandchildren take their first steps, learn to read, develop a friendship net work, running, jumping for joy in the sunshine as they play with bubbles. Picnics on the lawn, singing and dancing, trips on the bus or train are all exciting and it’s great to be involved in it all. Cuddles and kisses from small people, their imagination, enthusiasm, energy and laughter are beyond price. The bond is special. We would do it all again in a heartbeat and wouldn’t have it any other way. But there is a downside.
In our mid sixties, we have very little free time to do other things. No spontaneous weekends away as our week begin at 8am on Monday with nine hour days and no official breaks till Thursday.
Holidays must be planned around school holidays
The unpredictability of the parents working hours limits our evening social life. After a day knee deep in paint and plasticine, dirty nappies and tantrums, a late finish means a hastily cooked and gobbled meal and a rush to catch the film, only to doze off halfway through on the superb reclining seats our cinema offers.
Our house is full of child friendly objects such as stair gates and fire guards
Ours is a world of soft play and child friendly activities.
Our house is constantly under a sea of toys and noise on childcare days. The theme tune of Peppa pig goes round and round our heads on a loop. To us are the joys of nappies and potty training.
The endless trudge of school delivery and collection in all weathers when we would rather have that extra cup of coffee in bed with the news on the radio.
On call for emergencies such as school closures, sickness, pickups and drop offs.
(And something that dawned on me the other day. While my OH and I do the daily grind of childcare, the other grandparents come and go at leisure dispensing excitement and fun. We do the discipline and hard work, they get the fun filled two hours).
So, it’s not an easy decision to make either way. But it does need a great deal of thought.

J52 Tue 27-Nov-18 09:24:36

Yes it’s incredible that her friend would ask such a thing, let alone put pressure on her. The childcare responsibilities are the parents.
Poor woman she could be minding the child for 5 years, let alone any siblings!
Time to ditch this ‘friend’, I think the friendship has run its course.

Witzend Tue 27-Nov-18 09:26:19

It's not even a grandparent who was asked - and accused of being selfish for declining! Just the godmother of a friend's daughter.
Astonishing CF-ery, as MN would say.

I'm already putting mental bets on the Daily Mail picking this one up! Fantastic click-bait.

harrigran Tue 27-Nov-18 09:43:04

Friend's daughter's baby ? That is so cheeky it is off the scale.

KatyK Tue 27-Nov-18 09:48:48

Wow what a cheek

glammanana Tue 27-Nov-18 10:03:27

Oh no you are nbu in any way.I did have my DGCs when they where under school age whilst DD was working but I was 20yrs younger then and they where not tiny babies.
Enjoy your retirement I certainly do
I have no qualms in saying no to my DS1 and his wife or my DGS and his partner to look after their children when both mums return to work in February next year.

Teetime Tue 27-Nov-18 13:32:55

MawBroon I dont have to justify it - we dont all enjoy babies I am better at looking after older people which I have done all my life- I know where my skills lay. As things are with my hands at the moment I would probably drop a baby. I held my great granddaughter (6 months) on Saturday for half an hour and the pain in my hands and thumbs was excruciating. Dont be so quick to judge others.

Grandma70s Tue 27-Nov-18 14:01:31

Good lord, how extraordinary.

I loved bringing up my own children, but never had any desire to bring up any others, not even my grandchildren. Luckily I live too far away. I know of at least two people my age who felt the same, but both finished up doing child care because they lived close to their children/grandchildren and felt unable to refuse.

MawBroon Tue 27-Nov-18 14:05:55

Sorry Teetime blush not meaning to be judgmental, it just seemed an extraordinary sentiment (given that they sleep for hours on end at 5 months.)

NanKate Tue 27-Nov-18 14:41:26

Some years back our next door neighbour ( who also had a retirement home in the next county that whe went back to each weekend) looked after her grandson until he was about 11, this was for her unmarried daughter who lived with her. And was in full time work.

Then her daughter got married and the grandmother said to me now is my time to do all the things I want to do. She was in her late 60s by this time. I asked what would happen if her newly married daughter had another child. She replied I can’t do all that again as I would be in my late 70s by then!

Move on a couple of years I see her pushing a buggy with her baby granddaughter in it and guess what she is lumbered again.

Day6 Tue 27-Nov-18 16:11:19

Petunia wrote - "But there is a downside.
In our mid sixties, we have very little free time to do other things. No spontaneous weekends away as our week begin at 8am on Monday with nine hour days and no official breaks till Thursday.
Holidays must be planned around school holidays
The unpredictability of the parents working hours limits our evening social life"

I think you have summed it up there Petunia. It's obvious that you adore your grandchildren and taking care of them has many joys, but if you commit to regular childcare, your life is not your own.

OH and I feel we have slogged away all our lives and we just don't know how long retirement lasts - we are in the autumn/winter of our lives. Much as we love our GC too, we feel this is our time to live and enjoy life. The freedom we have has been hard won. I had to pay childminders so I could work and keep a roof over our heads. I know how hard it is as a single Mum to work and have no back-up.

Now, in our 60s, we need to be able to take off at a moments notice if we want to, and to spend our days doing things we always said we'd do while we were tied to work and raising our own families. Our health may not hold out and being with children all day we find exhausting, much as we love their company.

We do our bit, but we just don't commit to regular hours every week.

Day6 Tue 27-Nov-18 16:29:49

It's strange, isn't it. I bet if you asked todays mothers with small children if, when their child raising days were over and the last child had just left home, they would be prepared to start all over again with child care every day, the answer would be a resounding NO!

The grandparent army - yes, it's an army of pensioners - offering free childcare is a recent phenomena. Go to any park, supermarket or garden centre mid week and there is a host of older people pushing buggies and supervising young ones. Many look worn out. We've been there ourselves and chatted with other grandparents as we've pushed swings, chased little ones around and lifted them up and down off play equipment.

The love is obviously there, but in many cases the stamina is lacking and the enthusiasm for being in charge day after day has waned.

We get one life and there is a reason our bodies reproductive system pack up when they do. I know the world has changed, but older people remain older people with less energy, and continuous child-care may be a privilege and may indicate trustworthiness, but it's also a thief of hard-earned leisure time, when there is less of it in front of us to enjoy. The clock is ticking.

Day6 Tue 27-Nov-18 16:31:31


Jalima1108 Tue 27-Nov-18 16:40:40

What a cheek! Just what part of NO don't they understand?

Looking after your own DGC is quite a commitment and I must say my DC were always very grateful for the one or two days per week that I cared for the DGC and did not expect me to do it. I enjoyed it too.

However, this is quite another scenario and it's sad if a longstanding friendship comes to an end but they are expecting far too much and the OP should not change her mind or give in.

M0nica Tue 27-Nov-18 16:42:56

Mawbroon given that they (babies) sleep for hours on end at 5 months. Whose babies are those then? A nap after lunch and that is it, is my experience.

Jalima1108 Tue 27-Nov-18 16:45:46

I love the answers on MN - straight to the point!! grin