Gransnet forums


Child care

(22 Posts)
Confused2 Thu 19-Dec-19 16:39:51

I look after my 2 grandchildren during the week by taking them to nursery and school in the morning, picking up one of them at 1 pm and looking after him till we collect the other one at 3pm. Every week is different because my son works shifts and my daughter in law works the same 4 days every week. Some weeks it might be 2 days and some days it's 4. When one Rota comes to an end I have to ask repeatedly to have a copy of the new Rota and my daughter doesn't seem to understand why this is necessary and that I need to know which days I'm off duty so I can plan my life. She gets tetchy when I ask. AIBU?

Wheniwasyourage Thu 19-Dec-19 16:44:10

No, you are not being unreasonable. You have a life too, and they should realise that, and that they are lucky to have you.

Urmstongran Thu 19-Dec-19 17:39:35

No you’re not being unreasonable. You are a grandmother not a surrogate mum! You are a treasure to your family. Instead of being tetchy with you they ought to be super grateful. At the start of it all I bet they were! Then it becomes the ‘new normal’ and, like a lot of my grandparent friends tell me, it gets taken for granted.

wildswan16 Thu 19-Dec-19 17:41:28

If she really doesn't "get it", then just be firm one week and tell her you have something arranged for one of the days she wants you, and if you had known her schedule a bit earlier you could have organised it differently. Don't engage in conversation - you've said you can't do it and that is the end of the conversation. Just keep repeating it.

These are not YOUR children, you are doing them a massive favour. She needs to remember that. You are allowed to say that you can't manage on any particular day.

Septimia Thu 19-Dec-19 17:45:18

No, not unreasonable.

Maybe you could not be available for one date some time when they've failed to give you the rota in time. Obviously you don't want to be too awkward, but one glitch might wake them up!

Smileless2012 Thu 19-Dec-19 17:45:31

I agree with wheniwasyourage, you are planning your entire week around your commitments to child care. Perhaps your D doesn't appreciate just how fortunate they are.

Madgran77 Thu 19-Dec-19 17:48:10

She is being completely unreasonable and I think you need to ask to speak to them both about the arrangements.

Explain that you are happy to pick up the children and enjoy the time with them (assuming you are and do!) but you also have other things that you like to arrange in your life and therefore it is imperative that to make the system work for ALL of you, you need to have details in advance as soon as possible so that you can work around that. Ask them to tell you if that is a problem for them, and listen whilst they put their perspective.

This sort of conversation which allows everyone to express their needs and come to a compromise usually work, without anyone getting upset or angry. If your DIL gets tetchy, ask her quietly what is annoying her? Listen to her reply and answer accordingly but don't allow yourself to be pulled off the key point about YOUR needs in order to make this arrangement work for ALL of you

Hope you can get things sorted. flowers

cornergran Thu 19-Dec-19 17:51:37

Of course you aren’t being unreasonable. A child minder would be told - and paid. No reason for you to be kept in ignorance. Be quietly, pleasantly firm Wishing you well.

Urmstongran Thu 19-Dec-19 18:19:38

It’s the OP’s daughter, not daughter in law who gets tetchy. Hopefully marginally easier to navigate.

Madgran77 Thu 19-Dec-19 18:53:29

It’s the OP’s daughter, not daughter in law who gets tetchy. Hopefully marginally easier to navigate

At the start of the post the OP mentions DIL; by the end she mentions daughter! Probably a typo but not sure which is correct. Either way, hope she gets it sorted.

Confused2 Thu 19-Dec-19 20:59:16

Thank you everyone. Just needed affirmation that it's not me whose being unreasonable.

Madgran77 Thu 19-Dec-19 21:18:14

Just needed affirmation that it's not me whose being unreasonable.

These replies suggest you have affirmation! Good luck

sodapop Thu 19-Dec-19 21:27:39

You are definitely not being unreasonable. Your family is taking you for granted and you need to clarify things with them. It's a big chunk of your life taken up by child care Confused2 and you do need to be able plan things for yourself. Time to sit down together and remind them you are entitled to your own life as well. Good luck.

bettydl Fri 20-Dec-19 17:39:40

You certainly aren't being unreasonable. I wonder if she is getting tetchy because she feels guilty or bad that you do so much for them? 4 days a week looking after children is a lot to do for someone!

Do they have childcare back up that isn't you? So you can have a bit of freedom for your own life?

TrendyNannie6 Fri 20-Dec-19 17:54:54

No you are certainly not being unreasonable, I think your family are very lucky that you are willing to do this, it’s a big part of your time through the week, I think your DIL is the one that’s being unreasonable getting tetchy, who would do this if you didn’t, and you say you have to ask repeatedly for something so simple to hand to you. If it was me I’d say on such and such days I won’t be able to do it, I’d certainly be having a word

Nannarose Fri 20-Dec-19 18:30:32

Confused - I was confused by your post! I couldn't understand whether you were talking about one family - your son and dil, or 2 families: your son's family and your daughter's family.
I totally agree that you should be given as much notice as possible, but I wondered whether the person you ask (daughter or dil?) is being given the information by her partner (?your son) and is tetchy because she doesn't know where she stands.
I wondered whether you should ask your son directly to inform you and cut out the middle person (if I've got it right)
If I've got that all wrong then ITA with everyone else! You do need to tell them clearly that it must be sorted!

jeanie99 Sun 22-Dec-19 11:14:44

The sure way of solving this is
Ask for the rota and if you aren't given one make your own arrangements.
If/when the rota arrives late just say unfortunately I have made other arrangements for that day as you didn't give me the rota. Perhaps in future it would be best to provide me with it 7 days ahead so I can make my own arrangements.
Carry on with what you had arranged, do not back down, they will have to make other arrangements or take holiday leave.
I think your son and DIL will get the message.
They are totally being selfish and using you as a servant, absolutely would not stand for that.
You are being wonderful having the little ones for them and they should fully appreciate what you are doing.

Hetty58 Sun 22-Dec-19 11:54:59

I agree with all of the above. Sometimes, younger people think that it doesn't matter as you're always at home early morning anyway. I've had to explain that I wear different (smarter) clothes and have breakfast earlier if I'm going out for lunch!

Naty Sun 22-Dec-19 12:35:46

I'm a DIL and would never do this to MIL. I have a 4 month old that she can't wait to lool after in 10 months time...but even though she's enthusiastic to babysit, I won't take her for granted.

When I was working, I printed out a detailed hourly schedule for myself and gave a copy to my in-laws so they'd stop asking about my schedule (it had nothing to do with them, they were just curious as to where I was that day...and we don't live together...and I didn't have kids at the time).

You are not being unreasonable. Tell her you'd like to know in order to plan free time. "You know I enjoy taking care of the kids for you guys, but I also enjoy knowing when I'm needed and when I'm not so that I can plan my activities for the week. I'd really appreciate it if you send me your schedule as soon as you get it."

Hithere Sun 22-Dec-19 12:36:49

No rota given to you by a certain date and time - no childcare that week.

Bibbity Sun 22-Dec-19 12:38:51

You are wonderful and definitely not being unreasonable! I can’t believe how ungrateful some people are.

I’d send them both a message saying that you will be enjoying your free time and if the do not get you the rota within 24 hours of them receiving it they will have to find alternative childcare if you have already made plans.

eazybee Sun 22-Dec-19 14:03:02

Your daughter/daughter in law would not be able to treat a nursery or pre-school like this.
She/they are being extremely unreasonable, and you should not put up with it.