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Mumsnetter asking AIBU about Childcare from GPs

(60 Posts)
Faye Sat 27-Dec-14 00:43:06

I wandered over to Mumsnet and was reading this thread. I couldn't help but think that most of the grandparents on GN would do this amount of babysitting with our eyes closed if we were able.

I felt sorry for the OP, only one poster haphazardbystarlight by 8:03 had any sympathy. Do you think the OP is being unreasonable or do you think families help each other out if they can?

absent Sat 27-Dec-14 05:15:20

The mumsnet OP does seem to have a sense of entitlement about her parents caring for her children. Perhaps it wasn't wise for them to express their discomfort with the arrangements with her sister rather than directly with her, but perhaps they were also using their other daughter as a sounding board about their own feelings. It does seem that our children's generation do rather take it for granted that we are available at any time and for as long as they require to look after their children. I think the OP – and many of her generation – forget that we are no longer the young mums they remember from their childhood. I think they also fail to realise that we have lives beyond being parents and grandparents – and that those lives will probably be over sooner than we all realise.

appygran Sat 27-Dec-14 07:16:06

Just wondering if you have done this amount of childcare for your gc faye I have and it is extremely hard work even though we love the children dearly. Fortunately I have children who do not take me for granted or feel as entitled to free child care as the op of this thread. I agree with the response of mumsnetters on this yes op being very unreasonable.

mollie65 Sat 27-Dec-14 07:34:19

it is reassuring that so many posters on mumsnet can see the GPs side of it.
as has been said children are your responsibility not your parent(s) and I think it is a generational thing that toddlers/young children are not as easy to mind as we probably were - lots more 'activities', loud noises and challenging behaviour. and we have very little authority over someone else's child (who is the centre of their universe.)
I will babysit my grandson willingly to give his parents a break but NOT on a regular basis (that restricts my 'own life' )

GrannyTwice Sat 27-Dec-14 08:13:18

I actually think both sides are in the wrong here. Offering childcare so a dd can work is a huge commitment and gps should think really carefully before they do do. Once you are in that position, it's inevitable probably that the dd will make all sorts of decisions ( some of them financial) based on the provision of that childcare and it's withdrawal could be very problematic. Before my dd had children, I saw many examples of gps run ragged by childcare - and not in situations were the parents were hard up at all. I also saw many situations were parents accepted paying for childcare and going without for several years but at least keeping careers going. In these cases, gps were very happy to be emergency child carers and that was gratefully received. I agree the op sounds very entitled but her parents are not blameless - they should have offered to do it on a trial basis to start with and they should have discussed the problems with her and not her sister. She should have discussed the potential of a second child with them and not made assumptions.

janeainsworth Sat 27-Dec-14 08:46:03

The anecdote about going out for dinner in the mumsnet OP makes me think the child is perhaps something of a challenge.
It's easy to be wise after the event Grannytwice and say the GPs should have offered in a trial basis, but we don't know how the arrangement came about - whether the GPs did willingly offer, or whether there was an expectation on the part of the OP blended with a soupçon of emotional blackmail.

Anya Sat 27-Dec-14 08:53:40

It all depends on the original agreement. Did these GPS offer, willingly to look after their GC or was this foisted upon them?

If the former and they are finding it more of a struggle than they anticipated then the OP is not bring unreasonable, and as Faye pointed out most of us do this level of child care with our eyes closed. Yes, the new baby will add another problem and that needs discussing pronto.

Re the behaviour at the restaurant, that is just as much up to the GP as the parents. Do the GP never take this child out themselves?

I'm left wondering exactly what quality of childcare these GP actually offer? There's nothing to stop them getting out and about and doing things with one little GP and it's better for both child and carer than being stuck at home all day.

There are GPS on this site who would give anything to be asked to have this level of contact with their GC.

thatbags Sat 27-Dec-14 08:55:11

I think the OP has unreasonable expectations, especially as she's asking her parents to babysit while she and her OH work on the house. If it's livable in (which has nothing to do with the decorating but whether the toilet flushes and the water heater works), the house can wait! She needs to spend more time with her own kids.

harrigran Sat 27-Dec-14 09:29:16

I agree bags. I am very willing to help out with childcare but then my DC do not take me for granted.

GrannyTwice Sat 27-Dec-14 09:34:56

Well I think that as supposed grown ups who've been round the block a few times, we should be capable of thinking through a commitment as important as regular childcare before we embark on it. As I said, I'd observed several scenarios before dd was pregnant and we'd had conversations about our vews on this. And before you think I'm being insufferably smug, I had to put up with a lot of implied criticism because I wasn't prepared to be a regular childminder for my dgs ( not from dd). I suppose some of my feelings on this come from a real dislike of the 'martyr' mentality - people doing things apparently willingly and then you find out it's all about feeling hard done by and exploited and nothing was said to your face until a big row/ crisis blew up. IMO it's unfair to criticise the OP without accepting the GPs role in this.

Grannyknot Sat 27-Dec-14 09:40:55

I didn't read all 6 pages but that discussion is weird - why hasn't the OP reappeared?

I can't imagine that a situation like this would arise with my grandchild (I have one) - because he is his folks' responsibility first and foremost. And when they need help with childcare (so far unrelated to work, so it's more a case of babysitting, although we have once had him overnight), they ask and we say yay or nay depending on whether it is convenient. It would never be a given, it is a request and/or negotiation.

So am I weird? We do love having him by the way.

glammanana Sat 27-Dec-14 09:55:49

We have always told DD when we where available if she needed childcare for work or school holidays, not her told us when she wanted us to be available and if it didn't fit in with our lifestyle then she made other arrangements by way of sharing childcare with her friends or nurserycare.
As the children have got older they have become easier to look after obviously and now if DD is at work they will drop in for an hour or so after school but cause no distruption to our daytime schedule.I do love them just arriving and telling us of their day and what they have been up to.

Grannyknot Sat 27-Dec-14 10:21:22

I see the OP on the Mumsnet thread is back. Mumsnet sure is feisty - and Nant posters are plain rude. But having 're-read her OP and her response to the replies, I think she is very naive. Surely - 4 months into her second pregnancy - she should not have assumed her folks would take on the new baby too.

She has set herself up for feeling hurt.

Grannyknot Sat 27-Dec-14 10:22:18

Nant? I think that was meant to be "many" ...

Mishap Sat 27-Dec-14 10:38:21

My DDs said they wanted me as a real grandma and not free child care.

Having said that we did offer (our choice because we knew finances were very tight) to look after the youngest one day a week while DD works - the other 2 days are managed in other settings. At the moment I am not well enough to do it; we will have to reconsider when I surface again.

Our children need to recognise that we get more easily tired a we get older and take that into consideration when asking for committed child care.

The other side of the coin of course is that you establish a close and special relationship with the GC you are caring for and that is very precious.

Anya Sat 27-Dec-14 10:49:01

I can see both sides of this debate. Easy to understand GP whose attitude is 'we've done our bit and now we want some time to ourselves' but things have changed so much since my children were little. Most families have to have both parents working as the 'second income' isn't just for 'extras' any more, but for essentials.

Childcare is prohibitively expensive. So what are young parents supposed to do?

I looked after all my grandchildren from babies until they went to school. It wasn't easy but I now have a very close relationship with them. And of course they don't stay little for very long. I now only have the 3-year old a couple of days a week and that's a doddle.

Of course my DD and DDiL (or for that matter my DSiL and DS) would have preferred to be able to look after their own children, as I'm guessing the OP (mumsnet) would too.

Both the OP and her parents are in a difficult situation and being rude or judgemental about either party is not going to help.

Faye Sat 27-Dec-14 13:14:00

I am similar to Anya and have provided childcare for all my six GC at some time while their parents worked or studied.

Possibly the OP should have realised her parents would like their weekends off and not left her child with them while renovating.

I do think the replies were harsh and judgemental.

vampirequeen Sat 27-Dec-14 14:01:13

They've had their children. Looking after DGC occasionally is OK but not on a permanent basis for such long periods of time. OP says that they're not ill or anything as if they have no excuse for not wanting to be tied down with such a young and probably tiring young child.

They're retired. They should be able to take holidays and have days out whenever they want. They shouldn't have to plan their lives around their daughter's work obligations.

Both my DDs work part time to help the family budget. Both get tax credits to help pay for childcare. They live within their means and manage quite well...sometimes borrowing from Peter to pay Paul but overall managing

I wonder why the OP works. Is it to pay for a bigger house, better car, holidays or for essentials? If it's the former then I have no sympathy. Downsize and cut back. If it's the latter then she needs to look at child tax credits for childcare or benefits available for families on a low income. She cannot expect her parents to give up their lives to her needs.

Eloethan Sat 27-Dec-14 14:59:04

We were very hard up and when my daughter was about 2 I asked mum to look after her (I did pay her though not as much as a registered childminder) while I did some temping. It lasted two weeks and then she said dad said she wasn't to do it.

Our son and his partner's first pregnancy was unplanned but we immediately offered to look after their baby while they were both at work. We did this 4 days a week for about a year or so and then there was another unexpected pregnancy. We'd already said we couldn't look after 2 young children and so they moved away to a cheaper area where they could live on just one salary. They've since moved back and my son's partner cut her working hours. We look after the second child 2 days a week and the older child goes to nursery 2 days a week.

We also take the children out and babysit. We enjoy it and our son and his partner are very appreciative of what we do. They understood that we would find it too tiring to look after two young children on a regular basis.

I'm afraid I don't see the mumsnet's OP's point of view. People should not be expected to look after their grandchildren - it is up to them to help if they are able and willing. The OP's attitude is, I think, very unreasonable.

I thought the posters on mumsnet were very understanding of the situation of grandparents and, on the whole, supported the grandparents' position.

thatbags Sat 27-Dec-14 16:30:06

A number of members of gransnet have remarked at various times how exhausted they are after looking after grandchildren. I think they might be forgiven for not anticipating this outcome because, apart from anything else, it's probably quite a while since they looked after young kids.

Besides which, it's harder, I think, to look after someone else's kids than one's own.

Nelliemoser Sat 27-Dec-14 16:53:09

My immediate reaction is that she is expecting too much and taking her parents for granted.

Just reading the follow up most of them on MN seem to agree she is pushing her luck. They are a lot more outspoken in this situation than we lot generally are.

Anya Sat 27-Dec-14 16:55:46

Although common sense might suggest that as you get older you could possibly anticipate you might lack the energy to cope with babies and toddlers?

However there is the argument that this might have the opposite effect and keep you fit and more mentally alert.

Perhaps it all comes down to how fit you are physically and mentally, and whether it's something you actually want to do.

Supernan Sat 27-Dec-14 17:44:16

Looking after the GC isn't a one sided arrangement. It shouldn't be looked at as a chore or a favour you are doing the parents. Get stuck in an enjoy it! The rewards will surprise you.

Crafting Sat 27-Dec-14 19:20:24

We love looking after our DGC occasionally but find it exhausting. They are lovely children and we are a very close family but I would find regular childminding difficult. A lot depends on your circumstances and health. We both love our GC a lot but none of us know how much time we have left and both Grandparents and children should be considered. My own childrens GPs loved them but lived too far away too look after them at any time. When our children were young we did not go out for meals on our own, go on holidays alone go shopping together or anything on our own as there was no one to look after the children. Did we feel hard done by, no we did not. We chose to have them and enjoyed being with them.

Faye Sat 27-Dec-14 19:45:12

In about ten to fifteen years the OP is possibly going to find herself one of the sandwich generation. I wonder if her parents will ask her to help them out as elderly parents often do.