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Child Minding

(38 Posts)
Flowerofthewest Wed 18-Mar-15 21:22:50

Hi This may have been brought up before, in fact, I am certain it has.
I have a beautiful DGD aged 17 months and her tiny premature sister (not officially born yet) who came into this world on Jan 6th, being due on March 29th.
All is going really well and baby is back home with her family.

Here is my dilemma - I have always felt quite strongly about committing myself to regular childminding although I love baby sitting and have been looking after 'big sister' for two months or more in the day while mum is with the prem. baby. It was a limited time and I was glad to get to know my little DGD who was at nursery until her mummy was on maternity leave.

My DiL is a lovely girl who I have known since she was born. She works hard and did intend to give up work when the little one was born. She would be able to work evenings as her skills would allow this but not bring in the same income. She has asked me (with not pressure at all) if I would consider looking after the two little ones from July until a year Oct (when childcare vouchers come into play for the older child) This would only be for 2 days a week and not in school holidays. My DS has also said that he would be able to work from home at times or take holidays as we do tend to take our own holidays outside school hols. Also I have odd hospital appointments etc. My mother also has the odd hospital appointment where I accompany her. My son suggested that I give it a trial run and if I feel its too much then they will rethink and work round it. Their rent is very high as they need a four bedroomed place for his older two who are 17 and 18 and spend every other week with him. The main think worrying me is that it will be a very long day. She has to leave for work at 7.30am and not get back til about 5. I know its only two days a week but its a long day. Having the older DGD for a week (in the day) was tiring although I absolutely love her to bits and enjoyed my time with her.

Any advice welcome please. xxx

Flowerofthewest Wed 18-Mar-15 21:24:22

Forgot to mention, my lovely DiL has not got a mother, her mum (my very best friend ) died aged 46 when Dil was only 17. In a way, I suppose, I am also considering doing this for my friend.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 18-Mar-15 21:42:22

So, you would be looking after two babies under two - one a tiny baby of six or seven months - for two ten-hour days a week? And you are how old? Your profile says 65, and that's probably been there a couple of years now.

You can't do it. You can't be expected to. It would be too much for you.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 18-Mar-15 21:43:27

I don't mean to sound unsympathetic to your son and d-i-l, and I don't know the answer for them. But it just sounds too much.

Flowerofthewest Wed 18-Mar-15 21:51:30

It is part of the dilemma Jingle. The baby would only be 4 months in real terms as she was born at 27 weeks gestation and not due until end of March. I'm only up the road from them. I am willing to give it a try, it will only be a couple of weeks in Sept and Oct, then up to Christmas holidays. I know that they will understand though if I say 'No' I am 67 this May. I do do a lot of walking , volunteering and am very active so I don't think they see my as 'old' although I do feel it sometimes. I do keep thinking about my dear friend who is no longer here. More so now that her daughter and my son are married.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 18-Mar-15 22:03:19

It is lovely that your son married the daughter of your best friend. smile I understand how it must make it hard for you to say no as, of course, if she was still here, she would be helping them out. Perhaps give it a try for those couple of weeks. See how it goes. Would DH be able to help at all?

tanith Wed 18-Mar-15 22:08:33

As much as I'd want to help out in your situation I know I couldn't manage it, it will be a very long day and require concentration, patience and endurance and as much as we may wish it weren't so, at our age (I'm 66) we don't have those things in sufficient quantities to take on such responsibility. You sound like a really loving and caring family I'm sure they'll understand if you say no..

Maybe as you say give it a try but don't feel guilty if you can't manage it.

Greenfinch Wed 18-Mar-15 22:27:45

I'd say go for it. If you'd like to I'm sure you would be able to and in fact children keep you young. You can always stop if you find it too difficult.
As others have said, I would give it a try.

We had no choice but to have our twin grandchildren for the first 13 months of their lives. I was 61 and DH was still working. They were good babies and we enjoyed having them. Now, with reduced mobility, I would find it much more difficult but would still have a go if necessary.It is surprising where energy comes from when needed.

Faye Wed 18-Mar-15 22:44:08

I would do it, if you do though do it at their house, it's so much easier.

I am currently staying at my son and DIL's house to help out with my GSs while my son does extra study. DIL has her own business so they needed help. I miss my own home and haven't had a sleep in past 7am since 21st December when I came to stay, I was going to stay a longer time this year until my GS's birthdays at their requests which would have been the end of February. Now I probably won't be home until July. confused

It will be a long day but it's only two days a week and not in school holidays. You won't regret it. smile

janerowena Wed 18-Mar-15 23:18:11

My friend is doing almost exactly what you are considering doing, but for four days. She always said she would just give it a trial run, but she started last September and loves it. I saw an awful lot of her at first, she would bring them here until they settled into a routine. She said just tonight at choir that the only thing that annoys her is if they are later than 5.30 to pick up, as she has really had enough by then.

TwiceAsNice Thu 19-Mar-15 07:24:18

Give it a go. You are one of the best people to look after your grandchildren and you will have such a bond with the new baby. I lived 150 miles away when my twin grandchildren were born and stayed a week at a time to help my daughter. I'm sure you can manage for two days and it seems they have a real awareness of what they're asking and won't take advantage. You won't know until you try and can say no if it's too much.

Anya Thu 19-Mar-15 07:41:02

Flower give it a go. I looked after all my GC, and at one time gas 3 under 5s for a year. Yes, it's hard work, worse during the winter months when you can't get out as much.

Now, apart from school runs, I just have the 3-year old a couple of mornings a week, but I do miss them so much now they're at school. I'll never regret that time I had with them.

Anya Thu 19-Mar-15 07:41:24

gas had

joannapiano Thu 19-Mar-15 08:01:48

I am 66 and DH and myself currently mind our 2 year old DGD 2 days a week. She is dropped off at our house at 7.30am and we do the school run for her 2 brothers at 3.30. I then cook tea for all 3 at their house and we get home by 6pm.She is the 5th DGC we have looked after part-time from when they were about 6 months old.
We love it. It's wonderful to be part of their lives. Go for it.

Lona Thu 19-Mar-15 08:10:59

Flower I would say give it a go too, but definitely at their house, then you can go home and everywhere will be tidy and relaxing!
It is a huge responsibility to have such a young baby and a toddler, but a wonderful opportunity to bond.

Good luck sunshine

baubles Thu 19-Mar-15 08:15:22

I would give it a go. Your son and DIL sound very caring and reasonable. If you tried for, say three months, you would know within that time if it is too much for you and be able to give them time to find an alternative arrangement.

I know what you mean about it being a long day but they will both have naps presumably, or if the toddler is past that stage she will still need a quiet time during the day.

I find that I don't feel tired during the day if I'm looking after my DGCs but collapse when I get home. smile

littleflo Thu 19-Mar-15 08:20:32

I think it depends on you physical strength and whether you are doing it on your own. I am very fit, but I do find it very tiring looking after the little ones. The stairs, the lifting to change nappies, or put into high chairs, assembling the buggy to go out. Plus the mental alertness needed to keep them safe.

If it was me I would try a compromise of 1 day a week.

J52 Thu 19-Mar-15 09:14:34

I would give it a go, but I wonder if you could get some help, rather like a mother's help? Possibly a student with a couple of hours to spare, who would work along side of you? x

Greenfinch Thu 19-Mar-15 09:27:18

Unlike some others I would suggest doing it in your own home where you know where everything is and don't have to worry about tidying up at the end of the day. I know my situation was different and I had them full time but I still preferred the comfort of my own home.

I do agree about the special bond. The twins are now 7 and still love coming to our house and staying with us. In fact it feels strange to us that sadly we don't have this special bond with our other grandchild who has always been held at arm's length from us though we would love to.

Anya Thu 19-Mar-15 10:07:29

I agree with Greenfinch about doing it in your own home. But this is only my personal choice and based in having good parking at my house, extra room downstairs which acts as a toy room, knowing where everything is, especially in the kitchen, etc..

Gagagran Thu 19-Mar-15 10:39:36

I have looked after all 4 of my DGC for varying periods over the years and always found it easier in my own home.

I also have a very good DH who was and is an excellent Grandad - always willing, when they were small, to take them out to "help" in the garden, go splashing puddles, go to the rec. etc. All to give me a break. It is a privilege to be part of their lives and very special bonds and memories are made.

DH now acts as taxi-man and sitter for DGC and is glad to do it and we are both still involved in their early teen years. It's wonderful!

jinglbellsfrocks Thu 19-Mar-15 10:44:31

Definitely be easier with two of you available. Even if GDad just keeps an eye on the toddler.

annsixty Thu 19-Mar-15 10:49:39

My DH and I also looked after our GD from the age of 4mths 3 days a week from 7.30am until 5.30 pm.
I much preferred having her at my house as all my jobs got done, meals prepared etc,After all you didn't loook after your own children in someone elses house.
When she was 12 months old I was diagnosed with BC and after 3 weeks we went back to having her just 2 days a week and she went to my radiotherapy with us.
It is an amazing time and as Greenfinch said we have a closer bond with her than our other GC where the need was not there. SHe is nearly 17 now and I wouldn't have missed it ,so just give it a try. Nothing ventured as they say.

whitewave Thu 19-Mar-15 10:54:41

I can only speak from experience. We have the GS's during all holidays that can't be covered and sick leave. We usually take them away for a holiday every year. I adore every minute of it BUT it is tiring and I am glad that I drew up the boundaries from the word go. We also have a life! and I would be loathe to give up that unless absolutely necessary. However my daughter and sil have a very good income and could afford excellent quality child care when they were pre school. What I would have done if they were in difficulties I am not sure - well I am - I would have looked after them of course and full time if necessary, probably killed myself in the process!!

Greenfinch Thu 19-Mar-15 10:58:26

I so agree Gagagran. We are so lucky and it is such a joy. My DH helps a lot as well. He provides the fun and games and the lifts to Brownies etc. and I deal with the practicalities- school lunches, mealtimes, washing, homework etc. There is a lot to say for the days of the extended family not much in evidence now.