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When the Grandkids go to school

(31 Posts)
mummyagain Thu 25-Jan-18 08:50:38

Hi all, I hope you don't mind me posting here but I'm after a bit of insight - We've been so lucky with my Mum and my inlaws being retired and local - they've helped to look after the children while we've worked for the last few years - they love seeing them and have saved us THOUSANDS.

In September our eldest will be going to school so obviously it's a big change. Not only will the GP's arrangement change but ours will too - everyone will see a bit less of the little ones.

My question is, will it be a massive slap in the face to the GP's if I offer school holiday visit time with the odd overnight every 6 weeks or so (this is how often the kids stay out at the moment)? I don't want to upset anyone, espessially when they've helped us so much - basically, what I'm trying to do is keep everyone happy without giving up much more of my time with the children (As it'll be so much less in september).

Why do they have to grow up so fast?! 😭

tanith Thu 25-Jan-18 09:07:23

I think on the whole GP realise their time with grandchildren will be severely curtailed once school starts and how lovely that you realise they will miss that time. Unless they live close enough to maybe collect from school for tea now and then I think what you suggest is a good plan. You might be surprised to hear that a lot of GP actually breathe a sigh of relief to get more time child free 😀

OldMeg Thu 25-Jan-18 09:15:16

It’s surprising hard on grandparents when their GC start school, especially when we’ve looked after them since tiny babies.

I’d suggest that you recognising this is a good start. Why not have a little family get together, acknowledge their help and how this will affect them and discuss what continued contact there could be. It’s as much about maintaining the close relationship we have built up with these previous children as anything else.

So talk to grandparents and see what can be arranged. I still pick mine up from school on certain days and hold onto them until 5.00ish. Suits everyone.

NanaandGrampy Thu 25-Jan-18 09:16:57

Sounds like you've had a good relationship so why not ask them what they feel would work for everyone?

As Tanith says - they might surprise you and say they want to travel , or pursue other things so a scaling back on childcare duties and reverting to being grandparents might be just the ticket.

I'm sure you'll find a happy medium .

Nannarose Thu 25-Jan-18 09:22:56

Oh yes, we changed completely when the GCs went to school. From my pov: we expected it to change, and we all talked about how best to manage it.
So rather than 'offer' something you've decided on, talk about it, ask ideas from both sets, and arrive at a family solution.
We do fewer hours in term-time, and whole days + overnight stays in the holidays (and take our own holidays during school term time)

Luckygirl Thu 25-Jan-18 09:27:23

I don't see the need to make a formal arrangement. Just see them when you can, include them in the occasional outing etc.

Some of my GC are at school now and I pick them up after school and look after them till Mum finishes work.

Gillcro Thu 25-Jan-18 10:25:27

I used to look after my grandson who has just turned 2, but they moved away just after Christmas so although I miss him taking him to parks playgroup etc. I am now looking to do volunteering, and I am starting to do some classes and days out. And I also have to joy of visiting them by the seaside.

grandMattie Thu 25-Jan-18 10:39:36

How very kind of you to be so concernd about the GPs. Like the others, they are not stupid and know that the time will be limited. As a GP myself, I enoy every minute I have with DGCs, however little it is and count myself lucky that I am able to see them. So many GPs are banned from their smalls.
All the best, and thank you on behalf of the GPs for being so thoughtful and kind.

littleflo Thu 25-Jan-18 10:40:43

I have 8 grandchildren and the way it works for us is this . At the beginning of the school year I email DiLs and ask if they know what holiday child care they need. We share care with the other Grans. Dates come back and negotiations begin, if one of us can’t do the care on the date. As they are getting older, they want to spend less time with us as they are away from their friends. Quite often we will go to their house for childcare if required, They go to sports and other things during the holidays too. It is inevitable that we see less of they are older. There is no need to feel guilty about wanting to spend time with your own children.

Gagagran Thu 25-Jan-18 10:45:43

Well our eldest DGC is now 16 and needs us (well her Grandad mainly) as much as ever - for taxi duties.

They live in a village with virtually no public transport and both parents work full time so Uber Grandad is on call for picking her up from school on the two nights a week when she has her music lesson (doing GCSE Music as an extra subject) . He also takes her here there and everywhere for social activities if her parents can't. Similarly for DGS with his football, water polo and scouts.

It has made us all very close and we like being able to help our DD and the DGC. We looked after them a lot when they were small - special times - but these are also special times and it won't be too long now before they have their own wheels and won't need us as much but I think we will always have a close bond.

I so longed for grandchildren and have loved every stage of their lives. Our youngest one will be 13 in June so their baby days are gone now but oh they have been such happy days and we are very fortunate and appreciative for that.

Hm999 Thu 25-Jan-18 10:47:33

Who is taking/collecting eldest from school? I remember my childcare problems multiplied once mine started school

mummyagain Thu 25-Jan-18 11:04:53

Thanks everyone, Yep we definitely have a great relationship - life is just so busy with jobs and kids isn't it!

We'll potentially feel different when it comes around but I think for the first term at least poor kid will be exhausted by the end of the week - I should mention that I work school hours and the gp (all of them ❤) like routine visits. As I work school hours it'll be me doing school pick ups (I'll have to change the youngest ones nursery times to make it more manageable.)

Maybe a term or so in they could all have a turn of picking up every now and then for dinner - it'd be a lovely surprise for the kids - my Mum doesn't drive though bless her so she'd be left out (not that she'd ever say anything) but it needs to be fair for everyone really x

Jalima1108 Thu 25-Jan-18 12:02:07

I was going to ask some questions because I was a bit confused by your OP, ie surely the younger one(s) will need looking after even if the oldest is starting school, and what about all the holidays, but they are answered in your post above.

Personally, I wouldn't make it a 'surprise' for the children if you want the GP to pick them up from school; make sure they know in advance and anyway, the school will need to know who is doing the pick up if it is not a parent. We do occasionally pick them up from school and they always know when we're going to do that and the teacher says 'Oh, look, there's Granny Jalima waiting for you' and will then let them out.

paddyann Thu 25-Jan-18 12:19:15

our schools have alist of who MIGHT pick up so we dont need to inform them if theres an emergency or change of plans .Surprising them is possible with this system ...teachers seem to cope fine with it

Jalima1108 Thu 25-Jan-18 12:23:25

Ah yes, there is a list of approved people in case of emergencies, but this little one is only just starting school so teachers need to be aware of who is who at first.

Jalima1108 Thu 25-Jan-18 12:24:46

And however much they love their GP sometimes they are so looking forward to seeing mummy (or daddy) at the end of the school day that anyone else could be a disappointment

newnanny Thu 25-Jan-18 12:46:15

At some schools if anyone other than a parents collects the child is only released after the collector says a code word the parents choose. This gives piece of mind for all.

anitamp1 Thu 25-Jan-18 13:06:08

Sounds like you have a fab family relationship. Think when children start school things other commitments/activities enter the mix so it may be difficult to stick to a schedule. Could you plan your weekly supermarket shop and leave the children with parents for a few hours then? And if you have a night out couple times a month, they could sleep over then. Make sure you have the occasional whole family day out. Discuss it all with your parents. They have raised children themselves so I am sure they will understand there will be changes. Life never stands still.

Craftycat Thu 25-Jan-18 13:15:44

Talk to them about what they feel would suit them. I'm sure they have thought about it by now. I have the children to stay for 2 nights a week in holidays which gives me the opportunity to take them out. You have to accept that as they get older they will want to do their own thing & not be so keen to come to GPs. I'm told they go though that stage & then become closer to GPs again in late teens but I;m not at that stage yet.

maddyone Thu 25-Jan-18 14:04:23

Some excellent suggestions here,hope you can work something out. Sounds like you're a very considerate daughter/DiL so it shouldn't be too difficult. We used to pick our grandson up from nursery one lunch every fortnight, and then take him out for the afternoon. Now he's at school, we still pick him up fortnightly (usually) and bring him back to our house, he then has dinner here and stays overnight. His parents pick him up late the next morning, it's always the Fri to Sat option we use, and then often stay and have lunch with us. It works nicely for us.

Emelle Thu 25-Jan-18 14:40:20

As a grandparent who has been looking after GC for several years, I thought it might worth giving my take on the subject. We have loved looking after them for a couple of days a week but don't do as much now as most of them are at school and whilst we don't see as much of them, we do enjoy the freedom to do the things we want to do. It's just another phase and I am sure you will be able to work out arrangements to suit everybody.

cwasin Thu 25-Jan-18 14:44:00

You lovely, thoughtful, appreciative, kind lady. There is lots of sound advice here, but your relationship with your mum and in-laws sounds like you will sort it out to everyone’s satisfaction. I just want to tell you that GPS REALLY appreciate a loving and accommodating attitude like yours. flowers

leeds22 Thu 25-Jan-18 16:06:13

I, too, think you are lovely and thoughtful. Hope you have a happy family get together to discuss future arrangements.

Samie Thu 25-Jan-18 19:32:37

You sound such a delightful daughter/daughter-in-law - the envy of many - I am sure whatever arrangements you decide upon will be acceptable to the grandparents.

littleflo Thu 25-Jan-18 20:20:59

You really should not worry about being fair. Circumstances often mean that one grandparent will see more of the children than others. These things have a way of evening out over time.