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DD returning to work

(53 Posts)
glammagran Sat 04-Jan-20 10:53:01

On Monday DD starts a new part-time job for the first time since having DGD now aged 16 months. She will be with other grandparents on Mondays, us on Tuesdays and nursery on Wednesdays which she has been going to for 3 months. She is very used to us as we see her a couple of times a week and we have a very good relationship and she is an absolute joy.

However, for some reason I’m feeling very anxious about the responsibility. I feel responsible not just for her but to her parents which is a different feeling to being a parent. We have just purchased a car seat and I’m even nervous about driving with her. I certainly wasn’t an anxious mother. DD is an extremely good mother, better than I was.

Any tips from other grandmothers who’ve looked after GC for the first time would be greatly appreciated. I really want to look after her and appreciate it will be tiring and it is only one day a week but may well include her nursery day on occasions if she is not well enough to attend.

Calendargirl Sat 04-Jan-20 10:59:51

Don’t run yourself down. I bet you were just as good a mum as your daughter. It does seem a big responsibility looking after grandchildren, but you will be fine. It helps that you have a happy relationship with your GD, and she already goes to nursery so is used to being away from her mummy.
Enjoy your time with her, it will fly by, before you know it she will be starting school!

Luckygirl Sat 04-Jan-20 11:04:12

You will love this! DD3's two children were with me one day a week from 9 months till they went to school - and I still pick them up from school two days a week and bring them back here for tea.

It is such a precious thing to me and I have a very close relationship with them. There are grandma things that happen - they love the rituals. When they arrive here from school they have a "milky bottle" (I know - they are too old but it is a sort of grandma treat) and we cuddle up on the sofa and read for an hour - we are currently working our way through Thee Princess and the Goblin.

Like you, I did worry to start with - and it is a huge responsibility. But you will soon clue in to her habits and traits - you will know whether she can be trusted with certain things; how to keep her happy and safe.

There are rules at my house that they know - e.g. do not run on the decking when it is wet, no going into the front garden etc. They have had occasional mishaps, as little ones always do, but I am more obsessional about their safety than I ever was about my DC.

And I have reverted to my own rules that held good when my own were little - no pans on the front rings of the hob etc.

This is such a privilege and a treat for you - savour it - they seem to grow up blooming fast!!

vinasol Sat 04-Jan-20 11:07:32

I can understand you being anxious, but I bet you will love it! Sometimes the thought of things are much worse than the actual thing!

endlessstrife Sat 04-Jan-20 15:51:10

I think it was the anxiety that made me tired, more than the actual work itself. I had my GD from 8 months to about 3 years, three days a week to start with, and eventually, I was picking her up from nursery. With your own children, of course, it would be devastating if anything happened to them, but you’re only really answerable to yourselves. With GC, you’re answerable to your children, and that’s what was stressful. However, they need us to do this, and it’s making the best of it. The other thing with me was, after two years , I started getting insomnia ( menopause I think ), and some days I simply couldn’t have her, I’d been awake all night and wasn’t safe. Once this settled I was fine again. I’ve looked after more GC, and it became easier, but when you first start it can be nerve racking. Good luck!

Ilovecheese Sat 04-Jan-20 15:56:42

I was exactly the same Glammagran. I found that if I thought of it as a "duty" to help my daughter so therefore a "duty" to suffer the anxiety, that it helped a bit.
Like others have said, it is a joy and a lovely relationship.

Sara65 Sat 04-Jan-20 16:09:46

My local daughter has three children, and I’ve looked after them all one day a week, and often see them at weekends.

She is very laid back, I’m very careful, but should we have any mishaps she accepts that things happen.

I also tell them off if necessary, but we have a very loving relationship, I enjoy ( mostly) my time with them, and miss them , when in turn they all go off to school, only baby left now.

Just enjoy it glamma, spring is around the corner, lots of lovely days out.

SueDonim Sat 04-Jan-20 16:34:46

Once you get going, Glammagran, I’m sure you’ll be fine. We look after my GD two days a fortnight in her own home. You do get into a routine. I had a late baby myself so the safety habits are ingrained into me, in fact I think I’m more cautious than my dd!

The biggest issue for me is that I have osteoarthritis and heaving a toddler about is hard on my hands. Also remembering to lug around all the equipment that babies seem to need nowadays!

Have fun!

Hetty58 Sat 04-Jan-20 16:44:03

glammagran, make sure that you ease yourself into things gradually. To start with, you could stay at home (except for short walks) and rest when (if) she naps.

Once you feel more confident, know her routine, and have adjusted, try short trips out in the car, then going further afield.

welbeck Sat 04-Jan-20 16:54:13

do you really want this responsibility, as a regular, and maybe increasingly onerous duty.
don't be guilted into doing it. has there been some assumption that GMs just love all this extra responsibility, and hard work, when they might reasonably be looking to ease off, put their feet up, please themselves, enjoy their own time.
being a good M or GM does not mean having to do childcare. its a job of work, and more tiring on an older person. I think a lot of GMs end up doing this as they doubt how much they would see the GC otherwise.

Curlywhirly Sat 04-Jan-20 17:03:19

I looked after my DGD one day a week and now look after my DGS one day a week. I was exactly the same, didn't want to drive with such a little baby in the car, but once I had done it, I was fine. However, I am far more attentive and stressed than I ever was when my two were babies and I am really tired when his home time comes. But, you soon get in a routine and before you know it, they are toddlers and far easier to look after. When I look after my 5 year old DGD now, I hardly know she is in the house, she is quite happy to amuse herself for an hour or so whilst I do some cooking or other jobs. Despite the stress of looking after a baby, it's a lovely time and you will have the opportunity to forge a close rèlationship with your GC; I am very close to both of mine and love that they are happy to come and visit and that our DGD now begs to sleep over!

Chestnut Sat 04-Jan-20 17:22:29

Welbeck: being a good M or GM does not mean having to do childcare. its a job of work, and more tiring on an older person.
Looking after the GC is not a job, it's something grandparents usually do willingly, and most consider themselves lucky if they have some alone time with the little ones.
It only needs to involve what you can manage comfortably. Taking them out etc. is optional so don't bother if you find it too difficult. Being the adult you make the choices and set the agenda. Just do things you both enjoy, even if they are quiet activities. The child will adjust to your company and understand this is how it is at your house.
After a while you may feel confident enough to take small walks outside and can build up from there if you want.

DoraMarr Sat 04-Jan-20 17:43:31

You will love it, and you will find it tiring, but I have looked after two grandchildren since they were tiny and I feel privileged that I am able to do it. There are caveats though: what would happen if you were ill, or wanted to take a holiday, has your daughter got backup plans? Will you be providing food, or will your daughter provide it? I am fortunate that my two daughters trust me completely, never question what they have eaten, how long they napped etc ( my other daughter, who lives in another town, and whose daughter I look after occasionally, provides written instructions and asks for a full breakdown of her day. I just tell her we ate MacDonalds and hula hoops and watched Netflix all day.grin )
I always put my feet up when they are sleeping, help them tidy up at the end of the day (lots of baskets) and make very simple meals- pasta or rice with vegetables, beans on toast, fish fingers etc. I’m lucky that I have a park on my doorstep so I don’t often take them in the car. Make your time with your grandchild as easy and relaxed as you can and you will forge a very special bond.

ElaineI Sat 04-Jan-20 19:13:53

You will soon find a routine that suits you and relax though I think we all feel more responsible with GC than our own. You will need a high chair, buggy and somewhere for her to nap. It's easier to have things at your house than have to always transfer big items from Mum's car. Also changing things - not huge pack of nappies as they grow so quickly. My DDs have supplies in the changing bag but occasionally run out. Ask your DD to make a list of important things eg. nap time, what soothes her to sleep, meals and snacks allowed, have calpol and ibuprofen syrup in your house and check if DD is ok for you to give if necessary. See if there are any toddler groups in your area and nearby parks. Have some toys that stay at your house as again it is easier. I too rest when toddler is napping as I do get tired as I get older and it is full on but very special.

Iam64 Sat 04-Jan-20 19:42:53

Relax and enjoy it. You'll be fine. You'll probably also need an early night when she goes home.

HettyMaud Sat 04-Jan-20 19:46:22

I have always looked after my GS who is now 13. However I have been far more stressed and worried about him than I ever was about my own children. Think it's because I'm older and less able to cope if something goes wrong. For example if he climbs on rocks on the beach I know I can't rescue him if he falls which I could have done years ago. I still panic if we go out and I can't actually see him in a crowd

GrandmaKT Sat 04-Jan-20 20:16:43

We'll be travelling to the other side of the world, to New Zealand, later this month to look after our DGS. To be fair, we had planned a visit anyway, but then DS and his partner contacted us to say that they couldn't get DGS into the nursery they want until May, so would we stay on an extra 2 months? We look forward to the opportunity to bond with the little chap (he will be 1 during our visit), but of course I am rather apprehensive at being in full control 3 days a week. Wish us luck! Good luck to you too glammagran x

M0nica Sat 04-Jan-20 20:29:41

I can understand your anxieties. I think it is the worry something will happen to your DGC on your watch and you will be responsible for pain caused to parents and well as child. Even with DGC nearly in their teens, I still feel a touch of anxiety when driving them anywhere.

I am not sure what you can do about it, except just accept that it is entirely normal.

V3ra Sat 04-Jan-20 20:30:40

If it's any consolation I have been an Ofsted registered childminder for over 30 years, but looking after one (now three years old) granddaughter is far more nerve-wracking than looking after half a dozen mixed age minded children grin
Remember they have asked you to help, you can only do your best x

Sara65 Sat 04-Jan-20 21:03:01

On a practical level, the thing I find the most irritating, annoying and almost impossible to operate is the pushchair, I’ve been known to struggle for ages, and resort to ringing my daughter.
Baby is just toddling, so now when we do the school run, I let her walk.

glammagran Sat 04-Jan-20 22:19:26

Thanks so much for your replies. I very much want to look after DGD. One problem is I have really bad osteoporosis in my left hip (seeing consultant this week) and am anxious about running after her now she’s walking. I may get some reins. I used to plonk DD in front of videos which didn’t seem to do her much harm (she has a masters) but is horrified if DGD watches more than 30 minutes tv a day. I’ll let you know how first day goes. She has a travel cot here and I only have to give her lunch.

Chestnut Sat 04-Jan-20 23:18:08

Glammagran - I always made it a rule that they held my hand when we were out and about. I never let go for a second! I was very aware I couldn't chase after them if they ran off. They never questioned this, just took my hand as soon as we were outside. I would let go in the park and allow them to run ahead but only if it was a safe environment. One park had a lot of dog walkers, some running loose, and I stopped going there. The loose dogs frightened me let alone the toddlers.

Fiachna50 Sun 05-Jan-20 00:42:34

Ive looked after my grandchild since they were a baby. I still get anxious about the odd thing but honestly, you will be fine. The time flies, mine is now at school. We do activities after school, sometimes we stop off at our local cafe for a drink. I love spending the time. It goes all too quickly. Like another poster had to stop going to the park, due to out of control dogs, but other than that, I just take them to safe places. Pictures, museums etc on the odd occasion.

Esther1 Sun 05-Jan-20 06:51:14

You will so enjoy this special time. I am in the same position and just take advice and suggestions from dd but also have my own rules (that I didn’t with my own children) for sanity and safety. That is - I only allow eating sat at a table (it’s good manners but more vitally lessens any risk of choking on food, and also there are no random bits of food around the house to pick up). When we go out the gc HAS to hold my hand at all times (no compromise except in the park) and no shouting or calling out to me from another room. It sounds strict, but it becomes a habit and definitely keeps stress levels down. Good Luck, it’ll be such fun or you and lovely bonding.

Dancinggran Sun 05-Jan-20 09:57:58

glammagran I used have a little backpack with strap attached rather than reins when I looked after my DGC, think daughter bought it online, grandchildren all used it and loved the fact they could put a small toy in. I'm sure you'll find your own routine and once settled you'll be fine.