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Grandma daycare when shielding pauses

(36 Posts)
rosieod1 Wed 15-Jul-20 00:23:15

Before coronavirus I had been looking after my grandson 2 days a week.My hubby has no spleen so was originally on the at risk group for shielding,so told my DIL that I wouldn't be able to look after little man .She wasn't happy about that but I had to put both first to be kept safe. Following week lockdown happened so the issue went away and the spleen issue had disappeared from the original advice. 4 weeks later hubby got the letter from the NHS to say he had to shield and as I lived in the same house with him basically had to do the same. Fast forward about 10 weeks,have become almost agoraphobic and can't bring myself to leave the house but have gradually been getting better and starting to go back out into the world. Sorry for the long ramble but trying to give some background. Anyway shielding ends 31st July,so allegedly everything is going back to "normal" Hubby will still be working from home as going back to working in London isn't an option but what do I do about going back to grandma daycare? Grandson has spent the past 4 months with first of all both parents on a daily basis and now just with mum.Do I have him back here with us? Not sure he'll be happy about that after all this time. And being brutally honest,not sure I want to go back to 6am starts and 11 hour days looking after an almost 3 year old.Your thoughts on this would be most appreciated

tanith Wed 15-Jul-20 07:19:21

I quite understand your reluctance to resume your babysitting duties for lots of very good reasons. Can he not go to nursery/childminder? I think for all your sakes a straight talk with your son and dil that it’s not safe to resume and how tiring it is looking after him for you.
Good luck.

Humbertbear Wed 15-Jul-20 08:11:06

11 hour days with a young child are just too long. I always say there’s a reason why women stop being able to have babies and it’s because, like it or not, we don’t have the same amount of energy as when we were younger. We all want to help our offspring and have a relationship with our grandchildren but they are expecting too much of you. Could he go to a nursery/ playgroup in the morning and you pick him up for the afternoon?

Maggiemaybe Wed 15-Jul-20 08:16:37

And being brutally honest,not sure I want to go back to 6am starts and 11 hour days looking after an almost 3 year old

Even disregarding all your other circumstances, if this is how you feel, looking after him isn’t a good idea for you or for him. You need to have an honest conversation with his parents.

This doesn’t apply to everyone though, Humbertbear. We’ll be disappointed if we can’t get back to our “normal”, which includes a couple of long days a week with the grandchildren.

BlueSky Wed 15-Jul-20 08:20:58

I can see trouble brewing Rosie when you don't appease a DiL! Have a honest chat with your son I think they forget that we are all getting on.

Gingergirl Wed 15-Jul-20 09:43:53

This sort of thing confuses me. It’s a bit like the upsetting photo I’ve just seen that gransnet has put on the page, with a comment about booking a holiday to be with your grandchildren, showing an older woman holding their hands. What happened to social distancing? Don’t we do this with our grandchildren anymore? Is it not part of government advice? I know in Scotland they’ve said young children don’t need to distance but they haven’t said that in the uk have they? In which case, you should not look after your grandchild. But anyway, if you don’t want to now, I think that’s absolutely fine. Hard to tell your son this I know, but they will have to take it on the chin. The last months have taken its toll on everyone, and when you’re older, that means less energy ...and it’s all far from over.

Dustyhen2010 Wed 15-Jul-20 09:49:15

Unfortunately things can't get back to 'normal' yet. As you say your DH will not be going to work in London which indicates things can't revert to your original arrangements. Working from home is very difficult with children about. I think we all need to be cautious and prepare for area lockdowns and maybe a second wave. In my opinion we won't be able to see until next spring as to how this is going to pan out. In your situation the lockdown has let you realise how looking after your GS was too much for you and allowed you to reflect on what you may wish to do going forward. You can certainly use the medical issues with DH, him working from home and also your anxiety levels at the present time to encourage your family to use a nursery for DG while saying you will be there for emergencies, occasional days etc when all restrictions are removed (and in that I mean total return to normality). I hope you can get things resolved in a happy way for all.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 15-Jul-20 09:49:42

You do really need to discuss this with your daughter and do be honest.

Tell her you love her and your grandson, but having not had him for a while has made you realise how tiring it was and that you feel too old and tired to go back to full-time five days a week care.

If you like, you could offer to have him two days, or two afternoons a week.

Talk to her now, so she can start making other arrangements. You may find she doesn't want to go back to your old arrangement either.

Dustyhen2010 Wed 15-Jul-20 09:54:28

@Gingergirl. Yes you are correct in Scotland we can hug our young DGC but still socially distance from DC (and others). Not sure what the situation is elsewhere in UK.

Greciangirl Wed 15-Jul-20 10:23:38

Are we, or are we not allowed to look after grandchildren here in the U.K.
Have them in our homes on their own for instance.

luluaugust Wed 15-Jul-20 10:25:07

Just because shielding ends doesn't mean everything will go straight back to 'normal', so you may have a little more time, although it sounds as if you have made up your mind. Your OH could be working from home for ages and your DIL may not be called back anytime soon. I am not sure if it is fear of the virus or exhaustion with childcare which is the bigger problem. Best thing would be to talk it all over with son and DIL just to find out what they are thinking, many offices are changing their plans now.

Dorsetcupcake61 Wed 15-Jul-20 10:48:21

I'm high risk so following government guidelines closely. Even with the push to open up the economy the advice to shielded is to maintain social distance etc. They can only return to work if Covid safe. I think the government are expecting everyone to make their own decisions on risk in conjunction with healthcare providers which if your case is anything like those of diabetics is not straightforward! I would say having your grandson doesnt comply with government guidelines. It could be a good idea to check out Gov.UK ,at least you will have some evidence. It's a very tricky and stressful time. My daughter and family live in Surrey and at the weekend are coming down to Dorset. I'm high risk,my grandsons are 18 months and 4. I will continue to maintain social distancing as much as I can with childeren that age and we will meet outside. My daughter respects that and is fully supportive. My in laws are in 70s and high risk group but will be more than happy to not social distance! I hear you tiredness at the thought of long days with a three year old as well. I imagine this would increase in new normal where previous activities may not be available or increase risk to your husband.

Gwenisgreat1 Wed 15-Jul-20 11:15:41

Oh, I can sympathise, I have (not often) had my small GS (with Down Syndrome), from 8.30 - 5.30pm. While he's a joy, he is still mischievous. He does love to run and climb and jump, I'm not up for this! At the moment, he is better 'cause he likes to try to read and count! It's still difficult to get in the small child mindset.
I would try a compromise with your DIL?

TATT Wed 15-Jul-20 11:27:04

When lockdown started, rosieod1, I felt liberated because I was at no one’s beck and call. I’m now in a support bubble with my GC et al as I live alone.
Normal service hasn’t quite been resumed, because their Dad is still working from home.
Things will change no doubt in the new school year! I said from the outset that I wasn’t prepared to have them every day, but I help out by taking them 2 mornings and picking them up one afternoon. There is no doubt that they are hard work and you must consider your own health and well-being. Getting older, slower and less energetic for many of us is a darn inconvenience, but it is, unfortunately, the reality.
I’m sure that you can come to an amicable arrangement.

CarlyD7 Wed 15-Jul-20 11:49:33

I spoke to a lovely friend a few days ago who could have written your post - over Lockdown she's realised that looking after GC x 2 has been all too much for her and she wants out. She's now "invented" a health condition which is giving her time to think and them time to come up with an alternative. She fears alienating them if she told them the truth but she's nearly 70 and can't cope with them full-time (her husband goes to bed "with a headache" most days they're there!) Sad when we fear being truthful with our loved ones.

rowyn Wed 15-Jul-20 11:53:47

Use a white lie and say GP has suggested it would be wise for your husband not to take risks for the time being, as spikes are popping up here and there and it's better to err on the side of caution.
Or you could actually consult your GP in the right way , asking him to GUARANTEE that it is safe for your husband to have your grandchild in the home. Your GP will be loath to do so, - so then it wont be a white lie!

rosieod1 Wed 15-Jul-20 11:57:07

Thank you all for your replies.It's a tricky one. I think they forget how old I am (66) as I'm still pretty fit and would run around with the little one and just be fun all the time but having had 4 months without him,it made me realise how much hard work it was and also we had to plan our lives around having him.No on the spur trips off to Cornwall.Plus when hubby used to work the occasional day from home before lockdown,it was difficult trying to explain to a 2 year old that grandpa couldn't just stop and come and play. Also how does social distancing work in the home? It doesn't. Just because shielding is being paused the virus is still out there and hubby is still at risk. I know I need to have this conversation with my son and DIL.

rosieod1 Wed 15-Jul-20 11:58:36

A tricky one ,not ricky one lol

Janet8 Wed 15-Jul-20 12:09:11

Do all 3 year olds now get 30 hours nursery placement if they want it?
That might help you all.

rosieod1 Wed 15-Jul-20 12:31:03

@Janet8 I'm not sure.He's not 3 until September and I don't think they can go until the term after their 3rd birthday so that wouldn't be until the New year

rosieod1 Wed 15-Jul-20 12:32:18

Not 3 until September

Nitpick48 Wed 15-Jul-20 12:37:37

I’m shielding and my husband is shielding with me. We won’t be minding the grandchildren, the virus is here to stay and until we get a vaccine I’m playing safe. You could get your husband to ask his GP (you can ring the surgery and GP should ring him back) and get GP’s advice on how he should protect himself. Then you can honestly tell your family that you’ve been advised not to .

rosieod1 Wed 15-Jul-20 12:45:16

@Nitpick48 Thank you,will get him to do that

flaxwoven Wed 15-Jul-20 14:17:47

We had 3 year old grandson (now just 4) on 2 days a week, 7 hours a day, and he was on the go all day and had to be watched every minute. Lockdown made me realize how tiring it was (we are over 70). I am able to discuss things with my daughter and we have agreed to do school pickups for 6 year old and now 4 year old two days a week, giving us a long weekend if we want to go away somewhere. My niece also needs childcare with a 6 and 7 year old but I know I cannot take on any more, don't want the responsibility, and feel very guilty about not being able to do it all, have trouble saying "no", but I need to be sensible, I haven't got the energy and I did my stint over 30 years ago with 3 under 10 years at one stage and husband working all hours. My advice is don't take on anything you will later regret. Have a heart to heart talk with your son now. If your husband is still working from home he is still at risk .

justwokeup Wed 15-Jul-20 16:37:40

Talking to the doc would be a good idea anyway, a friend's doc rang her to say 'extending the bubble' didn't apply to her and she was to continue self-isolating. We, on the other hand, are taking over childcare as allowed from 1 Aug for a few days a week as you describe and looking forward to it. However it is very tiring and I'll be saying 'no' to any other requests for an hour's cover here and there. If your DS and DiL are amenable to sending him to nursery in the mornings, or afternoons, from 3 years old, could you offer to pay, or could they pay, until he gets a free place? It might be that they have also had a rethink on the situation. I wouldn't worry about him not wanting to visit your house though, he must be as keen for a change of scenery as we all are!