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Grandparenting

Asked to look after grandchild in NZ

(48 Posts)
tealblue7 Sun 14-Aug-16 22:05:15

I have been asked to look after dgc in NZ for 6 months. Previously we have been happy visiting once every 3 years or so. Now totally confused and emotional as would love to but not practical. DH would not entertain going for that length of time. Also have dgc in UK.

Feel as though letting ds down as feels that we could spend 6 months abroad and 6 months in UK. Now feel worse than ever. Had tried to get used to family being so far away.

Balini Sat 20-Aug-16 10:34:10

I have a son and daughter in South Africa, and I would dearly love to visit them. After all, my wife and I took them there, when they were children. Unfortunately, I can't stand being in my DiLs company, she's a really unpleasant person. My late wife detested her. My daughter, is a slob, and I couldn't, live with her, for one day, let alone, one month. I can't afford a hotel, even if I could, I'm also too old to hire a car. I would be stuck in a hotel room most of the day, as I can't walk too far. I wouldn't use public transport, in SA. So those who are lucky enough, to see their children regularly, should count their blessings. I am fortunate, that I see my elder daughter, who lives in Germany, regularly.

Jalima Tue 16-Aug-16 18:33:16

Out of interest, say a GP lived say in Wales and was asked to do the same thing for GC in Cornwall would GNs think differently?

I know someone who used to go from Wales to Essex for three days each week by train to look after her DGC. But at least she could come home again each weekend or her OH could go with her sometimes.

It's a long way, but not really long-haul

Willow500 Tue 16-Aug-16 12:09:46

I had a similar dilemma to this 2 years ago when my first grandson was only a few months old. My DIL was offered some work back in Europe and wanted to bring him to us to look after for 6 weeks leaving my son back in NZ. After much deliberation we had to decline - we both work full time and although I work from home there wasn't any way I could look after a new baby and work. In the end she left him with his dad and hated every minute and vowed she'd never leave them again. My husband was over there a fortnight ago for 2 weeks and stayed in their house - he did say he wasn't comfortable at all being in their lifestyle even though he loved the time spent with the children (they now have 2) so wouldn't do it that way again. They did talk of us spending 6 months over there but it's just not practical - aside from work we have animals to look after and also a property. They wanted us to emigrate but I think have finally realised that's not going to happen either. Much as I love those little boys and want to be part of their lives they made the decision to go sad

Judthepud2 Tue 16-Aug-16 10:35:05

And to answer your question Lillie, Cornwall and Wales are only a few hours drive away. Relatively easy to come and go. NZ is 24 hours flight away! No comparison. I take a 1 hour flight (and 2 hours travel/airport time at either side) to help DDs out occasionally. Still no way would I give up 6 months of my life here. Last time I went over to help, DH took ill and I felt so frustrated! Had to wait 15 hours to get a flight home.

Judthepud2 Tue 16-Aug-16 10:27:22

Hmm! teablue one of the reasons is that they see the childcare given to the GCs in UK is it? That is NOT a good reason to expect you to leave your life, home, other GCs and perhaps DH for half a year IMO. I have had this kind of thing in my family with DD1 in England querying the amount of childcare we give to DD3 who lives 5 miles from here. My answer? She chose to live elsewhere. I go over to help out when I can for for VERY short bursts.

I think you have chosen wisely. A visit every few years and contact on Skype means you will see your NZ GCs but not have the responsibility for them.

granjura Tue 16-Aug-16 10:15:18

Exactly- how can one respond without knowing more about reasons and circumstances??? I love travelling- so I think I would personally see it as a great opportunity to discover a fabulous country- but just depends on so many things.

BlueBelle Tue 16-Aug-16 06:42:37

I don't think any of us can really comment more on this without knowing a reason, as I said at the beginnings of the thread if someone is ill or under some other major problem you would go to help even if it was inconvenient but if it's just that they want ( need) to solve some childcare issues cheaply then it's unacceptable to ask

I d presumed it's not a major issue or else posters husband would want to help too

I don't think it matters where you live 6 months is a big ask if you have ' a life' of your own but then if you have no responsibilities or ties and get on well with the relation it would be lovely

Lillie Tue 16-Aug-16 05:20:09

I'm sure your son will understand tealblue due to the distance and length of time involved. Perhaps you could do other things for the family like send regular gifts or even pay for a few small things just to show you are happy to give fairly.

Out of interest, say a GP lived say in Wales and was asked to do the same thing for GC in Cornwall would GNs think differently?

Jalima Mon 15-Aug-16 23:05:09

Deedaa Quite

The medical care in hospital would be for emergencies only (as in Australia); if you have anything at all that is existing you would have to pay for healthcare or take out health insurance.

That's the thing about emigrating - you are far away from family and can't expect the GP to drop everything and be available for long-term childcare.

Deedaa Mon 15-Aug-16 22:18:32

Well your other gc will get more care from you because they are in the same country. Presumably your DS and his family have chosen to live in NZ and must have realised at the time that it would mean not having you around very often.

6 months in someone else's home is a very long time, especially if you have to go alone.

BlueBelle Mon 15-Aug-16 22:02:48

Must be me but I find three weeks to be a long time in someone's else's house

tealblue7 Mon 15-Aug-16 21:58:26

Hi Everyone thank you for your kind thoughts and advice. I have decided not to go at present. Yes the main reason is for part time child care. I would have my fare and expenses paid. It would mean leaving OH. Also living with DS and family in a fairly small apartment. We have stayed before and after a month of intense living were quite pleased to return to our own house. I think one of the reasons I have been asked is due to the child care that they see is given to the other gc in UK as they live nearby. If circumstances change I may reconsider. Thanks everyone for easing my mind. I still miss them to bits and can't wait until we next meet up.

CrazyDaisy Mon 15-Aug-16 21:07:48

NZ and the UK have a reciprocal health agreement for hospital care but doctor's fees are more expensive for visitors and everyone has to pay for private dental treatment.

There are some good points to consider in the above posts so I won't add any more. All the best tealblue7 flowers

Penstemmon Mon 15-Aug-16 20:29:32

teal you haven't managed to get back yet to answer key queries that would impact on the 'advice' & comments offered.

It sound as though you have been to NZ a few times so am guessing DGCs are not tinies. But until others know what thecircumstances are (or if even you know the details) it is hard to make comments. What I can say is that I know folk who do spend 6 months in one place and 6 months in UK. Often they let their house too! If the request is to enable a parent to complete a course or to set up a business then it sounds feasible and not totally unreasonable. If they are paying your fare/ board & lodging then that is a good sign. As others have said I would want to know hours/expectations etc.and be clear that x number of days were your time. Is it at all feasible your UK DGC/family could also visit cousins/uncle whilst you are there?

hard to leave the DGC you know and see often but maybe a gift to get to know your other DGCs better.

Jalima Mon 15-Aug-16 20:03:16

A parent or grandparent visitor visa is for six months at a time but you are not allowed to work:
www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/about-visa/parent-and-grandparent-multiple-entry-visitor-visa#https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/visa-factsheet/conditions/parent-and-grandparent-multiple-entry-visitor-visa

MargaretX Mon 15-Aug-16 19:59:25

A lot of young women went to to other countries as AU Pair and sometimes landed in quiet country areas with a toddler to look after and no one with miles of the house.
Would this be your situation?
I would say NO and why are they asking. Is it baby or are you just cheap labour. Being in a country free to come and go as you please is wonderful but you are tied to a small child who is happier in its own surroundings.

marionk Mon 15-Aug-16 16:12:09

I agree that there may be visa issues for such a long stay, this is certainly so for Australia. 2 months under the same roof with my DD, Sil and a newborn was enough! Love them to bits and privileged to be able to afford to go, but we have all had our own space for a fair time now. And as for seeing NZ, that doesn't sound like an option if you are there as child care

loopylou Mon 15-Aug-16 13:32:48

Crumbs, that's difficult.
Could you happily live with them for 6 months if they were still in England? If not then it's not going to be easy in another country with no friends or opportunities to take breaks away from them.
I'd be very torn especially as you have more dgcs here and if effectively you'd be expected to be 24/7 child minder/housekeeper 😳

SueDonim Mon 15-Aug-16 13:27:30

If it is for a one-off period of six months, I'd try and make it happen. I only see two of my GC once, or at best twice, a year but we have a good relationship with them, they know us and love us as we do them, so I think your UK-based GC would be fine for six months.

Of course, if you're only required for six months of doing housework and cooking etc, that's a different story!

Luckygirl Mon 15-Aug-16 13:18:18

What a dilemma for you. I sounds as though they do not want you there for one stint of 6 months but have the idea that you might divide your lives 50:50 b. Phew - that is a big ask! - no, an enormous ask, especially given that you are both grand parent age and can expect that you might feel the need to slow down a bit in the foreseeable future.

This is to do with child care and I wonder what circumstances have created this need.

TBH it all sounds a bit controlling, trying to organise someone elses' lives in this way. You need to have detailed discussions with all your children, both UK and NZ based. And your OH's reluctance is a big factor I think.

angsw Mon 15-Aug-16 12:23:50

Hi Tealblue7. I'm interested to know the reasons behind this request. If it's for a good reason I think you should follow your heart and go. OH could go for a short time at the start or end. You'd have a great opportunity to build a relationship with your dgcs and some meaningful time with your ds. Your other dgc's here will be fine I'm sure. As I said, depends on the reasoning behind the request. It's only six months out of your lives...

gettingonabit Mon 15-Aug-16 12:05:49

Have they ever invited you over for a holiday?

Yes? They'd like to see you, just for the hell of it, with no expectations.

No? They want to use you for unlimited (and unpaid) childcare.

EmilyHarburn Mon 15-Aug-16 11:21:05

I have lived in with DS and his family for short periods at 2 yearly intervals in Australia. You definitely need a break about every 3 weeks. Last time I spent just over 2 months. Had several nights stays with a cousin to get time to myself. I do drive their car there so that I can go shopping for the family groceries. I do not drive children to swimming lessons etc as I do not want to be responsible for any accident that might occur due to some distraction by GC.

A friend of mine has been invited to NZ by her son 6 months at a time but has turned it down. She agrees to 3 months. She is a widow and has said she might stay longer if they have a separate granny flat or house for her.

hulahoop Mon 15-Aug-16 10:55:44

I would want to know reasons it's a long time to spend under someone's roof even when you get on well . It's a tough decision hope you reach a decision which suits all

annifrance Mon 15-Aug-16 10:40:00

Assuming you are and have always been a UK based family whose idea was it to move to the other side of the world? Surely they are the ones to cope with the difficulties that arise with that, again assuming it was their decision alone to make the move.