Gransnet forums


School pick ups

(71 Posts)
caterpillar Mon 17-Dec-18 22:49:36

Hello all. My dd has asked if I'll do school drop offs and pick ups and I'm really not sure about it. I really don't want to be tied to having to be at the school gates for three every afternoon and having to watch the clock all day. I thought my time of doing that was over now I'm retired. But it feels very mean to say no and I do like having my grandkids around. Just not at specific hours every day. What do others think? Am I being a bad gran to be less than keen on the idea?

Bathsheba Mon 17-Dec-18 22:58:19

No, not a bad gran at all. I think you're right to be reluctant to take this on. I would not be happy at all to have every weekday hi-jacked like this, no matter how much I love my grandchildren. What about when you want to go on holiday? Or even have a day out?
I think she is asking too much of you and you need to talk to her and tell her honestly how you feel about this. You could maybe offer a couple of days a week, and suggest that she looks into breakfast and after school clubs for the rest of the week. What about the other grandparents? Would they not be able to help out as well?
Please don't agree to this if you're already unhappy about the prospect - it won't get better, believe me! Better to have the conversation now and agree an arrangement that you are prepared to take on, rather than agree and allow your resentment to build.

annep Mon 17-Dec-18 23:29:56

If your daughter is really stuck and you can help some of the time it would be nice. But you must talk it through with her. You should always be careful before committing to something. And you dont have to do it. Personally I would not be able to cope but I would love to have my grandchildren for even one day every week.

agnurse Mon 17-Dec-18 23:49:03

Team not bad gran here.

You raised your children. It's not your job to be always available. You have your own life and things you want to do.

agnurse Mon 17-Dec-18 23:49:52

By "job" I mean "requirement", just for the record. It's NICE and GENEROUS to be available, but it is certainly not required.

MissAdventure Tue 18-Dec-18 01:04:47

I wouldn't do it, unless it was absolutely unavoidable, and I'm sure that isn't the case.
The time between dropping them off and picking them up flies past, so it would mean no days out, and clock watching all the time.
Much the same as a full time job in other words.

BlueBelle Tue 18-Dec-18 06:04:08

I think it depends on the circumstances If your family are at work, you are retired and you loving having the grandkids why not? What more valuable job can you have in retirement
My mum did it for me I couldn’t have worked without her and Dads help I did it for two grandkids I liked to feel useful and reliable
The time goes so quickly and before you can blink they are taking themselves and don’t want you near the school gate
If you think it’s too much, work out what you would find acceptable, and offer what you can do

chelseababy Tue 18-Dec-18 06:14:40

Could you do mornings and then you'd be free for the rest of the day?

CocoPops Tue 18-Dec-18 06:19:20

My grandchildren's parents asked me "What, if anything, would you like to do in regard to the school run?"
I told them I did not want to be tied to an 8.30 am pick up and 3 pm collection which would amount to a commitment for several years. The 3 pm collection would have entailed child care until 6 pm or later.
Parents were fine about that and arranged Out of School care. I wanted to see the children on school days though and so I offered to do the morning run only. I return home at 8.15 am and the rest of the day is mine. Suits me fine. I also look after the children if there is a problem eg when they are unable to attend school through illness and I usually manage child minding requests when parents want an evening out. I also invite the children over and they invite themselves sometimes!
I have chosen what I can easily manage and what I want to do.
Hope that helps.


craftergran Tue 18-Dec-18 06:23:39

I think it's important that you don't agree to do more than you want to. Should you agree to do this every day,when already you are not keen. you will have difficulty stopping it later, because she will come to rely on you.

Offer only what you feel comfortable with, is my advice.

hillwalker70 Tue 18-Dec-18 06:24:47

I would not want to do this every day, I do 3 morning drop offs for 2 g.children and 4 pick ups, Friday is my day off. I have them hour and half before school and 2 and half after, do 2 swimming lessons a week and take one to Karate, I also have 3rd g.child for a morning so feel I am contributing to family life. They grow so quickly the years whizz by and by 11 years old away to large town to school by bus so I do enjoy my time with them but if it is not your thing, then say so.

Alima Tue 18-Dec-18 06:30:09

We do school pick ups and drop offs 9 days out of ten. Yes it can restrict your days sometimes though mostly we are here anyway and school is a couple of hundred yards away. On the days we do plan to be out there is always breakfast club/after school club to help out.

EllanVannin Tue 18-Dec-18 08:06:59

As a one-off yes but to spend your days clock-watching---no.
There's nothing bad at all about not being a willing participant in this. I wouldn't like to be held down in such a way, your time is never going to be your own.

Humbertbear Tue 18-Dec-18 08:26:29

We did school pick ups twice a week for years and, however much I loved seeing the GC, it is very tying. When we were asked to do the morning run - necessitating being at their house for 7.00am once a week, we politely declined. Are there no after school clubs? Ultimately, as my childless daughter always says ‘they chose to have children, and they are their responsibility’. Work out what best suits you and what you are prepared to do .

Greyduster Tue 18-Dec-18 08:31:16

Think about it very carefully. We did school pick up two days a week for six years, and it suited us. I think we would have baulked at doing the morning run as well, because of the travelling involved. Two runs every day would have been onerous, even if we had lived nearby, as it does eat into your day.

M0nica Tue 18-Dec-18 08:57:36

You decide what you can manage and tell your daughter. I cannot understand why grandparents find this so difficult.

Tartlet Tue 18-Dec-18 08:59:54

Lots of good advice here. Apart from a few years when two young grandchildren pretty much lived with us because of their mother’s illness, we’ve never done daily school runs but have willingly helped out on the odd occasions when other arrangements have temporarily broken down.

For me, one of the joys of retirements is/was having no daily commitments. No need to be anywhere by a certain time and the freedom to live more spontaneously without being limited by ‘things which have to be done’. I tend to think that adult children who ask parents to take on such roles on a full time basis are not showing much consideration for their parents’ right to live their own life. But I do realise that some grandparents might welcome the chance to do regular school runs. Not me though but that might be because with 8 of the little blighters still needing adult supervision to and from school and all living fairly locally, I’d find it impossible to spread myself thinly enough.

My advice would be that if you have the slightest doubt that you want to do the school runs and won’t mind the constraints they’ll place on your life, don’t do it. Or just do one or two days a week. I

Anja Tue 18-Dec-18 09:00:39

We do both drop offs (3) and pick ups (2). That leaves us plenty of free time to enjoy our retirement.

Why not agree to a couple of days a week?

Nanabilly Tue 18-Dec-18 09:07:39

Don't do it . However much you love your family . Doing the school run does not mean you love them more or love them less if you don't do it . IT TIES YOU DOWN IN SUCH A BIG WAY.!!!
Truthfully... I speak from experience.
We now just do pick up every other week and only because of the parents shift work.

Granny23 Tue 18-Dec-18 09:24:07

As both DDs are freelancers and both SILs work flexitime, we had the most complicated schedule for drop offs and pickups. Not too bad when all 3 DGC were in the same private nursery but once they started school - 2 different schools, only 3 miles apart but both going in and coming out at the same time and we had only one car - it became problematic. Later after DH's accident and steady descent into Dementia, the logistics became impossible - mainly because both schools operated a NO PARKING zone around the schools and DH could neither walk far enough, nor be safely left home alone nor alone in the car.

Unfortunately, both Breakfast and after School Clubs will not take casual bookings and it is very expensive to book the DGC in for the whole week when only one or two days might be required.

Thankfully, the DGC are now old enough to walk home by themselves and we can park at their door and be there to welcome them. Alternatively they can go on a playdate with one of their pals.

I do wish schools would finally recognise that there are now very few 'stay at home' mums/dads, very few jobs with child friendly hours, few who are lucky enough to have Grandparents living nearby and adjust their rules accordingly.

annep Tue 18-Dec-18 09:40:06

I agree Grannyknot. Most parents work now and its a problem juggling everything. Luckily my d and ex SiL have employers who are a bit flexible But its still very difficult. Breakfast club is flexible too which is so helpful. The government needs to do more to help working parents. They insist single parents work but they don't tell them how to cope. They don't even understand the problems.

luluaugust Tue 18-Dec-18 09:45:05

I agree Granny23 the whole school system is Victorian and causes everybody problems now most parents work. caterpillar the very fact you are asking us suggests you really aren't sure. I would be very wry of taking on quite so much specially if you have things you do during the week. Why not work out what you might do and offer that. We did a pick up twice a week for a while but many schools now have before and after clubs. You don't say how old you are and of course that can make a difference.

luluaugust Tue 18-Dec-18 09:46:09

Even 'wary"

silverlining48 Tue 18-Dec-18 09:46:23

I would say no, we do one day a week, it comes round quickly and for us is a 80 mi nute round Trip Drive from home. Once a week is enough and quite honestly after a while it can start to be taken fir granted and even seen as replacing grandparent/ family time. It is a big commitment and once started is hard to reduce.
You have answered your own question, you are not keen. Go with your gut feeling. They must understand they are asking a lot.

Izabella Tue 18-Dec-18 10:18:02

No way. However this does show how things have changed over the years. I was taken by Dad for the morning of my very first infant school day and was expected to sort myself out the rest of the time, which I did. Dad worked and mum was blind.

I think the OP's daughter asked her as the first choice. If she declines, a solution will be found.