Gransnet forums


Looking after grandchild.

(47 Posts)
Bopeep14 Tue 07-Jan-20 15:25:11

My grandchild's parents have recently split, i am still looking after my grandchild everyday while parents are at work.

My husband and other children say i shouldn't still be doing this as the resident parent would get help with nursery fees, its starting to be a bit of a problem as my husband is getting very irritated, as the child's mum has just booked a holiday.
My husband says with money i am saving her.

Is he right?
Should i broach the subject with them.

V3ra Tue 07-Jan-20 15:44:49

Were you looking after your grandchild before the split? In that case I'd say continue if you can as you are currently a stable feature in their little life.
You don't say how old the child is but from the term after their 3rd birthday they are entitled to 15/30 hours per week (depends on parents' working hours and income) of Early Education Funding for 38 weeks a year. That would be a natural time to ease them into a nursery or childcare setting.
I'd also be wary of alienating the parent who the child is resident with; from your wording it sounds like mum and that she's not your daughter?

Bopeep14 Tue 07-Jan-20 16:17:43

I was looking after him before the split.

That is exactly what i have been saying, i am a stable feature in his life, and i think putting him in nursery now will confuse him even more.

He is only 2 so not eligible for free hours just yet.

My husband doesn't get it all he sees is me tired all the time, which i am and have been since i have been childminding.

Since the split i do an extra 4 hours a week which doesn't sound a lot but actually is.

As much as i would like some time to myself i just don't feel it would be right for grandchild just yet. Just wish my husband thought the same.

V3ra Tue 07-Jan-20 16:39:52

When is his birthday?
It's hard if your husband's not supportive. Hopefully he helps with cooking etc and doesn't expect you to literally do everything just because he doesn't approve.
Do you have a local soft play or any groups you can take the little boy to to get you both out of the house and meet other people with little ones? We have a real mix of parents, childminders and grandmas at our toddler group. It's hard work being at home with one small child all day, and I'm speaking as a professional childminder for over 30 years!
If you can get through the next few months then your conscience will be clear and you'll know you did your best by your grandson. It's an upsetting time for everyone involved x

sodapop Tue 07-Jan-20 17:20:08

Catch 22 situation V3ra continue to have an irritable husband or upset your grandson. I feel for you. I agree it would not be ideal to disrupt your grandson's care at this stage but I see your husband's point about the holiday. Could you talk to your family about reducing the child care hours a little and your husband about continuity of care for the little boy. Children are resilient and some small changes shouldn't be a problem for him but would benefit you. Good luck

endlessstrife Wed 08-Jan-20 16:35:38

At the end of the day, although it’s difficult to choose between your husband and grandson, in my opinion, your husband’s and your welfare should come first. We are not getting any younger, and your grandson is still the parents responsibility. They have to sort it out themselves, and you can still support them without seemingly doing everything. Four hours is a lot more, and it could keep creeping up. Look after yourselves first, otherwise you’ll be no good to anyone.

luluaugust Wed 08-Jan-20 19:33:24

Every day is a lot so I can understand why your husband is getting upset. I think you and he should talk it all over perhaps setting a date when you want to step back at least to fewer days. I think the play group is a good idea I am sure one of the local churches will have one. I would be upset with one of them going off on holiday when you are struggling.

grannymy Wed 08-Jan-20 19:38:58

I think looking after your grandchild EVERY day is a bit much. It makes me wonder why people have children and go out to work in the first place, other than to keep up large houses and cars with their salaries. Sorry, but that's just how I feel about it.

You also have a life.

HettyMaud Wed 08-Jan-20 19:51:37

It's tricky. I have looked after my GS, now 13, from a baby while DD worked part-time. Now I take care of him (cook a meal, help with homework etc) after school 3 nights a week and on many days during school holidays. I can honestly say looking after him has made me very happy and we have had truly wonderful times. We still do but they are rarer now he's older. I can see that in a couple of years I will be almost "redundant". My DH occasionally complains that we can't go anywhere because of the tie. I wouldn't change anything as I adore my GS but he is growing away from me. I think the answer is to try to do both things - do help and enjoy it but keep time for yourself too so that in future you will have a purpose which I feel I may soon lack because I have given up so much (but to reiterate it's been wonderful) and with him I've enjoyed some of the best days of my life.

grannymy Wed 08-Jan-20 19:54:05

I think looking after grandchildren part time is very acceptable. Looking after them full time is a bit too much in my opinion. I absolutely adore my grandson (1 tomorrow!), but I wouldn't expect his parents to work full time every week. He needs them too.

Bluebird64 Thu 09-Jan-20 10:09:03

It sounds like it's your husband and other children who have the problem, not you. It's not all about money! Do you enjoy looking after this grandchild? If you do, you will feel victimised if you give in to other family members' opinions. Gloria Hunniford once said that being a grandparent is a privilege not a right, and I so agree. After losing one of my two adult children to suicide, and the other having lost a baby and is now the mother of my lovely grandson, I feel blessed, as are you. If you have never been good at putting yourself first, now would be an excellent time to start....

notanan2 Thu 09-Jan-20 10:18:59

I think put the split to one side for a moment:

What about you and DH?
It sounds like you want to childmind and DH doesnt? Is that correct?

Can you childmind alone in a way that affects your DH less? Can you set aside rooms for and not for childminding? Be out at groups?

If you're too tired from childminding to enjoy your non childminding time with him, I think he may have a point! This would indicate that you do need to do less before you burn out.

Gingergirl Thu 09-Jan-20 10:51:49

Why not suggest that your gc comes to you part time and goes to a nursery for the rest? It is unreasonable to expect you to do this full time whatever the situation....and then to take a holiday is really too much! All of you deserve a break and childcare ne da to be shared.

Saggi Thu 09-Jan-20 11:12:13

Your grandson isn’t the problem here...... I’m afraid it’s your husband. Do you like looking after little one? If so continue doing it.... tiredness can be gotten over , but those lost years you’d miss never will be. Is your husband like mine was.... jealous of time and attention given to grandson... when of course your time and attention should be centred on the granddad! My husband never complained of me being worn out looking himself.... but only looking after grandchildren. They’re all bloody narcissists at heart!

Anais75 Thu 09-Jan-20 11:15:10

As a single parent they will get around 70 % of costs for nursery saved so ask them to do this and maybe have one special day with your grandchild. This way there’s no worry what she spends and all get what they need.

jenpax Thu 09-Jan-20 11:27:49

Has the little ones mother looked into child care options for even part of the week? If she is eligible for Universal credit or is getting Working Tax credit she will be able to get help with child care costs, this is quite separate from the free funding for 3 year olds that other people have spoken about.

jenpax Thu 09-Jan-20 11:30:06

You may be able to claim up to 85 per cent of your childcare costs if you're eligible for Universal Credit and meet some additional conditions. The amounts you can receive in childcare costs are: a maximum of £646.35 per month for one child. a maximum of £1108.04 per month for 2 or more children. › ...
Children and childcare - Understanding Universal Credit

4allweknow Thu 09-Jan-20 11:30:38

Your family members are very fortunate to have split and yet maintain care for your GS with you. Did either actually ask/consult with you before the split about continuing the care? Seems that their lives have continued as per usual with no regard for what it means to you. You either have to continue as you are until GS is eligible for nursery ir have a discussion with the parents about how you feel and what you would like to happen. Your heart will be with your GS, very difficult. With some others too though; why do people have children and pass them off to others.

Grossmama Thu 09-Jan-20 11:30:54

This is the worst time to give up or cut down on the time with your grandchild. He is suffering from the split and you are the stability he needs. When he is 3 you can ease him into nursery and cut down your hours. A vulnerable 2 year old deserves more consideration than a needy old man. It is only one more year at most. Do you care for thw little one's emotional well beeing? Then at this point it should be the only consideration

Grannyhall29 Thu 09-Jan-20 11:41:30

If you are able to (but don't put your own health at risk) then I would say carry on looking after your grandchild, those moments are precious so make the most of them and build a strong bond between the pair of you, just because the parents have split doesn't mean you wash your hands of the grandchildren, you never know in a few years time she might meet someone else who might not want you to have any further contact with the child but if there is a very good relationship established your ex DiL might be more reluctant to break it

Lucca Thu 09-Jan-20 12:04:46

Agree with others re carrying on looking after the GS but I also think that he should be in nursery at least part of the time as this is very good for children to learn to socialise etc so that pre school is not too much of a shock to his system. Of. Purse a lot depends also on how you feel about you pr husband.....

Tangerine Thu 09-Jan-20 12:09:53

If you have got a generally good husband, I'd put his feelings and your health and tiredness first.

You don't have to give up or perhaps cut down right now. Perhaps you could suggest a time to reduce looking after your grandchild in 6 months time. That way your grandchild will not feel suddenly let down and neither will his/her parents.

optimist Thu 09-Jan-20 12:23:37

I had my grandson to live with me for 2.1/2 years when he was five and I took over as "Parent" whilst the recently separated parents sorted themselves out. I continued to see him regularly and looked after him after school whilst parents worked. He is now 18, a lovely young man going to Cambridge, doing really well at school, and well balanced and sociable. I consider bringing stability into his life at an uncertain time to my my best achievement. Please dont abandon your grandchild at this vulnerable time.

sodapop Thu 09-Jan-20 12:25:54

You sound quite bitter Saggi that's a sweeping statement.

Kartush Thu 09-Jan-20 12:47:16

it is sad that your husband does not enjoy the babysitting as much as you do. But it is his home as well and small children can be very wearing. I look after our great grandson one or two days a week and there is no way I could do it without my husbands help.
It is very hard, there is a certain expectation of how our older years will be, we work hard, raise our children and look forward to a quiet time at the end of it all. Try not to resent your husbands point of view, he probably thought to have time with you alone. , and if he sees you constantly tired then he is probably worried about your health.
I do agree that you are a constant in the childs life, but that does not mean that it has to be full time. Surely if one of the parents can afford a holiday then they can afford at least one unsubsidised day in a child care facility.