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Looking after grandchild.

(48 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.

f77ms Thu 09-Jan-20 12:49:36

I would say that looking after a 2 Yr old everyday is too much, I guess you are of retirement age and don't have the stamina of a younger person. I do 2 6 hour days with my 2 Yr old gc and am exhausted after. I would not do anymore than that because I also have my own interests, volunteer and sometimes want to do nothing! I understand why your husband is irritated!

Hetty58 Thu 09-Jan-20 12:53:28

I think your husband may be right in that it's a bit too much for you. Your grandchild will be just fine in nursery for part of the time.

Nanna58 Thu 09-Jan-20 14:34:50

Hettymaud I feel I hold have written your post. Yes, it’s tiring, yes, it’s hard when they don’t need you as much, but how true, for me also the days with my grandson have been some of the best in my life.

silverlining48 Thu 09-Jan-20 16:11:13

Full time daily childcare is a massive ask, is quickly taken for granted and very hard to cut back once committed.

I would speak to the parents. You must be exhausted.

flaxwoven Thu 09-Jan-20 17:11:37

Yes it sounds as if 5 days a week is too much and I would suggest you speak to them and find a compromise. Your husband and other children think you are doing too much, and are concerned for you, and if parents can afford a holiday then perhaps they can also afford nursery. I do two 8 hour days every week with 3 year old grandchild and during the holidays with 5 year old as well, but my husband helps me. The other nanny's husband won't help her at all, and my view is he is losing out. It is very tiring but I enjoy it very much, it keeps me young and GS makes me laugh and smile with the things he says. I would suggest speaking to the parents and saying you love looking after 2 year old but 5 days a week is too much. You need your own life too.

EthelJ Thu 09-Jan-20 18:43:32

What do you want to do? Regardless of your husband what is your preference? If you want to carry on looking after him carry on. It won't be full time for much longer as presumably he will go to nursery when he is 3. Also do you go to groups with him. I find it is much easier to look after my GC if I take them out. Playgroups are great because you can sit down while they play also we sometimes spend a hour or is in the children's library because they have toys, even a trip to the park makes things a bit easier.
Is your husband the child's grandfather? My husband is keener to spend time looking after the grandchildren than I am!

Hopefully64 Thu 09-Jan-20 20:26:29

Some 2 year can get free childcare place .
Get his mother to check it out .
What is son doing help re childcare?

endlessstrife Thu 09-Jan-20 20:36:43

I don’t understand why there is such a need to spend time with grandchildren, especially if it’s at the expense of time with, or feelings of, the husband. I absolutely love my grandchildren, but they are not my children. I had my turn at that, and although I have looked after grandchildren, it’s never been to the detriment of my husband. He comes first.

Trixee Fri 10-Jan-20 08:26:58

Why did you agree to the extra four hours ?.

Hetty58 Fri 10-Jan-20 08:37:59

endlesstrife, I've told my four children that I'm here in an emergency, I'll happily babysit sometimes and I like to see all my grandchildren regularly.

I've also said that my 'mothering' days are over, I'm getting old, like my peace and quiet (sometimes an afternoon nap too) so forget any extended or regular babysitting service, just ask your friends instead!

Granny23 Fri 10-Jan-20 09:03:26

I too am wondering where your son is in all these arrangements? Does he have any responsibility for the care of his child? Also is there no help from DIL's parents? Why does it all fall to you?

We managed fine as 3 DGC arrived within 3 years (to 2 DD's) with a combination of both DDs and SILs adjusting their work hours, 1 set of inlaws covering one day a week and I must admit the full support of my DH, who would play with the DGC and if one became fractious, would pop them in the car and drive about until they fell asleep. If we wanted a holiday, then one of the 4 parents would take annual leave and take care of all three DGC.

I think a family conference is required to resolve this dilemma.

Bopeep14 Fri 10-Jan-20 21:21:52

Just to clarify my husband works full time, its my job to look after our grandchild.
He is fed up of coming home to a toddler, i fully understand his point.

What i don't want is my grandchild to have to make another transition so soon after his parents split, i am quite prepared to look after him a few days a week, i would not expect him to go to nursery full time.

My son agrees he should go to nursery a couple of days a week, but the child's mum doesn't agree. She would rather he stayed with me as she feels he would lose his connection to his dads side of the family, as he sees his cousins on a regular basis at my house.

I do an extra 4 hours a week because of work shift patterns it was sorted between the two of them when they were together.

The other grandparents are not interested in looking after him at all.

I have looked after after most of my grandchildren at some stage but never full time before.

He was 2 last week so not eligible for free hours till next year.

It was not his dads decision to split he is devastated, as they were getting married this year.

Its a minefield i don't want to upset anyone, least of all my grandson who is very attached to me at the moment.

Hetty58 Fri 10-Jan-20 21:36:05

Bopeep, you say 'the child's mum doesn't agree' but it's not her place to dictate how many days or hours you care for her son!

Starlady Fri 10-Jan-20 22:55:31

True, Hetty, but it's not Bopeep's job to refute the mum regarding nursery either. Difficult balance here!

Bopeep, I think it's wonderful of you to have given so much time and energy to watching various GC over the years. No doubt, the will all have some very special and fond memories of you and you of them. I do understand that your DH has a say in this, too, it's his home, also, after all. But unless your other AC live at home, it is really not their concern, and I wouldn't discuss it w/ them (would change the subject if they bring it up).

I totally agree w/ you that now would be the worst possible time to change the regular childcare arrangements - for GC, as well as for his parents. However, I think it was thoughtless for XDIL to just book a trip and assume you could watch GC. IMO, you need to set some boundaries as to when ans under what circumstances you'll watch the child.

DH needs to have some input as to boundaries, too, of course. But he also needs to think of others (esp. you & GC) besides himself.

V3ra Sat 11-Jan-20 00:27:12

Bopeep he'll get the funding after Easter next year, it's from the term after their 3rd birthday.
Would your son and his ex-partner lighten your load by paying for a cleaner for you each week?
Do they send the little boy's food ready for the day to save you that job? My minded children bring their own.
Have you tried online food shopping to save the supermarket trip for yourselves? I've used Tesco for years after one child pointed out how boring it was going shopping! We also treat ourselves to the M&S meal deal occasionally and my husband will cook now. Maybe yours would prefer to do this, in the kitchen by himself away from the toddler? Every little helps.
Your description of his maternal grandparents not being interested in helping is heartbreaking.

jenpax Sat 11-Jan-20 11:00:45

Hi Boopeep14 did you read my post about the help with child care costs if mum is getting either tax credits or universal credit? As I said before this is quite apart from the universal 15 hours funding for 3 year olds! Please look too at the link I sent you, it may be worth at least looking into this.

Tooyoungytobeagrandma Sat 11-Jan-20 15:01:40

If you are childminding then is that your income? I didnt think you could "childmind" your family members. If youd grandchild is taking up a paying space then that could be a way of easing off using him taking up a paying space which affects your income as a reason to cut back his hours?

GagaJo Sun 12-Jan-20 07:37:14

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

This shows a woeful misunderstanding of the world these days. Most families have to work full-time to keep a roof over their heads and bills paid. House prices are through the roof. My daughters one bedroom flat has a mortgage of £600 a month. Bills are at least another £200.

Are you suggesting only the wealthy should have families?

BoPeep, your grandchild will be little for SUCH a short amount of time. If he is 2 now, at 3 he will be in nursery. You are looking at about one more year. That little one has gone through the trauma of his parents splitting up. He needs the stability you offer.

I think your husband is being selfish. I also work full-time and for a year and a half, lived with my daughter and grandson. YES coming home from work to a toddler was hard, but I always had the option to go to my room to read or have some down time.

I would put the grandchild first just for now. He needs you and you are building a lovely relationship with him.

jenpax, help with costs is virtually impossible to get. My daughter with no income was not able to earn / claim enough to be able to afford childcare to be able to work. Ludicrous situation, but that is how benefits are now in the UK.

GrannyLaine Sun 12-Jan-20 08:29:56

Bopeep14 you sound like a lovely caring grandma and clearly have your grandson's best interests at heart. At difficult times in our lives, it's often the way we look at things that makes a difference to how we cope. If you and your husband together can look at the next 12 months and think about how best to make it as easy on yourselves as possible, with some planned breaks when your son and his partner have holidays , then perhaps it won't seem quite so overwhelming. Good luck with whatever you decide flowers

SirChenjin Sun 12-Jan-20 09:39:07

Full one is a huge amount of childcare to provide. You’ve done your child rearing and this is the time to do what’s right for you - and your DGS will be absolutely fine with a few hours a week in nursery to give you (and your DH) a break. You could start off with one morning a week to start getting him used to mixing with other children and the gradually increase it to a couple of days a week - he’ll love the company and range of activities and you’ll love the freedom and the rest.

You DiL loves the free childcare I’m sure, but she’s showing you a monumental lack of respect by not acknowledging the very heavy demands of being a f/t childminder. You will still have a close bond with him, but you’ll have more of a balance in your life which will be a good thing for YOU.

Time2 Sun 12-Jan-20 12:35:45

GagaJo I'm afraid I have to disagree with you. People just don't seem to 'plan' families any more, they just go ahead and get pregnant when it suits them and when they want it, like going to a shop and buying what you want, when you want, without thinking about whether or not you can really afford it. When we started to think about having a family, we decided that the best way to see if we could afford it, was for me to continue working for a year, putting every penny I earned into a savings account, then, if we managed to get by without having to dip into the savings account, we knew we'd be OK. This worked really well, not only giving us reassurance that we could afford a family, but also giving us a nice nest egg for the necessary purchases that go with having a family.

Sorry, OP, I know that that was going off subject somewhat, but as far as I see your situation, if YOU feel you can manage to continue giving your GS the support he needs for at least a bit longer, then I think that is what I would do. Surely your DH can see that stability is what your GS needs for now, even if only for a few weeks more, but I would suggest speaking to your son and DIL and making them aware that you're struggling, they can only think about making changes if they're aware that that's what is needed. As always, in my opinion, communication is key.

SirChenjin Sun 12-Jan-20 13:24:51

So let me get this straight - couples should only have families if they can afford to live on one salary (usually the man’s)?