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Horns of a Dilemma

(46 Posts)
Dara Thu 15-Aug-13 15:40:56

My son and his wife have a DC and want two days' childcare help. To do this I would have to give up work and as we all know prices keep rising and pensions don't keep pace. I like my part time job and have worked for the company for 17 years but I feel family comes first and I will have to resign. I don't want to give up work but my employer is not flexible when it comes to families. What do other grans think, I would never get another job as I am 65 at present.

Anne58 Thu 15-Aug-13 15:47:57

Sorry, but I think you should keep your job. You are right about costs going up, but more than that you are lucky to have a job that you enjoy.

I know that you say that you feel family should come first, but I think there is also a case for what you really want.

Are you their only option for childcare?

whenim64 Thu 15-Aug-13 15:50:32

Dara does your part-time wrk coincide with the days they want help, or is there room for manoeuvre? My daughter's MIL minds my grandaughters three days a week and works the other two. My daughter fitted her part-time working days around that arrangement. It's worked out well for everyone, once they adjusted a little both ways.

Ana Thu 15-Aug-13 15:50:43

Perhaps you could contribute financially towards childcare if they have no alternative but to pay a nursery, or child-minder?

tanith Thu 15-Aug-13 15:58:06

Seems a bit unfair to ask, as they obviously know you would have to give up your long term employment , I would ask them if they couldn't adjust the days so that you could help out but still carry on with your job..

merlotgran Thu 15-Aug-13 16:15:55

Sorry, Dara but my first reaction was, 'flippin' cheek' when I read your post. I've helped all my children with childcare in one way or another but would never have considered giving up my job.

If you are working part time they should fit in around you, not the other way round.

Lilygran Thu 15-Aug-13 16:25:36

Keep the job! Their need for your help with childcare will be limited, unless they're planning to have a very large family. Their request isn't reasonable.

HildaW Thu 15-Aug-13 16:28:52

There needs to be an official line drawn between being a half decent Grandparent.....(offering support, sometimes time and money and lots of love to those dearest to you) and becoming an official child carer. Just because one is the former, no one should ever assume you are available to be the latter. Its a demanding job and a lot needs to be discussed on both sides before it is mooted.

Dara, you have a part time job you enjoy and having one's own identity outside the home (that is not being a MUm/Grandma/Wife) is very important. Your son and dil need to be told what is convenient for you, and then its up to them to fit around what you can offer.
P.S. looking after Grandchildren all day and in an official capacity as it were, is exhausting and no matter how much you love the little darlings you will probably find it harder work that your 'proper' job.

petallus Thu 15-Aug-13 16:52:35

I wonder how much longer you were planning to work for Dara.

shelby75 Thu 15-Aug-13 17:26:44

They both work? If so, presumably they qualify for some sort of working family tax / child care credit? Presumably no-one will top-up your pension for you if you give up your part-time job?

shysal Thu 15-Aug-13 17:35:58

IMO when our offspring plan to have a family they should make sure that they can organise the childcare without expecting parents to give up work. It is too much to ask!

Dara Thu 15-Aug-13 17:39:23

Many thanks for your replies grans-netters, they help me think more clearly about the best thing to do. No pension top-up forthcoming and not really enough to cover the expenses everyone is struggling with at present. I am in no doubt that looking after grandchildren all day is exhausting. I suppose I planned to work till I had had enough, but have not reached that time yet. My manager wants me in the office every morning as I am senior to the temp and junior. He is not prepared to compromise and I can see why. Maybe I could contribute to child minding fees, that's a good idea. Seeing them tonight for further discussion. Thanks again - Dara XX

Charleygirl Thu 15-Aug-13 18:09:26

I am sorry Dara but you have to look after no.1. Nobody will be paying your bills and if you enjoy your job as you obviously do, stay on until you feel that you have had enough.

I totally agree with Merlotgran, a flippin' cheek.

Riverwalk Thu 15-Aug-13 18:22:27

Dara how you manage your family finances is your business but I would just comment that at aged 65 I presume you work for financial reasons as well as social?

Unless you are very comfortably-off, or the couple are in real financial straits, I don't think it's for you to be contributing to child-care costs.

As to giving up your job - I'd say don't!

FlicketyB Fri 16-Aug-13 17:39:45

Sorry, the child is theirs. How dare they expect you to give up your job to care for it. I bet they didn't intend to pay you for this care either. Did they discuss this with you before DDiL became pregnant? It doesn't sound as if they did.

Family come first in emergencies, we dropped everything when DD had a serious accident, including looking after DGD for a few days. We rallied round when DGS nursery shutdown without notice but this case isn't an emergency. They had time before DGC was conceived to ASK you whether you could manage any regular child care, not to mention the 9 month pregnancy.

Families are about caring for each other and being considerate not about one generation martyring themselves for another generation.

Galen Fri 16-Aug-13 17:46:12

NellieM I've put a photo of Niccola on the picture thread!

shysal Sat 17-Aug-13 08:25:33

How did your family discussion go Dara? I hope an amicable solution was reached.

hummingbird Sat 17-Aug-13 09:10:06

Dara that does put you in a spot! I would say, though, that giving up your job would be a mistake - don't forget, not only would you lose your income, but there are considerable costs involved in having a little one in your care! You could easily end up feeling resentful and unhappy. Bite the bullet and explain that you're not in a position to help them just now. Sometimes, you have to put yourself first! Good luck!

vegasmags Sat 17-Aug-13 09:16:10

Dara one thing is for sure - if you say that you don't feel able to do this, they will find a way around it that doesn't involve you! You are right when you say you are highly unlikely to find another job, so hanging on to the one you have got makes sense. There will still be plenty of opportunities for you to help out with babysitting, I'm sure.

whenim64 Sat 17-Aug-13 09:55:22

Dara a few things occurred to me - if they would otherwise have to pay for childcare, could they pay you an amount that you can both afford? Would they pay for all the toys and safety items you would need? Do you even want to child-mind? Would you have given up work by the time the chid has started school - child-minding could extend our working life if you would stop work in the next year or so. What if they have another baby - would you then be expected to mind that child, too?

My daughter's MIL wanted to mind our grandchildren, and has her part-time job which can revert to longer hours when they go to school. She had some good choices, but yours sound more restricted.

Dara Sat 17-Aug-13 14:37:57

Work for 'family friendly' company which when put to the test is not in the least family friendly at all ! My manager flatly refused to let me alter my hours and was very unpleasant about it. Not sure for a number of reasons that I want to work there any more! Thanks for all your views which are appreciated. I don't think they can pay for childcare, but I do think if I take the child out I would need entry fees etc paid for by the parents. Was expecting a text yesterday to let me know how the mother got on in a meeting with her HR at work but nothing has arrived on that yet. Got two weeks before final decision has to be made. They want another baby but live in a two-bed flat near us in an expensive SE town.
Thanks again - Dara XX

HildaW Sat 17-Aug-13 16:52:56

They 'want' another baby!!?? Gosh can distinctly remember the long hours OH and I spent discussing our family. I had a toddler from previous he had a young teenager ditto...we had one between us and then we stopped. It was all about the size of house we could potentially afford....if I wanted to work more....his pension etc etc etc. Whats wrong with planning according to what you can afford AND cope with??

Yes babies have a habit of popping up sometimes when you least expect but I do get cross with people not thinking things through and fully appreciating what they can manage (without presuming Grandmas etc will pick up the slack)

Sorry rant over.

Nonu Sat 17-Aug-13 17:28:38

Have they not heard of birth control ? You have to cut your cloth according to the material !!


Dara Sun 18-Aug-13 19:08:57

I had twins so an instant family of four was formed! Very grateful for every comment and support from wise Grans-netters, thank you all. Now its been agreed to put baby into a nursery from where I can pick her up after work around 1.30pm and look after her till Mum gets home. Keep my job, Mum gets to mix with colleagues and work, baby learns about others and everyone is happy! Dara XX

Anne58 Sun 18-Aug-13 19:22:22

Dara fingers crossed that it all works out.