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Look after all grandchildren together or split ?

(23 Posts)
tellmeofthetime Wed 16-Mar-16 21:18:29

I have looked after my two grandchildren, now aged 5 & 2.6, on a Friday, since the first one was 9 months old. I drive to my daughter's house (20 mins away) for 7.45am, they leave for work around 8 and get home at 5.45pm. (Other grandma looks after them at her house 2 days a week) DGS school is 10 mins drive from their house, but an uphill half hour walk. I used to work 3 days a week but have recently taken early retirement.
My DS & DIL have recently had a baby and she is returning to work 3 days a week in Oct, I offered to have the baby with the others on a Friday, retired other grandma would do 2 days, but her husband has been diagnosed with cancer so she has now said only one day due to his appts, treatment etc, so DGD will need CM for one day.
I feel I should offer two days instead of DGD having three different carers and thought a day on her own and a day to-ing and fro-ing on her cousins school runs.
To add to this, my other DS will produce another DGS in May, so 4 months between the babies ! And I've offered them a day too when DIL returns to work next May. They are planning to work 4 days each plus use a nursery.
Do I manage one day with what will be a 6 year old, 3.5 year old at half day pre school, a 16 month and 12 month old ? Would I cope, and how would I transport them for 3 times a day school runs ?
Do I give up another day and just have the toddlers on that day ? Do I have a toddler day then Friday with the bigger ones plus the16 month old ? Or should I then offer other DS two days ? Should I therefore offer 2 days for the bigger ones, taking a day off other grandma who is older than me and has a chronic health condition ?
Opinions ??

AppleAndBlackberry Wed 16-Mar-16 21:28:03

What do you want to do? 4 under 4s sounds hard, I think one day to each family would be fair if you feel all 4 together would be too much.

tellmeofthetime Wed 16-Mar-16 21:38:46

Eldest would be 6
It's tempting to just use one day for them all but I've enjoyed taking the other two to toddler groups, swimming, soft play etc and it would be hard to do that with the toddlers fitting in between school/pre school runs.
My DH also has to plan his shifts around Fridays as we have dogs that we can't leave so he has to be day off, so obviously would need to have another day off on the second babycare day.

JakeBallardswife Wed 16-Mar-16 21:42:28

I'd keep just one day per family don't offer any more days. If the other Gp's can't do 2 days anymore then let your children sort out a nursery or CM.

DonkeyOaty Wed 16-Mar-16 21:45:01

How about you enjoy your retirement and your children thank you gratefully for all the help you've given

Cheeky feckers, all of 'em!

Artandco Wed 16-Mar-16 21:46:05

Just offer one day. Presumably your children both know childcare is needed so can and have thought about nurseries/ nannies/ childminders etc anyway.

That way you can offer to have them on the odd days one is too sick for nursery for example without feeling like its too much every week

seven201 Wed 16-Mar-16 21:48:09

I think you should do one day per family. Most people including me so I'm very jealous don't get any 'free'/ family childcare and they get by. I think having all 4 on one day would be too many to be fun for you.

Branleuse Wed 16-Mar-16 22:09:14

i think having four under 4s is going to be harsh.

Do you feel you "should" offer. I think you would need help to look after that many

tellmeofthetime Wed 16-Mar-16 22:10:56

It's three families though, and I'm not using up three days !
They are very very lucky, especially my daughter who has always had 3 days free childcare. I'll have yours too seven !
It's a really good point about not overloading myself so I can step in for illness. I'm actually doing 2 or 3 days with them at the moment to cover for other grandma's gallbladder op !

tellmeofthetime Wed 16-Mar-16 22:20:10

Branleuse - I am a bit of an `offerer'. And probably too aware of being fair to them all, especially as DD has had so much help for five years.

Artandco Wed 16-Mar-16 22:25:38

Could you see if they will all agree to the following:

Friday
6 year old in school 9-3pm
3.5 year old - get nursery hours increase so 9-3pm also
Both babies with you

That way you have just two times a day school and nursery drop off and collections instead of three. You can do before and after school care for elder two. And full day with the two 1 year olds.

That way you have just two 9-3pm who can fit in twin pram and be taken places. 3 year old worn out by nursery and 6 year old school. So 3-5.45pm can be pottering around in garden or in the home when all 4. Same in holidays. All 4 off, use that Friday as the day to play in garden, bake with them, play together etc

seven201 Wed 16-Mar-16 22:34:30

Oh three families plus mine since you offered! Hmmn tricky. Maybe you should stop childcare for the daughter who has had your care for 5 years and only help them when they need it every now and again? Or maybe just do one pick up a week for them or something (I say something as I have confused myself with who needs what doing so school pick up might not be relevant!). Don't overburden yourself and do what you want to because you enjoy spending time with the grandkids, not just to be helpful.

tellmeofthetime Wed 16-Mar-16 23:25:01

Good suggestions, but unfortunately DD is the one, household income-wise, who most needs free childcare and could least afford to pay for extra nursery hours.

harrasseddotcom Wed 16-Mar-16 23:40:50

Tbh, i'd probably have them all on the same day, just so not to have them over any other days too. This is what i do for my nephew and nieces, who have a sleepover once a month. I just have them all over (4 of them on top of my 2) so they all get to spend time together and I can sleep not the night they stay over, tis impossible knowing that Ive treated them all fairly. But, im guessing im probably a lot younger than you, and my youngest one is 3. If you were able to do that , id go with that option. Otherwise probably have to drag it out over two days to be fair to everyone.

TendonQueen Wed 16-Mar-16 23:55:30

I would find four little ones very hard. I don't think you'll enjoy that as much. Two days would spread it. I am also surprised that your DD (does she have a partner and do they both work full time?) can't afford what would basically be two days of nursery for her youngest. She's had a lot of help and ought to now be able to take back some of the childcare. Wouldn't she get some free hours for her youngest?

eternalopt Thu 17-Mar-16 09:18:37

4 on the same day is going to be a pain logistically though with that school run - wouldn't fancy a half hour walk uphill with them all, so you'd need a car that is wide enough in the back for 3 car seats and tr ability to turn the airbag off in the passenger seat so the eldest one can sit there. Is there a free breakfast club and any free after school clubs the eldest could attend on a Friday to ease the load?

eternalopt Thu 17-Mar-16 09:19:15

Or does the six year old have any local friends that she could walk to school with and come home with to cut out the school run?

Blondeshavemorefun Thu 17-Mar-16 12:37:39

Did you post on Aibu about having your gc? This rings a vague bell

Think general consensus was that your children pay for childcare

Grandparents shouldn't be expected to give free childcare

If not then sorry and others grandmas have the same problem as you smile

Saying that you have done it for years for one child so feel you should for other

Personally I would have all 4 on one day so you still have time for yourself

2 babies at home. 6yr at school and 3yr at nursery

tellmeofthetime Thu 17-Mar-16 15:13:36

No I haven't posted anywhere else.
I've taken early retirement so I'm only 55 and happy to help out, it's made for a lovely close relationship with DGS and DGD. It was just the logistics of it that felt hard. I think I've decided to have the toddlers on one day, and the older ones another. I'm going to offer that the 16 month old also joins the older ones on a Friday whilst other grandma is occupied with ill partner. Sadly it seems the treatment is palliative not curative so this won't be long term sad then she can pick up another day. Other DS will understand that doing two days for them is temporary and I'm not being unfair.

StillYummy Thu 17-Mar-16 15:51:48

Sorry to sound harsh, this is kindly meant.

Your children shouldn't have kids they can not afford. There for they shouldn't have to rely on you. If you ever decide it is too much, you shouldn't feel bad about stopping or cutting down hours.

I would love to be in the position to get free child care. Your DC are very lucky to have you.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Thu 17-Mar-16 16:04:50

And probably too aware of being fair to them all, especially as DD has had so much help for five years.

But unless I am mistaken, only one day from you? The other 2 days are covered by her MIL so it's not YOU being unfair, it's simply that she is very lucky to have support from you both?

I think that ArtandCo's suggestion is quite a fair one, but also your decision to do two days and split it between them. Logistically it may make life a little easier as a 30 mins walk/10 drive with 4 car seats could rapidly force you into the 30 mins walk or a larger car.

Your kids are very lucky. Try not to take offence though if they decide that they would prefer to simply keep their kids with a childminder or nursery for the full requirement. You would be amazing back up for minor illnesses or the dreaded pox which always seem to hit when it's most inconvenient.

anotherusernameugh Thu 17-Mar-16 17:08:44

I think the real question is what do YOU want to do?

Even reading your OP gives me a headache. Seems like a lot of back and forth!

Your children are very lucky. Coming from a family where certain people are heavily heavily reliant (read: taking the mick) when it comes to Gp's and childcare, I can safely say that. Offer them what you want and that is all.

tellmeofthetime Thu 17-Mar-16 21:10:38

Thank you for all your opinions, they could all afford paid childcare, it's a want rather than a need that I do some of it, both on my side and theirs. I had my first three children when I was young (18, 20 &25) so even though my eldest will be 36 when his baby arrives in May, I'm still a youngish grandma and absolutely love my time with them, and it saves them money.
I had my younger two when I was 32 & 34 so if they have their children in their thirties I doubt I'll be as fit or as willing to do it then !
We've got until October to sort something out but I've taken it all on board, especially the car problem and the sickness fallback. Thank you !

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