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Mum / MIL doing child care when I go back to work

(62 Posts)
Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Sun 20-Jan-13 22:00:22

I'm due to return to work in a cople of months (part time mon-weds) DS will be just 3 and DD will be 11 months. DS goes to nursery 2 days a week and this will bump up to 3 days and DD will start at the same nursery 3 days a week too.

Well that was the plan but we are now considering a radical alternative! MIL is looking likely to be made redundant with no other viable job options. We had the thought that she could come down to stay with us (they are a 2.5 hour drive away) sun night to weds afternoon and look afterthe kids. We would pay her something like what we save in nursery fees which would be a help to DHs parents financially and the main benefit for us would be we wouldn't have to put Dd in nursery when I go back to work - despite the nursery nearby being outstanding ofsted and well regarded locally, we aren't over impressed with it and DS doesn't seem particularly happy there.  We'd prob try to get DS into a preschool but for less hours than he would otherwise do at nursery.

Is anyone else in such an arrangement and can comment on how it works for you?  Is it a real strain not having time to yourselves with DP in the evenings?  That's my main concern.  Also is it awkward or difficult to get your mums / MIL to look after your kids as you want her to?  Any other negatives I haven't thought of?  I have to say I'm cautiously keen as I can foresee lots of other advantages like being able to have the odd night out and not having to miss work if the kids are unwell! 

Thanks for any insights!

ZooAnimals Sun 20-Jan-13 22:13:03

I haven't done this myself, but the though of MIL living with us half the week is giving me cold sweats and palpatations. You must get on well with you MIL to be considering it though. I have seen people warning against this, maybe have a seach for old posts if no-one comes along.

Things to think about are; 1) if you're paying her I think you'll still need to pay tax/NI and employers NI, because she will be working for you and being family doesn't change your tax obligations (although I imagine it's much easier to pretend you're not paying her if tax evasion is your thing!); 2) You can go to work if the DC's are sick, but what if MIL is sick? Is she likely to be ill often?; 3) Have you considered a nanny? How much are you paying daily in nursery fees? It's possible you could get the benefits of MIL looking after them, but without the drawbacks of someone living with you half the week and of mixing family and business.

ReetPetit Sun 20-Jan-13 22:23:24

personally,i wouldn't think this is a good idea. particularly the fact your mil has to travel to you and live in - i can imagine that being quite hard going, no matter how good you think your relationship is. will she know when she's ;off duty' and back off the kids? when do they become your responsibility? confusing for the children i would think.
i would think it easier to get a nanny/nannyshare or even a childminder if you are not happy with nursery, especially as your dd is so young.

i think your mil may eventually get fed up with the arrangement, particularly the travelling and may become resentful and then you risk the fall out from that.

sunnyday123 Sun 20-Jan-13 22:23:30

My friend did this 2 years ago and has regretted it since for these main reasons!-

What she agreed to pay her mum ended up much more than nursery as you can do child care vouchers through your wages for nursery and not family

She felt the kids missed out tons with mixing with other kids. In nursery kids paint, cook and get messy pretty much all day which family may do snippits off but no comparison to nursery

Once kids in preschool age 3 child care costs drop loads but you may feel torn reducing your mils pay? My friend agreed to pay her mum £500/month for 3 days (using vouchers she could have got this for £200!) and even now her kid is in preschool she still pays mum it as she became reliant on the money and if she's doing preschool pick up its not like her mum can get work elsewhere

Then there's the fact nan becomes as important as mum and sometimes my friends child wants nan more than mum which my friend really hates.

Having had two kids in nursery I can't think of any significant benefits of taking a child out and having them looked after by family... long term. Ok as babies, but once they reach 2 or 3 they really do need to be mixing with kids.

For me the fact you can't save cash using child are vouchers would be enough to put me off.

thebody Sun 20-Jan-13 23:07:48

Sorry if missed this bit but have you actually asked your mil?

Have to say the fact that she would be living in and not as a professional nanny does but as a family member would be a definate no no for me.

You couldn't access child care vouchers and your children will miss out on interaction with other children as your mil is unlikely to go to mom and tots groups etc.

The delicate boundaries and tact needed as a professional childminder are endless but to have to do this with your mil sounds very very difficult.

Also she may absolutely hate living away from her own dh.

This could all end badly and it's not a nursery or a cm who you part company with but it's your own family.

Think very carefully.

ZooAnimals Sun 20-Jan-13 23:34:57

'your children will miss out on interaction with other children as your mil is unlikely to go to mom and tots groups etc.'

This is not necessarily true. There are grandparents who look after their DGC at every playgroup/singing group/story time/ soft play session I go to, but I do live in an area where it is very common for Grandparents to help out with childcare.

I go to one playgroup where it's 50% childminders/nannies/au pairs and 40% grandparents. There are usually a couple of SAHD's and maybe 5 or so mums.

Having to live with my mil/mother would be enought to put me off sorry.

PootlePosyPerkin Mon 21-Jan-13 00:01:57

I don't want to be the voice of doom, but, what if you give up your DCs' places at nursery & then either MIL or FIL (if there is still a FIL about) falls ill and cannot continue with the arrangement?

What you are asking is fairly huge TBH. Does your MIL have any social groups/clubs/friends in her home town? Would living with you half of every week mean that she had to miss out on things she would like to do for herself at home? I don't know how old your MIL is, but a 5 hour round trip & 3 days babysitting every week would require a fair bit of energy!

Both of my parents have died, both fell ill unexpectedly (if you ever expect terminal illness). I suppose that is why I have to ask whether you have thought it through properly from every angle.

PootlePosyPerkin Mon 21-Jan-13 00:04:41

I also meant to say, that your OP is very "me, me, me". You only seem to be thinking about possible negatives for you, where I can see far more negatives for MIL!

redwineattheweekend Mon 21-Jan-13 00:16:45

I wouldn't like the living in part in afraid. My parents and pil do all our childcare for us, but we only live 20 mins apart.

Ditto the boundaries mentioned, when they drop off DD doesn't really want me for a while, which is hard, so I like it when they leave and don't hang around too long so i can spend some time with her.

I would say it is important to research groups and things for DC to go to. Pil weren't too keen initially but my DD really needed something more, she's now in preschool so they do less. She has a good balance of mixing with others and developing a lovely relationship with her grandparents.

Sometimes they will do something that I wouldn't do, or don't like but I generally leave it as it's rarely major, i can imagine that would be harder if they are living with you and think it would put quite a strain on the relationship.

Mimishimi Mon 21-Jan-13 01:01:49

Have you even asked her yet? Despite your gloomy prognosis about her employment prospects, childcare may not be something she wishes to do. Having seen lots of grandparents complaining together at the supermarket etc that they have even corralled into looking after their grand kids because they are thought to have nothing better to do with their time ( and discussing this openly in front of said children), it would be an option of last resort for me.

That said, BIL and SIL have had huge amounts of live in help from MIL which seems to have worked out well. However, they also employed a full time nanny and house cleaner ( working overseas). The kids loved it.

I definitely wouldn't. My own DM said she wanted to do was go part time watch the kids on her days off I gave in DS' s nursery during DD's mat leave, and thought "great!" But she often cancelled on us last minute, found that she couldn't afford PT and did not want to come over as early as we needed her (think she envisioned us dropping them at her house at a much later hour...not possible as we both start early in our jobs).

PS I would look around for better childcare though if you are not happy.

pippop1 Mon 21-Jan-13 01:24:13

What about when she wants to take a holiday? You might feel obliged to holiday with them or at least at exactly the same time.

Do you even have a spare room for her to stay in overnight? If you do, what about having a lodger (Government's rent a room scheme allows tax free income up to a certain limit) so you can pay for nursery more easily?

Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Mon 21-Jan-13 07:28:52

Thanks for all the posts, interesting the consensus is don't do it!

There are some very useful things mentioned we hadn't thought of which is what I was hoping for when I did this post as part of our research / thinking - of course we would first ask PIL and only go ahead if they were both happy. We suspect they would be keen but obviously this is not guaranteed and if they or us felt it wasn't worth doing we would likely stick with plan a, ie both kids in nursery.

We do have a good relationship with MIL but I note the comments about mixing business and family, boundaries etc.

Holidays would be covered by me or DH taking leave or alternatively my parents

Anymore for anymore?

ReetPetit Mon 21-Jan-13 07:41:20

so you havent actually asked them?!
although you suspect they will be keen - i would think the enormity of what you are asking - will be eniugh to make them want to say no - you are effectively asking them to live seperate lives for half the week to save you some money? hmm unfair imo and be careful how you suggest it, they need to be able to say no without feeling they are letting you down

Mrscupcake23 Mon 21-Jan-13 07:43:33

I think it's a great idea. At least your motherinlaw will love your children and show an interest in them in a way that a nursery could not.

The living in might be a pain but its only three days not all week.

Think it depends really if your mil would take them out. I see lots of grans with their grandchildren at toddler groups and parks etc. think you would have to have a really good chat and show her this thread so you can discuss the negatives.

HappyAsASandboy Mon 21-Jan-13 08:24:06

My DM has my children two days a week.

You asked whether it is hard to ask them to look after the DC in the way you would like - the answer is yes! You have no real control over how they are cared for whoever they're with, but at least at nursery there are procedures and standards that you can ensure you're happy with. I am lucky in that my DM raises the children in a very similar way to me, and we spent a lot of time together during my maternity leave, so the kids have always known DM and I work as a team. I still don't know precisely what she does/says to them all day though!

Does it put a strain on your marriage? Absolutely. My DM normally stays over the night before she has the children, but she arrives late at night, often when we've gone to bed. So we have an 'evening in' with DM maybe once a week. I think it's fine, but for my DH it is his MIL not his DM, which I know is more difficult. I hope our marriage will survive it, because the DCs really benefit from the days with their GM.

Does it work long term without causing resentment? Sort of! We've been doing this for about 18 months, and my DM says she's happy to continue. But we use a very flexible nursery for the other days of the week, so my DM is able to pick the days she comes with a few weeks notice. That means she rarely has to miss a social event, can do two spaces days or two days together depending on what she'd prefer, and can normally change days at fairly short notice if she wants to.

Does it work financially? It does for us as my DM doesn't want any money. I don't know how it would work if you paid your DM - as someone else said, you'd probably have to pay her as if she were a nanny, which would cost you and her NI, tax etc. it would also mean she is employed - would that affect pensions?

In conclusion, it works for us smile But we have a very flexible system, my DM is less than an hour away not 2.5 hours, my DM can pick her days, we only spend one evening a week with DM, DH and I together (not half a week) and we're all willing to put the children first when we get shirty with each other (which does happen). In your case, it sound like each of the things that I think make my system work will be a little bit tougher (less flexible, more travel time, etc).

For what it's worth, my DM was hoping to do a similar thing for my DSis. I don't think it is going to happen now, because DSis is 2.5 hours away an will have fixed days. My DM doesn't think she'd cope with the extra travel and organisation in her life (e.g. Leaving my DF a dinner on the night she travels, because whereas she can eat with him then drive 50 mins to us, she'd have to travel earlier to go 2.5 hours). I think it is a pressured system, and the extra travelling time and rigidity of days would make it too hard.

Good luck, whatever you decide smile

Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Mon 21-Jan-13 08:28:04

Reset - no we haven't asked them as we want to ensure we have thought about it carefully first. It could be damaging to ask them and for them to be keen only for us to then decide we don't think it's such a good idea. This thread is to help us work out the pros and cons from everyone's perspective.

Mrscupcake - exactly what we were thinkmg! MIL would def take them out and do lots of fun things with them. Also a lot of the time it would just be DD she was looking after assuming we can find a pre school for DS. Good idea to show them this thread or at least cover the content when we talk about it !

Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Mon 21-Jan-13 08:30:48

Happy - thanks a lot, that's very insightful.

HappyAsASandboy Mon 21-Jan-13 08:31:41

Oh, you also asked about boundaries smile

We don't really have any. My DM is at my house, essentially being my 'housewife', for nearly half of the working week. She washes up, sticks clothes through the washer, hangs the resulting clean pants on the line, signs for parcels, takes phone calls from banks/utility companies/doctors etc, feeds the cat .... all the things that I would do if I were there. I don't think it would be easy to keep the same barriers you could with a Nanny, because she will want to do things a Nanny wouldn't do in order to help you. Again, I find this extraordinarily helpful and would struggle without it, but to DH it feels odd that his MIL is so involved in his life.

DoodlesNoodles Mon 21-Jan-13 08:58:49

Would there be a way of trying it out for a month? Then your DMIL and you and your DH can see how it goes. It is the type of thing that could be a huge disaster or a huge success. It could bemore relaxing or you and the DC's and I am sure you DMIL could take them to playgroups or whatever to meet up with other DC's
Do you have a spare reception room that you could set up or your DMIL so that you could escape each other if need be? She might be happy to retreat to her bedroom in the evenings.
You need to be honest about how fussy you are about how the DC's are looked after. (there are zillions of threads on MN about this grin ). If it were me, I would love my DC's to be looked after by a loving DMIL or a DM.

AThingInYourLife Mon 21-Jan-13 09:22:32

"My friend agreed to pay her mum £500/month for 3 days (using vouchers she could have got this for £200!)"

No, she couldn't.

Childcare vouchers are paid for from your wages before tax, so you save whatever tax you would have paid on £243 (or whatever the amount is per person).

You don't save anywhere near £300 per month.

CandyPop Mon 21-Jan-13 11:00:08

i think it depends on your relationship with your mil/dm.

yes, you cannot use childcare vouchers with family but as well as allowing your lo to build up a strong relationship with her grandma rather than a childminder/nursery teacher , you're also helping her out with a bit of money. surely giving money to family is better than giving money to outsiders? I also find it quite alien the fact that some people will become resentful if LO bonds more with gran than mum. Its sad that someone should feel that way.

longjane Mon 21-Jan-13 11:50:01

she could be come a ofsted refg nanny so you can used childcare vouchers but of course you will have to pay her tax an ni

i know some one who mum came and stay with them for 3 days a week

she did 3 week on one week off
on the week off the locally living mother in law did it

they did for a few years
the dad also only did a 4 day week and mum a 3 day

but i think the 3 weeks on one week off was the key to keeping it working

and having both mother in law and parents all working together to do the best for kids and everyone got time with kids on there own.

sunnyday123 Mon 21-Jan-13 12:30:04

Child care vouchers - I used to pick up £100 less after £243 vouchers was taken out. Dh did the same so yes we did get £500 vouchers for £200. For well over two years

sunnyday123 Mon 21-Jan-13 12:33:42

They are actually advertised as saving over £1000 per year and as parents can both do it, that's over £2000 per year. He much it actually affects your pay depends how much you earn or pick. But yes, I was only £100 worse off than normal after full vouchers taken out

Narked Mon 21-Jan-13 12:34:20

So you'd pay her for the 15 hours you get free for your 3 year old?

ZooAnimals Mon 21-Jan-13 13:03:24

'we would likely stick with plan a, ie both kids in nursery'

Whatever you decide about your MIL, please don't put your 11 month old baby in a nursery you are not 110% happy with, and don't send your DS there if he isn't happy.

A nanny would probably cost slightly more than 2 nursery places, but can take childcare vouchers, you have the option of nanny-share or a childminder. Do look into these if you're not happy with the nursery.

Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Mon 21-Jan-13 13:08:16

We were thinking of using the 15 hours free to fund preschool. That way DS gets the benefits of preschool but without being at nursery for such long days. It would also take the pressure of MIL if she wasn't looking after both kids the whole time.

Tbh I wouldn't feel threatened by MIL taking my place, would just be happy the kids were being cared by someone who loved them... It is only for 3 days a week too, I guess it would b harder for someone who worked full time.

Lots of interesting comments and things to think about - thanks all.

Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Mon 21-Jan-13 13:08:54

Thanks zoo, that's a good point.

Charmingbaker Mon 21-Jan-13 13:30:15

I have a friend who has this arrangement with her own mum and it works brilliantly for her. She works 2 days per week, her mum comes Monday night and leaves wednesday night or Thursday morning. My friend loves it granny gets the kids ready on morning, manages to get some housework done and makes dinner for everyone! They've been doing it for just over a year. It has meant her 3yo can go to the nursey attached to local school in the mornings and now has loads of friends she will start reception with.
The granny loves it, she's a very active person who loves looking after everyone.
I think it depends on your relationship, I could do it with my DM, but my MIL is a nightmare, my DH would move out if his DM moved in!
If you and DP have a good relationship it could be ideal, but you need to long talk about it, with alot of 'what would happen if...' questions.
Personally, I think your DCs being looked after at home by a family member who adores them is ideal. (and any set up where you don't have to get DCs up, dressed, fed, and delivered to nursery before your working day starts has to reduce stress levels!)

DoItToJulia Mon 21-Jan-13 13:32:38

My mum does my childcare and we temporarily live together, DH included.

I think the first thing to say is that you don't have to pay tax or NI for her. She would register as self employed and file a tax return. HMRC wok out how much tax she is liable for. She can pay voluntary NI contributions. Wrt to the childcare vouchers making childcare cheaper, perhaps you need to look into how much it would cost that way and see if it is a doable wage for MIL at that rate.

Secondly I don't mind if my kids are really emotionally attached to my mum...I think it's nice.i accept that other people want to be the most special person in their DCs life, so you need to think about which camp you fall into!

Re living in, my mum has her own living room and bedroom, so can be quite separate. This works well as everyone gets their own space.

Also as my DCs get older, my mum does the before and after school care, which is fab. I come home from work, they are fed, entertained, often bathed and in their pyjamas, meaning I get stress free time with them, which is lovely. She also does homework!

It can be difficult at times, especially if we disagree about something to do with the kids, but we try and be adults about it.

Can you discuss all of your thoughts in detail before you start?

DoItToJulia Mon 21-Jan-13 13:33:59

Oh, I took so long to type, I missed your post. I see which camp you fall into re emotional attachment to GPS!

ZooAnimals Mon 21-Jan-13 13:40:01

'I think the first thing to say is that you don't have to pay tax or NI for her. She would register as self employed and file a tax return'

Check this for your own situation. The rules for being self-employed are very strict and nannies (which is what she would be I think) are very, very rarely able to be self-employed.

It may be different for doit as her mother lives with her.

Generally to be self employed you need to dictate when you work, what hours you work, how much you charge etc. In your situation it seems your MIL would be needed on days set by you and for times set by you, and would be paid a rate set by you so I'm not sure how that fits with self-employed status.

Imsosorryalan Mon 21-Jan-13 13:42:08

I did this about a year ago when I returned to word two days re week. Although MIL had my dc one day and nursery the other.
Don't want to repeat othe rpoints mentioned but just to add, what would your back up be if She was I'll one day?
My MIL naturally caught a cold etc from time to time and didn't feel up to taking my dc that day. Was a pain as she was my only option so I would have to miss a day working.

Apart from that it worked for us.

DoItToJulia Mon 21-Jan-13 13:43:08

Zoo, I don't think set hours or days have anything to do with it. It is no different to employing a self employed cleaner every weds for example.

Worth checking though, but I don't see how it would be an issue.

sunnyday123 Mon 21-Jan-13 13:43:46

Do you really need to fill in tact return etc as my friend pays her mum cash!?

sunnyday123 Mon 21-Jan-13 13:43:56

Tax return

DoItToJulia Mon 21-Jan-13 13:47:43

Technically, yes, even if your earnings are below the personal allowance threshold. Pita, but better to be legal! Cash means still needs declaring!

ZooAnimals Mon 21-Jan-13 13:51:52

'Zoo, I don't think set hours or days have anything to do with it'

It does, that's one of the 'tests'. Here

Indications that a worker is your employee

An individual is likely to be employed by you if most of the following statements apply to them.
• you can tell them what work to do, as well as how, where and when to do it
• they have to do their work themselves
• you can move the worker from task to task
• they are contracted to work a set number of hours
• they get a regular wage or salary, even if there is no work available
• they have benefits such as paid leave or a pension as part of their contract
• you pay them overtime pay or bonus payments
• they manage anyone else who works for you

It does say that 'relatives working in your home' come under 'different rules' and you should contact HMRC.

sunnyday123 Mon 21-Jan-13 13:52:25

Of course! But in reality I expect many don't smile ( or maybe that's just my dodgy area!)

ZooAnimals Mon 21-Jan-13 13:53:06

oh and cleaners also come under the 'different rules'.

DoItToJulia Mon 21-Jan-13 13:55:43

Fair enough, but I suspect in this case registering a self employed would be legal and acceptable. Like I say, worth checking.

ZooAnimals Mon 21-Jan-13 13:56:32

Did you check Doit or did your mum just register self-employed?

DoItToJulia Mon 21-Jan-13 13:56:41

No, sunny, I expect many don't....but you know it would be me that was caught out and not them! grin

DoItToJulia Mon 21-Jan-13 13:57:59

My mum is self employed for other reasons, she just declares the tiny income from me on her tax return.

sunnyday123 Mon 21-Jan-13 13:58:14

Without sounding even more dodgy!!!... How would anybody know though? If it was between family and cash, how could anyone say or prove?!

SunbathingintheRain Mon 21-Jan-13 13:58:21

I would do this above sending them to a nursery you're not happy with. If you think it could work then go for it! But if not, is there another option?

Eg a nice childminder who could have your DD all day and eg pick up your DS from preschool after the morning?

DoItToJulia Mon 21-Jan-13 13:59:42

I don't know how anybody would know, but I guess there are ways and means!

ZooAnimals Mon 21-Jan-13 14:02:56

It's worth checking doit. You can be self-employed and employed, so just because you're self-employed for other reasons doesn't mean you don't need to be employed for some jobs. The fine would come to you, not your DM.

'How would anybody know though?'

They probably wouldn't. Although apparently they are having a crack down, here.

DoItToJulia Mon 21-Jan-13 14:07:03

I will mention it her! She is filing her latest tax return as we speak!

DoItToJulia Mon 21-Jan-13 14:07:56

We certainly don't want to evade tax or get it wrong....quite the opposite!

sunnyday123 Mon 21-Jan-13 14:10:16

I understand nannies as they are not family but many family members child mind for free anyway so can't imagine it could ever be proved that a gp was being paid?

ZooAnimals Mon 21-Jan-13 14:11:55

I'm sure you're fine, it does say on the HMRC link that it's a special situation because it's family and you need to contact them to find out what to do, it's not like you've got a wrongly self-employed nanny, which would definitely be against the rules.

ZooAnimals Mon 21-Jan-13 14:13:57

I'm sure you're right sunny we just have to trust people not to tax evade!

Although if a grandparent is being paid nursery fees e.g. £500 a week, they must be putting it somewhere even if they're being paid cash.

Blondeshavemorefun Mon 21-Jan-13 16:02:34

never use friends or family for childcare - it 99% ends in tears/mum gets pissed off that granny is doing things differently etc and in that arrangement the mum isnt self employed, she is employed

Dozer Mon 21-Jan-13 16:39:21

If you do it legally and above board re tax it will be as expensive as a nanny, if not even more (since you will be paying for her travel too). So probably prohibitive.

If you do it under the table and are caught, you, as the employer, will be liable for big trouble and fines from HMRC. And possibly also in trouble at work (eg if you work in a senior role where you have to have high standards etc - have heard of people fired for tax evasion).

But am sure people take the risk and do this, I know a couple.

Nannies in roles like this are NOT self-employed for tax purposes. It'd be lovely not to have to pay tax, but it doesn't work like that!

Mandy21 Mon 21-Jan-13 22:52:42

We did this with my mum when I first went back to work when my twins were 14 months - I was working 3 days. It was similar in that she lived 2.5hrs away, but she stayed in a hotel about 100m down the road. We paid for all her travel and her hotel accommodation, and some nominal expenses and it did work out about the same as we'd pay a nursery. BUT - they were looked after by their grandma, got the love and attention that they'd get from a grandma, so the fact that I might have saved a few pounds if they'd gone to nursery and I could have used childcare vouchers was not really a consideration.

She would often eat with us and not go back to the hotel until later in the evening, so she was around, and yes, there were occasions when I just wanted to slob in my PJs and eat popcorn (rather than feel obliged to wash up - etc - keep up with her high domestic goodess standards!) but we had an end date agreed right from the start - she was doing it for 10 months and the twins would start at nursery. If she was ever ill (can't remember that she was) my H or I just took leave.

They didn't miss out with any interaction etc - she took them to a multitude of classes / toddler groups etc (all the things I'd done with them whilst I was on maternity leave). She kept to their routine, fed them the food I wanted them to have - it was just brilliant. She'd come to the house early in the morning (no need to get the children dressed etc). Obviously there were times when there was a need to bite my tongue but we have that kind of relationship anyway.

I think its great for your children and for you, so if she's willing to do it, give it a try. Just stress there is no pressure to agree, or to continuing indefinitely if it doesn't pan out as you expect.

Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Wed 23-Jan-13 12:31:25

Thanks for all the comments, plenty to think about.

Mandy, thanks for posting, v interested n your arrangement, how did you decide on the hotel thing? Was that your idea or your mums?!

Mandy21 Wed 23-Jan-13 22:32:28

Sorry, only just seen your reply OP. It was the fact that we'd had a bit of a difficult time before I went back to work - the twins had been very premature (and spent 2 months in Special Care) and then my H was seriously ill. She was desperate to help us out but thought we needed our own space. I think she wanted to be able to have her own space too. Like I said, the hotel was 5 mins walk away and she negotiated a business rate / regular customer rate which was about £40 a night I think. She used to pay for the hotel, petrol, all the baby classes etc she'd been to each month, and then we'd pay her back for all of it at the end of the month. She stayed 2 or 3 nights a week in the hotel - occasionally she'd stay with us, but it worked out really well.

Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Thu 24-Jan-13 19:29:54

Thanks a lot Mandy, sounds great. Glad it worked out so well for you. Your thoughts on the pros and cons sound similar to mine.

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