Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

'Giving' baby to granny?

(242 Posts)
Bestforbaby Wed 31-Jul-13 11:53:34

Bit of backstory: relationship breakdown, subsequent discovery of unplanned pregnancy which I have decided to keep. The father wants to be part of the baby's life when it arrives.

I am in London, and to carry on working in my field I need to stay in London. The father is also in London. I work fulltime, 8-7ish, plus some evenings and weekends. Giving up work/going part-time is not an option for financial reasons. I might be able to work from home a bit, but not sure yet.

I have been looking at London nurseries etc, fulltime care for the baby from about 12 weeks.

My parents live about 2 hours from London, and are retired. My mum offered yesterday to look after the baby fulltime during the week at their home. It is just too far for me to commute daily, I'd never see baby awake, and it would be nearly impossible for the father to have a relationship with the baby. Initially I thought she was mad, as I did not decide to keep the baby to never see it.

But then I thought maybe I am being selfish, and if the baby cannot have me 24/7, maybe it would be best to have my mum, rather than being one of many at a nursery. She was brilliant when I was little, and they have a big garden, parks nearby etc, and, most importantly, time. By being able to stay in a smaller flat and not paying childcare I'd be able to save up enough to do really nice things with the baby when we are together, whereas both living in London we are not going to have much (any) spare cash. Then when the baby is school-age the plan would be to come 'back' to London.

Just wondering if anyone had any experience of a similar situation, or bright ideas? I want to do the best I can for my baby (who doesn't?), and maybe that is not being with me at the moment sad

PeterParkerSays Wed 31-Jul-13 11:58:07

I wouldn't tbh. Small babies need attachment to one care giver, and that needs to be you rather than your mum.

What maternity leave package do you get at work, if you're only planing yo take 12 weeks off?

Walkacrossthesand Wed 31-Jul-13 11:59:42

No personal experience of this, but I know my cousin was a single parent for a few years and had just this arrangement - her infant son lived with grandma in Home Counties during the week so she could work. As it happens, she met someone, married, and started a new life where her son could live with them. I know another family where grandparents pretty much raised the child for 10 years! If it works for you as a solution now, fine. Maybe as time goes by you could shorten your working week, to have more time with DC.

Bestforbaby Wed 31-Jul-13 12:00:56

It is 90% of salary for 12 weeks, then down to statutory minimum. I cannot pay my rent and still eat with £135 a week, and I cannot afford to run at a loss.

I don't think, in theory, it's a bad plan. You can further your career, create a solid homelife for your child down the line etc.
However, I think you're probably underestimating how hard this will be, for all of you.

CockyFox Wed 31-Jul-13 12:03:24

One of my school friends lived with her Nan in the week and her Mum at the weekends, not sure when from but she had a great relationship with both and had no difficulty knowing mum was mum and nan was nan.

popperdoodles Wed 31-Jul-13 12:06:29

from a practical point if view it would work but am not so sure on an emotional level.

nemno Wed 31-Jul-13 12:09:03

It is not a bad plan. I know many families in other countries do this successfully. You can always try it and see how it works, see how you feel.

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 12:09:42

Sorry, but I think if you are going to keep the baby you can't work 8-7.

The previous poster is correct that a baby needs to form a secure attachment to one/few people. Never seeing you in the week and being in a nursery long hours from 12 weeks is not going to meet that baby's basic emotional needs.

If you or the father can't fulfil the primary attachment role, then granny is definitely the best option.

Fraxinus Wed 31-Jul-13 12:09:42

I wouldn't tbh. Small babies need attachment to one care giver, and that needs to be you rather than your mum.. Why?

Sunnysummer Wed 31-Jul-13 12:12:46

In Russia and Eastern Europe, this was not uncommon among my friends - and those who were raised this way are usually still close to their parents, especially as they get older. If you do go ahead, your mother sounds exactly the type of GM who would do a great job.

However, it is a hard path and one needing commitment, and from what you've written it doesn't sound like it is necessarily what you actually want.

Your baby won't need spare cash, but you're right that it will need your time, or the time of the father or another dedicated main carer. I see that mat leave isn't an option - would you be able to have your mother move in with you during the week instead, even from 12 weeks to 6 months? Could the father take leave instead? And shouldn't he be helping with funds?

Or could you take something related to your field but nearer your parents for a couple of years and refocus later? I was - and am - quite career focused, but when DS arrived my short-term priorities did shift a bit.

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 12:13:32

If you don't want to give the baby to your mum, then use a childminder or nanny rather than a nursery. Nursery environments are poorly set up to meet the needs of very young infants - the baby's primary attachment won't even have been fixed by 12 weeks.

The baby needs to make a strong attachment to someone consistent and responsive - that attachment is going to effect the whole rest of their life. If you are working 8-7 plus some evenings and weekends, that primary attachment might not be you, it won't be a nursery, but it needs to be someone.

noisytoys Wed 31-Jul-13 12:13:58

It sounds ideal. And it's the same reason my DCs will be spending the school hols in Cornwall with DM while me and DH work. Daycare would cripple us and not working isn't an option

Cabrinha Wed 31-Jul-13 12:14:04

That sounds very very hard. Fantastic offer from your mum, and lovely to read that you were happy yourself with her as a child.
To be honest, I would be looking at more options though.
If you have to work, then it's easier to swallow if you earn well so can afford nice things. But don't kid yourself - none of those things you can buy are as precious to either you or your baby as time together. I'm not having a go at you - just wanting to be realistic.
If you do this, I would do everything you can to maximise your mat leave first. 3 months is nothing.
Can your parents give you money, even if you get an extra week at home, that's worth it.
What about the baby's father? What will he contribute? You're saving him half of childcare fees - in London, let's say that's £500 his half a month. Some upfront money from him could keep you off another month.
How about going home for your mat leave? Are you renting? Can you give up the flat and have a few months money back from that, plus no outgoings - that'd buy you more mat leave time.
If you pay a mortgage, how about a mortgage holiday?

Back to the 5 days with your mother... would she be prepared to spend one or two nights at yours? So you can see baby briefly at night?

The thing that worries me in your arrangement is you saying you work some weekends. How is that going to work in future?

orangeandemons Wed 31-Jul-13 12:14:51

No, I don't think you will be able to work 8-7. You'll be too bloody knack armed for one thing. I think you need to find a way to make your life more baby friendly and keep the baby with you

lambinapram Wed 31-Jul-13 12:17:01

I think it would be better for your baby, but you may find it hard as you will miss the baby a lot (hormones will contribute to this) and the baby will probably attach to your mum as his/her primary care giver.

12 weeks is very early to live separately from your baby.
Could you use the money you save on nursery fees to spend a bit longer on mat leave? Maybe live with your mum before you go back to work?

WafflyVersatile Wed 31-Jul-13 12:18:45

I wouldn't tbh. Small babies need attachment to one care giver, and that needs to be you rather than your mum.

That's not true. There is more than one way to gain secure attachment. Something like a third of young children don't have secure attachment consistently throughout childhood anyway.

There is no way of saying if this would work for your child/any of you or not, or even deciding what counts as 'working'.

Maybe you could try working contracted hours at work, ie do longer days for 3 or 4 days a week to maximise time spent with baby.

Consider other ways you can arrange it. Cheaper property a bit further out? Check out what benefits you would be entitled to if you only worked part time etc.

Takver Wed 31-Jul-13 12:18:51

I think that sort of arrangement was much more common in the past. My mum was basically brought up by her nan until she was 7 (wartime) and my grandad by his nan pretty much entirely (his mum was widowed while pregnant & went back to work on the stage to support them all).

My mum had a fantastic relationship with her nan, I don't think it harmed her. The only disadvantage was she didn't go to school until she was going on 8, but that was due to wartime disruption & housing problems, not her nan!

HeySoulSister Wed 31-Jul-13 12:20:26

What does dad think?

Viviennemary Wed 31-Jul-13 12:20:42

I don't see anything wrong with this plan if it suits everyone concerned. Your baby will be well looked after. Years ago this was a far from uncommon arrangement. I think this is a much better option than 10 hours a day in a nursery.

Thurlow Wed 31-Jul-13 12:21:30

I don't think it is that bad an idea, really. If there is no option of going for another job which might have less hours then living with your mum might be a better option in the long run than being at a childminder's 11 hours a day, 4 days a week. I assume a nanny or a nanny-share wouldn't be an option? If you feel your parents are up to looking after a baby full-time, with the night wakings etc., then that's great (personally I don't ascribe to the 'mum is the only possible main care giver' idea, there are many people who can play this role).

I do, however, think that the points mentioned by other posters about long long-term plans are worth considering. Are you looking at a good payrise in the future (so you could afford live-in childcare), or the potential to go part-time, or could you take a side-move in your career and move nearer to your parents?

I think it's incredibly brave of you to go ahead with this pregnancy and you are clearly thinking this all through in a very practical way, which is great. But without meaning to sound too negative, I think it is worth thinking about how this will all pan out not just while your baby is a baby, but while your baby is a toddler, when your baby becomes a child. A career and your own sense of self-worth is important (if a career is what provides that), but equally it will be many, many years before "being able to do nice things" is something your baby will understand or appreciate.

Onesleeptillwembley Wed 31-Jul-13 12:22:09

If you're going to do that, why have the baby? Borrow a friends puppy for walks.

Takver Wed 31-Jul-13 12:22:19

Another way to look at it: you wouldn't be doing anything different from what an awful lot of fathers do. It is pretty common given financial pressures at the moment for a dad to work full time long hours, away from home and/or shifts in the week, and only get to see baby at weekends.

The dads I see around me who work away all week still seem to have a good & full relationship with their dc.

Takver Wed 31-Jul-13 12:23:18

"If you're going to do that, why have the baby? Borrow a friends puppy for walks."

WTAF? So a father who works full time away in the week to support his child while his partner is at home looking after the family has no greater relationship with his children than he would with a dog?

Bestforbaby Wed 31-Jul-13 12:23:24

Thank you for all your answers. I will try and answer some questions below:

My mum would be happy to stay one night a week in London, so could do two days of childcare that way, but would rather be at home.

The father will pay half of any childcare costs.

The working at weekends is visiting places, mainly, which could be done with a baby in a sling, though obviously not with a toddler. Also, as I said, the father will want some time with the baby too, so pretty sure that will not be an issue.

Re returning to work, I do have some savings so could stretch it a bit, and am saving up holiday to use then as well. But I worry that actually I would just be prolonging the inevitable separation, and it might be better to just bite the bullet and get on with working again (which I know will be really hard), and keep savings for emergencies. Not that they are that big anyway, but it is nice to have a buffer.

ClartyCarol Wed 31-Jul-13 12:24:04

I think you may be underestimating how hard it will be for your mum and dad too. Your mum is presumably in her sixties, they will be shattered if the baby doesn't sleep well. All ideas of lovely relaxing afternoons wandering round the park may go out of the window if they feel like zombies. Plus there's all the extra work with laundry and bottles and weaning and so on... The baby years are knackering for parents in their twenties and thirties, never mind at their age.

ImaHexGirl Wed 31-Jul-13 12:24:14

I may have missed it but the father will presumably be paying some sort of maintenance for the baby when it arrives. Would this ease the financial issues a bit?

minniemagoo Wed 31-Jul-13 12:24:16

I lived with my Go from 1-6 years as my db was born with a lot of problems and was hospitalised for 8 months after which time I had settled in and the decision was made to leave me with Gp. Unfortunately both died within 4months of each other when I was 6 so back to my parents. It was OK but I missed my Gp dreadfully and my parents didn't actually deal with the grief issue.
Regarding your DM minding baby I think it could be a great solution as long as you do step up at weekends and realise reintegration back to you needs to be planned, gradual and not in circs like above.

Takver Wed 31-Jul-13 12:24:26

Another question to posters who think this is a horrendous idea - what would you all say if the dad was offering to take on the primary caregiver role, and the OP was going to work in London in the week and go home at weekends?

Val007 Wed 31-Jul-13 12:26:11

A lot of people do that. If you feel comfortable with it, go for it! You don't need anyone to 'allow' you to do it. Plus the majority of advice against this decision will come from happily married women, often stay at home mums, who have the support of their husbands and no idea what it is to raise a baby on your own!

gymboywalton Wed 31-Jul-13 12:26:25

i think it's your only option really other than not having the baby.

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 12:26:26

Waffly - not having a secure attachment is not a good thing for those children though.

ChippingInHopHopHop Wed 31-Jul-13 12:26:39

It works overseas.

It has the potential to work for you.

Being with Granny in the week and you at the weekend is a far better option than using a nursery for the hours you are talking about (if you can even find one to take the baby for such long hours??). Either way your baby wont be with you and will be forming bonds with other people - that's far better to be with one person (than many as it would be at a nursery) and the fact it's the baby's granny is even better.

Emotionally some women would find it impossibly hard, others would be just fine with it.

I think you would have to do a lot of talking with your Mum though, be very clear on how you both see it working, who makes what decisions (weaning/nappies/night waking) what your roles actually are. Otherwise it could be the cause of a lot of arguements/resentment.

I would suggest you do it on a trial basis. Be very clear with your Mum that this is what you want to do though.

I wouldn't factor the father's intent to 'be a part of the baby's life' into it. What is best for the baby is the first thing I'd consider and then secondly your sanity (with either decision) and after that simply work out the best way for the father to 'be part of the baby's life' - if it turns out that he is actually willing to put the effort in.

I couldn't do it myself though, nor put a small baby in fulltime, extended day care... so I'd have to look for a completely different option.

Bestforbaby Wed 31-Jul-13 12:28:45

Thurlow, yes there is potential for a payrise fairly shortly. My medium-term aim is going self-employed, which would obviously help a lot with being able to be flexible. But careerwise I feel I would be in a much stronger position to do that in a couple of years time, rather than now.

Re the father, so he can be involved in the early months, I think it makes sense to stay in London then, even though it would save money to be with my parents. He says would be happy with a full-time nursery, or anything really.

titchy Wed 31-Jul-13 12:28:55

You shoudl be able to claim HB and tax credits once you''re on SMP. Plus the ather should be giving you 15% of his take-home (this is ignored for benefit purposes).

That should enable you to take a year off. Then when you go back to work you may well still be able to get childcare tax credits on the childminder (or nursery) you use.

There should not really be any reason for you to work 8-7 plus evenings and weekends. You cannot be contracted to work that much. You need to re-think that.

The baby will not care whether or not you can afford to do nice things. The baby will care about having a strong relationship with its mum.

Onesleeptillwembley Wed 31-Jul-13 12:30:33

takver don't be ridiculous. The children would be with their other parent.

Sparklysilversequins Wed 31-Jul-13 12:30:42

What a twattish thing to say onesleep.

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 12:30:59

You need to start thinking about what the baby needs, rather than what is best for the father or your career.

Personally I would rather take a couple of years out of working to be my child's primary attachment figure than continue pursuing a career that is incompatible with family life.

Peachyjustpeachy Wed 31-Jul-13 12:31:27

I was a child very much like the one you are carrying.

Mum already had two girls under 3 when i came along. then when i was 1 mum started carrying twins.

I was sent to my nans house. then i was sent home at 5 to start school.

My nan was the most positive person in my life and IMO they should have left me with her.

when i returned to mums house, there were already 4 kids fighting for attention and a mother that i didnt/couldnt bond with. dad was there too, but because he was working 14 hour shifts to feed us all he was a very remote figure.

The rest of my childhood was a nightmare... i constantly wanted to be with my nan, and my mum saw this as a rejection, and felt that she wasnt good enough, whereas i felt like a 'throwaway baby' and also felt rejected.

its taken me most of my adult life to come to terms with what has happened.

dont get me wrong..... if going to your mums is what you decide is best for the child... then fair enough... but there will be consequences. Have you thought about what would happen if he wanted to start school with your mum?

WafflyVersatile Wed 31-Jul-13 12:31:37

Secure attachment doesn't only come from a one to one relationship with one person, specifically the mother. There is no reason why this baby should not have secure attachment.

A one to one relationship with specifically the mother does not automatically lead to secure attachment. Far from it.

There are always challenges and non-ideal circumstances.

JoJoH1 Wed 31-Jul-13 12:33:25

I think if your parents are fit and able to do and you can not reduce your very long hours then yes i would go for it if you go back at 12 weeks your baby is still very young to be left as one of many in a nursery setting for 10 plus hours a day - you wont be getting a huge amount of quality time with your child Monday to Friday if these are your hours anyway. My BIL & SIL put there 12 week old baby in a nursery at 3 months full time and have had al sort sorts of issues. Due to a change of circumstances he is now at his GP for 3 days a week and he seems so much more settled than he has ever been and i really think that is down to the attention he gets.

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 12:33:39

Waffly - a baby needs a secure relationship with someone. It doesn't have to be the mother, it could be the father, the grandparents, even a sibling would probably do. It won't be multiple nursery nurses though.

Sparklysilversequins Wed 31-Jul-13 12:33:43

I see what takver is saying. Why does it HAVE to be the other patent that the baby forms an attachment. A Grand Parent is surely only one step away from a parent?

Bestforbaby Wed 31-Jul-13 12:34:38

I am contracted to work 9-6, in practice it is longer than that, but if I really crackdown and focus I can cut it down, and delegate a bit. But there will be occasional evenings etc that I will have to do.

A few people have suggested taking a whole year off; I do understand why. But there is just no way I can do that career-wise, it would set me back years and years (very male-dominated environment, it has been hard enough this far!).

AidanTheRevengeNinja Wed 31-Jul-13 12:35:21

I would take up your mother's offer with the following adjustments:

- do whatever you can to maximise your maternity leave up to 6 months - money from the baby's father, some of the money you planned to use for doing nice things with your baby, loan from parents... whatever. Those early months are important for both of you.

- see if you can work remotely one day a week (or even a half day), so you can spend a long weekend at your parents' - even if they are looking after your baby on the "working" Friday/Monday you will still be around him/her

Would any of this work?

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 12:36:04

Maybe now is not the best time for you to have a baby OP?

Cabrinha Wed 31-Jul-13 12:36:08

My question about working at weekends wasn't about who can look after the baby then. It was about YOU having time to do it. I think if you're away all week, you should be around at the weekend.
I'm not against being away in the week - I work away myself, though I stayed off for a year. Just be careful that by the time baby has seen father on a Sat, and you've done some work on a Sun, that you don't find you're actually doing 4 hours a week with your child!
Unless that's what you want - but accept the long term implications of that.

I get what you're saying about biting the bullet and going back quickly, but forgive me - I think that's to make it easier for you, not baby. I think you should get money from parents, father of baby, savings, giving up flat... anything to get an extra few months before you return.

HeySoulSister Wed 31-Jul-13 12:36:09

It's all about money isn't it? That's how it seems..sorry if I'm wrong

However, once baby is born you possibly won't be able to even consider this arrangement.... How you feel now is very different to how you will feel once baby arrives

WafflyVersatile Wed 31-Jul-13 12:36:21

maja I don't know what you're replying to but I said nothing about multiple nursery nurses.

titchy Wed 31-Jul-13 12:36:35

You also need to bear in mind that it wont be a case of simply moving back to Londn to start school. Your child will presumably have started pre-school where your parents are, and made friends, and would probably want to start school with all their pre-school friends.

JoJoH1 Wed 31-Jul-13 12:36:58

Sorry just saw you comment about the dad as well - so it's not likes he's offering to spend any time with the baby so he/she doesn't have to be in nursery for so many hours? You need to think about what is the best environment for yoru baby to thrive in.

Bestforbaby Wed 31-Jul-13 12:38:08

Maja00, I strongly believe that the career does have the potential to be child-friendly. But giving up work for two years is surely not possible for many people?

Sparklysilversequins Wed 31-Jul-13 12:38:29

There's rarely the ideal time to have babies and yet we manage.

The OP did not ask for opinions and advice on whether she should be having a child at all so I think it's inappropriate to offer an opinion on that.

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 12:39:45

Waffly I'm replying to you saying that secure attachment doesn't have to come from a one to one relationship with the mother. It doesn't, but it needs to come from a responsive, consistent relationship with someone.

I mention nursery nurses as the OP's other plan is to put the baby in a nursery full time from 12 weeks.

A child won't die without a secure attachment, but it is a very basic emotional need. Poor attachments in infancy continue to affect people through out life.

davidjrmum Wed 31-Jul-13 12:39:50

I was in a similar situation with my oldest daughter - now 26. I lived with my mum and dad for a while and they took on a lot of the responsibility for looking after her while I was working full time trying to get established in a decent job, then I moved 200 miles away and left my daughter with them during the week and came back at weekends. She came to live full time with me when she was about 5. I think I made completely the right decision to let my parents help out while I got my career going - it has made all the difference to our quality of life now and my daughter is still really close to my mum which is fantastic.

Bestforbaby Wed 31-Jul-13 12:41:00

I will definitely look into working remotely. One of my colleagues does it very successfully, so there is a precedent as well.

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 12:41:44

Bestforbaby - if your career has the potential to be child-friendly later, then having your mother care for your baby initially seems like the best option all round.

LackaDAISYcal Wed 31-Jul-13 12:42:48

Personally, I couldn't do it. I was in a similar situation when I had my DS1; father lived in Leeds and was a seldom visitor, my parents lived 30 miles away. I had originally intended to go back to work ft when DS was 18 weeks old when my OML ended, but as that time drew near, I just could not leave him. I suppose I had underestimated just how emotionally attached I would be to him whilst I was still pregnant as a baby was a bit of an abstract concept and something I felt I could fit into my life rather than the other way around! I ended up taking extended maternity leave, then some holidays. As a single parent I was entitled to some tax credits etc which eased the burden somewhat. I had also squirrelled away quite a bit prior to going off on ML and had bought several months worth of nappies that I stockpiled in the attic as I knew things would be harder and made sure that the mortgage was covered for a few months.

I also took a payment holiday to cover the end of this time as well and lived very frugally.

In the end, I chose not to go back to work and sold my flat when DS was 7 months old and moved back to my parents for a few months in my hometown. I then rented for a while and eventually got back into work when DS was 2 years old.

Would moving back home be an option? Even if not with your parents, renting near them so they could do the day to day childcare? Are there job opportunities there? Or would you be prepared to take a lesser job to enable you to be with your baby? I think you may be underestimating the strength of the feelings you will have towards this little bundle of helplessness once he/she arrives. I certainly did.

FasterStronger Wed 31-Jul-13 12:42:52

attachment theory says a baby needs at least one attachment. not only one.

also attachment disorders can occur in children who grow up uncared for - e.g. in old style eastern European orphanages or neglect in the UK.

not children who go to nursery.

there is lots of confusion on MN around what attachment really means and its not healthy or helpful.

Onesleeptillwembley Wed 31-Jul-13 12:43:11

silver not as twattish as having a baby you are planning to barely see. Why bother? It's a person, not a weekend accessory.

FasterStronger Wed 31-Jul-13 12:44:29

oh someone if my family lived with granny while parents migrated to the UK for work. she is fine and has a good relationship with them.

LackaDAISYcal Wed 31-Jul-13 12:45:44

I was also in a very male dominated profession, and the career holiday didn't hurt my career one bit.

Thurlow Wed 31-Jul-13 12:45:45

I think if you can see a way out of this situation (for lack of a better term to call it) in a few years time, because you will be earning more money and be a lot more flexible in your working hours, then this is the best plan for you. As long as you are thinking longer term, that's what matters.

In the absolute worst case scenario that you don't feel you could leave your baby and return to work (again, I say worst case for lack of a better phrase!), would you parents still be there for you if you left your job? Could you and the baby move in with them while you thought about what you want to do?

Yes, a baby will do best with one primary care giver. But this can be mum, dad, grandparent, nanny - it's consistency that is key, rather than a blood bond. And as they get just a little bit older most adjust easily to having several primary care givers.

Yes, the baby an form a secure attachment with someone other than a parent and be happy that way. But is that what you WANT? When your baby runs to granny for comfort rather than you, when you don't know your child's routine, little foibles, when you don't understand their toddler babbling but granny does so you have to ask her what your child is saying, when you aren't sure which foods your child likes most, what her essential thing is that she needs to help her get to sleep, who her little friends are at nursery, being there to take her for health appointments etc.......

Any parent who works very long hours/works away during the week (mother OR father) will recognise that feeling that they are are the less knowledgeable parent in their child's life - my dh is a brilliant dad but works long long hours or away from home. I constantly have to tell him stuff about my sons' lives that is second nature to me but just by not being round enough he can't possibly know. How would you feel about that?

Bestforbaby Wed 31-Jul-13 12:47:33

Onesleep, in an ideal world, I would be able to stay at home and give 24/7 care without having to resort to handouts. In reality, if I don't work, the baby will not get fed. The baby was unplanned, it is certainly not unwanted. Believe me, this is not a situation that I would ever have wanted. But it is the reality.

Thurlow Wed 31-Jul-13 12:48:24

Oh, and onesleep, you really think just because the OP is facing a difficult work situation for the next few years she should just terminate her pregnancy? That's just as twattish. There'd be just as many people castigating her for making a decision to terminate based on that. And he OP isn't asking for opinions on her decision to keep the pregnancy. if she saw the baby as a weekend accessory I doubt she would even be asking for advice and support.

davidjrmum Wed 31-Jul-13 12:48:53

"You also need to bear in mind that it wont be a case of simply moving back to Londn to start school. Your child will presumably have started pre-school where your parents are, and made friends, and would probably want to start school with all their pre-school friends." I don't think this is at all relevant. Loads of people with children move around with their jobs. Children don't generally form strong attachments with friends until they are about 7 or older. At my youngest child's primary school they switch the classes around each year until Y3/4 so my ds is with different children each year anyway.

probablyhadenough Wed 31-Jul-13 12:50:09

Don't want to patronise you OP but this sounds like the sort of plan people often make before they have children. I had quite firm views on how my working life couldn't and wouldn't change at all - then along came the baby and I had an absolutely visceral, instinctive need to be with her. Cue major change of working hours and priorities....

It might not work exactly like that for you but I suspect there will be some adjustment in what matters most once your baby arrives.

noblegiraffe Wed 31-Jul-13 12:50:36

You might find it difficult to find childcare with those extended hours anyway. If you are working in the evening, who would pick up the baby? Even if you aren't, finishing at 7 would mean not getting to nursery until after baby should be in bed. How would that work?

Grandma would be a better option than a stressful week juggling childcare. But I would find it very difficult to hand my baby over to someone else to effectively bring up, even in the short term.

Every woman is different and there are benefits to this plan. I know it works in a lot of places. When I look around at the school gates I wonder how the British economy would cope without grandparents providing free childcare.
Personally, now that I know how it feels to carry a child, feed them, care for them, hand them over to a nursery, go to work at a demanding job, live on much less money than I did before, I would never ever let my child live away from me for the sake of my career. When DS was 4 and DD 18 months DP and I had to live in separate places for 6 weeks. I had the DC every other week and I knew they were safe with their dad the other week, but it was still the worse 6 weeks of my life. I physically hurt ever night when I couldn't put them to bed. It would have been a million times worse if they had been small babies.
If you absolutely cannot manage financially, the father needs to step up. Can he take 6 months off work and look after the baby, either at your place or his? He should certainly contribute more than half the childcare. He should pay proper maintenance. I saved a lot throughout both pregnancies so that I could pay the mortgage during my year off. It was hard, but so worth it.
12 weeks is very very young. Can you at least take 6 months off?

LackaDAISYcal Wed 31-Jul-13 12:52:19

titchy, maintenance payments are not ignored for benefits purposes, sadly. DS's father and I had a perfectly amicable arrangement re maintenance which worked whilst I was on maternity leave and JSA etc. However when I started to claim income support and housing benefit we had to go through the CSA. He paid the CSA £50 a week; they gave me £10.

ALittleBitOfMagic Wed 31-Jul-13 12:52:41

Op how pregnant are you now ? I'm thinking if you put a small amount away each month from now until mat leave , that along with hb and tc you will be entitled to on SMP , that could maybe bring your income up to a workable amount on top of your SMP ? Even if you could stay of until maybe about 6mo ?

As for your childcare arrangement I don't know . I know I couldn't anyway . It has the potential for your mum to become the mother figure and you will have very little say ^in how your dc is raised . But then if you think you could cope with all the cons then it's really your choice . I think you need to be really careful though .

Is there no option at all for you to go part time ?

noblegiraffe Wed 31-Jul-13 12:52:52

Will the new rules on shared parental leave have come in by then?

bragmatic Wed 31-Jul-13 12:52:59

Do it. It sounds like a practical solution to a situation that you didn't plan for. You could always hire a childminder a couple of afternoons a week, to help with the care of the baby and lighten the load for your mum.

gymboywalton Wed 31-Jul-13 12:53:58

bestforbaby- putting a baby in nursery in london for 11 hours a day will not only be bad for the baby but financially crippling.

what will happen when you need to work evenings?

the reality is that at 12 weeks, your baby will still be incredibly new and needy and you will still be hormonal. you won't be getting much sleep and will be exhausted.

i feel desperately sorry for you that you are in this situation.

davidjrmum Wed 31-Jul-13 12:53:58

CurlyhairedAssassin - I'm the one who now works and my dh stays at home. I dont' agree that being the one who works means that my dh is constantly having to tell me stuff about our children's lives or that my dc run to dh for comfort rather than me - in fact I think it's quite the opposite. Usually they've had enough of dh by the time I come in from work and launch on me the second I walk through the door!

KnittedWaffle Wed 31-Jul-13 12:54:11

I don't see a problem with the arrangement in principle as long as you aren't underestimating the emotional impact this could have on you/your relationship with your DC. How will you feel if your DC tells you they prefer Granny when they get older? If they start to cry and tantrum when you collect them at the weekend etc.
All perfectly normal behaviour but if you already have guilt about leaving them it could make it very tough for you.

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 12:54:16

FasterStronger - a baby needs at least one secure attachment, and they need the opportunity to form that attachment. A 12 week old in full time nursery with a parent who works long hours including evenings and weekends is going to have very limited opportunity to form that secure attachment to anyone.

There's a big difference between a child who already has secure attachments going to nursery full time and still spending evenings and weekends with the people they are attached to, and a child who has yet to form a secure attachment spending all their waking hours in a nursery. Spending the week with grandparents is definitely preferrable (for the baby) to that.

Attachment problems certainly do not just occur in neglected children and orphans.

Helpyourself Wed 31-Jul-13 12:55:03

How far away to they live? Any chance of you living with them and commuting? You'd still save some money and see more of her.

Thurlow Wed 31-Jul-13 12:55:17

Good suggestion from bragmatic - some time at a nursery or with a childminder while your baby is living with your mum would probably be a really good thing. Babies are hard work even when you are in your twenties and thirties!

fromparistoberlin Wed 31-Jul-13 12:55:26

many of women in other cultures do this, MANY

I dont know if this will work for you though. but on a certain level this is happening all over the world, and always has

I do agree with others though that in the long term, you are lucky enough to live in a rich western country, ie you have CHOICES. Our global sisters are not as privileged as us

your planning and practicality is great, but maybe open the door (in the longer term) to a lifestyle with:

less working hours
cheaper rent
flexitime

good luck

MikeOxard Wed 31-Jul-13 13:00:08

Very difficult emotionally, but you have to do what works for you. I would just suggest getting your mum as involved as possible from the very start, so that there is already a bond with her before you start leaving the baby with her. This will make things easier for the baby and consequently for you as well.

lambinapram Wed 31-Jul-13 13:00:13

A 3 month old baby is very different to a 5 month. Please consider extending your mat leave however you can for as long as you can. Maybe working remotely from your mums towards the end to extend the time a bit? Your mum coming to London for a couple of weeks before the full time arrangement? That will help your attachment/bonding greatly.

HeySoulSister Wed 31-Jul-13 13:00:18

lackaDAISYcal the CSA changed that a long time ago. CSA payments are not included anymore and haven't been for some time now

PearlyWhites Wed 31-Jul-13 13:00:50

You are going to be a mother and that should be your priority not your career, the best thing you can do for your baby is to go and live with your mother and find another job with shorter hours.

HeySoulSister Wed 31-Jul-13 13:01:25

Do you have siblings op?

Just thinking you might be setting a precedent here for your parents!

Bestforbaby Wed 31-Jul-13 13:02:27

To answer a few questions:

I am saving as much as possible at the moment.

I will talk to a colleague and see what they think; as I said, I can be more rigorous about contracted hours. I think I have been a bit misleading, for which apologies; 'some evenings' is in practice maybe 4/5 times a month, and this could be delegated. I will really consider the reality of part-timing.

Nursery would be about 8-5, so if we went down this route, I'd finish work early and take the baby home, then aim to do a few more hours whenever possible once the baby is asleep (and yes, I know there is no guarantee it will sleep, but presumably one day it will!).

chipmonkey Wed 31-Jul-13 13:02:37

I have a feeling that this might not work at all for you once you have held that baby in your arms. Before I had ds1 my career came first and I thought it always would. And then, when he was in my arms, I remember crying desolately at the idea of handing him over to nursery staff. I ended up moving jobs to be nearer to the nursery, I had no other option but to continue working as dh and I had a large mortgage but I did end up changing a lot of things for ds1's sake.
A girl I new around the same time had to leave her baby with her dh Mon-Fri while she worked in another city, not commutable. She was very upset one weekend when her baby wouldn't come to her and only wanted his Dad. Again she had no choice but I know she found it hard.

FasterStronger Wed 31-Jul-13 13:02:48

majo00 A 12 week old in full time nursery with a parent who works long hours including evenings and weekends is going to have very limited opportunity to form that secure attachment to anyone.

do you have any research to back this up?
surely this would mean many children don't form attachments with their fathers.

writingpaper Wed 31-Jul-13 13:04:39

I had a similar situation with my DD, although it was less of a choice due to health reasons as well as work, and I was a LP with no input from the father. She stayed with my parents during the week between the age of 2-4, but I also had a lot of time with her outside of term times due to my work. It's not uncommon in my home country and I know that it happens in a lot of cultures, but I did feel criticised for it and less involved as a parent.

She is 15 now and is doing brilliantly at school and has a great relationship with her GPs, and she never showed any confusion about identifying me as her mother. We are a very close family, with regular contact with GPs, aunts, cousins etc. But I won't pretend it wasn't hard when she was younger, especially when I had to leave her after the weekend and she was old enough to say she wanted to stay sad.

It also places you in a strange place as a parent, I didn't get to know any other mums when she was a toddler as we never did local playgroups etc, and your experience of being a parent is different. It was especially hard to relate to other single mums who were always talking about never being able to go out or maintenance/contact issues with the dad, which I never dealt with.

It worked fine for DD, but I don't think it's something I'd do if I could avoid it, if only because I just regret the time I missed in her childhood! I don't know if you've fully factored in things like tax credits, maintenance, and looked into the options of moving to a cheaper bit of London?

Thurlow Wed 31-Jul-13 13:04:39

Pearly, that's too simplistic. If the OP is working/training for a good career, why would it be best in the long run for her to give up her career when it sounds as if it has the potential to be good for everyone in a few years time? Why is giving up that career, ending up maybe getting a p/t job (because jobs are ten are penny at the moment, aren't they, there's such a load to choose from...) that has little potential to progress at all, better in the long-run?

pinkje Wed 31-Jul-13 13:07:00

Is there anyone else in the extended family who could help. A younger cousin perhaps who in exchange for a year in London looks after your little one in the daytime. Not quite an au pair, would need to be someone you trust as much as your mum.

chipmonkey Wed 31-Jul-13 13:08:30

Best, the friend I mentioned, initially did bring the baby to the other city and hoped she'd get some work done in the evenings when "baby was asleep" but she found she got nothing done with him there. Also remember that even if baby does sleep there are a lot of extra little jobs that have to be done. If formula feeding, bottles usually have to be washed and sterilised, most nurseries don't do that. If breast feeding, pumps AND bottles to be washed and sterilised. And they create a LOT of laundry.

My friend had to give up that arrangement and leave baby with her dh as his job was finished at 6.00 so his evenings were freer for all the extra jobs.

I'm not trying to put a downer on you, I promise, but if you haven't had a baby, you really have no idea how much work is involved. Ds1 was due in August and I remember telling my then-boss that I planned to sit out the back with the baby while on maternity leave. . He had a one-year-old. How he laughed!

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 13:09:40

FasterStronger - I would imagine fewer children form secure attachments to fathers who are not around very much than to fathers who are. Babies need the opportunity to form an attachment with someone, it isn't automatic - it comes from having a consistent, emotionally responsive relationship with someone. Babies who don't get that opportunity or have inconsistent relationships often form insecure attachments. So long as there is at least one secure attachment relationship, this compensates for other insecure attachments.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 31-Jul-13 13:09:44

I think it's a good plan. Why give up your career when you will need it later on when your child is in school and not at home all day?

I think that it could be idyllic but you MUST be happy with it for the baby to be happy with it...you should work out and discuss things like discipline techniques and the kind of foods you want the baby to eat before they turn into issues...you will still be the babies parent and should have the main say.

Boosterseat Wed 31-Jul-13 13:11:32

I’ve been here, however my son was 3 when I made the decision for him to spend weekdays with my parents so I could pursue my career. DH was then DP and was trying to get his own foot on the ladder, it was so demoralising.

It worked for us, DS knew Mummy had to work very hard so we could have our own house and knew Nana had worked very hard for lots of years and could afford to stay at home and help us.

If you ask DS about how it works, he would tell you he is very lucky and so many people want to love him and take care of him, he is very close with DSM but he knows I’m his Mummy and I work hard so we can have/do nice things. We are a close family, my DH,DF and DSM all pull together to make sure DS is where he needs to be and is loved and cherished. Work is steadier now and I don’t need to be in the office constantly but he still spends 3 nights mid-week with my parents as he loves it!

I know it’s a different situation as the DC in question will be baby however families for centauries have been relying on extended family to help with child rearing and there is no such thing as too much love is there? Takes a village to raise a child and all that…..

Congratulations on your pregnancy flowers

FasterStronger Wed 31-Jul-13 13:12:07

majo00 - I am asking for scientific research, not your imaginings....

forevergreek Wed 31-Jul-13 13:12:21

I would do the following:
1) get you mum to have baby say 2 days midweek ( 1 overnight) at yours.
2) Try working from home 1 day ( you work when baby sleeps/ late in eve/ early in morning)
3) find a childminder to have baby the other 2 days

As time goes on you can try adjusting work so you maybe work from home more and only need morning childcare ( then you can work in mornings 8-12, and then when they nap/ sleep at night)

WafflyVersatile Wed 31-Jul-13 13:13:16

This seems like a good enough explanation of investigation into attachment styles.

www.simplypsychology.org/mary-ainsworth.html

JustinBsMum Wed 31-Jul-13 13:16:35

Have you said much about DF and how available he is. Perhaps he can work 4 days and/or ferry baby to and from GPs.
Could you move in with GPs (or is this what you plan?), stay in town during the week, home at GP's at weekends so baby stays in one place?
GPs have probably forgotten how demanding it is but perhaps they are both home and retired so there is two doing the work and not just DGM.
Might DF want to see Baby every other weekend so you see it less?
Lots of possibilities but pinning down DF's wishes is important.

sweetkitty Wed 31-Jul-13 13:16:36

I would look at every possible alternative before making a decision. As others have said you don't actually know how you will feel until your baby is here.

3 months will go past in the blink of an eye and I think you will find it very difficult to leave your baby all week.

Is there any option for commuting at all? What I mean is moving 30 mins away from your parents you commute the rest.

Compressed hours a few single mums do a week in 4 days and one day working at home?

Taking a new lower paid job but closer to your parents for a few years so your paying less in rent and child care.

Also get maintenance payments and access sorted out, so the father doesn't just have the baby if it suits him. He should be contributing to child care.

A couple I know both work compressed hours so their DC are only in child care 3 days a week.

I do think you should keep your options open.

frissonpink Wed 31-Jul-13 13:20:06

You need to start thinking about what the baby needs, rather than what is best for the father or your career.

This ^^

Sorry. But I think you are totally underestimating the emotional aspects (both for you, and the baby) and how hard being a mum is (especially in the early days). I literally get nothing work related done with the baby in the house. Nothing.

Move jobs. Move to a cheaper area. You will get support as a single parent - lots more than poor couples get. Live more frugally. Your baby should be your priority. Not worrying about your career. Insist on going part-time or leave. If you're that senior (just summising?) then your skills should be transferable. Part of being a mum is being less selfish imo.

MrsWobble Wed 31-Jul-13 13:21:52

OP -i have not been in your position so can't comment except to say that due to my extreme old age I had my children before the current system of maternity provisions and so went back to work when they were 12 weeks old. Despite this, and having a job with similar hours to yours, my daughters appear to have developed quite normally. I did find it hard some days - but then life wasn't always perfect before. Good luck.

babyboomersrock Wed 31-Jul-13 13:22:37

As a very involved granny myself (mid-sixties, very fit), I'd urge caution. Your mother may be much younger, of course, and have loads of energy - but caring for a tiny baby day and night is a huge commitment, no matter how much one loves one's child and grandchild. You are both likely to encounter all sorts of problems you hadn't envisaged.

The baby will be your child, yes, but will effectively be brought up by your parents - it's not as though you'll even be seeing her/him mornings and evenings. I'm saying this because your username implies you want what's "best for baby" - and it sounds to me like a recipe for disaster. Your baby won't care whether you have extra money to do "really nice things" with her or him - from the baby's point of view, you'll just be someone who visits at weekends and takes her/him out. I don't think you're going to know how that feels until you've given birth and cared for the baby for the first weeks, but be prepared to feel very torn about it.

There's no chance the baby's father could change his work pattern to enable him to do his share during the week? Otherwise, you're both going to have to juggle weekend access - another possible source of friction.

Having said all that, if the only option is full-time nursery for a tiny baby, then I guess granny is better, though you'd need to look at how it would work if your parents wanted to get away/have a holiday etc.

3boys3dogshelp Wed 31-Jul-13 13:22:42

Hi op, it sounds like you are trying really hard to be as practical and sensible as possible in a less than ideal situation. I agree with pp that 12 weeks really really isn't long enough mat leave, especially when your situation means you then won't see baby for several nights every week. Your ex (from your posts) sounds like he is being fairly reasonable - can you speak to him about financial support to enable you to have longer at home. I see what you're saying about wanting to get on with it and not delay the inevitable but I'm fairly confident you won't feel like that once baby is here. And bear in mind you'll start mat leave probably 2 weeks before due date/baby could be 2 weeks late so potentially you could be going back to work with an 8 week old.
I worked very hard for my career before children - think 7 years studying, 50-60 hour weeks etc. My job was all I wanted to do and I loved it. I intended to work 4 days a week after baby so I didn't lose out professionally. My mum offered childcare the day she heard I was pregnant! She encouraged me to work as much as I wanted and offered to cover all of it. She bought a cot for her house so ds could sleep over. The reality was that as a gp she found it much harder than she ever expected. She is a fantastic grandparent and sees them probably 3 times a week (with me) but can only manage 1 day a week of actual childcare or she is exhausted. She is 57 btw so not old, worked as a nurse and a carer before retiring and is trained as a childminder! Ds 1 is 5 and I could count on one hand how many times she has had him overnight. I don't mean to
sound ungrateful, I'm really not, I'm just making the point that most grandparents would seriously struggle to provide the amount of childcare your mum has offered for any length of time.
Best of luck op, I really hope you find a solution that works for everyone.

Suttyshotty Wed 31-Jul-13 13:23:33

You will get tax credits while off work, these will make a massive difference to your income, plus if you're renting, you may be entitled to housing benefit?

FasterStronger Wed 31-Jul-13 13:28:03

waffly - In what way is that study relevant to the OP?

MumnGran Wed 31-Jul-13 13:30:32

OP ..I am a very hands on Gran, but would urge great caution here. I think you are trying to be highly practical, but that your first instinct was right .... it is not selfish to want to be closer to your small baby. And you want to be "Mum" - not a visitor in your baby's life.
If Mum was 5 minutes away, I would think it was still a bit iffy to have your new baby live there, but 2 hours drive is a long long way.

Honestly, I would ask your Mum if she would consider staying with you during the week, while the baby is young. Or seriously consider getting a decent nanny.

bragmatic Wed 31-Jul-13 13:31:49

All you people spouting off about 'what is best for the baby, not your career' are aware that millions of people in many other cultures around the world leave their children to spend the majority of their time with the grandparents in order to provide a future for themselves?

Sure, there are other options, but frankly, I can see why chucking in a job in the middle of a recession in order to work part time (like that is going to magically fall in your lap) and then simply picking up where you left off a few years down the track is, shall we say, oversimplifying things a bit?

OP, I think it's a good option, particularly if you have a good and close relationship with your parents, and can work together to raise your child for the first years. I think it's a better option than full time daycare for a little baby. That said plenty of children develop perfectly well with full time quality child-care. You just need to be sure of the quality.

TippiShagpile Wed 31-Jul-13 13:32:30

How old is your mum OP?

Mythreeknights Wed 31-Jul-13 13:33:39

Tough situation - but I agree with those who say that it's not that uncommon to have a grandparent raise a child, and if your work commitments are 8-7pm plus occasional evening and weekend, then you would need to pay for a nanny on top of nursery which would be crippling (although, perhaps you work in finance / other well paid industry and this isn't the case). But from experience, once you have this baby which at the moment you have an abstract attachment to, I promise you'll feel this surge of crazy protective mad maternal love like nothing you have ever felt before and so when it comes to it, leaving your baby will be really quite difficult.

cafecito Wed 31-Jul-13 13:35:02

You'll get help with costs.You should take the full maternity leave and then perhaps revert to this arrangement when you need to go back to work.

This is but one time in your life that you can never get back. Work will always be there, your baby will if they are healthy and normal, grow up very very quickly and you'll wonder how you missed it all.

My DS is starting school soon. I had to leave him with family when he was nearly 2 for a number of reasons in London including fleeing an abusive relationship, becoming very unwell myself, having repeated childcare breakdowns and long long hours of work. It's been very difficult indeed. If I could go back and change things, I would not have done that. He is happy when he is with them, but always on edge and unsettled, he doesn't understand why it had to happen. I have found it near impossible, and transitioning back to having him full time is very difficult too. Don't do it unless you are completing professional training on a time limit, if you are in your career but could take time out then you should take that time out.

If you can find childcare in London that is reliable and fits your hours, definitely that should be your first choice.

3boys3dogshelp Wed 31-Jul-13 13:35:27

If I was in your situation I would
1) try to compress your hours over 4 days, giving you a long weekend with your baby.
2)stretch mat leave as far as possible.
3)get ex to pay for a childminder every Monday (for eg). So baby stays with you sunday night as well to take pressure off your mum. Then you could take baby to grandparents or your mum could come to you Monday night to take over until Thursday night. A childminder gives you an extra option if grandparents are poorly or just need a break.
4) try to go self employed ASAP (if that is your long term plan) and definitely before baby is in full time school.

cafecito Wed 31-Jul-13 13:39:13

If you do do it, though I'd say find childcare instead - make sure you religiously commit to having your baby with you every single weekend so there is less uncertainty for the child and they are used to being with you, preferably in your own home. Never let this slide no matter if it puts your family out in some way or another.

MysteriousHamster Wed 31-Jul-13 13:39:44

An okay idea in theory.

My perhaps paranoid concern would be that what happens if your situation changes and you want to bring your baby home, but your mum no longer wants to pass over the baby she is effectively bringing up.

What happens if you only see the baby at weekends, but then the father wants it every other weekend?

If I were you I couldn't do it because of these factors. There will be benefits you're entitled to.

But it's a perfectly okay choice.

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 13:40:23

Not sure exactly what you're after FasterStronger - research that fathers who are more involved in caring for their children have more secure attachments with them?

How about this: "As could be predicted from the theory, paternal involvement as measured by engagement in caregiving activities was significantly and positively related to attachment security with fathers. Fathers who provided regular care to their children had children whose security scores were higher than children whose fathers were less involved."

That's from "Paternal Involvement and Infant-Father Attachment" by Caldera.

froubylou Wed 31-Jul-13 13:40:37

Its a tough situation.

I have been in a similar position. I was in an on/off relationship with baby's father. Worked full time hours similar to the ones you do and was in line for a huge promotion when I found out I was pg.

I thought I could do it all and that was having baby close by with her father. I thought I could leave her with him, work F/T as before and have the baby. I was luckier than you in some ways as babys father was quite happy to give up work an stay at home with her.

I worked until the day before I had my C Section and went back to work (initially P/T) when DD was about 3 weeks old, went full time when she was about 6 weeks? I know I missed my sign off appt with midwife or HV for her 6 week check and exp did it.

In reality I hated every single minute of it. Even though I now had the role I had worked towards for 5 years. I hated not seeing DC and I hated that her father made all her decisions and that he was seeing the milestones and not me.

After 4 months I resigned, left the city I was in and moved me and DD back to my mums. I found p/t work in a bar and then in a butchers. Saved up the deposit and first months rent and rented somewhere around the corner from my mum. DD went to nursery 3 days a week and I got tax credits and wages.

It was tight to manage. But I did. I left everything, job, friends, home,sold my car etc etc. And for the first month I was terrified I had made the wrong decision. But I quickly realised that there is more to life than a career and money and a nice house and car and clothes.

9 years on and I am in a happy relationship and expecting DC 2 in december. DD is a happy, confident, loving little girl. I have my own business and work from home. I don't earn anywhere as near as much as what I could do BUT we are comfortable now.

Your career is probably the most important thing to you right now and you will be desperate to keep it right now. But when that baby comes along your priorities will change drastically.

Your mum sounds very supportive. Mine was as well but also worked f/t and my stepfather was very ill too so I had to rely on nursery. If I were you I'd be looking at moving closer to your mum and having her support but work less hours. Even if it means starting again in a different career or just finding a job until your DC is older.

Good luck whatever you decide. And make your decisions based on whats best for you and the baby not the babys father. If he is going to be a part of your DCs life then a commute every other weekend won't end that.

WafflyVersatile Wed 31-Jul-13 13:43:48

It's against the law in the UK to go back to work less than 6 weeks after the birth, I'm sure.

3MonthMaid Wed 31-Jul-13 13:44:10

I have been in a similar situation to you, and I do agree that once you are holding your baby it is terribly hard to pass them over to anyone. Having said that, if I was going to pass my baby to anyone, then it would definitely be my mother!

Honestly, why don't you try it, see how you get on. Your mum sounds lovely and relationships with grandparents are sooooo important.

Rooners Wed 31-Jul-13 13:44:30

Sorry have struggled to keep up with full thread, but PeterParker is right - small babies DO attach to their 'primary carer' very quickly and need that person to be constant, or they experience loss and they grieve.

You'd have to decide which of you it was going to be - and the primary carer would have to be present most of the time, you can't just take a baby away from their 'person' for a day or two at a time, not till they're a bit older - maybe a year or so.

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 13:47:32

2 weeks Waffly, or 6 weeks in a factory.

Bestforbaby Wed 31-Jul-13 13:49:43

Ok, thanks for the input.

1) I will look into going back to work only part-time, say 3 days a week, from 3 months, then more later.
2) And also at compressing hours.
3) I will ask the father if he'd be prepared to do one weekday a week. (The answer will almost definitely be no, but I feel I should make absolutely sure?)
4) I will see if I can work from home one or two days a week when I am fulltime, so at least I get to see the baby/have lunch together etc, even if my mum is looking after it those days
5)My mum is 65. I think fulltime would be too much, even if she says it would not be?
6)it seems the consensus is that a childminder is a better option than a nursery for the days that I/my mum can't do?

Maybe weeks could alternate with baby being with her at her home on their days, or at mine?

So, assuming work agree, initially that would be my mum for two days and a childminder for one, then later upping the CM to two days, and hoping to do 5 days of working hours across 4 actual days plus the odd hour here and there.

I really don't think there'd be any point me trying to do a whole day of working from home when in charge of baby, the odd hour maybe, but not a whole day.

Does this seem more sensible?

cleoowen Wed 31-Jul-13 13:50:38

What about moving closer to your parents so the commute is not so long to get the baby at the beginning and end of the day. That way the rent might be cheaper too so maybe you could drop down a day work. Could you apply for jobs in the same field but nearer your parents?

afussyphase Wed 31-Jul-13 13:50:58

I'd suggest combining the things suggested here, and don't "bite the bullet" -- prolong, prolong, prolong! It will be worth it because it sounds like it will make the difference between getting the self-employed career long-term, with your baby with you, vs not. If you can get the baby to 16-24 weeks using savings, going back part time 1-2 days/week just for the 12-16 week period, your DM coming down a little more just for 2 weeks, father's annual leave, etc, then your baby will be 5-6 months, weaning, by the time you need more nursery/childminder. You could do a 7-7 nursery or CM a couple days a week (there's a 7-7 nursery at Angel that a friend of mine loved, though it's not cheap), 4 days/week, and work from home a 5th day, or take that day off. Or you could get an au pair and work 3-4 really long days. Or your baby could then spend just 2 -3 days /week at your Mum's combined with a part-time nanny.. You can combine these things and patch something together that works. Some council-run nurseries have discounts that you might be eligible for, too... though they are not typically 7-7.

Bestforbaby Wed 31-Jul-13 13:55:13

The problem with this particular job is that unless you are self-employed, there really aren't jobs in the field not in London.

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 13:55:26

I would definitely avoid nursery if it's going to be long hours in the first 18 months if you can. Maybe part time nursery after that, but it really isn't the optimum environment for a baby.

LemonBreeland Wed 31-Jul-13 13:55:38

New to the thread OP. But your latest suggestion seems to give a better work/family balance than before.

It will give you the opportunity to see the baby more often. As others have said though, I do caution that you may feel very differently once you are holding that little person in your arms.

Good luck with getting something sorted out.

Thurlow Wed 31-Jul-13 13:55:44

Have you investigated the rental prices and commute times/costs for moving much nearer to your parents? If your mum is looking after the baby, or at least doing wraparound care after a nurery/CM, then it woudn't matter if you were getting home after the baby has gone to bed. You could work on the train. But you'd obviously be much nearer to your baby and perhaps be able to share drop-offs, pick-ups and care with your mum?

hairclipcloe Wed 31-Jul-13 13:59:30

I think the success of a solution like this depends on tour relationship with your folks and lots of communication regarding all parenting/caring decisions. My parents look after my babies while I work and It has been really good. I know my mum worries that I'll feel resentful of them spending more time with her than me, but I take an awful lot of comfort from the fact that my children are taken care of by people who love them. It makes me very happy that they have such a closeness to their gps.

It wasn't an option for me to give up work etc so it was nursery or GPs. There was no contest really. I would say this though - since having DD last year they have found looking after ds (3) and her pretty tiring but ds starts preschool soon so that will make things easier.

If you have a great relationship with your folks and they will respect your wishes etc go for it - at least for a trial period.

3boys3dogshelp Wed 31-Jul-13 14:05:09

I agree that your latest suggestion seems more workable long term for all of you. try not to commit yourself to a date for returning to work until after you've had the baby though. We use nursery now and dc love it but a childminder is a bit more of a homely environment for such a young baby Which is probably why people are suggesting it more.

MumnGran Wed 31-Jul-13 14:06:04

It sounds sensible'ish...... although the chances of getting any work done at home when you have a 3 month old are pretty remote. As are the chances of compressing your existing hours into 4 days, when the hours are already very long ....and doesn't take into account that you will have a baby to care for when you are at home. Certainly talking to work now about the maximum possible maternity leave, and every potential reduction in hours, is the best bet.
At 65, I genuinely don't think your mum will cope well with a baby 24/7 (I know you would be there for 2 days, but the baby would still be in the house). I am a decade younger, very hands on as a GP...but full time would exhaust me very quickly. We are willing slaves ....but have poor memories for the exhausting reality of full on mothering.

As has been said, you will feel very very differently when your little one is here in the world, so sensible planning is a smart move but do be prepared for all your reactions to "shift" in the coming months.
froubylou (<<round of applause on your success>>) makes very valid points.

Honestly. I would echo the several people who suggest seeing how it goes, but creating a backup plan of moving somewhere close to your parents, and working locally, so your mum could become a 9-5 childminder (which is very do'able as a active Gran) The lower salary will be easily offset by what you won't have to pay on external support.

Thurlow Wed 31-Jul-13 14:10:17

With grandparents I think one of the issues could really be night wakings. My parents have always been hands-on and have had the baby several times for a few days and nights and they are exhausted by the end of it. Daytime childcare is easier, especially if they are both at home.

Sunnysummer Wed 31-Jul-13 15:07:58

Agree that your later proposal sounds more workable. I also agree that while there's no point having a 'work from home' day when you are also caring for the baby - as other posters have pointed out, you'll probably get no work done anyway - it could be nice to work from home at your parents' place. I love the days when DH works from home, it gives a bit of backup to allow me to make urgent phone calls, go to the loo in peace etc, and is also lovely for he and DS as they get to spend extra time together at lunch and instead of the morning and evening commute.

Last thing - in your last post you mention asking the father about shared care, but still nothing about the financials. How will be helping? If he has a full time job and is in a financial position to cover childcare costs then he should be in a position to help significantly with the financial challenges of the early months with you on leave, plus the long term as this child goes to school and onwards. The longer you wait to set this up, the harder it will get.

Bestforbaby Wed 31-Jul-13 15:21:03

I haven't said anything about finances from the father because to be honest I haven't really considered it in detail. He has only said he will pay half the childcare costs, and that he wants to be as involved as possible.

I took that to mean that he'd want to see baby as much as possible, even if half the time is not practical, and that that would therefore be his contribution, and he'd pay for everything needed his end, and I would on mine. Is this unrealistic? Overall, because he will be the one taking baby to visit his side of the family who are overseas, his costs will be higher.

He did say once that if my mother did some of the childcare, he would pay half the cost of any top up (which is about what we'd be due via CSA anyway if we went down that route), but nothing further. Surely I cannot expect him to compensate me for massively reducing my earnings if I am the one choosing to work less hours. Have I misunderstood? This is (obviously!) all new to me...

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 15:27:27

You massively reducing your work hours is what is best for his baby - of he wants his baby to have more time with its mother, why wouldn't he support that financially?

Thurlow Wed 31-Jul-13 15:35:12

I think you need to hammer out what he means to offer. It might sound awful when you are, by the sounds of it, getting along OK and talking sensibly about this. But yes, if the decision is that the baby lives with you as the f/t carer (ignoring your parents for the moment) then he needs to actually say what he wants to do. He needs to say how often he thinks he will see the baby, how often he thinks he will have the baby to stay with him once that is appropriate, and most importantly, he needs to say how much money he is willing to give. Simply covering half of the childcare costs is vague and unreliable. If you cut your hours and your income, he should be helping with that.

Surely I cannot expect him to compensate me for massively reducing my earnings if I am the one choosing to work less hours

Yes you bloody well can. If you were living together, this is exactly how it should work. If one parent decides to reduce their hours to look after the child and cut childcare costs, that means the overall family income changes, not one spouses income (just look at all the threads on MN about this).

In fact, though this conversation could be difficult, I would expect to actually have a specific contribution from him every month. This is his child too, and he wants to be involved then he needs to accept the financial hit every parent gets. If you are formula feeding, he needs to be helping to pay for that. All the stuff you need to buy for the baby - potentially twice as much stuff, as both your flat and your parents house needs everything - he needs to pay for half of it.

"Of course I'll help out" is a nice comment, but it's not enough to make plans on.

Potteresque97 Wed 31-Jul-13 15:42:28

New to thread but I think you shouldn't let go of your career. Push the baby's dad more, if he can't do one day in the week, can he do half a day?
What about his family? If he's happy to pay childcare, you should see if your mum can find a nursery place a few mornings or days a week to give her a break. Can you move closer to your mum so half way between work and her house? Whilst babies need to be well looked after, be aware that ime leaving then in nursery once they know you gets harder and harder, i tried it and emotionally it was a nightmare. Personally, I'd look at relocating close to your parents and getting a career going there, but that's hindsight for you. Good for them btw, they sound fantastic.

Potteresque97 Wed 31-Jul-13 15:44:29

Ps I agree, I'd go further, you need legal advice about what he ought to pay, and you need to email/write to him, he has an obligation and loose arrangements won't work for your job.

Mythreeknights Wed 31-Jul-13 15:45:35

Thurlow I'm probably being a bit clueless, but are you sure that it's the same in a situation where you are no longer with your partner, and have never been married (e.g where you would claim a maintenance allowance)?
I know in principle OP should be financially supported by her ex, but in practice, what is the law? Again, I'm completely clueless and I'm sure there are legal provisions in place for exactly this situation.

Thurlow Wed 31-Jul-13 15:54:31

I think if you've not been married then he doesn't owe anything to support you, just the child - it's if you have been married that you can claim he needs to help support you too. But I only think that!

I possibly worded my reply wrongly, but what I meant essentially was that he should agree a set amount every month to help with the baby. Legally, no, the OP couldn't claim for her reduction in earnings. Morally, if he is happy to have this baby, then he needs to think about a regular and honest financial commitment that takes into account the fact that the OP may be reducing her salary. As it all sounds quite amicable at the moment, it seems better to discuss it than to go straight to the CSA. Though having something legal in writing would probably be helpful.

Loose arrangements when you're amicable may seem the best way forward at the moment, but OP, you are looking at the next eighteen years and it would be sensible to have real, if possible legal, arrangements in place to cover all eventualities. There's a high chance that at some point both of you will meet new partners and may have new children, and things will change.

Mythreeknights Wed 31-Jul-13 15:59:09

Well said Thurlow - it's definitely best to have some sort of written agreement in place. Especially when either OP or her ex starts seeing someone new and has a new family to think about.

adagio Wed 31-Jul-13 16:08:57

Hiya loads of great and varied advice here already. My tuppence worth is
a) 2 hours in the car is a long time for a little baby
b) hormones: I started to 'calm down' and get back to being me again at about 5months - but I expect everyone is different. The first few weeks were really bad - baby in a different aisle at the supermarket 9with DH, so perfectly fine) was traumatic! I kid you not. Now I have had PFB I am so glad I didn't go back to work at 16 weeks, it would have been hell on earth for both of us. I guess that if circumstances had forced me I would have survived, but still.
I didn't expect such a strong attachment (its hormones - we are programmed for it). I cried throughout the nappy changes when she cried for the first week!

TippiShagpile Wed 31-Jul-13 16:10:09

Another thing to factor is a "get out" for your parents. They need to be able to tell you if it's getting too much.

65 is young but sleepless nights and full on childcare is exhausting in your 30s so I imagine in your 60s it could, possibly, bring you to your knees.

I'd hate to think of them struggling to cope and not telling you because they might feel that would be letting you down and would cause you problems with your job.

cestlavielife Wed 31-Jul-13 16:11:42

the father pays child maintenance whch can be based on CSA ie for the child. none to mother they never been married.

op - yo need ot find a way to reduce your work hours once baby is here.

i dont see it as an issue if grandma looks afte baby during week, but if you could fnish up early on a friday/start lat eno mondya that would help. also if baby ouside london how willl dad see him/her during the week?

babies need attachment to their primary carers, this could be mum and dad or mum and grandma or mum and childminder/nanny etc. it is not evil or bad if grandma does large chunk of the caring.

but you ned to have plans b and c as it may look different when baby is born.

as single mum o be i is better you take long term view of your eanrng capacity and find a way to keep your career - that is not selfish it is sensible. and while baby is small it may in fact be easier - when child is older is when they need you as mum more. but - as you pointed out - by putting in hours now you may be able to relax them later (and probably still be earning reasonably)

Meringue33 Wed 31-Jul-13 16:20:16

OP, congratulations on your pregnancy! I am so excited for you. Babies rock!

I think your plans sound fine. Think the key as others have said is just to have your plan B and C in place as your attitude and outlook will almost definitely change.

This time last year I was moaning on MN about the lack of 7-7 nurseries. Now I have an amazing six mo old who has such a big personality and is such great company. I'm seriously considering going part time when I go back which was such a no no for me before.

See how you feel. And make sure you get maintenance from dad. The average woman loses 80% of her earning power when she has a baby. That isn't fair and it's right that until society fixes that, fathers need to help mitigate.

Hope the remainder of your pregnancy goes well. Love to you and your family.

Sleepyhoglet Wed 31-Jul-13 16:32:55

Go for it. You have a solution and I'm sure it will work. The main thing is that you and your mum are flexible if you change your mind.

How well off are your parents? Could they give you a loan if you did want to take a year off. Then they could resume looking after little one when he/ she is a year old....

jamtoast12 Wed 31-Jul-13 17:10:38

I honestly think it'll be a nightmare. My pil are fab and even they managed only 2 days of looking after my dds when younger and that was only 9-5. I don't see how a 8-7pm lifestyle can ever work as a single mother and feel you are getting too much hope here. If you were in a relationship etc and another parent was available then different but basically the baby is going to be passed around between different options to fit in with your working hours. I understand you have good intentions.

It's not even a short term. What happens when they go to school as the schoolday is 9-3 ish? Will your child be in full time wrap around care everyday? If the father decides to see the child one saturday per week or go for more access than that legally, you could end up with less than a few hours a week with your child? I don't see how this can work at all. My kids are both in primary school and our evenings are full from 4pm afterwards with homework, school activities etc. long term as a single parent you will need to change jobs eventually. You can of course try this but I honestly think you need to readdress your priorities (not being mean!). You will find it all much more stressful after the baby is born compared to sorting things now.

I'd move back to your parents, I honestly don't think you have any other choice.

DuttyWine Wed 31-Jul-13 17:50:20

Would your mum come from Sunday to Tuesday and maybe have a nanny the other 3 days splitting the cost with baby's dad?

Potteresque97 Wed 31-Jul-13 17:59:00

Yes, just to say, pre baby I thought you had the baby and carried on with your career but I've changed my work plans many times since I had dd. be careful not to trap yourself into a mindset where you feel you can't make different choices once you get into it as that's where the stress comes. It is all worthwhile though, you seem very sensible and capable.

eccentrica Wed 31-Jul-13 18:00:45

it is too much to ask of your mum at her age, and not fair.

posters suggesting your mum comes to stay with you- even more unfair on her. why should a 65 year old woman be uprooted from her own home because you're not prepared to modify your career plan?

my mum is same age as yours. my daughter us nearly 3. mum babysits occasionally during the day/evening. I have never left my daughter with her overnight because I don't think it's reasonable to expect a pensioner to get up 3 times a night.

you got pregnant by accident (as did I) and decided to keep the baby (as did I). but your life is never going to be the way you envisioned it before. it's nOt about small tweaks, it changes everything.

itwillgetbettersoon Wed 31-Jul-13 20:09:11

Are you able to afford a nanny?

Personally I prefer nurseries to childminders as I think they are more sociable. It depends on the nurseries that are near you - we have an excellent one near us that I used.

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 20:28:06

"Sociable" isn't really a consideration for a baby though - socialising with other children is of no importance to an infant.

MysteriousHamster Wed 31-Jul-13 20:33:00

Just another opinion on nursery - my son started at eight months and still loves it two years later. Any later with him and I suspect he'd have been terribly anxious - but it was easy (for him). I would go for a childminder for cheapness, but there are advantages to nursery too.

And don't panic too much about what you'll do when he's at school - there's plenty of time for plans to change before then. The next year is key.

Wearytiger Wed 31-Jul-13 21:27:06

OP, I feel so strongly about this. You have the chance at a fulfilling and well paid career and a lovely family. Go with the option now that allows you ... and your baby ... the most choice in the future.

For me that means right now hanging on to that job, and seeing how it goes. If your mum is up for looking after the baby, go for it. I went back to work full time (very intensive city job) when my dd was six months old and I have never regretted it. My FIL looked after her, they had a marvellous time, and my dd adores me and him. There was no 'primary' carer in her mind, there was simply mummy, daddy, grandad and everyone else who loved her. I hardly saw her during the week but our weekends were absolutely fantastic.

If you find you miss your dd too much, fine, reduce your hours. If you find you hate working, fine, quit. If your mum's health or willingness deteriorates, fine, get a childminder. That did happen to me actually, my FIL became unable to cope with the physical exertions of a rampant 2 year old so I made new arrangements! But at least this way you have chosen based on the reality of your work / life balance, not your (possibly inaccurate) perception of how it will be. And worst case, you've eked out a few more months of employment which could stand you in good stead later on when you are able to go back to work.

I've hot some practical points but I will post this now before I lose it all!

Wearytiger Wed 31-Jul-13 21:35:01

Here are some practical points from my own experience:
- I do think nurseries are great but for under ones they can be a bit of a germ fest. Personally for very little ones I would go for family first, nanny if affordable, childminder if not, then nursery as last resort. I have absolutely nothing against nurseries but my dd was registered in one for about a month (pre my FIL looking after her) and we had to take her out several times with coughs and colds, which was a nightmare. For the littlies I think 1:1 care is best if poss
- set your mum up with Skype etc and carve out two slots every single day to see your dd. not ideal but needs must.
- I second the remote and part time working ideas of you think they would work for you.

Finally please remember that every aspect if this situation will change over time... Your baby will get older , you'll get paid more (possibly less, hopefully not!), your relationship with your baby's father may change, your mum's health may change, your views on work may change... Everything. Do not feel as if the decision you make now has to stay fixed forever. Try and work out what the next six to twelve months holds, and plan for that. You can and will deal with the rest when the time comes. Good luck OP.

Wearytiger Wed 31-Jul-13 21:36:41

Sorry for that essay! I did warn you I felt strongly! smile

itsallaboutyoubaby Wed 31-Jul-13 21:42:25

I can't see the point of planning to only see your child at weekends. Is that what you're proposing? That you live somewhere else in the week while someone else raises your child for you 24/7, 5 days a week?

Why do you want this baby?

LynetteScavo Wed 31-Jul-13 21:50:47

I'm not sure nurseries will even be open long enough for you to work 8am -7pm.

I think the best option would be to have your mum come down to London 2 days a week, and find a childminder/nanny for the other three. That way, you will be there for the baby during the night, and they will grow up knowing where "home" is, and still see you as their primary carer.

LynetteScavo Wed 31-Jul-13 21:52:42

itsallaboutyoubaby - the point is she is already pregnant, and trying to make the best of balancing work (ie earning a living) and childcare.

itsallaboutyoubaby Wed 31-Jul-13 21:54:34

I can see she's already pregnant, lynette.

LynetteScavo Wed 31-Jul-13 21:57:18

And the pregnancy was unplanned.

You asked why she wanted the baby.

The OP clearly wants to do what's best for her baby. What do you suggest?

itsallaboutyoubaby Wed 31-Jul-13 21:59:41

Yes, I asked why she wanted the baby. And???

deleted203 Wed 31-Jul-13 21:59:55

I personally think as a lone parent it is not practical or reasonable to work 8am - 7pm plus some evenings and weekends. When do you actually imagine you will see your baby or spend time with it if you do this? Mother's offer is hugely generous - and I can't honestly think that you will see any less of your baby than you will do by finding London childcare for these hours.

LynetteScavo Wed 31-Jul-13 22:11:14

Not wanting to hijack the thread with childish bickering, itsallaboutyoubaby I'll let the OP answer why she wants the baby, /didn't want to terminate the pregnancy.

Your post of Wed 31-Jul-13 21:42:25, seemed rather harsh to me. Not everyone has the luxury of taking a years maternity leave, having a live in partner etc.

Some people just have to make the best of a situation, which the OP is obviously trying to do by exploring all possibilities.

itsallaboutyoubaby Wed 31-Jul-13 22:12:09

Then let the OP answer and stop bickering lynette hmm

LynetteScavo Wed 31-Jul-13 22:22:34

grin

<<goes off to bed, shaking head in wonder>>

eccentrica Wed 31-Jul-13 22:26:45

Presumably the OP's mother, although she's over 60, still has a life of her own, friends, a house to take care of, other commitments? In what way is it reasonable to expect her to uproot herself and come and stay in her daughter's flat in London, alone?! I am amazed that people keep suggesting this as if it would be OK. Having a baby is not a crisis or emergency for which you can ask other people to give up their whole lives.

ClartyCarol Wed 31-Jul-13 22:39:06

OP - I brought this point up at lunchtime but I think it's worth repeating - I think you are underestimating how hard this will be for your parents. Small babies are knackering, really, really knackering. Therefore if you can come to an arrangement that takes the load off your mother than that's what you need to go for.

ThistleVille Wed 31-Jul-13 22:39:47

I'm 10 years younger than OP's mother, in good health and lead an active life. However, the thought of giving (almost) full time care to a baby/toddler - with the added bonus of disturbed nights - well, I'm really not sure how I'd manage.

MumnGran Thu 01-Aug-13 00:37:52

eccentrixa ...I can't speak for why other people have suggested that OPs Mum coming down would be a good idea, but my own reason is based on two related factors
1. mum has suggested having the baby 24/7 with OP only visiting at weekends
2. in making the suggestion, she places herself fairly firmly (IMHO) in the 'highly supportive parent' category.
Given the above, it would be an easier load on Mum to stay with OP for part weeks ....no night care ....not her fulltime responsibility, and she achieves total break when at her own home.

Why should she be expected to, regardless? I can only say that there is a third, less definable, factor.....I doubt that OP has 'expected' at all, but will know her own mum, and is probably just really glad she has a Mum who gives unquestioning backup when it matters most. My DD's know that I would do absolutely anything required to help them out, in a situation of this kind, and I am sure many other GPs would do the same (even if they took a deep breath in before offering!)

MumnGran Thu 01-Aug-13 00:39:21

eccentrica .... my apology for previous typo! blush

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Thu 01-Aug-13 00:53:35

Haven't read the whole thread but callingI have to say, of all the things that should go here, it's the job requiring 8-7 working. And I say that as someone who loves their job. Give yourself and your baby more space to live than that. Not fair maybe, but then life isn't.

TheAwfulDaughter Thu 01-Aug-13 01:22:21

Attachment theory is pop-psychology myth. This is done all around the world, and people grow up as adjusted human beings with good relationships with their parents.

OP, you need to try it. You need to see if it works. Ideally, although I know this probably isn't likely, to make it a bit more bearable on everyone- you need at least Friday afternoons off for a long weekend, discuss with your bosses the possibility of longer contracted hours another day to make up for this.

If you are being put off by this arrangement, and I don't know why should, as men up and down the country are working away from their young children because they HAVE to (like you do!) and being applauded, not demonized.

How much is the going rate for a Nanny in your area of London? I think this may be the ideal way to go. Especially if the father is paying half.

It's going to be bloody hard, but you can do it girl. FFS don't quit your job and go 'work PT in a bar because baby needs a stable parent', it's the biggest load of guilt-inducing nonsense. One day baby will be old enough to see what you did, and the life you provided, and the role model you've been, and they will bloody thank you.

I say this as someone raised by their grandparents whilst their mother went to uni, and also worked long long shifts to support us. She's my utter role model, and although she may have been away a lot when I was little (Although I can't remember!)- the life I had once she got qualified in her profession and promoted gave me the drive I had today, and a much better standard of living than if she would have just packed it all in the minute she saw 2 blue lines.

You're going to be a mother, and that's beautiful, but you're always going to be you as a person first. Your job makes you happy, and you're obviously bloody good at it. You've so much more to offer. Please don't listen to the negative voices on this thread.

Good luck smile

Sleepyhoglet Thu 01-Aug-13 01:54:46

Excellent post by weary tiger.

WafflyVersatile Thu 01-Aug-13 01:58:59

No. Attachment theory is a valid psychological theory. Popular understanding of it might be shit but that's not the same thing.

MerrieMelodies Thu 01-Aug-13 07:23:45

Is attachment disorder a load of rubbish too then, TAD? Because how does that happen if attachment theory isn't real?

JustinBsMum Thu 01-Aug-13 07:40:09

HURRAY FOR WEARYTIGER

Some sensible advice from someone who actually knows what they are talking about.

I am older than the OP's mother and I am sure I could care for a new baby, especially if DGF is around to help, which he is, other things would def be put on hold but it's only a few years until the baby can to go to nursery, childminders or whatever. Would I be knackered? Yes, like most new mums.

Tweasels Thu 01-Aug-13 07:49:37

Ah, it makes me so sad that in this day and age that you should be in this position OP. I bet the baby's father isn't getting stressed out and having compromise hs career. The fault here doesn't lie with the OP for wanting to retain her career, the fault lies in the system for not allowing her to do so.

I personally wouldn't use a nursery until the baby was older. 12 week old babies need lots of cuddles and carrying around. I don't think a nursery would be the best option. Like others I would look at a nanny, that would be the way to maximise the time you get to spend with your son or daughter and probably wouldn't cost much more than full time nursery. I think even if you could reduce your working week to a normal 40 hour one, if part time isn't possible ould be a help. Your mum could help out when the Nanny takes holidays.

God luck and congratulations with your pregnancy

BranchingOut Thu 01-Aug-13 07:59:56

The thing I would say is, don't be afraid to ask for things from your employer. You have a statutory right to maternity leave, parental leave and to requestpt working.

If it is that kind of workplace, your colleagues will probably be as pissed off if you go back at 12 weeks as if you go back at 5 months.

Do whatever you can to prolong that initial maternity leave.

ineedtogetoutmore Thu 01-Aug-13 08:03:20

I think you need to wait and see to be honest. Can't you look for another job / flat nearer to your mum?
I know you probably love you job but after 3 months you'll love your baby more and will probably really struggle going back to work.
It's easy to make decisions now so to speak but once your baby is here everything will change.

I was working full time when I had my dc and planned to go back to work full time and continue with my degree in my 'spare time' lol
As it happened once my dc came along I couldn't bear to go back to work. We moved to a cheaper area and I switched jobs to a part time job 5 hours a day 5 days a week.

And while I don't love my New job as much as I used to love my old job it doesn't matter anymore because my dc is worth so much more to me than any job.

Also while its an amazing thing your mum your mum has offered to do you need to think about how you will feel knowing your dc thinks of your mum as mum instead of you because if they only see you weekends that is what will happen. Anything exciting, scary or major that happens to them they will want to share that with your mum first not you. When they are crying it may be your mum they want to comfort them not you as they will see her as the main carer.

If you decide to move jobs later and want your dc full time again it will be upsetting for everyone involved.

But I'm not trying to come across judgey just trying to point out things you need to be aware of in the end it is yours and your mums decision. But you might just find that all rational decisions you are making now go out the window once you've met and fallen in love with your baby. Good luck and your mum sounds lovely to offer to do that.

cansu Thu 01-Aug-13 08:08:56

I would try to work round this a bit tbh. Perhaps have baby stay with mum a couple of days to bring nursery bill down a bit. This will also allow you to work late etc on one or two days so that your weekends are free for your baby. I think if she spends all her time in the week with your mum she won't build up bond with you and you will be storing up problems for later.

It does not sound like your lifestyle is truly baby-friendly, sorry.

The baby's emotional and physical wellbeing should be first priority.

Could you share parental leave with the baby's father, could he take time off to care for the baby in the first six months?

chocoholic05 Thu 01-Aug-13 08:18:07

Are you planning to breastfeed? What if it goes well and you want to continue for the first six months? 12 weeks is such a short time

If I was in your situation I would pursue the GM plan. Both of my boys have been in nursery, which worked out well for them and I was very happy with the care provided but nurseries won't take ill children and this can prove difficult if you're trying to work. You do need to sit down with your mum and work out how you are both intending to bring up the baby - what she can manage, what she has responsibility for etc as other posters have said. That arrangement could provide the baby with a secure and stable life, which is so important whether it's at home with a parent, with a family member or in paid childcare.

From experience, I found the balance of work and home difficult to manage and I haven't worked FT for all the time when my children were under 5. Before you have the baby, you can get it all planned out and organised, but when they come into your life and what you aren't prepared for is your own emotional response! Also I'm keeing my fingers crossed that your employer will be understanding - with my two I've been fortunate enough to be able to go back FT, work PT work form home /flexibly and been promoted. It is actually harder to work FT IME once they are at school because quite often the afterschool care isn't there and there are the school holidays to account for! Good luck smile

Mazzledazzle Thu 01-Aug-13 09:18:11

Congratulations OP! A baby should be a cause or excitement, not worry. I know you will want to sort out plans before your baby arrives, but don't rush or commit to anything yet. It's great to have options, but wait to see how you feel after your baby is born.

Sorry you're having to deal with this. Haven't read the whole thread, so excuse me if I'm repeating.

My gut reaction is that it's a really bad idea. So many mums I knew thought their own parents would be perfect childminders and they were hopeless. A wonderful grandparent and a suitable primary caregiver are not the same thing.

Realistically, you can't underestimate how awful it will be handing your baby over every weekend or worse, when your baby cries for its grandmother and rejects you. This arrangement may have been common when grandmothers and mothers had half a dozen kids each, often not that dissimilar in age, but it's a whole different thing when it's just one baby. It would be hard not to feel jealous. Though I know others will disagree.

Mazzledazzle Thu 01-Aug-13 09:18:46

*for

Potteresque97 Thu 01-Aug-13 09:20:30

Op I hope you aren't too downhearted by all this advice. As long as your mum has support, she does know what she's getting herself into and I'm sure she is happy to do it. I'm not 65 but if this were my dd I'd do it in a second. Do you have other family around your parents too? There are a lot of GPs at the baby and toddler groups I've been to so she won't even feel out of place in that way.

Bestforbaby Thu 01-Aug-13 09:25:24

First of all, thank you very much to everyone who has made constructive suggestions, they have been food for much thought/education. I hadn't even thought about the germ-potential of nurseries. :S

I do understand my priorities will shift once the baby arrives, but I agree with the posters who say that it is important to look at the bigger long-term picture as well as the now. I'm sure it works for some people, but I haven't spent years training and working only to turn around and go and work in a pub like I did as a student. (That is not to say that if I had to, I would not). As I said ages ago, my medium-term aim is self-employment, probably looking at when the baby is school-age. True, the baby may not know or care if his clothes are secondhand, for example, but a seven year old would presumably prefer to be able to go on school trips with his friends. I know I will have to cut down my working hours, and I am very willing to do this, and try and change the way I work. I will also keep an eye out for alternative work elsewhere, but as several people have said, flexible jobs are not exactly growing on trees at the moment.

I will also talk to the father and see if he'd consider flexible working etc. It does not seem very likely to me that he would want to, but I will ask.

My mother is fit and active at the moment, but this may obviously change. She is pretty sensible, though, and has said already that she would definitely not be prepared to take fulltime sole charge of an active toddler, but is confident about a baby. I am so grateful for her offering any help at all. A few people have made it sound like I am trying to force her to do it, which is really not the case!

To the few who have suggested that I shouldn't be having a baby, that is your view. It is clearly not mine.

Bestforbaby Thu 01-Aug-13 09:27:56

Yes, there are sundry other family members in London as well, including my siblings who have almost-adult children (I left it a bit later!). While I would certainly not expect them to do childcare, they have said they'll be doting aunts and uncles etc., so hopefully if I am ever in a real fix they will help out.

Potteresque97 Thu 01-Aug-13 09:41:15

Great that you have other family too. Good luck op, hold onto the fact that having a baby is wonderful and you'll work out the details. Having dc is hard whatever your circumstances.

cleoowen Thu 01-Aug-13 09:45:40

Why not move closer to your mum and/or apply for jobs nearer your mum? That way your cost of living maybe cheaper as you're outside London so you may be able to drop a days work and you may be able to see your dc more as you won't have the 2 hr commute you have now.

Mazzledazzle Thu 01-Aug-13 09:49:23

Posters have been suggesting you shouldn't be having a baby?! I'm shocked and appalled.

If anything, hats off to you for having a baby in such difficult conditions and trying to make the best out of a tough situation.

Good luck and look after yourself.

7to25 Thu 01-Aug-13 09:54:07

Hi Best,
I have not commented so far because of some of the hot air being spouted about attachment parenting.
I am a Granny who "childminds" her grandson. I look after him 3/4 days a week as my son has gone back to University. I am 54 and this is no problem. if I look after him at night and am woken then I have to get a nap the next day. I have looked after him baby and toddler and baby is more exhausting than toddler. I presume your mother has little interim child are experience. I have a nine year old.
Las week I looked after my other grandson 24/7 while his parents went on holiday and I am absolutely exhausted and still recovering. The 5am starts take their toll even if the child sleeps through. He is 23 months.
Your mother will be used to a routine and if she has a husband, he will be expecting things to be as they were. I think people say things with the best of intentions and do not realise how hard it is.
This baby will be a grenade thrown into your life. It may take more than 12 weeks to recover and you may re-evaluate your life plans but you will all survive.

Ragwort Thu 01-Aug-13 10:00:11

I spent four days a week with my grandparents when I was very young (my mum was widowed) - the arrangement worked very well and I grew up with a very close relationship with both my GPs and my mum. Interestingly my mum now says she hadn't really appreciated how hard it must have been for her own mother to go back to being a full time care giver.

From what you have said it sounds like a very sensible idea and one which a lot of families do already.

CheerfulYank Thu 01-Aug-13 10:07:32

Congrats, OP. smile

What a situation! First off, I think the people asking why you would keep the baby are being a bit insensitive. I support women making the choices that are right for them. I, personally, could never face an abortion so if I got accidentally pregnant (which I have, he's six now) I'd have no other choice.

I know a little boy who lived with his grandparents while his mother was off completing her college degree. He is lovely and surrounded by people who adore him.

The thing I would advise is to wait and see a bit. When my DS was born I sort of got right down to doing things when he was tiny. Now with DD (she two months old) I am in a total haze. She's different than DS was, less portable. smile I am just knackered this time around.

Good luck! Babies are wonderful. It will be fine. smile

Mazzledazzle Thu 01-Aug-13 10:08:01

Btw I lived with my grandparents (and mum, though she was away often) for the first 3 years of my life. It broke my grandparents's hearts when my mum moved out, taking me with her. Going from living in a bubble where I was spoiled rotten and surrounded by family, to living with my parents who were both young and really busy, was tough for me. I had the most amazing relationship with my grandparents, but not so much with my own parents, who didn't give my needs much thought. You sound like a better parent than my parents were though!

cestlavielife Thu 01-Aug-13 10:11:23

a nannny fulltime is twice as much as a nursery in london if you are going to get a good one and pay tax and ni etc. nursery will be 1200+ full time per month; nanny 2000+

the grandma option - she has offered and it will be good for baby and mother - is by far the best option right now.

babies need consistency and sharing between grandma mother and father will be fine .

also to reiterate thinking long term about providing for child then is good thing - and yes father might step up but might not - at this point you dont know.

hatsybatsy Thu 01-Aug-13 10:31:21

Op - congratulations on your pregnancy. It sounds to me like you've given it a great deal of thought and I find the posters telling you that you should give up work/not have a baby offensive.

To those suggesting a nanny - in London they are c£15 per hour gross. For a 60 hour week that's massive - even if OP is 'only' paying half.

The Grandma solution sounds like a workable one. I can see in yout position I would have felt very happy with my Mum having the baby Mon-Fri. The baby will be well cared for and you will be able to continue building your career. Nothing wrong with that.

As for the father - he can have part of some of the weekends - unless he is prepared to take the odd day off during the week to see him/her?

On the emotional front, it will be hard for you - but frankly the nursery/nanny solution would not be a bed of roses either? Personally I would be looking to take more than 12 weeks off - if you can supplement it with annual leave then go for that. And during your maternity leave, get used to leaving the baby for odd days with your parents so you all start to get used to it?

Best of luck - you sound like a very practical person. I really hope this all works out for you.

Twinklestein Thu 01-Aug-13 10:34:07

Granny definitely sounds the best option.

However, you do have to factor in that once you give birth your priorities may change completely.

Dackyduddles Thu 01-Aug-13 10:37:45

Fwiw I think you are doing what all of us strive to do, our best. That's all you can do. Just be ready to change frequently. Ultimately you won't get it all right all of the time but most of it much of it. And that will be fine.

Good luck op. best wishes for your future

babyboomersrock Thu 01-Aug-13 10:49:08

Attachment theory is pop-psychology myth. This is done all around the world, and people grow up as adjusted human beings with good relationships with their parents.

Could you explain what you mean about attachment theory being a myth?

And could you link to the research on "adjusted human beings", whatever those are?

I see several posters - not yet grandparents - who assert that they'd do the same for their daughter if the need arose. I imagine we'd all say the same thing; but believe me, the rose-tinted spectacles soon disappear, no matter how good the intention or healthy the grandparents.

The reality is that neither mother nor grandmother will be able to visualise the impact on her life until the baby arrives.

itsaruddygame Thu 01-Aug-13 11:04:32

Attachment theory is not popular psychology. There is a huge amount of evidence that attachment to the mother in particular is crucial. Not only that the OP may well find that when her baby is born she just cannot face leaving him or her. I was pretty career obsessed before DS arrived and will have to go back to work when he is a few months old however I would do anything to avoid being apart from him as much described. Seriously look at your options - can you move out of London close to your parents and look for other work? Will th father contribute so you don't have to work such long hours? It is likely you will fall in love with your baby harder than you can ever imagine and suddenly alternatives that may seem unthinkable now are an option.

FasterStronger Thu 01-Aug-13 11:07:49

I think the MN understanding of attachment theory is not based on science.

the link provided above mentioned nothing of the how much time the women spent with their children yet posters seem to think it means that working women have less attached children and that this is damaging for their children.

FasterStronger Thu 01-Aug-13 11:12:34

oh and some of the research is based on the mothers assessment of attachment. not some unbiased, scientific measure.

the research is designed to be read by unbiased academics who understand what they are reading and what it really means. and what it does not mean.

of course journalists convert it into newspaper headlines and people use it to sell books - believe that if you want to but stop telling other women things as facts which are not.

Thurlow Thu 01-Aug-13 11:34:15

All good ideas, best. FWIW it's worth I think you are doing a great thing. Yes, your pg might not be ideal timing and your job still has a good few years of hardwork to go, but you are thinking this though and trying to do the best for everyone.

I do echo what I said above about trying to nail things down properly with the father re contact and finances, though.

chamonixlover Thu 01-Aug-13 11:37:23

You're going to be a great mum BestforBaby and the gran is already in my opinion the best grandparent you could ever wish for. How wonderful for this as yet unborn baby, to start life with 2 wonderful main carers, mum and gran, plus I guess grandad too and hopefully dad. Keep open as many options as you can for all of you. I wish you all the best for your futures. Oh yes and once your baby is born, it's funny how your priorities change!

WafflyVersatile Thu 01-Aug-13 11:39:41

''There is a huge amount of evidence that attachment to the mother in particular is crucial. ''

This is an example of what I mean by interpretations of psychological theory being bollocks.

When researchers conduct studies and peers review it they always come up with criticisms of the study. Where it is weak. What could be improved.
Most studies into attachment theory are conducted on mothers because mostly it is mothers who are primary care givers. Also the vast majority of participants in attachment theory studies are white ethnic european or american where the set up is commonly SAHM. Quite a lot of them are psychology students or mates of psychology students! There is very little data on other set ups. (unless there's been tonnes and tonnes and tonnes of research done in the last 10 years.) When studying attachment this is considered a weakness in the research and area that requires further investigation.

Secure attachment to at least one caregiver is considered good. That it has to be the mother is bollocks. That it can only be one person is bollocks.

fairimum Thu 01-Aug-13 11:41:20

what about saving all your holiday and booking one day a week, so you can effectively have a 3 day weekend for afew months after maternity leave?

delilahlilah Thu 01-Aug-13 11:46:04

Op - I just want to add a few things. My dh worked away when ds was a baby, I only worked 2 days a week and it was knackering. You have to add on getting baby ready, and taking to nursery as well as collecting from nursery after work. Then lots to do when you get in on top of broken sleep at night. I don't mean to sound all doom and gloom, but you need to have as much information as you can to base your decisions on.
Maybe you could go to your parents on a Saturday/ Sunday and commute to work Monday? If your mum was happy to do a couple of nights and bring baby back to you, you would have half the week covered. You need to discuss when your ex will have access and find out if his parents want to be involved possibly?
I would say consider all options carefully and don't back yourself into a corner. You are allowed to change your mind.

eccentrica Thu 01-Aug-13 11:56:57

What 7to25 says is spot on.

OP, your mother may be confident now, but it's probably decades since she looked after a baby. Also, she is obviously a lovely supportive mum who wants to help you as much as she can as she sees you in this difficult situation. Just because someone offers help doesn't automatically mean it's OK to take it.

Having had my first baby just under 3 years ago, and with another one on the way now, I can tell you not only that it's so much harder than I expected, but also that my mum (and my partner's mum) have visibly been taken aback by how tough it is. Hence not asking either of them to take the baby for more than a few hours at a time. It's just not fair, no matter how lovely, sensible, and confident your mother is.

justgivemeareason Thu 01-Aug-13 12:07:40

Why you would decide to 'keep' your baby and then go back to working those ridiculous hours after 12 weeks I have
no idea. Your lifestyle has really got to fit around your child and you don't seem to be prepared to personally adapt to that. If your mother has your child you will be carrying on as you did before, especially if you work weekends.

I speak as someone who had children later in life with a full-on successful career. Now a single parent, I moved out of London, have reduced my working hours and earn tens of thousands less. You don't actually need to earn that much money to provide a happy home for a child. To put your heart and soul into a career so you can pay for school trips (for which you only have to make a voluntary contribution) shows you have your priorities all wrong.

The whole set up would be slightly different if you lived with/close to your parents. I am hoping you will feel
differently when your baby arrives.

AnotherStitchInTime Thu 01-Aug-13 12:08:29

My SIL worked and studied ft from her youngest was 12 weeks and my MIL looked after her along with her DP. She went back to her mum, dad and sisters on the weekend the rest of the time she was with MIL, overnight too.

It was fine until MIL who was sick with a long term condition died suddenly. The sleepless nights and lack of rest time had taken its toll. It is a lot for an older person to manage. My eldest didn't sleep through the night until 2 and woke every hour at 12 weeks. You will not necessarily have a good sleeper.

I think to have your baby with family who will have a long term attachment to your baby is preferable to a nursery with several staff who are doing a job (all be it well, but not the same level of attention as a granny who dotes on them). If you can go part time until the baby is weaning and communicating more, that would be better. If your mum could come to you two days then maybe the father or a childminder could have the baby for one day, you could work 3 days. Then maybe once baby is older, if your mum can cope she could take the baby to hers on the last two days and you go ft, or the childminder could have the baby for 3 days.

Bestforbaby Thu 01-Aug-13 12:27:50

Justgivemeareason, I am not quite sure how you have got the impression I am not prepared to personally adapt my lifestyle. I know my current lifestyle is not childfriendly, it does not need to be, as I do not have a child. I really have been taking everyone's comments on board. I know I will have to cut down my hours etc. I just don't see how some of the suggestions (giving up working completely, for example) would work for us longterm.

It seems to me that if my mother says she is happy to do 24/5 care, if I take her up on the option of doing, say, 2 days of care, with me there for the evening and doing nightwakings etc I am not exploiting her in any way. I am certain my mother would feel able to tell me if the two days of care, after a short trial, was not working out for her. I am not going to force her to do something that she does not want to do, or which will damage her health. When I do go back fulltime I will obviously have to find alternatives for the other days, from what you all say, a CM is the best option until a bit older. Anotherstitchintime, "If your mum could come to you two days then maybe the father or a childminder could have the baby for one day, you could work 3 days" this sounds like a great starting point to me. But if it does not work, I will of course change things.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Thu 01-Aug-13 12:29:42

I agree with Tweazel who posted earlier that it was sad that so many women are still put in this position when men are not. What makes me angry about this kind of situation is that so often, the default assumption is that the employer will get what they want, and everything else - the needs of a small child, the work/life balance of the parent, the economic needs of both parents - will take second place to that. I am very aware that at the moment it's an employer's market, but I really think this is where some challenging needs to be done.

OP, do you really love your job? Sorry if you have said so somewhere, and I've missed it. I've seen you say that you can't afford to give up work (fair enough) that you don't want to end up with a rubbish dead-end job after years of training (also fair enough) and that you think your work has the potential to become family-friendly (hmm).

I'll be honest. What you have said about your workplace doesn't make it sound family-friendly. It doesn't even make it sound person-friendly. You have said you work 8-7 daily, plus 'some evenings (as if 7pm isn't the evening - it is) and weekends'. That sounds absolutely exhausting. When, as it is, do you get any time for you? How do you juggle seeing friends, family, leisure time, holidays, just down time in front of the TV? You are already running on narrow margins, and now a baby is going to explode - as someone said - like a grenade into this setup. Even if the baby spends Mon-Fri with your mum, you doing the care on weekends will mean you have even less sleep and free time than before. It sounds massively stressful for you to the point of unworkability. And you aren't even going to get good maternity benefits out of it, so are going to have to contemplate going back at 3 months. I think you are getting a very rough deal here from your employer.

So, how much do you love your job - I mean the exact job you are doing now? How long have you been with your present organisation? Do they appreciate loyalty or do they boot people out of the door who can't put in 11 hours a day for a while? What other women in your organisation have had children and how have they handled it? You mentioned someone who works remotely one day a week, I think - go and speak to her and ask about how she negotiated around this. Look at anyone who has cut their hours down and ask how it works for them. You need to go to your employer and prepare a case for them backing off and accepting something like a more reasonable working week from you - one where you are working more like 9 to 5 than 8-7, and where your weekend working is an occasional thing only. And you need to make them believe that all this is worthwhile to keep you and your expertise and commitment.

If you really think that isn't going to fly (and you have said you work in a very male-dominated environment) then I think you need a Plan B where you start preparing, right now, for a move into a decent job somewhere else, or into self-employment earlier than might perhaps be ideal. Because as so many posters have said, you can't predict how this is going to work in practice when the baby arrives, and you are already at what sounds like full stretch now. Start thinking about what jobs are available elsewhere, whether there are comparable careers you could move sideways into, etc.

I don't want to say 'you must give up work' because I myself have a demanding job that I love and still work FT - but my employer is supportive and family-friendly. That is what's missing from your set up. there is very little sense that the employer will give a lot - you've talked about doing compressed hours (HOW, when you already work an 11-hour day??) and/or fewer days a week, but I think a more fundamental change in the psychological contract (as well as the literal one) between you and your employer is needed.

You said of your mum that she 'has said already that she would definitely not be prepared to take fulltime sole charge of an active toddler, but is confident about a baby'. So the granny solution is only actually workable for 12-18 months anyway. Get started on addressing the work issue now, for your benefit as well as your baby's.

maja00 Thu 01-Aug-13 12:35:30

For those saying attachment theory is rubbish or pop psychology - it's not. A HUGE amount of research has been done on attachment, and it is bollocks to say it is all based on mothers or SAHM hmm Attachment to fathers, siblings, grandparents, nursery staff, teachers, children in Kibbutz, attachment cross culturally - all been studied in depth over 6 decades now.

FasterStronger Thu 01-Aug-13 12:38:19

then why does no one on MN never link to the research you are talking about?

why do MNers always link to research that does not say what they think it says?

you know what!?! why don't you link to the research you are referring to?

maja00 Thu 01-Aug-13 12:44:10

Is there something particular you are interested in? The body of research on attachment is pretty huge. Did you find my link to fathers and attachment earlier helpful?

What would you like - nurseries? Kibbutz? Cross-cultural?

FasterStronger Thu 01-Aug-13 12:46:48

research to back up this claim:

''There is a huge amount of evidence that attachment to the mother in particular is crucial. ''

maja00 Thu 01-Aug-13 12:48:30

There isn't any evidence to back up that claim. There is a huge amount of evidence that at least one secure attachment in infancy is crucial, but it doesn't have to be the mother - it just needs to be someone consistent, emotionally responsive and available to the infant.

maja00 Thu 01-Aug-13 12:50:18

In the 50s and 60s mother and "mother substitute" were used to describe the role of the attachment figure. A grandmother or father are equally good primary attachment figures if the actual mother isn't available for some reason.

FasterStronger Thu 01-Aug-13 12:57:28

I agree with this post maja00 Thu 01-Aug-13 12:48:30.

but that is not what posters say attachment theory is

AnnabelleLee Thu 01-Aug-13 13:04:10

Most of the research available is based on the mother child dynamic, purely because its usually the mother that is the primary caregiver. This does not, in any way, mean that the mother child dynamic is the only one that matters, or that it is the most important one.
Attachment theory states an infant needs a secure loving relationship to a primary caregiver. This can be anyone, in theory. It does not mean that that caregiver needs to be with the infant 24/7.

Seriously, there should be a ban on advising people on things like attachment theory unless you have at least a degree in psychology or a relevant discipline.

jellybeans Thu 01-Aug-13 13:13:49

I would let your mother have the baby while you work. I know a couple of people who have done this and it has worked well and the child is well adjusted despite the parents working all hours. I would not leave a young baby in nursery for those long hours personally. Your mother sounds a good option but I really would try to cut your hours down for the sake of you spending more time with your child. You may feel very different when the baby is actually here.

FasterStronger Thu 01-Aug-13 13:15:44

annabelle - one of my oldest friends is soon to be a Professor - of Developmental Psychology. how babies and children's brains develop. she flies the world presenting to other people who have spent their working lives in this field.

journalists/authors/MNer talk like they know more than her. she says it is very hard to study babies brains. there are tests you can do - but they cannot be 100% sure.

maja00 Thu 01-Aug-13 13:16:40

That caregiver doesn't need to be with the infant 24/7, but they do need to be accessible. The OP working 8-7 plus some evenings and weekends, with various inconsistent nursery nurses providing Mon-Fri care and maybe a visit to dad at the weekend doesn't sound like a set-up which would make an attachment easy to form - especially if the OP goes back to work before the baby has become securely attached to her.

Taking a longer maternity leave or going back part time til 9 months, cutting down work hours and losing the evening/weekend work, and a childminder to provide childcare sounds much better. Either that or the grandmother caring for the baby Mon-Fri sound like much better set-ups imo.

adagio Thu 01-Aug-13 13:19:45

Hiya just caught up on this thread.

I was working similar hours to you OP, and when I got pregnant I imagined going back at 16weeks to the same thing. I accepted redundancy at 38w, and to be honest its been a good thing. Giving me space to enjoy time with the baby and for the hormones and initial strong attachment to die down a bit. I will be getting another job; almost certainly full time, baby in nursery but I have decided to wait till she is a year old, because I can (financially) and now I am already on an enforced (redundant) career break I may as well enjoy this time (plus this is the perfect summer for mat leave - the weather is amazing!).

In your situation, as other posters have said, do your utmost to maximise the initial mat leave, use savings, borrow from caring family, whatever - give yourself a chance to get over the birth, get a sleep routine (well, try anyway) and go back fit and well - I would actually have hated working on 6+ wake ups a night from the early days as I would think I might not be on top form and that might be ''career limiting'' in the longer run. I enjoyed being perceived as great at my job and wouldn't want to lose that.

Once you go back, suggestions from other posters about keeping as many options as possible open is excellent, you can then decide whether you can/want to keep it up or not once you see the reality. If you do stick at it, perhaps agree with your mum up front when you will introduce a nursery - be that 12m, 18m or whatever so she/you have a clear end in sight. I was surprised how unique even a tiny baby personality is. I seem to have a happy cuddly one - and in fairness, I suspect she would love and cuddle anyone who offered her love and cuddles. Your's might be like this, or might have indigestion and colic all night every night and be a bit harder work - which would be hard for you and your mum.

Just keep in mind, whatever option you take you won't know what the alternatives would have been like anyway, so will be the right decision for you :-)

Good luck BestforBaby flowers

WhiteandGreen Thu 01-Aug-13 15:50:03

I think it sounds like a good idea. One of my friends did this and it worked well.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Thu 01-Aug-13 15:58:13

It's my understanding that babies need to feel loved and they need to feel safe. Your DM will meet those needs well. It will be far harder for you than the baby IMO.

Also, when I was young (60s/70s) this happened fairly often for various reasons. No one thought it was odd.

FreyaKItty Thu 01-Aug-13 16:56:46

I've read a number of books containing studies of attachment. One is Sylvia Lunt. I think that it is important to have consistency of care as cortisol levels have been fpund to rise where care is inconsistent. If your mother can manage that is brilliant - what a great woman to offer. My aunt found it hard due to age, had to do 24/7 too. Perhaps providing her with some help eg cleaner/someone to do shopping might help her too as it would give her a break. Your mother is brilliant to offer to do this and next best thing to you being there. I would also add its very hard to think abstractly about this until you feel a baby in your arms as best laid plans may go out the window, I know mine did.

Fairyegg Thu 01-Aug-13 17:24:41

Have you thought about what kind of access the father may want? He may well go for every other weekend in which case your only going to see your baby 4 days a month (even if you did stay at your mums some nights midweek, baby will more than likely be asleep). You also say he may want to visit his family aboard with baby. For how long? How often? Would you really be happy with this? What if the father started another relationship and went for custody? You need to start thinking about these sort of things. You say your mum has said she could cope with a baby but not a toddler. They really aren't babies for long. What are you going to do for childcare once baby is a toddler (around 1st birthday). Have you thought about an au pair? Becoming a mum changes everything (even when you swear it won't). Be prepared to feel totally different about things this time next year. And remember that money isn't everything, happiness and health are (neither of which need money, at least in the uk).

itwillgetbettersoon Thu 01-Aug-13 17:39:09

I find it sad that women just criticise other woman's choices. The OP has asked for opinions on a fairly reasonable option. She hasn't asked people to judge her on having a baby, working long hours etc etc etc. in the end we all try to do our best and no one way is better. I know it is a generalisation but you rarely hear men criticising another mans decision to work full time or long hours when there is a child. Lets all just support each other. Perhaps in this economic climate women can't just give up very well paid jobs especially in the South.

duchesse Thu 01-Aug-13 17:57:43

OP, your proposed arrangement works for millions of families in the world. No reason it shouldn't for you too, assuming your mum is still in fine health and able to cope with the demands of a tiny baby. However, I do think that you may find this harder to cope with than you think at the moment. The birth and newborn phase is quite a weird and primal time.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Potteresque97 Thu 01-Aug-13 18:19:09

Absolutely agree, itwillgetbettersoon. I've been quite surprised about some of the non constructive comments.

I agree with the poster who asked exactly how family friendly IS your employer? I'm thinking of situations that will arise like episodes of sickness that your mum could suffer. Nothing serious - just flu / virus or whatever, where she is unable to care for your child? Or even something like a heavy cold - would you expect someone of her age to carry on lookin after a small child while feeling ill or would you be able to take leave at very short notice to go and get your child from her house?

MysteriousHamster Thu 01-Aug-13 20:06:43

Sounds like you're thinking it out well, OP, best of luck.

ll31 Thu 01-Aug-13 20:07:53

Sounds desperately hard tbh. You won't see your baby other than at weekends, your parents will essentially rear him or her. What if you disafree with them on some things,will they listen to your view? Will you be able to take the role of mother at weekends or will your mother ,deliberately or not, be unable to relinquish that role?

When your ready to take child back,how will that affect the child and your parents?

Think I'd be considering either nursery or child minder in your home.

CheerfulYank Thu 01-Aug-13 21:25:41

As someone who has tried desperately (and mostly failed) to help a few children with severe attachment problems due to not having a consistent caregiver, I can assure you it is NOT rubbish.

However there's no reason it needs to be the mother. The grandmother would be just fine.

Fairyegg Thu 01-Aug-13 22:27:33

Regarding the attachment thing, I agree that the grandmother could well be a good person for baby to form an attachment with (any grandfather on the scene op?), but what concerns me is what happens in a year or so when op work changes / grandmother can no longer do it / child starts school etc? Everyone seems to be talking about how the op / grandmother will feel but what about the baby / child?

AnnabelleLee Thu 01-Aug-13 22:33:33

A child with a secure attachment to one person can usually transition to another easily, especially when that person is already well known to them.

scarlettsmummy2 Thu 01-Aug-13 22:49:55

I think it sounds like a good compromise. I have left my daughters at my mums for two weeks at a time from they were very small- no lasting damage and they adore their granny and Granda.

NachoAddict Thu 01-Aug-13 22:58:24

If your parents have the baby all week and the father will presumably want at least one day at the weekend that really doesn't give you much time with baby.

Could you and the father both do a 4 day week so he can provide childcare say Friday and give the baby back to you Saturday, you have Monday off, catching up the work Friday night/sat morning and then your mum only has to do tue-thurs. if you stayed at your mums on Mon night and did an extra long commute that is one less sleepless night.

Herhonesty Fri 02-Aug-13 07:27:53

Congratulations on your pregnancy! I don't see anything wrong with this but you will miss her terribly! Also maybe consider nanny at he ESP if father is paying half, this would take stress of drop off and pick up and she could do things for you around house to save you time at weekends?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now