how many working mums rely on their own mum for unpaid whilst they work?

(86 Posts)
Owllady Mon 19-May-14 22:36:09

I think this would be an interesting discussion to have alongside the the sahm one.

My mum worked in the 70s/80s whilst my gran and grandma looked after us
My aunt worked full time whilst her mil looked after hers
My cousins who work rely on their mum's to pick up childcare
My sil did the same with my mil

I worked around my h for the 15 yrs since we had children, or I used a childminder. It became intolerable to work though 18 months ago. My parents/in laws have nit even babysat for us in a decade and a half.

That's still loads of women picking up the childcare if the discussion is to be had, in my family any way

Owllady Mon 19-May-14 22:36:46

Oops I missed out the word childcare in my title

PinkSquash Mon 19-May-14 22:39:12

I don't, as I have no family nearby but a lot of working parents do use female relatives for free childcare, although one couple did use both parents when necessary.

QueMierda Mon 19-May-14 22:41:14

100%. If my mother couldn't care for DC's I couldn't work. I am on minimum wage, and childcare is expensive in my area.
I luffs my mum I do smile

Jinsei Mon 19-May-14 22:42:12

My mum and dad pick up dd from school about twice a week. This is a choice they've made - it does help us a lot, but we don't actually need the childcare. DH and I both used to do more pick-ups before they moved, and could do the same again if the need arose.

lotsofcheese Mon 19-May-14 22:44:06

Not me. If my parents were nearer & fitter I am sure they would, but sadly not. I pay nearly 1K per month for 2.5 days a week of childcare for my 2 DC. My parents would have loved to help.

CalamitouslyWrong Mon 19-May-14 22:45:47

I've never relied on my mother (more MIL) for childcare to work. Both my children went to nursery and now school/after school club (well not ds1 because he's too old for after school club).

MIL recently retired (from working FT), but my mum still works FT (as she has since she returned from mat leave to have my sister in the early 80s). In any case, we live a long, long way from either of them.

Nonetheless, it's usually me that takes time off work for sick children, etc. DH has only fine it rarely when I really couldn't.

CalamitouslyWrong Mon 19-May-14 22:46:14

Or MIL, not more MIL.

DS goes to nursery 3 days/week, but my mum will do the occasional pick up, or have him for the day on my non-working days if I have something on. Likewise MIL will often have him for an evening if I have work on or a social thing.
My mum still works, so she couldn't look after him all the time anyway - but actually I don't think it would be fair on either of them to have to care for him a lot. They are both late 50s/early 60s, and reasonably fit, but he is exhausting! (just turned 2)
We did consider whether my dad might look after him
(he was a SAHD for me) but sadly he became seriously I'll not long after DS was born and is now very disabled.

HeartShapedStone Mon 19-May-14 22:50:24

My mum does the childcare while I work PT, her mum did childcare for her while she worked FT (before giving it up to become SAHM). Presuming my DC have DC of their own, and circumstances allow at that time, I'd be willing and happy to care for my DGC.

3bunnies Mon 19-May-14 22:50:59

No our parents are too old and far away to help. I have fitted my work in around dh work as with 3dc too expensive for childcare. Most people I know though with more than 1 dc and small age gaps either had parents helping or were sahp.

nooka Mon 19-May-14 22:52:46

I never even thought about asking my parents to look after my children regularly. We lived too far away and as I'm the youngest of four and they didn't look after any of my nephews/nieces it was just never an expectation. My mother was a SAHM so not an issue when I was growing up. She is generally disapproving of working mothers so would not have wanted to enable me to work.

dh was looked after by his aunt after school for a while, but mostly his mum worked shifts so his dad took the hands on role in the evenings. By the time our children were born dh's mum was dead and his father had moved away but I'm not sure we would have wanted them to do anything regular regardless.

We had a nanny, nursery and then a childminder plus dh has been a SAHD too.

LegoCaltrops Mon 19-May-14 22:54:03

Nope. I work, DH is currently a full-time student. DD is 2 & not yet in nursery. We have to manage between the two of us, except for about 45 mins, one day a week when we couldn't make it work, PILs look after DD then.

My mum does however, look after my niece, quite regularly. My Dsis is a SAHM.

SheherazadeSchadenfreude Mon 19-May-14 22:55:03

When I was pregnant, my mother said "Well don't think I'm going to babysit or look after it." So I have never asked her. DMIL is a very hands on Granny, but has never done "unpaid childcare" although they do go and stay with her for the odd weekend.

kippersmum Mon 19-May-14 23:03:30

My mum made it quite clear when I was PG with DC1 that she would not do regular childcare. 7 years on she has kept this promise. It makes my DH furious as we did a huge cross country move etc to be near them.

However, DH & DC don't seem to notice the emergency deliveries of sandwiches, diet coke (for mum!) & treats for DC when DC is hospitalised, it has happened a few times... when we used the washing machine & tumble dryer in the middle of norovirus... & most importantly with an AS child the unfailing regularity of granny's Sunday Lunch, same food, same time, same place, every Sunday. Oh, & for various reasons I have no PIL around.

The downside is I hold down 3 part time jobs as a childminder for my 2 DCs is more that what I earn an hour in any of those jobs & I work odd hours

Stripytop Mon 19-May-14 23:04:18

We have never used family for childcare. We used a nursery when they were babies and wraparound care since at school. It is very difficult and expensive and has had a massive impact on what I now laughingly call my career.

TheABC Mon 19-May-14 23:05:31

Both my parents and DH's would love to have a more hands on role, but as they all work FT and live 2-4 hours away, it was never really a possibility. Myself and DH always knew that paid childcare would be happening and budgeted accordingly.

Having said that, when DS gets older, we already have places reserved at both for part of the school holidays! As one is by the sea and the other in the city, he will have a fab time.

Both my mum and MIL were/are working parents. No family help, so they juggled it around children.

sleepyhead Mon 19-May-14 23:07:16

My parents do one day a week childcare for my db's children and have done for the last 7 years. They love it, but I don't think would be keen to do any more than this.

I've often wondered how this works. The stats for grandparents providing childcare are quite high (is it a third or did I make that up hmm), but where are all these 50 something women who aren't working?

My mum retired at 60 which was the year after ds1 was born, but I was 34 when I had him, so hardly young. If I'd had children earlier (and had lived close enough for them to provide childcare) then both my parents would have still been working full time.

Do women give up work to look after grandchildren? And what sort of knock on affect would this have on them in terms of pensions etc?

I won't retire until at least 68 (health allowing), so even if ds1 has a child age 30, I'll still be working, and by the time I'm retired will probably be considered too old for childcare purposes...

tribpot Mon 19-May-14 23:07:48

Are working dads not reliant on childcare provided by family members, then? Or is the point more about the quantity of unpaid care being provided, often by women in families (not just for children, the burden of caring for parents and spouses falls inequitably on women too). It's a vicious circle - because you are less likely to be busy with work you are more available for activities which keep you out of the workforce.

HauntedNoddyCar Mon 19-May-14 23:11:09

No. We're mostly on our own and totally reliant on flexible working and paid childcare. Family live over an hour away and youngest GP is 70.

We knew this would be the case so no angst and we both earn enough per hour to make it work.

Dragonlette Mon 19-May-14 23:12:03

I used my dad for childcare when dd1 was small, but we are VERY unusual. My mum worked ft until recently but my dad was a sahd when we were little and then he was a ft carer for his mum when she developed Alzheimers.

I don't know anyone else who relies on a grandad for childcare, I do know lots of people who rely on grandma (or grandma and grandad but grandma does the "work" part and grandad picks and chooses which bits he does)

We don't use my mum or mil for childcare now for dd2, but when we thought there was going to be a dc3 we talked about mil doing one day a week and my parents doing another. We use a cm atm.

Mitzyme Mon 19-May-14 23:14:47

DH and I are moving nearly 400 miles to be near Dd. We will be doing child care 3days a week for Dgc.

chickydoo Mon 19-May-14 23:14:51

No
Only have one GP who is 78

brdgrl Mon 19-May-14 23:19:52

I wish. My parents live overseas, but also are quite elderly. My mum has a chronic illness and can't walk well and isn't strong enough to even hold DD on her lap.
DH's mum is dead and his stepmum lives in London; we see her once or twice a year.

I was actually just talking to a friend about the phenomenon of the FulltimeWorkerMum. She and I are in the same position - we both have somewhat flexible working hours, but fixed workloads (IYSWIM) so that we are "able" to look after our DDs for some of the daytime hours, and then fit in our full-time hours by working at nights and during their naps, nursery slots, whatever we can find. I think there must be lots of us doing this, but nobody much talks about it, we're supposed to fit more neatly into a SAHM/WOHM box.

My parents did do a day a week until the DCs started school, but that was their choice, we weren't reliant on it, they would have just gone to nursery for that day if the GPs hadn't done it, we could have afforded it. They have no other GCs.

No GP care for us as children, we lived 150 miles from ours.

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