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How much of a favour are they actually doing us?

(47 Posts)
Abitlikechicken Wed 03-Oct-12 21:37:49

Every 2-3 months I have to work a late night at work - usually til about 9pm, so putting DD (2) in nursery is problematic on these days, particularly as my OH isn't able to pick her up. On these occasions, my mum and dad usually come up the night before (they live up north), stay over then take her for the day. We've done it 3-4 times and they've all enjoyed it. It's a massive favour I know but we're really grateful as we don't have any other family local to us.

Two weeks ago, we had them up to stay while I worked late and DD woke early, was teething and a bit under the weather. She was a handful all day. Parents told me as much at the when I rang from work. Fast forward to today and I'm on the phone, mum was talking about a problem they had had last visit, I alluded to the fact that it had been a tough gig with DD that day and she went off on one, saying they didn't think she'd enjoyed their visit and that they hadn't been able to keep her happy. She then said that next time they came down to help, they could put her in nursery for the day and go out and 'do their own thing', picking her up for her tea.

Sorry, but yes it's a favour...but they see her about once a month, so to bin her off to nursery seems a wasted opportunity for a bit of grandparent/grandchild bonding to me. It also makes me feel they don't like looking after her, even though I know that's not really true.

Their confidence has taken a knock, that's all, and with four kids raised themselves, I'm sure they're a damn sight better at it than me! AIBU to make a bit more effort.

DD's other GP's are elderly and not able to get as involved.

cerealqueen Wed 03-Oct-12 21:44:39

It's a massive favour I know but we're really grateful as we don't have any other family local to us.

You said it yourself?

emsyj Wed 03-Oct-12 21:47:41

How old are they? It's hard going looking after a 2 year old all day and all evening, plus doing all mealtimes and bedtime. I am 33 and I find DD (also 2) a struggle some days! grin

If they put her in nursery say 9am to 4pm, they would still have all evening with her. I see what you're saying about it being a shame for them to put her in nursery when they don't see her much, but it's a long day. My DMum loves DD to pieces, but she couldn't manage a whole day with her - the ILs have her for the day one day a week but they're a lot younger and there are 2 of them, which makes it easier. And FIL is very good with her and isn't just sitting in the background reading the paper. I think my DMum would like to be able to have her one day a week too, but it's too much for her - even though she is very fit and active for her age (73) age 2 is too difficult and she can't lift and carry her.

BigFatLegsInWoolyTIghts Wed 03-Oct-12 21:48:09

I think you'll have to let them decide. How old are they?

SuperB0F Wed 03-Oct-12 21:48:45

I wouldn't object them putting her in the nursery as usual, but it wouldn't have made much difference if she was actually ill, would it? I presume she would have to stay home if she was unwell.

I don't think you can order them to bond etc, and if you insist she shouldn't go to nursery that day if that's what they say they would prefer, then you risk them crying off the entire arrangement.

QuintessentialShadows Wed 03-Oct-12 21:51:16

That is a full on nearly 12 hour shift you are expecting of them! Can be hard going if they are not her day to day parent! A long day for her too, I would imagine!

Maybe they could pick her up a bit earlier than 4 pm to make it more of a treat for your dd?

It might be more "in it" for them if they got to chill a bit first?

Abitlikechicken Wed 03-Oct-12 21:52:08

They're early 60's and very fit and healthy. I'd never order them to do anything, I'm really grateful, just a bit disappointed they don't want the time with DD.

RandomMess Wed 03-Oct-12 21:54:57

You know they probably find the travelling down to your tiring and then they have to travel back. I find driving long distances knackering, they don't know your dd really really well so I can understand where they're coming from.

Let them play it by ear and take her to nursery if they want to.

QuintessentialShadows Wed 03-Oct-12 21:55:16

I am sorry but she is your child, and they are probably not as enamored as you are. It might be a long day if they dont know quite what to do with her, or if she is bored or tired.

Abitlikechicken Wed 03-Oct-12 21:55:23

DD's dad is usually home by 5.30, so it's more like a 9 hour shift, and she sleeps for 2 of them.

lurkerspeaks Wed 03-Oct-12 21:56:54

I do this kind of ad hoc childcare for a number of friends (we all work stupid shift rotas) and their children (in fact I'm doing a "nightshift" of childcare right now). I'm in my 30s and I find a whole day with enthusiastic children a bit much especially if I'm not totally au fait with their usual routines and how the rules in that particular house work.

If nursery/ gym creche etc is an option I definitely use it. Often I have travelled somewhere (sound familiar?) to help out and an hour or two to pop to an art gallery or for a swim on what is also a day off work for me is very much appreciated.

I would normally 'spring' the kids from nursery a bit early and go and do something fun then - we all enjoy it that way instead of the whole day being a trial.

I think your Mother raising it is her way of saying they found it too much/ too tiring. I would take note as I think she and your Dad may otherwise withdraw their services... better a little bit of regular time IMO.

Abitlikechicken Wed 03-Oct-12 21:57:09

Fair enough, maybe this is a bit of PFB creeping in...

WorraLiberty Wed 03-Oct-12 21:57:44

Do you and your OH see it as 'binning her off' when you put the baby in nursery?

Or is that phrase just reserved for the baby's grandparents?

Spending time with a grandchild is a pleasure I'm sure they love

However, looking after her for a 12hr shift is quite different to coming to visit her imo.

Tommy Wed 03-Oct-12 22:02:05

I can entirely see where you're coming from. My mum offers to help out with childcare and then all the strings that are attached come crawling out of the woodwork.......
Yes, they are doing you a favour (which presumably they either offered to do or agreed to do) but since they have now offered, they should follow it through.
I know other people are flaming you for your post but I know how frustrating it can be

mercibucket Wed 03-Oct-12 22:02:36

It's really hard at that age if you're not the regular carer. It's not the same as you spending the day with her. Bet they're knackered

mercibucket Wed 03-Oct-12 22:02:36

It's really hard at that age if you're not the regular carer. It's not the same as you spending the day with her. Bet they're knackered

Abitlikechicken Wed 03-Oct-12 22:21:19

I'll think twice before assuming theyll be happy to look after her next time. It upsets me more that my IL's are both 10 years older, one of them is quite ill and they'd jump at the chance to do a day with DD.

BackforGood Wed 03-Oct-12 22:22:42

I'm considerably younger than your parents, and I wouldnt want to look after someone else's 2 yr old for a full day either, even before you add in the travelling. I don't see what's the problem with her going to Nursery, and them looking after he from pick up time until you get in ?
If your dh is home at 5.30, then I don't see why he can't pick her up from the Nursery either, and why they need to travel down ? confused

Icelollycraving Wed 03-Oct-12 22:29:21

I think you need to be realistic about just how much hard work she is. They have done you a massive favour by being available but maybe they enjoy the idea & not the current reality.
I assume you don't consider the nursery as binning off when you go to work. Yabu.

BigFatLegsInWoolyTIghts Wed 03-Oct-12 22:31:52

My Mum is early 60s and very firm about what she can and can't cope with...she won't put mine to bed...nor be a babysitter for longer than 2 hours. She just can't manage it.

She's not OLD old...but they are hard work and she's done it already. I don't blame her either!

WorraLiberty Wed 03-Oct-12 22:33:12

Yes I don't understand why your OH can't pick her up from nursery either if he's home by 5.30?

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Wed 03-Oct-12 22:34:03

I think it sounds like a sensible compromise to be honest. YAB a bit U.
They are still solving your childcare problem by collecting her for you.

Abitlikechicken Wed 03-Oct-12 22:36:33

DH can't get to the nursery from where he works in under an hour, and they close at 6. It's round the corner from work for me but 20 miles via three buses for DH. I don't 'bin off' my DD to nursery, she loves it there, teas a figure of speech.

FizzyLaces Wed 03-Oct-12 22:38:00

Hmmmmmmm... In a dream world they would want to have as much time as poss but this is not the case as she is at a tricky stage where she is full on. I def wouldn't be precious about this as it is their choice.

Why can't they send her to nursery? She would surely be glad to be there with her wee friends and you will have no need to feel bad about your folks having a difficult day? And don't you pay for this day anyway?

Maybe they will spend their day out buying you treats for tea? smile

BlueSkySinking Wed 03-Oct-12 22:47:51

If they have a long drive down, maybe putting DD might allow them some respite before doing childcare then driving home again. Do remember that 2 year olds can be very demanding sometimes.

My parents stamina started to dwindle at 60. They seemed to manage about half a days child care and thats with well behaved kids.

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