To ask how much childcare you expect

(214 Posts)
Tessticklesyourfancy Tue 22-Mar-16 15:48:49

Talking with a friend yesterday who's daughter had a baby before Christmas. Apparently her daughter has asked her mum if she can drop two days at work to look after her gd when she goes back to work after maternity leave. My friend was a bit taken aback and said not really as she is on her own and the drop in income wouldeave her much worse off financially. She remembered the problems I had with
My OH daughter about childcare which caused a fall out. At the time I worked Saturday's and had either Tuesday or Wednesday off each week. While on maternity leave OH daughter applied and got a new job, three days a week and her MIL who is a good few years older than me and retired, had offered to have the baby one day a week. I was then expected to do one day as well so they only needed to pay for one day in nursery. To be honest I was [shock would you ask someone who worked full time to look after your child on their day off every week?
After OH daughter divorced she met a nice bloke and they had another child. His daughter had some problems at work and applied for a different job last summer but this job though still part time, involved working every Saturday and two Sunday's a month. When I asked how she would manage with childcare, her partners job is shift work including weekends she said that she hoped me and her dad would help out. My OH said no straight off as it would have been some part of most weekends. At least one full two day weekend plus various hours depending on the shifts, if he was on nights it would be down to us and if on early or lates we would have had to cover those hours. I know she was unhappy in her job at the time but it was too bigger ask and we don't regret sayin so. Thankfully they knew deep down it wasn't viable but we were put in the spot. Having just seen another thread about someone not wanting to look after her husbands gd, it got me wondering what some parent expect to be reasonable help?

scarednoob Tue 22-Mar-16 15:51:24

My DM is dead and DF lives 200 miles away. DP hasn't seen his DF since he was 8 and his DM lives 100 miles away. So absolutely nil! Cannot believe anyone would expect it. Yes if it's offered... But to expect it??

hejsvejs Tue 22-Mar-16 15:52:19

I would never expect any help from grandparents. If they want to, great! But I wouldn't expect it or even ask if they didn't offer.

RhinestoneCowgirl Tue 22-Mar-16 15:53:14

My parents and in laws don't live nearby, so can't help with regular childcare (and I wouldn't 'expect' it even if they did, although I'm sure they'd offer a bit of help)

They tend to help out in summer holidays, having the DC to stay for a week. My mum has come to stay when I'm really stuck e.g. when I had wisdom tooth out earlier this year and DH was out of the country.

Brummiegirl15 Tue 22-Mar-16 15:54:56

I don't expect any childcare help at all. But it shocks me how many do.

I have a 12 week old and when I return to work I will pay for the days I need childcare.

That said, I am fortunate my Mum will do ad hoc stuff for me

Arfarfanarf Tue 22-Mar-16 15:55:16

I don't expect any childcare.

Which is good because I was never given any grin

I'm grateful for help but I don't expect help, iyswim.

Same as I am happy to help but I won't have my help demanded or expected.

CMOTDibbler Tue 22-Mar-16 15:56:19

I'd hoped for a bit of babysitting and a bit of time in the holidays, but haven't had either, or any help in emergencies. Disappointing, but we chose to have a child, and had to budget for childcare as part of that.

Tessticklesyourfancy Tue 22-Mar-16 15:57:07

That's what I thought, if you offer, fine but I think in some cases people end up painting themselves into a corner, such as when they want holidays

LBOCS2 Tue 22-Mar-16 15:57:57

No expectations, and our families live 20 minutes away. My ILs have helped out a lot in the past when we had DSS during holidays, but with a FT child living with us we fully expected to have to arrange our own childcare.

As it was, my DM made it extremely clear that she was not available for any form of regular childcare arrangement - despite being retired. And why not? She's done her time juggling children and everything else, why would she now have to take it on again?!

We paid for full time childcare from the point at which I went back to work. Until she died, my DM did look after DD for us if our childcare fell through or to allow us to go out in the evening occasionally. There was no expectation though, it was as a favour to us.

LBOCS2 Tue 22-Mar-16 15:57:58

No expectations, and our families live 20 minutes away. My ILs have helped out a lot in the past when we had DSS during holidays, but with a FT child living with us we fully expected to have to arrange our own childcare.

As it was, my DM made it extremely clear that she was not available for any form of regular childcare arrangement - despite being retired. And why not? She's done her time juggling children and everything else, why would she now have to take it on again?!

We paid for full time childcare from the point at which I went back to work. Until she died, my DM did look after DD for us if our childcare fell through or to allow us to go out in the evening occasionally. There was no expectation though, it was as a favour to us.

Mouthfulofquiz Tue 22-Mar-16 15:59:14

I don't use either set of grandparents. Personally, I think it is far too big an imposition to ask anyone to look after a child on a regular basis. Plus - hassle when the grandparent is ill, on holiday, wants a break (all of which is of course, perfectly usual and reasonable stuff!) and needing to find an alternative. By paying for childcare, it means this stress is avoided, and no-one is imposed upon. I can't believe people expect others to take reduce their hours / give up precious free time on a regular basis / reduce income to look after children.

Buzzardbird Tue 22-Mar-16 15:59:16

Expect? None. Offered? Non either.

LikeSilver Tue 22-Mar-16 15:59:25

I don't expect any help and haven't had any. I'm a SAHP since DC2 but I know if I worked my mum or FIL would happily help in an emergency (sudden illness etc) and that's more than enough for me. We had our DC on the basis that we could afford them and that meant paying for childcare initially. I would never ask for or presume regular child care was available from grandparents. None of them have offered, they want to enjoy their retirement and so should they.

UsainWho Tue 22-Mar-16 16:01:16

No expectations but I am pretty much the only working mother I know who doesn't have family help out. I do wish I could get them to help in the holidays (my parents only, ILs are both dead now) but they never offer and so I save them up for when I'm totally desperate only!

SugarplumMary Tue 22-Mar-16 16:01:26

Same as Arfarfanarf and CMOTDibbler expected nothing though did think in emergencies we'd get some help - turned out not to be the case nor do we get any babysitting or holiday help.

Though they do show an interest in the children and have occasionally given us stuff or helped with money. So it's not all bad it's just something they want to help with.

I don't think expecting that is normal - though do know several GP who offered then felt trapped years later.

katienana Tue 22-Mar-16 16:01:31

None of those scenarios was it fair to ask.
My mum offered and really wanted to do childcare, at one point she was doing 1.5 days for me and 1 day for my sister. She now does 1.5 days for my sister. It was a massive help both financially and practically, plus means she has a brilliant bond with the dc so they settle really well for her. She doesn't work, in fact I think she's benefitted from having a busy routine every week after a couple of years with less to do. Most important it was her choice. If you have kids you have to be prepared to look after them or pay childcare.

chaosagain Tue 22-Mar-16 16:04:37

Reasonable help entirely depends on relationships, working patterns and incomes, in my mind.

My mother-in-law offered one day a week when I was on maternity leave with my first. We wouldn't have assumed or asked for anything. She worked part time, on a flexible pattern, usually 1-3 days a week. She's done 6 years of one day a week childcare now for us, but if she's away or has something else on then we find an alternative. I also put my younger one in nursery 3 days a week when I went back to a 3-day a week job second time around, until the older one went to school, so she didn't have both of them all day.

My MIL's childcare for us has caused some tension with my SIL who lives an 1.5-2hrs away and I think would have liked her mum doing more for her too. It's never straightforward! (We live less than a 10 min drive away from MIL)

I make sure to ask her a couple of times a year how it's working for her and make clear that if she wants to stop/change it that's fine. She's just retired and plans to be around to help more with number 3, which is amazing of her. But again I'm not going to be assuming anything - she's a busy person.

My FIL covers times when I'm stuck or have a late meeting - so maybe a couple of hours once or twice a month (and sometimes less), but doesn't do a regular slot. He's retired.

My parents aren't really in my life and wouldn't be appropriate childcare in any case.

I think the main thing about nursery, though, is often the cost. Some people can't make working work without some help with childcare and I know grandparents make a huge difference to that. Our local nursery (Z2 London) is about £90 a day for a 1 year old. Even with the help we've had there were periods where it was barely worth it financially for me to work but we saw it as a long term investment!

curren Tue 22-Mar-16 16:07:37

You can't expect any. Especially if that means the grandparent has to drop their working days. That's unbelievably rude.

Ughnotagain Tue 22-Mar-16 16:11:03

My mum has DD one day a week and I'm incredibly grateful but I never asked her to. She offered, and I must have asked if she was sure about eighty times. I'd never just assume someone else could look after my child!

Fancymarmite Tue 22-Mar-16 16:11:22

I've got 4 DCs and have never received any regular childcare help. It was never offered and I wouldn't have had the cheek to ask!

DH and I have worked jobs and shift patterns based around how we were going to sort childcare, which we've paid for ourselves.

Now mine are all at school FT, and my parents are retired, they occasionally offer to do school runs so the DCs don't have to go to the school clubs. That is entirely at their suggestion though.

Cabrinha Tue 22-Mar-16 16:12:05

I can't believe someone would ask their parent to give up days of work to look after their child!!

Me: didn't expect. Grandparent has had child for 3 hours every Fri for years - but it was arranged so they could spend time together, and almost totally unused childminder is paid for - and has been for 4 years!

NewLife4Me Tue 22-Mar-16 16:12:29

There are some entitled people about, that's all you can say really.
Why don't people realise they are the parents and their kids come first, not a job and free childcare from relatives.
If both parents want to work at the same time or overlap on their hours, they need childcare, it's not rocket science.

Gatehouse77 Tue 22-Mar-16 16:12:37

My mum and PIL never had a regular slot with them as I was fortunate enough to not need to work until they were all at school and I found term time work.
My mum couldn't have done due to her own work commitments. PIL lived too far away and were enjoying their retirement and I wouldn't have felt comfortable asking them. My father never featured.

I understand that for the majority, childcare provided by family is the only viable option to be able to afford to go to work. However, I don't think you should embark on the journey of parenthood assuming that family will be available and/or willing to provide childcare. And then get narky when grandparents can't or won't.

Ragwort Tue 22-Mar-16 16:14:26

I would never have expected my parents or ILs to provide any childcare - they lived miles away anyway so it wouldn't even have crossed my mind.

I do however, have quite a few friends who are now grandparents themselves and am quite shocked at how much they are 'expected' hmm to provide childcare. Sadly, none of them seem strong enough to say 'no' and I have even heard their grown up children say things like 'oh mum and dad love looking after the grandkids - it keeps them young'.

I would hate to be in the position where my own children expected child care and I certainly have no intention of offering - bar emergencies, evening babysitting of course.

DextersMistress Tue 22-Mar-16 16:15:08

None. My dm has them overnight about 4-5 times a year so dp and I can have a night out. Pil have never had them.

My 2 closest friends both work full time as well has their dh' and get 100% free childcare 5 full days a week from their in laws.

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