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To wish my family would button it on this one?

(48 Posts)
Spudlet Mon 11-Apr-16 08:14:41

DS is 15 weeks old, and I'm planning on taking a full year of mat leave. So I actually do have a fair bit of time to consider this and don't have to make any immediate decisions.

However, my whole family - DM, DGM, aunties, uncles - keep lecturing me about how I surely won't be able to bear to go back to work, and how could I consider leaving him, and the thought of him going to a nursery makes them feel quite tearful...on and on and on, and it's getting on my nerves!

None of them live close enough to offer childcare help (I wouldn't expect them to, but since they all seem so invested you'd think they might) but they just won't let it drop. You'd think nurseries were little gulags, the way they go on!

Not much I can say that won't cause more trouble than it's worth, my plan is actually to request some form of part time arrangement, but I need to rant about this. DH is supportive but doesn't really get it, as amazingly, nobody seems to expect him to chuck a whole career away angry

MargaretHale Mon 11-Apr-16 08:19:47

Why don't you agree enthusiastically and add that you and dH are both taking 18 years off work as the thought of either of you being away from the baby makes you quite tearful. It might show them how ridiculous they are being.

Spudlet Mon 11-Apr-16 08:23:45

Now there's a thought grin

Trills Mon 11-Apr-16 08:24:37

They sound annoying.

Did you already know that your family were this set in their ideas and unable to imagine anyone doing anything differently, or did it only come up now you have a baby?

Spudlet Mon 11-Apr-16 08:33:04

Meh, I suppose it's not a complete shock. And they do have many redeeming qualities - I do love them very much and we are a close family. It's just that on this particular subject, they are driving me crazy!

DM, in her defence, after having given the biggest lecture of all does intervene when others start up and points out that I may not have the option of staying at home. And she does try not to mention it too much...

Trills Mon 11-Apr-16 08:36:00

Now we just need your mum to upgrade from "Might not have the option" to "Might not choose to, even if finances allow"... smile

BaronessBomburst Mon 11-Apr-16 08:37:23

After a year of being at home on my own with a baby I very much COULD bear to be away from him occasionally and go back to work part time.
It doesn't mean you love them any less. It just means you need adult company sometimes!

Hedgeh0g Mon 11-Apr-16 08:38:20

This drove me mad when I was on maternity leave with my son. Actually, it was mostly my friends. They would suggest that I use my accrued annual leave to go back part time for a few months, and I when I would explain that that wasn't really feasible in my job, I'd get head shaking and 'ooh, you'll find it hard'. So patronising. I didn't, and I still don't, see what difference one or two extra days off a week would make, apart from forcing me to do five days' work in 3 or 4.

Spudlet Mon 11-Apr-16 08:39:26

I'll work on her grin

None of them are hugely career minded (which is not a criticism) so I guess they see my job in purely financial terms, whereas mum does get that it's not just about that for me. She understands that I want to keep my hand in.

TheOddity Mon 11-Apr-16 08:41:48

I had the same, then when I quit I just got "but how will you manage on one wage?!". Can't bloody win!

inlovewithhubby Mon 11-Apr-16 08:50:18

Everyone will have a view. Only family can reasonably voice it. I remember my sister presenting me with an article about the cortisol levels in nursery babies when she was deciding what to do about her 6 month old (she was debating internally) and although it made me wince (I was child free at the time) I deliberately modified my views to give a balanced one - if she went on to choose it how would that make her feel that I'd said it was shit? She chose nursery, it was a good one, he was fine.

If you can afford it, childminders and nannies are also an option. I remember someone telling me that parent is better than granny is better than nanny is better than nursery. Nursery is great in my view when they're older but it didn't work for us when we tried it after mat leave, it felt too much like a conveyor belt and our child's very minor individual needs (allergies) were forgotten - so specific the nursery I guess. But we got a nanny and she was fab. Childminders are cheaper and can be just as good. Do your homework.

Trills Mon 11-Apr-16 08:54:29


Did you really come on this thread to say "they are right, you should not leave your child"? shock

Trills Mon 11-Apr-16 08:55:16

Everyone will have a view, but many sensible people will have the view that it's complicated and the "best choice" will be different for different people.

inlovewithhubby Mon 11-Apr-16 09:00:01

Trills absolutely not!! I went back to work out of choice not need and advocate choice for everyone, including choosing full time parent role - to each to his own. I'm saying there are options out there that she can investigate to satisfy herself that her child is getting the best care she can afford. I did say our issues were specific to the nursery involved as well so I think I made that clear.

Trills Mon 11-Apr-16 09:04:07

Sorry - I misunderstood smile

inlovewithhubby Mon 11-Apr-16 09:12:10

No worries, it's a really difficult choice and I wish we invested more government money in high level nursery childcare so parents didn't feel so torn. I too met resistance from one side of our family and whilst it was tough to hear it did make me do my homework.

Article is a guardian one dated September 2005, hidden stress of the nursery age. We both read it and yet still both chose nursery first. Knowledge is power, it doesn't have to emasculate you. Sorry I can't attach, Luddite.

But I wish childcare were given a more respected place in society, it's our most important job and yet we pay them shit all and wonder why not everyone who cares for our babies is massively enthusiastic about their role.

Spudlet Mon 11-Apr-16 09:12:51

I'm not set on a course yet - there's a local nursery which has a good reputation and is used by many of my colleagues but I would need to see it myself before sending him there. And of course there are other childcare options. smile

It's the emotional blackmail that I don't like.

PerspicaciaTick Mon 11-Apr-16 09:34:22

My DM had strong views on nurseries for babies. So she offered to do all the childcare for DD when I went back to work part-time until DD was 2yo. She put her time where her mouth was and gave me options...I would have been furious if she had just dumped the guilt-trip on me and then buggered off without giving me any constructive ideas on how to handle the situation.

KitKat1985 Mon 11-Apr-16 09:39:01

DD went to nursery at a year old when I went back to work. It did take her a week or two to settle in (but that was to be expected) but now she loves it.

I've had a couple of people say that they don't think I should work full-time and have a child. I usually have to bite my tongue from asking them if they would like to cover my mortgage contributions whilst I stay home if they are so concerned.

Buddahbelly Mon 11-Apr-16 09:40:26

Op i had the same with my own family, no childcare was offered apart from a day here and there and the one with the loudest voice was my aunty, when I decided that ds would be going to nursery 2 days a week she was never off my phone with her horror stories from nurseries that she'd heard over the years (they leave them alone all day, they don't watch them properly, they won't change their nappies etc... i could go on all day)

They will come around eventually, they probably have their heads stuck in their own time, so maybe these were all real cases years ago, but things have moved on quite progressively thankfully in the past 40 years ago. What my aunty didn't realise was that although she babysits her own grandchildren 5 days a week, I unfortunately don't have the same offer from my own mum, so this really was a break for me
If anything it gave me a break that nobody else was willing to offer me and also improved ds social development being with children his own age rather than with me wandering around tesco to escape cbeebies.

If i had another I wouldn't hesitate about putting them in nursery again, it really was the best place for ds and he's come on in leaps and bounds that now his development has overtaken a slightly older sibling my aunty marvels at how much the nursery has helped.

KitKat1985 Mon 11-Apr-16 09:41:16

P.S. As an aside OP, if you did want your DS to go to nursery you might not have as long to consider the decision as you think, as a lot of them have waiting lists. We had to have DD's name down about 6 months before she started.

chunkymum1 Mon 11-Apr-16 09:47:06

You're definitely not unreasonable to want them to keep out. I had similar when I went back to work. Despite having told them all throughout my pregnancy that I would be back at work after 6-9 months my family seemed to think I'd change my mind. In my case I would have loved to stay at home for a bit longer or go back part time but it was simply not financially viable. But even after pointing this out (well, actually getting pissed off and asking both sets of parents if they wanted to pay the mortgage if they felt that strongly) MIL kept wringing her hands and telling me how she would never have been able to leave DH all day, she'd have cried all the time, and various other dramatic stuff. My DM and MIL kept finding me 'useful' articles and stories from a friend of a friend about how bad nurseries are and how much X is enjoying being at home with her baby. This continued even when we decided that DH would work part time to take on more of the child care responsibility so I'm not convinced that it was all about DC's welfare- I suspect more a case of not understanding why I didn't want to/couldn't do everything the way they had.

Maybe (a bit like Margaret's suggestion) you could tell them you've listened to them and they've made you and DH see the light. You both giving up on your jobs entirely and will be coming to live with them rent free, and whilst you're at it can you please have their car and a clothing and entertainment allowance for all of you. Probably not one to try if they might say yes though!

sephineee Mon 11-Apr-16 09:47:57

My DM and PILS did this to me (DF the only sensible one apparently!).

Ignore, ignore, ignore. Not their life.

Do start thinking abut childcare options as soon as you can.

Ask if they think your DH should give up work.

SelfRaisingFlour Mon 11-Apr-16 09:49:33

DH had a friend, who earned about £100K. The rich parents of his partner offered to match his salary so that he and his partner could stay at home with the baby full time.

He accepted, but I would have been reluctant to be beholden to the in-laws and his job was in IT so it wouldn't take long for his skills to become our of date.

I guess rich grandparents can buy what they want for their grandchildren and others can only nag.

catewood21 Mon 11-Apr-16 09:55:29

Nurseries are fine for 3+ or even 2.5+, but for a baby-no!

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