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to be shocked by how much childcare some grandparents do?

(224 Posts)
Undercovamutha Tue 03-Nov-09 14:14:19

I know a number of grandparents of kids from the local school, who look after their grandchildren from 7/8am - 6/7pm EVERY weekday whilst the kids parents are at work - (not only just outside school hours but also pre-school siblings), and then often look after them on the weekend so the parents can go shopping/have a 'well-earned' night out/have a sunday lie-in! shock Often these same grandparents also comment on the fact that they do the grandkids washing, help them with homework, take them to parties in the evening etc etc.
I just can't believe that these parents, IMHO, can take the piss so much, or how the grandparents let them get away with it.
AIBU? Is it in fact a lovely 'gift' for the grandparents to spend so much time with their grandchildren?
It could be I'm just jealous!

red37 Tue 03-Nov-09 14:17:44

I have one or two friends who take there own parents for granted,one of them goes abroad 2 or 3 times a year while the grandparents look after the children

RealityBites Tue 03-Nov-09 14:19:25

Message withdrawn

nikki1978 Tue 03-Nov-09 14:22:27

I think that is a bit much although the granparents do have the right to say no. My MIL has my kids for one day a week (9-5) while I work and both mums babysit once every couple of months overnight. My mum has had the kids twice for 4 days while we went away and will have them for 2 weeks in Jan while we go to Aus for a wedding. I have never asked her to have them while we are away she has always offered and she loves spending time with them.

What you are talking about is pretty unusual though isn't it? I don't know anyone who does that much.

mrsgBANGing Tue 03-Nov-09 14:22:59

I know of a couple of grandmas in our local toddler groups who do f/t childcare for free, one who moved house to be near enough to help - and then the parents of the child decided to move and expected them to move again two months later. Also one who comes up to do two days a week from 150 miles and a sea crossing away.

It staggers me really. We are cringingly grateful for half a day's care once in a blue moon and an annual night out (getting home 10pm) I think that's pretty much how it should be.

nikki1978 Tue 03-Nov-09 14:23:23

Oh and I pay my MIL for the day she does to cover any costs plus a bit for her.

diddl Tue 03-Nov-09 14:23:58

Maybe the grandparents enjoy it?

The parents work fulltime, the children are cared for fulltime.

Why should it be shocking that its the grandparents doing the caring?

nikki1978 Tue 03-Nov-09 14:24:54

Hmmm not sure it is fair to say that it should be the way to have an annual night out!

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 03-Nov-09 14:25:23

unfortunally many parents cant afford childcare so ask granny to do it for free

prob nice one day a week to spend with grand children

but every day 10+hrs cant be much fun

the gp's spend 20+years raising their own children then spend another 10+years raising their grand children

mrsgBANGing Tue 03-Nov-09 14:25:28

Not that shocking, except that the parents get to keep all the money they make by working full time when they have far more, nicer house etc. than the grandparents do anyway.

Fruitbatlings Tue 03-Nov-09 14:26:10

my mum would never do it and I wouldn't blame her either!

nikki1978 Tue 03-Nov-09 14:27:00

Good point diddl. I am extremely grateful for any help I get and often say I feel bad if we ask more than once every couple of months for babysitting. The retort is always "don't be silly we love having them here2. When I was younger I spent lots of nights/weekends with my gran or great gran while my parents went out and loved it.

Pinkjenny Tue 03-Nov-09 14:27:58

My mum looks after dd two days a week, from 8am until 5.30pm and they both love it. However, she is (understandably) not prepared to do any more child care at weekends etc, as she feels she has done her bit.

And I tend to agree, so we never ask her to look after dd overnight or at weekends.

DoingTheBestICan Tue 03-Nov-09 14:29:17

Bloody hell! Not in my world,my inlaws have sil's 2 dd's a lot,they have a girly themed bedroom for when they sleep over & often take them out for the day to give sil a rest hmm

They have looked after our ds once,& that was for my Grand dads funeral,but even then they brought ds to us as soon as the service was over.

My Mum helps out when she can,she lives about 7 miles away & she doesnt drive,now i have started work pt she sometimes looks after ds for an hr as mine & dh's shifts cross over by an hr.

There are lots of GP's dropping off & picking up at ds's school,& yes i am very envy

TheCrackFox Tue 03-Nov-09 14:31:05

Years ago I was at a Mother and Toddler group and a 75yr old woman broke down in tears. Her family really were taking the piss out of her - she was looking after various grandchildren from 7am-8pm Monday to Friday and then other grandchildren at the weekend. She found it impossible to say no. She loved her family and didn't want to upset them but she really was exhausted.

MaggieMonday Tue 03-Nov-09 14:31:48

I'm jealous.

my mum is 65 and wouldn't be able for it. well, she would, just, but she's not going to use up all her energy minding my children,why should she?

I'm also amazed by the number of people whose parents mind their children.

I know of couples where the gp mind the children and they're having more children... they go off to work and get away from it!! it doesn't seem right! poor exhausted gp!

oranges Tue 03-Nov-09 14:32:13

Why is it shocking? MY mil was about to retire and panicked she'd be bored, so virtually insisted she look after ds when I went back to work. She did have ds three times a week, now two, and will also have him at weekends if we want a night out (which is about once every two months). SHe spends a LOT of time with her daughter too who has just had baby. We are incredibly lucky, but we all know its not forever and it really helps everyone knit together as a family. What's wrong with that?

insertwittynicknameHERE Tue 03-Nov-09 14:32:28

My parents and IL's would not do this, DH and I would never expect them to TBH. But I can understand how some people do need that level of support I have seen it happen in my own family. My aunt had 3 of her grandchildren as often as the OP describes. No need to now as the children are quite a bit older.

My mum and dad have DD1 (DD2 too young just yet) occasionally, maybe once a month for a few hours either to give me a break or to let DH and I spend a couple of hours with each other. PIL have DD1 for a couple of hours every other Saturday. We don't ask though and they offer.

MaggieMonday Tue 03-Nov-09 14:34:42

Nikki, one day a week and you pay her is a mutually beneficial arrangment. Your MIL gets to be close to her gc.

My jaw hits the floor sometimes when grandmothers are looking after 2 and sometimes three chidren full time... and then in the case of one family I know, the mother is prg again.. I just can't believe a grandmother of that age is expected to cope.

displayuntilbestbefore Tue 03-Nov-09 14:35:31

YANBU - I am amazed how much parents expect their own parents to look after their children while they go to work. I'm not talking about the grandparents who offer it and who love doing it, and for the odd day here or there, I know quite a number of grandparents who had it thrust upon them - and a number of parents who have complained about their parents NOT being willing to look after their kids. Why should they?
I'm of the school of thought, they're your kids, you look after them. Think about how you're going to look after your kids before you have them if you're both going to be working. I would never dream of asking my parents or MIL to look after my children while I worked - why should they do it? They've been parents and now should be able to enjoy their lives free from nappies, school runs, early mornings etc.
I think it's especially unfair when you hear of grandparents who work and who on their days off have to look after their grandchildren or those who already look after their grandchildren, are looking forward to when they're all at school so they can finally have a more relaxing retirement and then find out that another baby is on the way and they're going to be looking after them too! Not easy saying no to helping out when you're a GP but some parents take advantage of the kind nature of their own parents without really thinking about the impact it has on their lives.

cantmummyhaveabreak Tue 03-Nov-09 14:38:37

One of DS's friends from school actually lives with his grandparents mon-fri 'because it's closer to school' and 'mummy has to go to work in the mornings'... he see's his mum at the weekends only!! It's rediculous!! He's a very nice boy though, and his mum IS nice, but i just dont understand the dynamics of not seeing your child at bedtime and dropping them off at school/nursery etc...

Also know of a few people who have grandkids the same amount as said in OP- ie 8-6 mon-fri, overnight and most of a day at w/end too- it's stupid- when someone becomes a parent they are supposed to gain some responsibility- i really dont think this is the way!!

However, i do think a lot of the cases i have seen the grandparent says they 'like having them, seeing them grow up' etc- shouldn't that be their parents saying that though hmm?? Either way i think the grandparents should let the parent have to take more responsibility/pay for childcare... a day or so wouldn't harm them, but i've seen toddlers calling granny 'mummy'... stupid!!

I may also be a tad jealous- i am a SAHM, but with 1 at home, 1 at nursery in mornings and 1 at school it's a busy old life without housework- now if my mum had the DC's a few hrs a week it'd be V.nice indeed

have rambled enough now!!

red37 Tue 03-Nov-09 14:38:52

My parents never have my dc's, yet my sister & brother get there dc's reguarly minded.

I stopped asking as I got the huffing & puffing as to the in laws they do have dc's once in a blue moon while dh & I go out.

Undercovamutha Tue 03-Nov-09 14:39:04

I'm not saying I NEVER get any help. My parents live an hour away but are brilliant at babysitting if we have a wedding to go to (maybe a couple of times a year) and have recently started (they asked me) having DD to stay for a few days each school holiday (they get quite upset if she can't for some reason!).
However 50+ hours a week just boggles me! And for the GPs to also do the washing etc as well. shock

Hulababy Tue 03-Nov-09 14:41:54

If the grandparents offered and the grandparents want to do it, then I don;t think there is so much a problem - but only if they 100% want to do it and don't have any feelings of being put upon.

As a parent I just couldn't expect my parents to do so much. I wouldn't dream of asking them, nor accepting any offer, for that level of child care.

I personally do thinkt hat level of childcare is too much to expect a grandparent to be doing pesonally.

My MIL did have DD one day a week when I worked when she was a baby to starting school. But MIL asked to be abe to do, it was something she very much wanted to do. She actually offered more days but we settled on 1, and 2 days at nursery. My mum would have loved to have her too but works herself.

My parents and PILs do babysit quite often - around once a month at night or overnight at theirs, sometimes (less often) 2 nights over a weekend. This is a bit more frequent - well week time - in the bit of school holidays where I work and DD is off.

But both sets of parents are very keen to have DD, and always offer. They are disappointed if they can't do it for whatever reason.

madamearcati Tue 03-Nov-09 14:41:55

My parents are well into their seventies and do fulltime childcare for my brother's 2 pre-schoolers.

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