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CM versus grandparents - feeling guilty

(14 Posts)
tinypumpkin Tue 07-May-13 21:06:05

I am not sure this is going to make any sense. I work from home mostly but work has gone crazy and I can no longer sustain working eves and weekends to manage work with looking after the children (1 and 3 yrs). I am feeling about 90 years old and need to get some balance.

I found a lovely CM today who I met with my children. We have agreed to try to see if it works. I am rubbish about leaving the youngest as I feel the usual maternal guilt (it's for one day only, 1/2 of which the 3 year old will be at preschool anyway).

My parents do a lot of childcare ad hoc for me which is fab. I am very lucky and I appreciate it very much. We did talk about them doing a day per week for me but I feel it is too much. They are already do two days for my sister and want to go away etc. I need a day that I know is mine and not one that might be swapped etc. I also don't want to add to their workload.

As an example, I didn't feel that I could ask when I needed childcare last week. Maybe it is my issue but if I pay, then I don't have that issue. I am sure this makes no sense outside of my head!

My mum found out this evening about the CM and is not happy at all. I do feel bad but I think it is is the right decision (assuming DD3 settles). It probably seems crazy to others to choose paid childcare over free grandparent care. I am guessing I am asking if anyone else has made such a decision?

doughnut44 Tue 07-May-13 21:18:35

one of my mindees parents did this. she told her parents that the reason she wanted a cm was so that grandparent time was a fun time for both children and grandparents. The grandparents often take my mindee out for the day when she should be with me. I still get paid. The grandparents love their their time with the lo x

BobStrangeNameforaGirl Tue 07-May-13 21:24:36

It makes sense to me pumpkin. Reassure your mum that she'll still have plenty of time with DC3, maybe let her pick an afternoon they can spent together? Then it is fun time for DC but not the end of the world if gp wants to go away or have a break. Plus, you might get five minutes peace! I'm sure your mum will come round to the idea when she's had time to think about it.

Barbeasty Tue 07-May-13 21:29:39

My MIL offered to have DD 5 days a week. DH was keen, but in the end we went for 2 days at nursery and then 6 months later I condensed my hours so I had her for a day so MIL does 2 days.

It's a huge commitment. We have to sit down and agree holiday at the start of the year. MIL has to check with me, and wait for me to check with work, before arranging a day out or to go and stay with family.

I had two reasons for using a nursery. Partly that if MIL is ill we can try to get the day/s covered by the nursery and don't need to take time off work.

Mainly (and possibly selfishly) we need to use MIL for as long as possible. I'd rather have 2 days a week for 5 years rather than 5 days a week for 1 year.

It has been great for DD and MIL, they have an amazing relationship. But if it isn't right for you....

If they're desperate to have them, could you agree a day a month or once a fortnight which you don't rely on? Treat it as a bonus day each time?

tinypumpkin Tue 07-May-13 22:31:12

Thanks ladies, it's always good to have feedback. I guess I was feeling really mean!

Doughnut, it seems I am not alone.

Bob, I will do that I think. They do have the children a fair bit (this Sat as an example as both DH and I are working). They do also see them at playgroup as they take my sister's children to the same one we go to. I did ignore the comment my mum made about not seeing them for this reason!

I do very much appreciate what they do and will suggest the impromptu day off a month if they want to do that. Would help me out as I am snowed under (working now!)

Glad it has worked for you Barbeasty too, sounds like a fab mix. My parents have a fantastic relationship with DD2 and DD3 as it is, they are v close. It's lovely isn't it smile

Thanks for not making me feel ungrateful and silly. I do need to start being a bit selfish I think as people don't always appreciate how difficult working from home can be. This is why I am trying to be strict about a set day per week.

Thanks smile

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 07-May-13 22:33:12

Totally understand you want to pay someone and have that 100% guarantee that they are going to be therefor your children

In your case as the gp's have 2 days for other grandchildren then think may be too much for them / but also maybe they felt they had to offer as do for their other children iyswim

Suggest having a day every few weeks - either a day so you get free time or a day the cm has but obv pre warn her and she must still get paid as would be using 2 under 5 spaces

MaryPoppinsBag Wed 08-May-13 09:20:48

I had both my Mum and MIL look after DS1 (now 7) when I went back after mat leave. They did a day each 8.30-4. It was lovely and each covered for the other's holidays.

When I was pg with DS2 my mum withdrew her services. I made the decision not to return to work for a number of reasons but one of them is because I didn't want PIL to take on the extra day (or more as I needed to find a new job due to looming redundancy).

For me I'd rather my PIL had them for short bursts and do fun things with them whilst I do something fun/ relaxing / volunteer in school / catch up on house work/ go out to the pub on an evening! It means that they can go on holiday when they want and they go quite often and for a month every year because they've retired.

I have actually set up my own CM so that I don't have to ask anyone to look after mine whilst I work! grin

I am the only CM for my school as well which also limits my options.

DerbyNottsLeicsNightNanny Wed 08-May-13 10:58:13

I feel guilty when my parents have my DS but don't feel any guilt when my CM has him so I know what you mean. Its the same with evening babysitting - if my parents have him so we can go out I am always clock watching thinking we should get home, but if we are paying a babysitter I don't feel like this.

I want my parents to enjoy having him and not feel tied to too many 'set in stone' arrangements, so they have him one day per week whilst I work, plus occasional eve babysitting (about once every 1-2 months). The rest of the time if I need childcare my DH and I arrange it between us, or we use CM/a babysitter.

Hopefully if you explain it to your Mum she will understand where you are coming from

fivesacrowd Wed 08-May-13 12:05:15

I've got 6 little mindees who all spend part of week with me and the remainder with their gp's. All of the parents say it gives them some flexibility - if I've got space I cover gp illness and hols and they cover mine (or would if I ever needed them to). Totally understand where you're coming from, you just need to pitch it to your parents so that they see it as something your doing for good reasons and not because you don't value their childcare. Good luck.

MaryPoppinsBag Wed 08-May-13 12:19:36

Could you as a compromise offer a morning or afternoon to your parents ?
Then spend it doing something for yourself?

Mazzledazzle Wed 08-May-13 17:15:19

Tinypumpkin I remember feeling exactly the same and in the end I used my mum a couple of days a week and a CM one day a week. 4 years in and there's been no tension between me and the CM, who my kids absolutely adore, but it hasn't been so plain sailing with my mum. I advise every working mum, even if you have the offer of free family child care, if you can afford it, use a CM too even if only or a few hours a week.

tinypumpkin Thu 09-May-13 09:52:27

Thanks ladies, so glad to hear that I am not alone. It's great to hear that this works well for both parents and also CMs (children too clearly!)

Thankfully my Mum seems a bit happier about it. They do actually look after them loads as it is, yesterday eve, Sat and Monday am as examples! Another day on top I think would be fab.

No time to do something nice at the moment as work is crazy but I am hoping that if I can get a set day then I can redress the very out of whack work/life balance.

Thank you again smile

MaryPoppinsBag Fri 10-May-13 09:47:22

Glad you feel better smile

Reastie Fri 10-May-13 09:52:54

I understand where you're coming from and it makes sense to me. We rely entirely on grandparent childcare. In ways it's utterly fabulous but it can be awkward - not wanting to take advantage or ask too much and you feel like as they're doing you a favour it's tricky asking them to do specific things/how you'd like it done, which is easy to do if you're paying for someone to do a job.

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