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grandparents as childcare...... !!!!

(23 Posts)
mamawharton Mon 29-Oct-12 19:50:20

apologies in advance for the rant....

my mom is lookingafter dd for 2 whole days and 2 half days when i return to work. mil is doing 2 half days and im off on Friday.

both offered to help so both are sharing childcare.

dd is 8 months and i go back in 3 weeks. is ebf and a bottle refuser and very clingy

mil only changed a nappy for the first time last week and that was under duress.

my mom can be very hands when it suits but the closer it gets to my return to work the less she wants to do. im trying very hard to get her to spend as much time as possible with dd but she always has something better to do! tomorrow was going to be the first time she has dd all day but she has just phoned to cancel- housework is more important?! apparently she feels she will be fine when i go back!!!!!! AAARGH what about how dd will cope seeing as she hasn't been apart from me for more than 3 hours( and that was only once last week and slept for 2 hours of it) and what about my separation anxiety. she thinks she is Mary friggin poppins but has never had to calm or soothe dd.

i really thought dd being cared for by her granparents would be lovely but im already wishing we could afford a nursery/childminder

has anyone encountered family childcare issues and how did you tackle any problems/issues

sorry again for the rant.....xx

janey68 Mon 29-Oct-12 20:16:03

Well you can't blame your mother for the fact that your baby is clingy and won't drink from a bottle and has never been apart from you! You have made your parenting decisions and tbh many mums would start to acclimatise their child to being left far sooner- you have cut it very fine.

This may not be what you want to hear, but I would be re-thinking my childcare sharpish. I would never leave my child with someone who is giving clear signals that they don't really want to be doing the care. I suspect this is a situation where the grandparents were falling over themselves with the novelty of having a grandchild, and now the reality of all day care is hitting them. It's not easy- its hard work and it's not something all grandparents want to sign up to at a time of their life when they are free of work commitments. It may be that your mother has changed her mind and doesn't know how to tell you.

On a practical note: get your dd drinking from a cup ASAP- at this age you can bypass the bottle. And if you're on a low income you may well be eligible for financial help for childcare- so investigate that and have a look at local childcare provision.

DuelingFanjo Mon 29-Oct-12 20:21:23

You still have time but you need to start settling them in with both grandparents ASAP. You must sit down with them both and draw up a plan to get your aby used to being left. I did this with my own mother and with the nursery in the weeks leading up to my return.

Agree, go straight to cup but don't worry too much as babies can adapt and wil just feed morning and night.

PurpleGentian Mon 29-Oct-12 20:26:05

When I'm at work, childcare is split between nursery and my parents.

I wrote my parents a schedule, explaining DS's daily routine, DS's favourite foods, how we settle DS at nap times and so on.

We also arranged several 'settling in' visits close to my starting back at work date, where I'd leave DS alone there for a few hours with them, so that he'd get used to being there without me. DM was pretty sensible about this and suggested it first, though.

Have you tried saying that you want to start the childcare a week or so before you go back to work, so that if your DD has any trouble adjusting to you not being there, you're able to pick her up early?

ErmahgerdBahtsErndPuhmpkerns Mon 29-Oct-12 20:32:09

It's worth bearing in mind that 2 whole days and 2 half days is a huge commitment for your Mum, there will be lots of things she doesn't get a chance to do while she has your DD. My mum does my childcare and, although both DSs and I spent quite a bit of time with her together before I went back to work, she didn't really do much in the way of settling sessions because she had lots to do, in order to get herself ready for losing a large chunk of her free time.

Both DSs settled really well once I started leaving them, I sometimes think doing odd hours here and there is more confusing for small children than just starting a new routine and sticking with it.

Having said that you really need to find out if your Mum or MIL is going off the idea as it'll be marginally easier to sort out alternative care now, than if they change their minds once you're back as work.

difficultpickle Mon 29-Oct-12 20:33:34

When ds started at a CM at 10 months we had a month settling in period before I returned to work, ie started when he was 9 months. You need to do something similar with your mother and mil.

Why have you not left your dd in the care of either your mother or mil? Seems a bit odd to plan on childcare but not actually allow anyone else to look after your baby until you absolutely have to because you will be at work.

You are very critical of your mil and mother but from what you say you have to look at the reasons why no one else has cared for your baby so far.

difficultpickle Mon 29-Oct-12 20:34:43

Erma - the OP's mum is doing two days and the OP's mil is doing two half days.

difficultpickle Mon 29-Oct-12 20:35:16

Whoops, just seen you are right Erma, sorry!

SoulTrain Mon 29-Oct-12 20:42:39

My DS is looked after solely by three sets of GP's over 4 days - we are incredibly lucky.

You have to start now with leaving her with the GP's. If you haven't left her up to now, which is shortsighted to say the least, it's cruel to be putting it off until your first day back at work, you will feel like shit and your DD won't know if she's coming or going.

Listen to all previous advice about the cup, this again must be a priority. Does she have water from a cup? If so, you may find she is fine without milk all day. If she doesn't, you've got an issue as how is she going to drink all day?

You're fortunate you have this support.

housesalehelp Mon 29-Oct-12 20:54:31

re bottle - many babies will adapt or will take from someone else - I think I would invent a vital work meeting or something before you go back -and actually its not a bad idea to go in to have a chat with work before you officially - and maybe have a chat about about if its too much for your DM and MIL to take on - and how you could look for alternatives - of course hopefully they will say of course not - but it might be good to look into say 2 days a week with nursery and CM

DontmindifIdo Mon 29-Oct-12 21:00:39

A nursery would insist on a couple of weeks settling in period.

I think you need to think carefully about how your DD is going to cope without milk from you. If you feed on demand then milk isn't just food that she can cope without until you pick her up, it's also her source of comfort. I think the milk needs to be addressed and if your mother is showing reluctance now, it might be difficult when you do go back to work. I would get on the phone tomorrow re nursery places, perhaps putting your DD in one day to take some of the pressure off your mum. Then if your mum decides she definately can't do it you have some childcare in place.

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 29-Oct-12 21:15:48

I also think you need to phone one of the bfing helplines in the morning and talk to a BFC about bottle refusing and returning to work. The last thing you need (and this idiot knows from experience) is returning to work and then developing mastitis.

Agree with the others, I think you need to talk to them again and make sure they are both committed.

LibrarianByDay Tue 30-Oct-12 23:34:17

I can't see the problem myself, and I think you're getting worried about something you really needn't worry about.

Your Mum and MIL have agreed to give up a fair chunk of their spare time when you go back to work. I can quite see why they aren't terribly keen to give up even more. I'm guessing that neither of them are exactly new to childcare, even if their experience might be more of a distant memory than yours, lol! Does your MIL really need nappy-changing experience?? Does your mum really need to know how to calm and soothe a baby?? Seriously, it sounds as though you think neither of them have the first idea how to look after a baby, and if they're picking up those vibes from you, it is no wonder they don't want to have to 'proove themselves' before the big day.

I had a very clingy baby who refused point blank to be anything other than breastfed. The day dawned when I returned to work to do my first 12 hour shift and off she went to nursery. She suddenly discovered the joys of being bottlefed and my only subsequent problem was to get her off the bottle later on (she does not like change, that one!). She was fine and yours will be too. I'll bet your daughter is a lot more adaptable than you think she is. Just relax and have more faith in your mum and MIL - I doubt they've committed to do something they aren't prepared for. Don't change your childcare arrangements now. At least wait to see how things work out. It won't be any more hassle later than it will be now.

And I have to add, I'm slightly bemused (or is that amused) by most of the responses. Get a grip, people - we are not the first generation to reproduce!!!

janey68 Wed 31-Oct-12 09:38:21

I don't think most of us are saying the grannies cant look after a baby- obviously they've brought up children. It's rather that the reality of committing to regular childcare may be beginning to dawn and they aren't as keen as they first appeared!

I know how to change nappies, sooth crying babies etc but it doesn't mean Id relish the prospect of doing it all over again! I'd say from the info given by the op that they aren't overly keen. Yes, her baby no doubt will be ok, children are pretty resilient and adaptable but I wouldn't feel happy leaving my kids with someone who wasn't fully up for it

kessmummy Wed 31-Oct-12 10:32:42

Hi, if anyone has any advice it would be appreciated. I am a single working mother of 2. (9&3). Until yesterday, my mother was looking after my children but she is not coping and now I have no childcare. I've been told that despite earing only £25k, I'm not entitled to any child tax credits (childcare element) & my only option is to give up work (& claim income support). This is devestating & I have 1 day off work to turn this around.
I don't really have anyone who can look after them for free/cheaply, esp as my son has behavioural probs, it wouldn't be fair. Even strict budgeting&childcare vouchers would not provide the amount needed for 2 children.
Apparently £25k is 'to high' an income. (My rent alone is 10K).
Any advice is appreciated.

janey68 Wed 31-Oct-12 10:43:07

Why isn't the child's father contributing to childcare? That's what couples have to do. You may be on £25k but what about his income? And if he's not working- why isn't he looking after his son?
You've been very lucky having free childcare up to now but you'll need to re think. Oh and you get some free hours when child is 3

kessmummy Wed 31-Oct-12 11:10:43

I receive maintenance, but as a single parent I have to front all other costs myself. My daughter's father pays the maintenance (minimal) and my son's father is long gone. Not ideal but that is the situation. I was giving my mum money but nowhere near the fees required. I think my only options are reducing my hours (& therefore salary) considerably- which would ironically probably then qualify me for child tax creds.

janey68 Wed 31-Oct-12 11:32:02

Personally I would think long term ie: reducing hours also reduces your long term prospects and pension. Tax credits are a quick fix- but they can disappear on the whim of the govt and don't provide long term security. Have just re read your post and you have a school age child and a 3 years old so can already access a couple of days free care. Personally I think you'd be mad to cut your hours from what is already only an average income. Youll probably regret it in future.

kessmummy Wed 31-Oct-12 11:46:49

Just called hmrc again in desperation for a second opinion and apparently I AM entitled to help. So confused.

LibrarianByDay Wed 31-Oct-12 14:19:41

Janey68 My experiences suggest that grandparents are not as flaky as the majority of posters here seem to be implying. It seems that 'MIL doesn't want to change a dirty nappy when there is a perfectly capable mother to do it' = she is clearly not cut out for childcare, is flaky, is just going to wander off and drop the OP in it at the most inconvenient moment, ... Perhaps my family is just unusually loyal and committed...

I'm sure the OPs current childcare arrangements will work out just fine and that she doesn't need to rush off to find an alternative which she has already said she can't afford.

Mandy21 Wed 31-Oct-12 15:33:10

I also think the GPs will be fine, but I think the issue is how YOU are going to cope with your parents / MIL looking after the baby. You remind me of me - I was leaving my twins with my mum 3 days a week when I went back to work at 14 months - she was chomping at the bit to do it and to be fair (and with hindsight), she was an absolute star, but that didn't stop me fretting to start with.

We all knew right from the start that it was for a finite period (for 10 months until they were 2) but it didn't stop us having a few issues. You have to recognise that there are going to be issues - she might not soothe / feed / behave exactly as you would with your daughter but you have to recognise that a) she is more than capable (my mum had also brought up twins) and b) she is making a HUGE sacrifice even if you mum / MIL appear to have willingly taken on the childcare. I paid my mum all of her expenses - petrol, baby groups, food, a cafe fund etc but I was still saving and my babies got to be at home in their routine with their grandma.

Its hard sometimes to bite your tongue and tell her / MIL they're not doing it quite like you'd want them to, but if you accept their help, to a certain extent you have to accept their terms IMO.

StrangeGlue Wed 31-Oct-12 15:49:36

Op I think you need to sit down and think through your worries and then have an open honest conversation with your dm and dmil. They might not understand that you want a settling period if you haven't specifically said so and may be confused about why you seem to want them to start early.

My mum looks after my dd whilst I'm at work. We are doing a two week settling period and we have a diary that we can each write things in so we don't need to have a big download at every drop-off/pick-up. I also pay her.

Start giving your dd access to a free flow beaker of water at all times she's in the house so she can start to learn.

I dunno why people are giving you a hard time about not having left her before its not unusual.

wanderingalbatross Wed 31-Oct-12 16:03:37

I ended up sending my DD off to childcare without a proper settling in period and although she was a month or so older than yours, it all worked out ok. DD never had a bottle, and was also quite a clingy baby who, due to circumstances, had never really been left with anyone else before I went back to work.

If you are able to express at work, then I expect you'll be able to carry on with daytime milk feeds. I couldn't, and so I cut out daytime feeds in preparation for going back to work. I think the advice is to drop one feed a week, but probably worth talking to someone who knows about these things to come up with a plan!

I also tried to feed DD water out of a cup (still at 17mo have never really got her to drink milk from a cup) and it took her a while to get used to the cup, but she did drink the water when she was thirsty. You might have more luck if someone else tries giving her the water/milk from a cup/bottle, or if you're out and about somewhere and she isn't thinking about bf.

The CM also feeds her yoghurt and other dairy stuff through the day (porridge/rice pud and other milky food) meaning I know she's getting the milk even if it's not direct.

What I'm trying to say is that it'll probably be ok, and a bit of upset in the beginning is normal (although not nice to deal with).

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