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Grandma taking on childcare

(11 Posts)
Pook Tue 09-Mar-04 12:47:15

I'm due to go back to work 2 days a week in June. My mother initially said (tentatively) that she'd love to have dd (8 months now) for 1 day a week, and yesterday said that she'd love to make it 2 days because she thinks that having a childminder for only 1 day a week may be disruptive. I agree deep down. I can't think of anyone I would trust more and would rather look after dd. In many ways this would be the perfect outcome. I just have a nagging worry that it might be a bit much for her. She's a very fit and active 62 year old, looked after three of us when she was younger etc. I just don't want her to see looking after Lucy as a chore, or as work. I want her to have fun with dd in the way that I think only grandparents can - not having the nitty gritty, but only good times. She loves dd more than she ever expected, and she's the first grandchild. Both my brothers live abroad and she said that she might never get the chance to do this again. And I'm planning to have another baby, and give up work completely, some time next year. Basically I wondered if anyone else had experience of this, and what were the down sides and what were the plus points, apart of course from having a baby cared for by someone who was a wonderful mother. Did you lay down any ground rules about discipline? Was it too much, too exhausting for a granparent? Am I worrying about nothing??????

Crunchie Tue 09-Mar-04 12:57:47

Go for it, let her have her PLEASE!!! I just wish Granny would be as accommodating and actually OFFER to look after mine. If it doesn't work out, and she is finding it too much then you can look again.

Ground rules can be important, but it is really difficult to do this. Perhaps, if you have this type of relationship, chat to her more generally about what you want re: food, going out disipline etc. It would be brilliant and hopefully she will be able to continue once you have another as then the older one will get her 'special time' with grandma

aloha Tue 09-Mar-04 13:05:27

My mum has just started to look after my ds two mornings a week (she still sleeps well at lunchtime. It's so brilliant. He loves his grandma so much (be prepared for that - your dd might pine for her and make you feel a bit jealous!) and she just worships him. They do lots of things together - Tiny Gym, museums, park, stories - etc etc. My mum is 64 this year, and staggeringly fit (Pilates teacher) and really enjoys looking after him. My mum loves it and I feel so happy and relaxed knowing my ds is loved. We have no rules though she knows I don't like him stuffed with cakes and sweets non-stop!

luchar Tue 09-Mar-04 13:16:42

Hi Pook. My MIL had DS1 part of the week when I went back to work full time and then also had DS2 for a while until both of them became too much for her when DS1 was 3. I have to say it worked out extremely well all around. She has a very close relationship with them both and now will have them if they are too sick for school / childminder but not sick enough to want me! In fact, Nana is better when they are poorly as they get loads of pampering and sympathy! She also has them a bit in the holidays (DS1 now at school). Although she was a bit younger than your Mum at the time she has arthritis but still managed to cope with them both. She didn't take them out but it didn't matter as there were other opportunities for that.

Also, I don't think she was a wonderful mother at all, but she is a wonderful Nana and this has helped DH and her improve their own relationship. I had to lay down a few ground rules (mainly about food!) and did worry a lot at first but then relaxed into it and let her get on with it in her own way as I realised that she loves them just as much as me (if that is possible!) and will always look after them. The boys soon learnt that Nana and Mummy do things a bit differently! All in all though it sounds like a wonderful opportunity for all three of you. Sounds great! Luchar x

oliveoil Tue 09-Mar-04 13:21:29

My mother in law has dd 3 days per week when I work. Has good days and bad days (teething or just general strops!), it knackers her out but she LOVES LOVES LOVES having her. She is about 55ish, but not very fit and is overweight (hope she doesn't read this) but can cope fine.

From the start I told her what I did with dd but that she could organise feeding and naps to her liking, didn't feel right ordering her days about when she was doing me such a huge favour. Still have to bite my tongue occasionally when she does something that I consider 'wrong' and they give her ice cream and choc etc, but imo that it what grannies are for.

Thomcat Tue 09-Mar-04 13:53:46

My mum has my DD 3 days of the week and my dad has her for 1. It's great and I feel very lucky. i also think it a) keeps my parents young! b) they wouldn't not do it for all the tea in china c) it's wonderful that DD has such a close relationship with her grandparents.

Bless you for being so thoughtful, but go for it and just tell yr mum she should just ty it out for a month and then you can chat about how she's finding it with no pressure either way.

sandyballs Tue 09-Mar-04 14:02:53

Go for it Pook. My MIL looks after my twin DDs (3) three days a week and has done since they were 9 months old. She is in her early 60s, not very fit, but absolutely loves it and my DDs have a fabulous relationship with her. If anything, she gives them too much attention! They have constant fun and stimulation all day with her, so on my days off I find it hard to try to get them to play together for a short time while I do a few jobs. Not a criticism though, she's fab.

We had a few niggles about food - she gives in to their demands for sweets/chocs etc far more than I would, and I did find it hard to bring this up with her as I didn't want her to think we were ungrateful. I think this would be less of a problem for you as it is your own mother rather than MIL.

Metrobaby Tue 09-Mar-04 14:06:40

My mum (60) looks after my dd for 2 days a week, and has been doing so since dd was 7 months. But this will change now as I will soon be off with no2 on mat leave.

My mum prefers to look after dd on 2 non-consecutive days as that way she gets a break in between. Also she has found it harder since dd became a very active toddler. My Mum loves looking after dd and dd loves going there. Also my Mum tells me in exact detail everything they did together, what she ate etc etc. I don't think I would get this much information from say a nursery or childminder. Plus I know I can phone her several times a day to check on dd if I want to.

The down side to this arrangement is that I find it very difficult if there are things I am not happy with as my Mum takes it very offensively, and also she won't necessarily change her ways either which can be frustrating. (Eg. My Mum allows dd to watch far more TV than I am happy with, and also tries to indoctrinate dd into the Catholic religion already). Also I do always feel indebted to my Mum, so therefore I don't like to ask her to do any extra babysitting unless I really have to.

Finally I would definately recommend getting some ground rules together and agreeing them with your mum. Good luck !

Pook Tue 09-Mar-04 14:07:53

Thanks everyone. I'm sp pleased you've all got good examples of it working. I love the fact that dd is so close to my mum and I am really lucky. She has been the best mother to me, and she has all sorts of adventures planned - has bought a push chair and has plans for her freedom pass, as well as teaching dd to read etc. I suppose my only concern is that people might think I'm taking advantage and that she would be financially worse off (she does v. occasional supply teaching) but I' sure we can sort something out. Also, I am deep down concerned that she might have a dreadful day with dd and NOT LIKE HER ANY MORE! Stupid, I know, but I'd hate her tp be narked with dd.
Still, with mum looking after dd at least I can entertain going back to work without massive feelings of dread. And it is only 2 days!

slug Wed 10-Mar-04 12:54:27

Oh no, don't give in to your fears. My in laws took the sluglet for 2 days a week when she was 3 months old. Apart from the obvious advantages, the sluglet now has an extremly close relationship with her grandparents. She has her own cot, sleeping bag and highchair at their place. Even better, she is so comfortable there that there is never a problem with leaving her there overnight (or once for 6 whole days )

I would make your preferences known, but make allowances for grandparent spoiling.

Pook Wed 10-Mar-04 14:02:13

Oh I'm all for a bit of spoiling! That's what grandparents are for.

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