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Granny jealousy and childcare!

(29 Posts)
formerblonde Mon 03-Feb-14 17:49:00

I'm going back to work fairly soon so need to think about childcare options. My in laws live about an hour away and my parents live about 3 hours away (unfortunately!). I think since having my little girl it's really hit my mum in particular that the distance means they won't see her anything like as much as they'd like. I do get on well generally with my mil but she does tend to take over with the baby ( and she is very good with her to be fair). My mil has recently offered to look after lo one day when I go back to work. But to be honest I wished she'd never offered....

This probably sounds ridiculous to people as I know it's a generous offer but the thought of my lo being closer to my mil than my mum breaks my heart. And I know my mum would be upset by it too (although would understand if we took the offer as it will save on costs). Also because of the distance will mil expect to stay over? (I've only so much tolerance!).

How can I politely decline her offer? It may sound ridiculous but I can't help how I feel. I just think all round lo being in nursery 3 days a week will be better.

Any thoughts? Am I being silly? Any one else trying to keep both grandparents happy?!


Ragwort Mon 03-Feb-14 17:52:26

If your mother lived nearer and made the same offer would you accept it?

I think it is really silly to not want to accept your MIL's offer just because your mother can't do the same hmm - your MIL is your daughter's grandmother. How does your DH feel about this?

However having grandparents commit to regular child minding is fraught with difficulties - can you just leave it that your MIL can do occasional babysitting but that you will be sending your DD to nursery 3 days a week.

What are your plans for 'emergency' cover - ie: if your DD is too ill to go to nursery?

pussycatdoll Mon 03-Feb-14 17:54:06

It is much easier to use paid childcare than family in my experience
That way you never get let down

NormHonal Mon 03-Feb-14 17:58:48

Your ILs live an hour away - which is still quite a long way to ask someone to put themselves out for you, even if they say they are happy to do so at the moment. The petrol costs are bound to cause resentment sooner or later.

Just use nursery, less hassle all round.

DontmindifIdo Mon 03-Feb-14 18:01:03

If she's over an hour away (longer in rush hour traffic?), then yes, she will practically have to stay over the night before rather than get up at an godly hour to drive to yours, or is she expecting you to drive DD to her?

That alone might be a good reason to refuse, but I don't think your mum being jealous is a good reason TBH - your mum is a grown up and will just get over it. Your MIL is equal to your Mum to your DD. They are both her Grandmother, why should it be ok for you to limit her contact to the close one in order to limit her relationship to that of the one that's further away? My DCs are closer to MIL than my Mum, but then like you, my MIL lives closer and they see her far more regularly.

Accept or reject based on what's best for your family (including the cost issue), but not based on what's best for your Mum.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 03-Feb-14 18:04:17

Nursery because of the routine?

GiveTwoSheets Mon 03-Feb-14 18:10:44

I would just say time and cost wise it be easier in long run to use nursery but more than happy for her to have her any other time. Unless of course you don't mind the hr there and back.

Can I just say my grandma (dads mum) lived 10mins away from us growing up and my nan 100 of miles away yet I was always close to my nan and as i got older i spent all my holidays with her. Used to dread spending time with grandma especially when I was young

formerblonde Mon 03-Feb-14 18:18:22

I take your points ragwort, ideally both grandparents would look after her one day a week then everyone could be involved but that's obviously not practical! Maybe i am being silly but we really struggled to conceive and it's unlikely my brother will have kids. Therefore dd may be my parents only grandchild and as such I don't want them to feel left out/second best (mil has another son who is likely to give her more grandchildren). I sort of get the horrible feeling that mil wants to be the 'favourite' granny and I don't want to encourage that game...

My dh will naturally want to take up the offer as it's his mum and it will save us money!

As I say I just wish she hadn't offered ( and I don't mean to sound ungrateful, I really don't)

I like the idea of appointing her 'emergency cover'. Will be a nice way to include her.

What a palava!!

IDontDoIroning Mon 03-Feb-14 18:48:35

It's not practical.
She's an hour away - how long is your commute. ?
Assuming you work 15 minutes away and need to get in by 9.00 - in reality you would allow 20 minutes. So she has to get to you in the house, coat off, a little chat etc by 20 to at the latest so she's got to get to you by 8.30. Earlier if she's a mitherer or a fusspot.
She's got an hour drive so will have to leave her house by 7.30.
Assuming you go straight home you will be in by 5.45. Will you/ she expect a chat cup of tea how's your/dd's day been etc. that's 1/4 of an hour minimum. So another hours drive and she will be home by 7.
She will be doing an 11 1/2 - 12 hour day. Through the winter dark nights etc.
you don't say how old she is or what kind of health she enjoys but assuming she's late 50s early 60s that routine would crease many far younger people.
Ok it's only one day a week but it's a huge committment week in week out .
Also what if she's ill is invited out by friends wants a holiday/ long weekend her car is out of action etc what will you do then?
I think it's something that sounds great but in reality really isn't workable.
Have you considered what type of granny she will be - will she respect your choices re weaning discipline naps sweeties tv screen time etc ? This is before you factor in any competitive grannying.

My dm lives about 15/20 minutes away and we couldn't contemplate such an arrangement on a regular basis.

She did one offs when dc was ill etc or had inset days that worked well for us.

BonaDea Mon 03-Feb-14 18:53:47

Tell MiL the nursery you like has a three day minimum as they are v popular?

formerblonde Mon 03-Feb-14 19:56:34

I had thought of that bonaDea! I feel bad lying to her though. Will chat through with dh. It will be a long day for her there there is no denying that.

I once knew of a granny that drove between Leeds and Darlington every day to childmind!! Wtf! It's like a 3 hour round trip.

Ragwort Mon 03-Feb-14 20:55:57

My friend is a grandma and her DIL thought it was entirely reasonable that she commuted (2 hours each way) into London from Norfolk to look after her grandchild as she 'was retired and had nothing else to do'.

Fortunately my friend stood firm and said 'no way' - resulting in a very stroppy and entitled DIL grin.

Shente Mon 03-Feb-14 21:00:37

I think occasional and emergency care is the way to go. As others have said she is too far away to do this regularly without either putting you out because of staying over once a week or exhausting herself. Kind offer but the consistency of routine in nursery suits you better...

meerschweinchen Mon 03-Feb-14 21:13:08

Two hours traveling a day for her does sound a lot. However, as she's the one who offered, and if you're sure she definitely means it, then I would accept. I personally think it's far nicer for a child to be looked after by a loving grandparent, than just be one of many in a nursery. I appreciate this doesn't seem to be a popular view on mumsnet though, and there seems to be lots of criticism of grandparents and nurseries seem the preferred option because of the 'professional care' confused I'm in a similar position as my in-laws had my ds one day a week and he was at nursery two days a week. He much preferred the grandma days! I'm lucky, as my mil is really lovely, and I totally trust her to look after him albeit feed him too much cake. My own parents also live three hours away and so see him less. But because of the distance, when they do see him, they stay for longer, or we go there, and my son loves them. In fact he absolutely adores my Mum, even though he doesn't see her as much, so don't worry too much about your parents' relationship with your child. Ultimately it has to be your decision, but please do give it some thought, because in my opinion the child-grandparent relationship is very special.

Mishmashfamily Mon 03-Feb-14 21:17:22

Just use the nursery !

The travel and petrol will be a PITA. Mil having to stay over every week? HELL NO!

Patchwork88 Tue 04-Feb-14 17:28:51

Just say you don't want to confuse your child with too many different carers. From experience children who do 2 days at nursery settle much slower than those doing three.
Also if you mil was ill what would be your back up plan?
You could always suggest she does emergency cover eg. when child is ill or nursery shut for training day or something.

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 04-Feb-14 17:33:52

I think there are very good reasons for turning down this kind of (very generous) offer, but "granny jealousy" is not one of them.

I think it's really very uncool of you to be considered obstructing the relationship between your child and her grandmother because your mother might be jealous.

Your DD is lucky that she has a Granny who lives nearby and with whom she can grow up with a very close relationship.

You really have no right to try to come between them for such a stupid reason.

I'm not even going to list the reasons I think this kind of arrangement can be problematic in case you use them to justify your unfair response to your MIL.

formerblonde Tue 04-Feb-14 18:17:52

Thanks for all your all your posts and perspectives ladies (with the exception of the last one which given its slightly aggressive tone I'll choose to ignore!). I'm sure it'll work out somehow!

HermioneWeasley Tue 04-Feb-14 18:27:41

I think it's outrageous that your reasoning is you don't want your DD to be closer to your MIL than your mum.

There are plenty of reasons not to have relatives doing unpaid childcare, but that is not one of them.

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 04-Feb-14 18:55:20

You're going to ignore my post because it points out what a complete bitch you're being about this.

It has fuck all to do with its tone. It's the content you don't like.

LittleBearPad Tue 04-Feb-14 18:59:01

Send DD to nursery with MIL as back-up. It will be much better for everyone. Including your stress levels.

formerblonde Tue 04-Feb-14 19:44:13

Joinyourplayfellows you have real issues! What sort of language is that to use on an advice forum?! Completely unnecessary. Just reported you.

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 04-Feb-14 19:54:50

It's the kind of language that a plan to use your daughter as a pawn in an intergenerational power game, rather than as a person in her own right, elicits from people who are shocked by your attitude to the other humans in your family.

JoinYourPlayfellows Tue 04-Feb-14 19:57:01

You should be grateful none of the (many) women on Mumsnet who think mothers of sons get treated like shit by their DILs have seen this.

Or you'd have a new arsehole by now.

Oh grow up. They are both her grandmothers.

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