Grandparent or nursery dilemma(9 Posts)
I'm on maternity leave with my second child and struggling to know what to do for the best when I go back to work. Dd is 3 and at preschool 3 hours per day, ds will be 12 months when I go back. The plan had always been that my mum would look after them both and she still really wants to. However she's had a few health issues, the worst of which was breast cancer a couple of years ago and she's never really been the same since the chemotherapy. Some days she looks really well but other days she looks quite weary. Whenever I try to discuss my worries with her she insists she feels well enough to look after them both. But I don't think she'll manage so we've looked at nurseries for ds.
It just seems so hard to put him in a nursery when my mum is willing to look after him. Anyone else been through this? Dd spent a year at nursery and there were a lot of tears at drop off, so I'm dreading going through it all again, especially as ds is 9 months now and still seems such a baby. It's such an emotional decision I'm having trouble thinking clearly
I should add that I'm going back part time so will need childcare 3 days per week. I'm debating whether to send ds to nursery for the full 3 days and let my mum look after dd in the mornings before taking her to preschool. A three year old needs less hands on looking after than a baby, so I think mum could manage dd. Or maybe send ds to nursery for 2 days and let mum have them both for one day. I know she'd be disappointed if I didn't let her look after them both but I know myself how full on it is with them both. Another option is to sign dd up for wraparound sessions at preschool so mum could have just the baby? It's all so confusing
Whole days are very exhausting so I think I'd look at a way where your mum had each child for an afternoon or morning only preferably one at a time. I but don't stress, it s not the end of the world if you have to change what you originally planned if it's not working.
A good compromise would be a combination of nursery and grandmother. This way you can have the best of both worlds, and can always fall back on the other if needed. Eg if your mum is sick, you could use nursery, and if your child is sick/cannot go to nursery because of quarantine rules (eg 48 hours after d&v) you can ask your mum. We do similar with splitting childcare responsibilities and it works well.
As an outsider I'd worry about choosing your DM and she cannot cope and then you have to try to find childcare at short notice. I am in London and you tend to out yr name on nursery waiting lists before birth etc. Perhaps this isn't an issue for you.
With what you have said I'd suggest she only looks after DD and DS goes to nursery. Once DD is at school, she could then just have DS.
You and she both sound lovely btw.
I would definitely say try to do both. I would have come unstuck many times if I'd just committed to one. If a situation changes it's so much easier to have a fall back already in situ than having to try and find something new at short notice. I really can't stress this enough.
How old is your mother? No reason chemotherapy should be impacting on her from physical perspective this long after treatment. Maybe she has a touch of depression or anxiety and having the children is just what she needs to stop angsting about the breast cancer. Breast cancer chemo is usually only 18 weeks and effects are not generally long term - you are back to normal about four weeks after last cycle.
Thanks for all the replies, it does make sense to try both so that we don't just reply on one thing.
Crumbs she's in her early 70s, I didn't think the chemo should still be affecting her now either. Before it all she was very young for her age, looked and acted a decade younger than she was. But since the chemo she seems to be feeling her age a lot more. Maybe it will do her good to have dd around and get into a bit of a routine. We found a nursery with spaces at this stage so should be ok. Thanks again for all the responses, very helpful.
We've always used nursery/childminder with grandparents (when we've lived near them) as back up. So, children well enough to not need me at home, but not able to go to school/childcare, emergency pick ups if we get delayed etc.
Works well because my DPs don't get worn out by the children but are still involved. DC are now 9 and 5, I'll frequently get a call from my Mum to say "I've called the childminder, she's dropping the girls to mine for the afternoon, you can collect them after dinner".
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