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How to broach the subject of childcare with MIL?

(283 Posts)
ElleDubloo Thu 13-Mar-14 17:50:18

I have a brilliant MIL who I get on with swimmingly. She's delighted I'm pregnant and really excited about having her first grandchild. We live 25 mins away from her (we're actually currently living at her house, because we're having work done to our bathroom). We might move in with her more permanently when I'm due, to have her help with the baby in the early days.

I'd like to broach the subject of childcare, but I'm not sure how to do it sensitively, and without looking like I'm taking advantage of her. TBH, I'd like to take 6 months maternity leave and then return to work full-time, and it would be amazing if she would volunteer to take on all the childcare after that. It's a big ask. She has a part-time job as a teacher, which she has hinted that she doesn't enjoy very much.

Is it reasonable for me to ask her whether she'd like to quit her job so that I can go back to work?
How should we recompense her for the loss of earnings? Could we offer to pay her (because we'd rather pay her than pay a childminder we don't know) but would she take offense?

Would be great to get everyone's thoughts on this smile

weebairn Mon 17-Mar-14 14:37:35

Good luck ElleDubloo.

I also get loads of help from my mum. I'd get even more if she lived closer. I don't think people are built to bring up babies alone, it's really tough and a team effort is better.
I went back to work as an SHO part time when baby was 10 months, working nights etc, and it was really hard, but I got through and am glad I'm working now. I would miss my baby too much full time though - and full time as a doctor is much more full time than most people's full time. So go easy on yourself and be flexible if you find the idea impossibly hard when you get nearer the time. (You may be the opposite of me and longing to get back to work!)
If you'd suggested living with my parents before I'd had a baby I'd tell you you were mad, but now I wouldn't run from the idea!
I would get your husband on board- you're both having a child and you both need to make sacrifices.

Good luck with your pregnancy and don't let the hospital be complete dicks about it -they were to me! Call the BMA if you hit problems working nights late into your pregnancy etc.
All the best.

PenguinsEatSpinach Mon 17-Mar-14 14:44:57

Glad it is all working out.

FWIW, I didn't accuse you of tax evasion. I said you were being patronising when you called me 'agitated', which I think you were. But on the tax all I was trying to do was point out you were misunderstanding the tax and that it wasn't as simple as you (and many people) initially assumed.

cheeseandpineapple Tue 18-Mar-14 09:34:04

Good luck, OP, sounds like you have lovely inlaws and since your mother has passed away, it's great that you have a close relationship with MIL and hope it continues to go from strength to strength. I'd be delighted to have a daughter in law who wants to live with me and involve me so actively with my grandchild, really hope it all works out well.

moregranny Tue 18-Mar-14 15:02:27

I would of been horrified if my daughter had NOT asked me and her mum in law to look after the baby from 9 months onwards and the 2nd one due in September, we are not super fit grannies and granddads but to have missed out on the joy that little girl has given us would have been awful, it is hard, it is tiring but it is worth more than money.

applepearorangebear Tue 18-Mar-14 15:17:09

Good luck with it all OP. The only suggestion I'd like to make is that you can (I'm fairly sure) top up your own / someone else's NI payments voluntarily so if it looks as though your MIL (or FIL) won't have enough qualifying years to get a full state pension due to taking early retirement, you might want to look into doing that for her / him. Time limits apply though - I can't remember what they are (you have to make the payments within years rather than months, if I recall correctly, but I could be wrong on that) but the DWP should be able to help you, and will provide your MIL / FIL with a pension forecast (and advice on when to make any top up payments / when they would need to be made by) for free.

My parents are also extremely supportive and provide lots of free childcare very happily - it's been an absolute godsend to us, and I hope you all have many very happy child-filled years ahead together smile

Mumunder3 Tue 18-Mar-14 22:43:33

I got pregnant (planned) at end of f2. Initially went back to paeds training part time 60% but after 2nd changed to gp training also part time. I love my kids and wouldn't change anything but looking back may have been easier to have got further in training before kids although maybe if I'd waited I would have still wanted to change to gp post kids but would have been too late & if did change would be even more behind than my peers than I am now.
Great that your mil can help out, my mum and mil do but remember that they need a break too so maybe consider 1 or 2 days or nursery. That's what we do plus think good for kids to have that social interaction.
Would say think you'll change your mind about full time once you have your baby. As remember it not just the 'day job' but the time spent revising for exams, doing audits, presentations, stuff for cv etc. you'll hardly get to see your child and think you'd really miss out plus be exhausted. I really appreciate the days I have off and that time with them. You won't get that time back but you'll be working for a long time and few years extra for training won't make a difference. You'll soon find that your cohort that you graduated with all start to go off in different directions either by having kids, changing specialities etc so you start to notice less the extra time it's taking you to get through training.

PastaandCheese Wed 19-Mar-14 07:42:40

Just to offer a different perspective I think you should at least explore a part time nursery place. I've just had DC2 and I had to sign him up before he was born to get him into the private nursery of my choice that my DD attends. Don't miss the boat on a good nursery because you think childcare is sorted.

My BIL and SIL are hospital Drs and they have a nursery place 3 days a week and MIL does the rest of the childcare including overnights and weekends where they can't arrange shifts to compliment each other.

That said they were both consultants in their respective fields before their DD was born and SIL was lucky enough to get a 4 day position. I agree this is much harder if you're still training.

DH and I earn a little more than you and your DH and don't live in London. We would really, really struggle to pay our mortgage and a nanny. I know my BIL and SIL would too. £2,000 per month when you have to make NI contributions and deal with tax for the nanny won't buy you many hours in London if your MIL does decide she needs help.

Personally I think a nursery place mixed with support from your ILs is an ideal solution. I know my MIL is really happy to help out in the way she does but she is also very grateful that she only has to help with drop offs and pick ups at nursery 3 days a week! It also knocks out any taxation issues.

Also, your DH does need to get properly set up with a virtual office. I'm a lawyer too (public sector so not corporate but still central gov and therefore still demanding) and I really value my home access. I can get home and put DCs to bed before carrying on with work through the evening.

PastaandCheese Wed 19-Mar-14 07:47:40

See mumunder has suggested the same thing based on her experience of balancing medicine with childcare.

Good luck OP. I hope it works out for you. No woman should have to sacrifice her career for children in this day and age.

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