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'Giving' baby to granny?

(242 Posts)
Bestforbaby Wed 31-Jul-13 11:53:34

Bit of backstory: relationship breakdown, subsequent discovery of unplanned pregnancy which I have decided to keep. The father wants to be part of the baby's life when it arrives.

I am in London, and to carry on working in my field I need to stay in London. The father is also in London. I work fulltime, 8-7ish, plus some evenings and weekends. Giving up work/going part-time is not an option for financial reasons. I might be able to work from home a bit, but not sure yet.

I have been looking at London nurseries etc, fulltime care for the baby from about 12 weeks.

My parents live about 2 hours from London, and are retired. My mum offered yesterday to look after the baby fulltime during the week at their home. It is just too far for me to commute daily, I'd never see baby awake, and it would be nearly impossible for the father to have a relationship with the baby. Initially I thought she was mad, as I did not decide to keep the baby to never see it.

But then I thought maybe I am being selfish, and if the baby cannot have me 24/7, maybe it would be best to have my mum, rather than being one of many at a nursery. She was brilliant when I was little, and they have a big garden, parks nearby etc, and, most importantly, time. By being able to stay in a smaller flat and not paying childcare I'd be able to save up enough to do really nice things with the baby when we are together, whereas both living in London we are not going to have much (any) spare cash. Then when the baby is school-age the plan would be to come 'back' to London.

Just wondering if anyone had any experience of a similar situation, or bright ideas? I want to do the best I can for my baby (who doesn't?), and maybe that is not being with me at the moment sad

ClartyCarol Wed 31-Jul-13 12:24:04

I think you may be underestimating how hard it will be for your mum and dad too. Your mum is presumably in her sixties, they will be shattered if the baby doesn't sleep well. All ideas of lovely relaxing afternoons wandering round the park may go out of the window if they feel like zombies. Plus there's all the extra work with laundry and bottles and weaning and so on... The baby years are knackering for parents in their twenties and thirties, never mind at their age.

ImaHexGirl Wed 31-Jul-13 12:24:14

I may have missed it but the father will presumably be paying some sort of maintenance for the baby when it arrives. Would this ease the financial issues a bit?

minniemagoo Wed 31-Jul-13 12:24:16

I lived with my Go from 1-6 years as my db was born with a lot of problems and was hospitalised for 8 months after which time I had settled in and the decision was made to leave me with Gp. Unfortunately both died within 4months of each other when I was 6 so back to my parents. It was OK but I missed my Gp dreadfully and my parents didn't actually deal with the grief issue.
Regarding your DM minding baby I think it could be a great solution as long as you do step up at weekends and realise reintegration back to you needs to be planned, gradual and not in circs like above.

Takver Wed 31-Jul-13 12:24:26

Another question to posters who think this is a horrendous idea - what would you all say if the dad was offering to take on the primary caregiver role, and the OP was going to work in London in the week and go home at weekends?

Val007 Wed 31-Jul-13 12:26:11

A lot of people do that. If you feel comfortable with it, go for it! You don't need anyone to 'allow' you to do it. Plus the majority of advice against this decision will come from happily married women, often stay at home mums, who have the support of their husbands and no idea what it is to raise a baby on your own!

gymboywalton Wed 31-Jul-13 12:26:25

i think it's your only option really other than not having the baby.

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 12:26:26

Waffly - not having a secure attachment is not a good thing for those children though.

ChippingInHopHopHop Wed 31-Jul-13 12:26:39

It works overseas.

It has the potential to work for you.

Being with Granny in the week and you at the weekend is a far better option than using a nursery for the hours you are talking about (if you can even find one to take the baby for such long hours??). Either way your baby wont be with you and will be forming bonds with other people - that's far better to be with one person (than many as it would be at a nursery) and the fact it's the baby's granny is even better.

Emotionally some women would find it impossibly hard, others would be just fine with it.

I think you would have to do a lot of talking with your Mum though, be very clear on how you both see it working, who makes what decisions (weaning/nappies/night waking) what your roles actually are. Otherwise it could be the cause of a lot of arguements/resentment.

I would suggest you do it on a trial basis. Be very clear with your Mum that this is what you want to do though.

I wouldn't factor the father's intent to 'be a part of the baby's life' into it. What is best for the baby is the first thing I'd consider and then secondly your sanity (with either decision) and after that simply work out the best way for the father to 'be part of the baby's life' - if it turns out that he is actually willing to put the effort in.

I couldn't do it myself though, nor put a small baby in fulltime, extended day care... so I'd have to look for a completely different option.

Bestforbaby Wed 31-Jul-13 12:28:45

Thurlow, yes there is potential for a payrise fairly shortly. My medium-term aim is going self-employed, which would obviously help a lot with being able to be flexible. But careerwise I feel I would be in a much stronger position to do that in a couple of years time, rather than now.

Re the father, so he can be involved in the early months, I think it makes sense to stay in London then, even though it would save money to be with my parents. He says would be happy with a full-time nursery, or anything really.

titchy Wed 31-Jul-13 12:28:55

You shoudl be able to claim HB and tax credits once you''re on SMP. Plus the ather should be giving you 15% of his take-home (this is ignored for benefit purposes).

That should enable you to take a year off. Then when you go back to work you may well still be able to get childcare tax credits on the childminder (or nursery) you use.

There should not really be any reason for you to work 8-7 plus evenings and weekends. You cannot be contracted to work that much. You need to re-think that.

The baby will not care whether or not you can afford to do nice things. The baby will care about having a strong relationship with its mum.

Onesleeptillwembley Wed 31-Jul-13 12:30:33

takver don't be ridiculous. The children would be with their other parent.

Sparklysilversequins Wed 31-Jul-13 12:30:42

What a twattish thing to say onesleep.

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 12:30:59

You need to start thinking about what the baby needs, rather than what is best for the father or your career.

Personally I would rather take a couple of years out of working to be my child's primary attachment figure than continue pursuing a career that is incompatible with family life.

Peachyjustpeachy Wed 31-Jul-13 12:31:27

I was a child very much like the one you are carrying.

Mum already had two girls under 3 when i came along. then when i was 1 mum started carrying twins.

I was sent to my nans house. then i was sent home at 5 to start school.

My nan was the most positive person in my life and IMO they should have left me with her.

when i returned to mums house, there were already 4 kids fighting for attention and a mother that i didnt/couldnt bond with. dad was there too, but because he was working 14 hour shifts to feed us all he was a very remote figure.

The rest of my childhood was a nightmare... i constantly wanted to be with my nan, and my mum saw this as a rejection, and felt that she wasnt good enough, whereas i felt like a 'throwaway baby' and also felt rejected.

its taken me most of my adult life to come to terms with what has happened.

dont get me wrong..... if going to your mums is what you decide is best for the child... then fair enough... but there will be consequences. Have you thought about what would happen if he wanted to start school with your mum?

WafflyVersatile Wed 31-Jul-13 12:31:37

Secure attachment doesn't only come from a one to one relationship with one person, specifically the mother. There is no reason why this baby should not have secure attachment.

A one to one relationship with specifically the mother does not automatically lead to secure attachment. Far from it.

There are always challenges and non-ideal circumstances.

JoJoH1 Wed 31-Jul-13 12:33:25

I think if your parents are fit and able to do and you can not reduce your very long hours then yes i would go for it if you go back at 12 weeks your baby is still very young to be left as one of many in a nursery setting for 10 plus hours a day - you wont be getting a huge amount of quality time with your child Monday to Friday if these are your hours anyway. My BIL & SIL put there 12 week old baby in a nursery at 3 months full time and have had al sort sorts of issues. Due to a change of circumstances he is now at his GP for 3 days a week and he seems so much more settled than he has ever been and i really think that is down to the attention he gets.

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 12:33:39

Waffly - a baby needs a secure relationship with someone. It doesn't have to be the mother, it could be the father, the grandparents, even a sibling would probably do. It won't be multiple nursery nurses though.

Sparklysilversequins Wed 31-Jul-13 12:33:43

I see what takver is saying. Why does it HAVE to be the other patent that the baby forms an attachment. A Grand Parent is surely only one step away from a parent?

Bestforbaby Wed 31-Jul-13 12:34:38

I am contracted to work 9-6, in practice it is longer than that, but if I really crackdown and focus I can cut it down, and delegate a bit. But there will be occasional evenings etc that I will have to do.

A few people have suggested taking a whole year off; I do understand why. But there is just no way I can do that career-wise, it would set me back years and years (very male-dominated environment, it has been hard enough this far!).

AidanTheRevengeNinja Wed 31-Jul-13 12:35:21

I would take up your mother's offer with the following adjustments:

- do whatever you can to maximise your maternity leave up to 6 months - money from the baby's father, some of the money you planned to use for doing nice things with your baby, loan from parents... whatever. Those early months are important for both of you.

- see if you can work remotely one day a week (or even a half day), so you can spend a long weekend at your parents' - even if they are looking after your baby on the "working" Friday/Monday you will still be around him/her

Would any of this work?

maja00 Wed 31-Jul-13 12:36:04

Maybe now is not the best time for you to have a baby OP?

Cabrinha Wed 31-Jul-13 12:36:08

My question about working at weekends wasn't about who can look after the baby then. It was about YOU having time to do it. I think if you're away all week, you should be around at the weekend.
I'm not against being away in the week - I work away myself, though I stayed off for a year. Just be careful that by the time baby has seen father on a Sat, and you've done some work on a Sun, that you don't find you're actually doing 4 hours a week with your child!
Unless that's what you want - but accept the long term implications of that.

I get what you're saying about biting the bullet and going back quickly, but forgive me - I think that's to make it easier for you, not baby. I think you should get money from parents, father of baby, savings, giving up flat... anything to get an extra few months before you return.

HeySoulSister Wed 31-Jul-13 12:36:09

It's all about money isn't it? That's how it seems..sorry if I'm wrong

However, once baby is born you possibly won't be able to even consider this arrangement.... How you feel now is very different to how you will feel once baby arrives

WafflyVersatile Wed 31-Jul-13 12:36:21

maja I don't know what you're replying to but I said nothing about multiple nursery nurses.

titchy Wed 31-Jul-13 12:36:35

You also need to bear in mind that it wont be a case of simply moving back to Londn to start school. Your child will presumably have started pre-school where your parents are, and made friends, and would probably want to start school with all their pre-school friends.

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