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DGPs providing childcare

13 replies

Perisoire · 02/12/2019 14:46

Interesting relationships agony aunt letter on DGPs providing childcare:

"The dilemma I have a two-year-old granddaughter who my wife and I love dearly. My son and his partner have jobs and we agreed to care for her one day each week. We have found, to our shame, that we’ve come to dread these days. We both still work freelance and the arrangement frequently interferes with this and other activities. We try to make the day fun, but I find it an exhausting chore. I also feel resentful over silly things, such as the inability of the parents to provide a change of clothes or food, etc. To an extent we feel taken for granted. My instinct is to explain we underestimated the task and suggest a new arrangement. Or we could find a childminder to take our granddaughter for a couple of hours; that, of course, would require permission and would probably not be met with enthusiasm. We want to play a big part in our granddaughter’s life, but we’d be happier if this was done in circumstances more suited to our lifestyle. Is that really so bad or abnormal?"

Some good advice from Mariella I thought.

OP posts:

Starlight456 · 02/12/2019 14:51

I am a childminder and had a few parents come to me as gparents we’re not working out for various reasons why not give a dates notice .

Could you not offer a night’s babysitting once a month or back up as an alternative.

The children I have had in this situation live their gparents it’s just not working and still love to go.


Cadburymarbles · 02/12/2019 15:00

I am a mum with no help whatsoever but a flexible job so that I can do the school run most days so I chat to GPs more than parents tbh.

I am amazed by the way lots of these people are treated by their children! They moan to me about the amount they’re expected to do, some GPs are at the school twice a day, and looking after toddlers at the same time, in their 70s. They moan about the lack of thanks and the way their practices are scrutinised.

I have zero experience of GPs looking after my kids, unfortunately, but I like to think I wouldn’t put too much on them, some of these GPs look absolutely exhausted but are too nice to tell their kids. Of course they don’t seem to have any issues telling me which is unkind. They’re just using me as an ear to listen to them. I also like to think I’d be grateful and not micro manage them.


Ponoka7 · 02/12/2019 15:02

I am a Grandparent that provides childcare and I agree that it's a well measured response.

I would have reminded the GP that this stage doesn't last for long, though. I don't understand them not asking for a change of clothes etc.

I will say that when my eldest Granddaughter was under 18 months, I did at times resent the amount of help my DD was asking of me. I had to co-parent at times, instead of just being a Nan.

But, on the other hand I do think that it gives both parties a special relationship that certainly does benefit the GP when they are elderly.


Ponoka7 · 02/12/2019 15:04

"They moan to me about the amount they’re expected to do,"

To be fair, some people love a good moan.


doritosdip · 02/12/2019 15:09

It's sad that they couldn't even ask their child to bring clothes/food.

It's a privilege not a requirement for gp to provide childcare. It's very sad that they can't just say that they'd like to end the arrangement. My kids are near adulthood and I'd be gutted if our relationship was such that I couldn't say the truth gently


80skid · 02/12/2019 15:11

I know someone who is a real CF with their in laws as to how much is required. No "do you mind" or "are you free", just "you've got to....". Even when mum was unemployed for a long time too, yet still with an extraordinarily vast need for full days and overnights childcare (often with no notice), sadly to the detriment of the other her child's cousins, who in laws didn't have time for. She is/was a real CF but surely some blame must lie with the grandparents for not setting boundaries and managing the relationships. Sad for all involved really.


Dixiechickonhols · 02/12/2019 15:20

Sounds like more communication needed. If they don’t want to do it stop. But accept they will see grandchild less. A 2 year old will eat what grandparents do so I can see why no food sent but if they want food sent or money for food they should say. A compromise as Granchild gets bigger might be a class to break up the day. So grandparent can have a break and child does gymnastics or dancing etc to burn some energy off.


Winterdaysarehere · 02/12/2019 15:21

A dgm here. When dil fell pregnant unplanned she actually asked me to be very involved.
When they split up she def couldn't manage and I had dgc 2 nights every week. Sunday into Tues afternoon. She went back to work. She kept changing the days /times /being late /early - until my mh was being affected. I was so worried I was being a rubbish dgm if i couldn't accommodate her every whim. I told ds sadly I had to back away.
I was gutted tbh.
I see dgc on a Sunday afternoon now. When he is older he intends to sleep over he says!
Ime too many gps go the extra mile at their own expense. Not just financial...


sweeneytoddsrazor · 02/12/2019 15:24

If I am ever in a position to look after a gc for a day a week I really wouldn't object to providing their food. A 2 year old doesnt need anything special and it isnt any hassle to give them some food when yiu are feeding yourself. With the change of clothes, when my Mum looked after ine if mine I sent an initial change of clothes which she used, but she washed the dirty ones and kept them at her house for next time.


billy1966 · 02/12/2019 15:30

I think some people conveniently forget how absolutely exhausting young children are. I certainly saw very elderly people collecting very small children at my children's schools years ago and wondered how they managed.

Emergency care yes, but regular childcare, absolutely not.

I think it's too much to ask.
I see within my wider family, where it's provided, there is precious little appreciation for the huge sacrifice in freedom giving childcare requires.


Crunchymum · 02/12/2019 15:40

Interesting read.

My MIL provides childcare for us days per week. Older DC are at school so she has our (disabled!) toddler all day and then does pick up and has all 3 until one of us get home. She has all 3 in school holidays as well.

I know we are incredibly lucky.
MIL is young(ish), healthy and adores all the kids but she is particularly bonded with the youngest.

We all know that this is a short term arrangement, DC3 will go into full time education when she is old enough and we'll figure out a new plan for picks ups and school holidays.

I always express my gratitude, I always try to make things as easy for my MIL as possible (for example I do school drop off and then drop toddler to her. I provide all the food and nappies etc). We try to tag team time off so MIL doesn't end up having all 3 kids for the whole holidays [we take 2 weeks off each over the summer - although DP is self employed so it depends on his schedule]

My MIL is a huge support to me, but I do worry we are a burden to her. I tell her often, if and when the arrangement doesn't work for her, she must tell us. I think she would.


doritosdip · 02/12/2019 15:41

. A 2 year old doesnt need anything special and it isnt any hassle to give them some food when yiu are feeding yourself

Have you not seen the food threads on here where people are shocked that nurseries offer food like fish fingered or god forbid a pudding? Fruit is considered as "bad" in many posts. I can see why a caregiver would prefer to be told what to feed the child.


dottiedodah · 02/12/2019 18:19

I thing GP may shoot themselves in the foot here TBH! So many times we read about GPs not being allowed to see GC enough and for 1 day a week it seems too much! I wonder if his wife feels the same way ? Im guessing not.My Mum worked in the 60s ,and My GP looked after me an awful lot (more like co parents really) Nothing was too much trouble for them !.In another year or so she will be eligible for some free childcare ,so why not hang on for a short while until then. If things are said now and taken the wrong way, they may risk upsetting their DC and having GD visits curtailed ! Mariella says we owe a big debt of gratitude to GPs but most people have cared for GC for years (never thought anything of it !)

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