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Thread: Anyone with grandparents who babysit on a permanent basis....

  1. #1

    Question Anyone with grandparents who babysit on a permanent basis....

    I'm pre-empting things a little here, considering I probably won't think about work until early next year, but at the moment my mum and dad look after Iz while I'm at work 2.5 days a week.

    It works super well, they are retired and love spending time with her but I am conscious that if and when I need to go back again, it will be a nearly 2 yr old toddler and a 4-5 mth old bubby and to me that seems like a handful for them. Don't get me wrong - they are super active and relatively healthy 60/65 yr olds, but I'm still worried! One is easy but 2 with a baby??

    So just wanted to hear from others who have more than 1 child being looked after - am I being unrealistic about it? or underestimating the power of the grandparent? Mum says it will be fine because there are 2 of them, it won't be like she will be on her own, but I still worry.

    My other issue is that when I do go back I want to do CRT (emergency teaching) not a part time position so that is almost impossible for child care because the schools call at 7 in the morning to see if you can work that day so my options are pretty limited.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Sunny Qld


    We alternate between my mum and DH's parents watching DS on Fridays - so when the new bub comes, it will be both of them - so that will be a 12 week old, and a 21 month old at that stage - scary scary!!!
    Mum is in pretty good nick and says that it shouldn't be a problem, but I do worry cos she would have both of them on her own...
    BUT.. I just have to remember - they are better behaved for other people than they are for the parents - and .. (whoops memory blank out... pregnancy brain)..
    I so totally can't remember what my next point was. Damn. I hate that!!!!! pmsl!!!!

    I think my main point was that I'm in the same position and have to learn to TRUST that they will be ok, and that they will tell us if they don't think they can manage.

    Good luck
    sorry for the crappy post... lol

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    The land of chaos


    Hi Tan

    My mum looks after my three children every Monday. The oldest is 3 1/2 then nearly two and the youngest is nearly 10 months. I am constantly saying to mum that she needs to tell me if things get too full on but she says she loves it.

    My dad comes with her when he can but to help her out I have put my 3 1/2 year old into an early learning centre on the Monday morning and I take him and drop him off there on my way to work so all she has to do it walk over there at lunch time to pick him up. Then as soon as she gets home the nearly 2 year old sleeps for a couple of hours and then the 10 month old sleeps just after that so it is not like she has all three to contend with for the entire day.

    Mum has said that the day is busy but I make sure I have as much done the night before as I possibly can - eg clothes already out, food ready to go just to make it a bit easier.

    I am contstantly feeling so guilty about this and dont want her to feel like she HAS to look after ths kids but she keeps telling me she loves looking after them not only for spending time with them but beacuse she knows it helps me out so much.

    I think being a grandparent is quite a special thing so they love spending time with grandchildren and I guess like the saying goes they get to hand them back at the end of the day so it isnt like they are having them for days on end with no break.

    I sometimes think should I pay mum - but I know she would refuse so maybe everynow and then I will get her something nice(like a beauty voucher or a dinner voucher) just to say thanks.

    I think as a mother we are contstantly feeling guilty about things so I am trying to make an effort to tell myslef that mum loves doing this and it is great for relationship building between her and the kids so I shouldnt feel guilty.

    I dont know if this has helped at all as I have rambled on here. I guess what I am trying to say that I think that grandparents love spending time with grandchildren and they love helping their own children out. From what I can gather it is very rewarding and although the days might be busy I dont think they would change it for the world (well in my situation and from what you have said yours as well).

    best of luck

  4. #4
    ~Belinda~ Guest


    You are so lucky to have them Tan.

    We were considering asking my Mum to mind Madeleine if I returned to work a couple of days a week. She lives an hour away too and said she would do it! My Dad passed away last year so she said she would love to keep herself occupied with it.

    We have now decided I won't return to work but it sounds like your parents are so helpful. If they enjoy doing it then that's great.

    I wish you all the best for the rest of your pregnancy!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    South Eastern Suburbs, Vic


    Tan, I know that some people put their kids in CC a couple of days a week, whether they're working or not, just so they can have some 'me time', or get errands and housework done more efficiently. Could you use CC 2 days a week and then your parents the other days or something? That gives them some time off, and you could try and book the CC for days that are more busy for CRT's (Monday and Friday perhaps? Are those days more busy?), or if you're not working on one of those days, perhaps use that time to do something you can't usually do with kids?

    Dunno, not been there myself, but using my super powers of my imagination, that's what I guess I'd come up with for myself.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2004


    My mum has had Zander once day a week since he was six months old & will have two soon as well. Zander is a very very active little man & has been since he was tiny, so it is tough on mum who works 10 hours a day the other four days a week. She ok to go with the flow when I go back to work (not sure when yet) But because Aaron can have an RDO twice a month she has asked for at least one of those to be on her day so she can have a day off to herself a month.

    I think it will be hard, but like we do they will get into a routine & all will be good. I'm sure that if it's too much they will let you know.

  7. #7
    Ellibam Guest


    when i went back to work with just makon my parents and mil would have him each one night a week but since arquene has come my parents wont come here(i think its easier to get 2 to bed in there own home rather then disturbing them both) so now MIL has them one night a week and we have a nanny for the other night

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    For me....ive done it and i hated it. - leaving my girls (before my third) with grandparents. My mum and dad are turning 60 this year, and quite active too. My mum loved looking after the girls 2 days a week when i went back to work in 2006. But the guilt i felt was enormous. Mum and dad had 4 girls - 33 years ago - they brought us up fantastically, this is now their time. My mum still works too, so was hard for her juggling nursing shifts with minding my girls. I dont know, it just didnt sit right with me and DH that my mum and dad, or his mum and dad are looking after our girls. Not that we knew they wouldnt do a fantastic job , and not to mention how valuable that one - on - one time is, but it just didnt sit right.

    I understand some people HAVE to return to work, and CC isnt an option, and they are lucky enough to have their parents waving their hands to mind their children. But for us, we made the decision one of us would stay at home till the girls go to school. Dh works 2 jobs, so financially we are doing okay.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    the mulberry bush


    i haven't read all the replies but wanted to contribute my situation...

    my mum and dad look after my 13 month old three days a week as i work, and also sometimes more if we are having a night out etc.... they are active 60-65 year olds and love having her, they actually sold up the family home of 30 years and moved 100km to be closer to her.... since they are in a new area and haven't established their own life here yet, they absolutely love me and my dd visiting, as we are in the country and they are fairly isolated... i am very clucky at the moment and am fantasasing about having another one, not sure how it would all work out, but i agree that with two of them (grandparents) it makes it alot easier... my mum is the food provider, the nappy changer, the bottle giver, and my dad is the entertainer - works out well... i would imagine if i had another baby, mum would look after the baby and dad the toddler...

    i did the first six months by myself away from my family and friends and really struggled, now that my parents are here i do not know what i would have done without them... it has been great being able to have a break, and go back to work... i do occasionally take advantage of them, but they really love having her so i guess its just me being paranoid and feeling guilty.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    Tan, my ILs regularly look after both boys for half a day or so. Soon DH will be returning to work, and for a while at least we will both be working ft, so the ILs will look after both boys 3 days a week. I think it will work because they have a routine that works for them. FIL loves pushing the boys on the swings etc, so he spends outside time with them, then MIL will spend indoor time with them, so they each get a break IYKWIM. They will also take them on outings so that they don't go stir crazy in the house and also to ensure a good sleep from them both in the afternoon. I think with a plan, it can work well.

    If you are really worried, would you consider a nanny instead?

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Oct 2007


    My MIL works tuesdays, wednesdays & thursdays so she offered when I go back to work that she would be happy to have DD on Monday, Friday or both when I return to work. She has already raised 4 kids and as much as I know she loves spending time with DD I couldnt let her watch her 2 days a week so I deff couldnt leave 2 kids with her cause the guilt would be to much for me.

  12. #12


    Hey Tan

    You've had some great responses here..and I'm sure it helps hearing what everyone else does too.

    It is a bit of a tough one, but it does sound like your parents are really willing to make it work. That's really lovely.
    If it was me, I would be a bit worried about how it would go and feel a bit guilty I think. But if it did work ok for everyone, then great!! I do def think it could work though.

    I think Jem said about her being organised, and I really think that would be the key to making it work. If you had all their meals ready, clothes, toys/activities and anything else they could possibly need, all completely ready then I'm sure things would go fine. I think about my day, and it's all those fiddly little things that take up the time!- if everything was ready to go and everything was planned I'm sure looking after littlies would be very managable for the GPs.

    Or, can anyone look after them just for 1 day to break it up a bit?

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    I think you have to just give it a whirl and see how it goes. Don't forget grandparents have the luxury of being the fun machines - their job is to spoil grandkids, not do the hard stuff, so they'll have a ball. I know my Mum is looking forward to having both my two - won't be a regular 2 day or so a week thing like you but it will be regular-ish. My MIL frequently had the care at the one time of all her then grandchildren - 5 boys!! They are all very close in age so it would have been a serious handful but she managed really well.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Melbourne, Vic


    My IL's look after Ash every Thurs while I'm at work. We don't have #2 yet but we were wondering same thing bout them coping. Luckily though it is only 4 hours they have to do it for (i work arvo shifts) so should be alright.
    Try not to stress if your mum seems alright with it I'm sure they'll be fine, they'll prolly love having another one to spoil!

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