Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Grandma or Nursery?

Although it is only April it is soon going to be time for me to think about my plans for when I go back to the dreaded word beginning with W and ending in K.  I am still desperately trying to look for a job that enables me to work from home, but unfortunately all the jobs that are more flexible don't make enough money for me to cover my part of our outgoings.

I am also hoping to work part-time if my work will let me, but even then it is going to be a stretch.  However at the moment it works out more financially viable for us if I work part-time rather than full-time due to the ever increasing costs of childcare.

I was interested to read an article on the Ask a Mum website titled 'Do we rely on 'super grandparents too much for our children's childcare?'  The article basically states that on average four million grandparents in the UK are providing at least 10 hours childcare a week for their grandchildren.

We currently have this dilemma at the moment so I was really interested in reading more about it.  My Mum presently doesn't work and has said that she will quite happily have Mads if I went back to work three days a week.  

The problem is I don't want this.  Sure it would help us out financially as childcare is so expensive.  But when I think back to my childhood we saw one set of Grandparents about once every two weeks and the others a lot less because they lived further away.  I was always so excited to see both sets because it was a treat to go round there, and because I was their Grandchild and we didn't see each other a lot, I got spoilt, both in presents and attention.  I can remember my Nana playing jewellery shops with me for hours and my other Grandma making cakes with me.

I worry that if Mads goes to my Mums all the time then it will ruin the special time that she will have with her Grandma.  Don't get me wrong, she will have an amazing bond with her anyway because my Mum adores her and sees her most days at the moment anyway, but I never want it to have to be a chore for my Mum.  She keeps saying that she would never be a chore and she would love to have her, but this is just my personal choice.

I don't know what is going to happen in regards to my work but as it stands at the moment I would ideally like Mads to go to her Grandma once a week and into a nursery the rest of the time.  This means she can socialise with other children and become independent but also have a wonderful day with her Grandma that she will look forward too and so will my Mum.

I can understand why Grandparent's are being used for childcare a lot more in this current economic climate and my Mum can't understand why I don't want Mads to go to her more, especially as I am concerned about the nurseries in my area.  But it will be nice to have the balance between the two.

Or alternatively I will win the lottery and I can stay with her myself!


Mummy...Mummy.....MUM!! said...

Ours are at nursery as Grandparents are too far away, but nursery is great. They get to be with other children the same age all day long and build relationships with people outside the family. Its great for confidence and should help when they go to school too.

I mix of grandparents and nursery is probably a good idea, then you save some money too.


Claire said...

I went back to work full-time and my ten month old headed to nursery monday to friday. I don't have the option of grandma as she is too far away, but I did consider the other options (nanny / childminder). Whatever your choice, you will never feel entirely comfortable and I have had so many sleepless nights over childcare.

As a working mum you have to learn to live with constant questioning of whether you are doing the right thing. If I were you, I'd make your life easy and take grandma up on her offer.Our nursery is great, but when they are little they pick up every germ going and even a hint of a raised temperature sees nursery sending the child home. It has been hugely stressful juggling this. Even with an understanding boss it is hard. Seven months into being back, I'm giving up and going freelance....

Good luck with your decision and the return to work.

Mrs E said...

Thanks girls, it is such a hard decision to make, I want to do right by everyone and I also want Mads to make friends, yet also being with my mum would save us a fortune.

I have a bit more time to think about it!

I would love to be able to work from home, unfortunately so does everyone else so I am guessing jobs are hard to come by.


Mummy and the Beastie said...

My son goes to nursery 2 days a week and one day with my in laws (I work 3 days). I would have loved to have my Mum look after my son but she lives abroad so sadly that is not an option. Maybe you should try your Mum first and when you are more settled you could try at least the odd morning or day in nursery? I actually like my son going to nursery for all the interaction with other kids, all the activities I can't provide and because he LOVES it so much. It's such a tough decision but you will work out what is best...x

Mrs E said...

Sounds like you have a good balance hun, that is what I am hoping will happen with us. I do want her to go to nursery so she interacts and I hope she will love it, as well as loving spending time with her grandma! x

nikki said...

the reason i'm a sahm is because i used to be a nursery nurse,it put me off ever using day nurseries! there are of course some very good nurseries so choose wisely and trust your motherly instinct as to whether you trust the people that work there x

planb said...

Interesting. And tricky. My mum wasn't like yours - she said that while she was happy to help out when needed she wouldn't, and couldn't, commit to being a regular carer (to be fair she was two hours away and looking after my disabled dad, so that's not unreasonable).

We therefore did (and do) nursery. All three of them love their nursery and I honestly feel they get more out of it than they can from me - it's not just the socialisation with other children, but also they're getting input from other adults they wouldn't otherwise meet, and doing activities they wouldn't otherwise do: I picked L up one day when they had emptied a tin of beans onto the table and let them mush them up with their hands! Brilliant brilliant fun I'm sure but not something they'll ever be doing when I have to clean them up!!!

I think your compromise sounds perfect, if you can reconcile your uncertainties about the nurseries and also reassure your mum it's not personal.... which is a whole mission in itself I'm sure.

Good luck!