Grandparents as the caregiver?

With the nursery prices rocketing sky high, Grandparents are stepping out of the world of retirement and are regularly looking after their grandchildren. Ok, granted looking after the kids is not actually classed as an official job but lets give some credit where it is due. Looking after a child, whether it is your own or someone else’s from 7am until 7pm. It can be pretty tough- no breaks, no guaranteed breaks and no time to do your daily errands.

Most grandparents are at least forty years old and after speaking to not only my parents but also a few others suggested that whilst they had a lot more patience with their grandchildren in comparison to their children. However, they stated that they had far less energy and their stamina was not as great with their grandchildren.

Lets face it, when looking after the little ones that is what you need – energy and stamina. With the parents leaving at around 7:30am to run off to work and not returning until around 7pm you need a lot g stamina. Especially, for the grandparents who have grandchildren who do not nap.

Apart from saving money, there are so many benefits and ideologies I love about grandparents taking an active role in their grandchildren lives. I know some people frown upon, Grandparents helping out with the grandchildren for reasons such as ‘they have had their children, it is not their responsibility’. To be honest I think this is ludicrous and actually maybe these are the people who have not had the ability to have their parents looking after their children or maybe they did not/have not got children yet (you are the best parent until you have children).

With my Mum poorly at the moment, my Mum is not able to help with the children as she has always done. She was going to be having Oscar 1-2 days a week whilst I study and the other days he was going to be attending nursery. However, due to Mum being sick this has not been possible. This has made me think about how I feel about Oscar being at nursery full time. Whilst I absolutely love Oscar’s nursery I would ideally like Oscar to be with my Mum at least once a week.

There are a few reasons why I really think that children and grandparents both benefit from spending time together on a regular basis.

  1. Children are with familiar people and in familiar territory
  2. Spending time on a regular basis can promote the Grandparent and Grandchild bond to develop and strengthen
  3. Child’s regular routine can continue
  4. Family traditions can be passed down to the next generation
  5. Child can build attachment with another person in the family (other than the parents).
  6. Follow your rules (even though I know this does not always happen as some grandparents know best…)

For us, a combination of nursery and grandparent childcare is the most ideal. However, of course it is not always viable for many reasons. I love that Oscar is learning how to socialise without me and that he is learning to build new attachments from different places. To be honest, I would not totally want to burden my Mum with looking after Oscar full time, as it would be very tiring for her. However, I have loved the time Milo has spent with my Mum before he went to school. My Mum had Milo 2 days a week when he was younger and their bond is incredible. My Mum knows Milo inside out. He is so lucky to have her.

With Mum being poorly at the moment, as I said she is not able to have Oscar at the moment. However, before hand, she was looking after him two days a week. With Mum not around, it has made me reflect on how lucky I was before hand and it has really made me appreciate what she has done and how it has benefited them all.

The point I am getting at, is to appreciate the care the grandparents offer! Do not stick your nose up at it. Being with the Grandparents is just as valuable as being at nursery!

What do you guys think??

Educating Mummy


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