It starts with the actual giving birth process. Were you with a partner or with your mum, or with both? (my mum wasn’t there, in case you were wondering.) Then comes the days after and the support offered by your parents during this hazy period where I was genuinely terrified by the size of my boobs; did they come bearing dishes of cooked food, ready to put ten loads of washing on or just take the baby for 30 minutes so you could have a shower? How much did they do? How much should they do?Sam and I were incredibly fortunate in that we received a lot of support from both sets of parents in the early days, and after I returned to work both with Jack and then with Sonny, the boys were cared for 1 day a week by each set of grandparents – such a wonderful gift from them, meaning they could bond with the boys and it of course saved us substantial cash on childcare fees. It was also a huge source of some stress relief as I knew Jack and Sonny were in great hands and I didn’t need to worry about being 5 minutes late at the end of the day if a meeting overran. Our parents became our first port of call for babysitting and when we went away without the kids for a wedding last Summer, they were the ones who stepped up and took care of our children for four nights. Four nights! That’s a lot, hey? Or is it? Where do you draw the line? What should we expect? These days, my in laws still look after the kids one day a week and my parents help out sporadically; but it’s sort of become a grey area, if I’m honest. Whilst both of our parents are fit and get all over the place, they’re busy (my parents run their own business) and they have their own lives, and our mums both have their own mums to care for as well as of course other siblings. In so many way, their lives are so much busier than ours and yet we expect them to help us with our children. Mainly, I’m just extremely grateful for any support we get.
And yet, I’ve got friends whose parents will drop everything to help out with their grandkids.
There’s definitely no one rule for all and it’s so dependent on circumstances. And then of course outsourcing childcare to family members brings its own’ issues : my use of reusable nappies on Sonny go out the window, for example.
How much help did your child’s grandparents provide? How much do you rely on your parents? Do you think we depend more on our grandparents than we should? I’d love to hear your opinions!
Thanks for reading, Emma xxx