Grandmother Daycare: How to Make It Work
The ABCs of having your parents watch your baby
B Is for Boundaries
Once you have figured out where, when, and how much care the grandparents will provide, you need to think about setting some emotional boundaries. This is often harder than figuring out logistics. If you’re inviting the grandparents into your home each day, they’ll see your mail, the contents of your refrigerator, even your dirty laundry. How do you feel about this? Is your mother (or mother-in-law) a snoop, or will she respect your privacy? Will she meddle in the details of your relationship? Do you feel judged for the way you clean, how much you work, or how you raise your children? If so, you might want to reconsider the arrangement.
You also need to ask if the grandparents are truly ready to commit to being childcare providers. It’s a very different relationship from the traditional grandparent, who is free to spoil the child with sweets, late bedtimes, and extra TV. Be honest: Are they ready for the daily care of a child, including the boredom, repetition, and stress it sometimes brings?
If you’re the least bit concerned that boundaries will be crossed, consider cutting back on the amount of childcare the grandparents provide. Have them watch the baby one day a week or on a weekend night so you can enjoy a night out; you’ll still be saving money and you’ll also help foster that child-grandparent connection, without compromising your own values.
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