19 Oct 2012

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

Yes it does. But what if your elderly village people had other plans for their golden years? I think this is the dilemma a lot of gen-y couples/mum’s are facing … well certainly what I’m experiencing.

Today, most couples both work and generate an income. Living in Sydney … no living in Australia, where mortgages out weighs salaries the need for the mother to return back to work after having a child is no longer a choice but a necessity to be able to afford some of the simple and basic commodities.

For many gen-y couples their parents may still be in full time employment unable to assist in the minding of the grandkids forcing their hand down the childcare route. Which again in Australia particularly in Sydney is ridiculously overpriced. Centres charging anything between $75-$130 per child per day depending on the demographics of the area, services you require or they offer, location of the facility and age of your child. Then there is the waiting list due to the limited spots for some of these centres with some suggesting to pre register even prior to conceiving.

At this point in time I’m very fortunate to have both my in-laws retired and my mom who has been a stay at home mom since I was 15 years of age, and my dad who is looking to retire within the next 6-12 months. So you think I’d have a sweet deal? You should hear the envy from fellow mother’s voice when they say “You’re lucky!”

However it’s not as great as it would seem. Our parents belong to a generation … heck I don’t even know what they’ve classified their generation as? … a generation that want to enjoy their retirement cruising on a cruise ship through the Caribbean or travelling back and forth between here and some place warmer on the winter months. A generation who wants to enjoy a care free life in their senior years since they've sacrificed and worked hard during their younger years. They have even come up with a mantra "SKI" which stands for Spend Kid's Inheritance.

I'm not saying they don't deserve to enjoy their senior years nor am I saying they should be forced to look after grandkids. My parents and in-laws travel regularly and I don’t see them easing up but then the demand to watch over the Eli will only increase as he gets older as well.

I’m hearing complaints. Complaints about how difficult and demanding he’s becoming and how tiring it is to look after him. I could blog on dissecting those statements, get all defensive about my son, make comparisons to what they did when they were in our situation and bring culture into it … but ultimately they’re doing us a favour – a great favour.

I wonder whether I should just stick him in childcare and not have to deal with these issues. The plan was always to send him to a childcare centre just not until he was a little older and not five days a week from the get go. 

It’s such a difficult issue cause we want everyone to be happy and taking action could offend people and we don’t want to offend family. We don’t want to impose but of course we want the support.

What to do? Has anyone been in our shoes and found a situation that worked for them?
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