ALL IN THE FAMILY: RELATIVE CAREGIVER
Thinking of starting a family? Or expecting your bundle of joy? If so, the issue of childcare arrangements must have come up at some point in time. Maybe Baby spoke to four real-life moms who had chosen four different childcare options, and asked them to share their thoughts and experiences.
Ms Zen Lee, a mother of an 8-month old boy, is a marketing & communications manager at a retail mall. She opted for family childcare – getting grandma to care for her grandson.
1. What were the main reasons for you deciding on having a relative caregiver?
Leaving my son under the care of my mum when I needed to head back to work was kind of a no-brainer for me. This was because my mum had already retired, and at this point in time, there was really nothing else that she looked forward to, other than having grandkids and spending time with them.
In fact, she volunteered and offered this option to us!
2. What do you like most about having a relative caregiver?
I like having the peace of mind, knowing that my baby is in good hands. Knowing that my parents are as particular as me with regard to his well-being – this will ensure that he is well taken care of in every aspect: health, hygiene, stimulation, education etc.
3. What do you like least about it?
As my parents are getting on in age, I can see how it tires them out at times when looking after the bub, especially as he gets older and more active. At the moment, he is still not very mobile, but very soon, they would have to start chasing after him as he crawls/walks/climbs all over the place.
He throws tantrums occasionally, demanding to be carried the entire time. And at times, he can only be soothed by being carried. There was even once when my mum strained her back and shoulders after carrying him for a while!
In addition, I do fear that my parents will spoil my kid by giving in to him all the time, just because he is their precious grandchild!
With grandma, a delighted, doting caregiver
4. Was this childcare option your first choice? If not, what other childcare option would you have preferred? Or which other childcare options had come a close second, if any?
This childcare option was definitely my first choice. If this option wasn't available, I would have opted for an infant care centre. However, I would adopt a set of strict criteria in selecting my preferred infant care centre!
Although children might be more vulnerable to various infections in infant care centres, e.g. HFMD, their advantage is that there are trained professionals who specialise in taking care of babies. Also, the kids would be able to pick up social skills more readily as compared to a child who is cared for at home.
And if we adopt a more positive outlook, greater exposure to possible infections in infant care centres might actually help to build a child’s immunity!
5. From your experience, do you have any tips/words of advice to other parents-to-be who might be considering having relative caregivers?
I personally feel that parents should not stress themselves out unnecessarily over childcare options or be fixated on any one option. If your first-choice option, while most ideal, is not viable for any reason, do not feel bad about falling back on option two, because parenting is about providing the best that you can give, WITHIN YOUR MEANS.
Ethan’s 1st Birthday!
Maybe Baby would like to thank Ms Zen Lee for sharing her thoughts and experiences on grandparental care for her son. We wish her and her family all the best!
Look out for the other 3 articles in this 4-part series Real Moms Share About Childcare:
Part 1 – All in the family: Relative Caregiver
Part 2 – Being a Stay-At-Home-Mom
Part 3 – Hiring a Stay-In Nanny
Part 4 – Sending Your Child to Infant Care
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are based on personal thoughts and experiences of real-life moms with young children, and do not necessarily represent the views of maybebaby.sg, I Love Children and the administrators of this site.
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