Q: I'm due to go back to work in a few months and my mum says she's keen to help by watching my son for me. I'm not sure about it because I have very different ideas to her about food, discipline, television, everything really! I don't want to hurt her feelings and he does love her to bits, what should I do?
A: Deciding on the right childcare for your son when you go back to work is a big decision, and you have to go with what you feel is right.
Have you visited local nurseries or spoken to childminders? You may discover it is impossible to find a carer who will match all of your own beliefs and ideas precisely.
A nanny or childminder should try to meet your requirements as much as possible but you have to face up to the fact that somebody else is bound to do things at least a little differently to the way you would choose to do them if you were at home with your son.
If you think she's capable and you aren't worried about her finding it too much work, leaving your son with your mum might work out better than you expect. You would know he was with someone who loved him from the start and he wouldn't have to spend time building a relationship with somebody new.
Take a step back for a moment and think about whether your mum's views on children are definite dealbreakers for you, or if you could try to come up with a compromise.
Of course children can love their time at a nursery, or thrive with a nanny. Often this choice is preferable to relying on relatives. If you are sure that you don't want your mum involved in his everyday care because your opinions are just too different you will have to talk to her honestly about your reasons. Be gentle, and remind her that she'll always be his granny no matter what.
Do you let your parents look after your kids? What happens if you don't agree on parenting styles? Share your experience by leaving a comment below...
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