Establishing a balance of how much childcare to offer can be quite tricky. Looking after your grandchild should be a joy, not a duty, but if parents are struggling to pay for childcare you might feel a lot of pressure to help as much as you can. Make sure you acknowledge your limits, and only commit to what you can do. If you get tired easily, have a health condition or are looking after someone else as well, make sure you don’t overstretch yourself.  The other things which are important to you – being with your partner, seeing your friends, doing your job – shouldn’t suffer as a result.

If you are a parent thinking of asking your parents or parents-in-law to look after your child, be grateful for what they are willing to do for you and don’t put pressure on them to do more, as this is unfair and can cause tension. Remember that for all kinds of reasons not all grandparents are willing or able to provide childcare.