‘I couldn’t do my job without them – I’m very fortunate’
Nicola Broad, 36, a school deputy head from Nottingham, relies on her mum Bev, 58, to help with childcare.
As I hear feet running down the stairs, followed by the front door slamming, I smile. Although I’ve just had cross words with my eldest, Joshua, who’s 10, I know where he’s going – across the road to see Grandma. She’ll give him a drink and a cuddle, help him see what went wrong, and send him back to me for a hug.
I’m lucky that Joshua, and his six-year-old brother Charlie, have such a close relationship with my parents, but it’s no surprise.
My dad, Dale, 61, retired early and stepped in to look after the boys as soon as my maternity leave finished. When Mum took redundancy two years ago, she was itching to spend more time with them, too. Now she does the school run twice a week.
The ethos that underpins our arrangement is that I am always grateful if they can help and never upset if they can’t. We work as
a team and have a meal together every weekend to run through what’s happening the next week.
I respect that Mum needs time to herself. She volunteers at the therapy centre at Nottinghamshire Hospice every week. Giving back to the community is sacred to her.
I know we are very fortunate. I couldn’t be so committed to the job that I do without them. Mum and Dad even do homework with the boys because they know it’s late by the time we get home.
I’ll often treat Mum and Dad to a meal to let them know that we appreciate all that they do. GRAN’S STORY I loved having my own children, but we didn’t have much money and I fretted about being a good mum. Now I feel more confident and can spend more time doing the things Joshua and Charlie love.
After I’ve picked them up from school, we head to the park and sometimes go out for tea. When the weather’s not good, we play old games, such as dominoes.
With volunteering at the hospice, my retirement is busy, but I love being a part of their lives. When I hear our front door open, followed by the shout of ‘Grandma, where are you?’ it always makes me smile.
Bev with her grandsons Charlie (left) and Joshua