Grandmother doesn't want to babysit full time.

shari25March 31, 2008

Hello, I have a problem and need some help. Before my daughter even became pregnat, she said when she had a baby she would stop working full time, so she could spend more time with her baby. I agreed to watch the baby part time, about 24 hours a week. Well since she went back to work she has decided to work full time. I love watching my grandaughter, but didn't want to do it full time, which is 10 hours a day, 5 days a week.. She and her husband make over $100,000 a year,( they have a lovely home and drive expensive cars) but she says she cant afford to pay for daycare. I would never charge them. Now she is making me feel very quilty for not wanting to babysit full time. She says if I dont do it, they will have to sell their house and move in with her inlaws,(so she can stay home full time) who live an hour away. She is not speaking to me now, just dropping off the baby and leaving for work. I am so upset, I'm not eating or sleeping well. I dearly love my granddaughter and daughter. What do I do? Thanks for listening.

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OMG.......are you serious?! She doesn't speak to you, yet still expects you to keep the baby?

It's apparent she's definitely putting the guilt trip on you to get what she wants but this has probably worked in the past........right?
If they really can't afford daycare then they should sell one of their cars and buy one that's less expensive. Or, they can sell their home and move to one that doesn't have a high mortgage if that's where their money is going.
She and her husband are responsible for their finances and they should be figuring out how to afford childcare. You shouldn't be made to feel guilty if they have to sell their house or car. It's their life, their choice.

I suggest telling her you'll give her two weeks to find a daycare or to make other arrangements. At the end of the two weeks, on that first Monday of your 'retirement' from childcare, make sure you're not home. Go stay with a relative or take a trip somewhere because I get the feeling she may show up with the baby. If you don't put your foot down things will never change.
If she's not talking to you, then hand her a letter with the new rules when she picks up the child. I'm sure she'll start talking then!

I'm sorry you're going thru this and it's terrible that the child is living under this stress. Remind your daughter that all this negative emotion will have an affect on the child and is already affecting you.
Tell her you understand what they're going thru, but that your health is important and you have to take care of yourself first.
Also, do you have any family member that can give you support during this time. Maybe even be there when you discuss this with your daughter?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 5:30PM
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I got a job when I first baby sat 3 times in one week. We only had 2 grandchildren at that time. Later we had 9 that lived in town and none of the parents wanted to leave their kids with strangers. I was the only one that didn't work. I would have ended up raising them.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 10:17PM
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Shari, I'm a freelance journalist, and I do some writing for I'm working on an article that's related to the topic you just described. If you'd like to be interviewed, even anonymously, would you consider dropping me a line at, and I can explain more about the article? I've also provided a link to my web site. Thanks, and regardless, good luck with your situation. Sincerely, Geoff Williams

Here is a link that might be useful: Geoff Williams

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 9:17AM
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she sounds very selfish. i'm a nana now,but when my kids were little and i worked i wouldnt dream of taking advantage of our parents.we were poor and i still wouldnt. my mother told me she would babysit but i always wanted all the grandparents to enjoy when the kids came. not grow to feel like it was a chore. i now have two granddaughters and as much as i love them, i would not babysit full time.
you already raised your children!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 8:56AM
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Shari, I feel bad for your situation. I wouldn't want to babysit full time either! I think your original offer to baby-sit part time was very generous. I'm not a Grandma yet, but I have 2 kids in their twenties and another that is 19. They aren't financially or emotionally ready yet and my worst fear is that it will happen before they are ready and out of guilt....there I'll be!

I wish you luck and the strength to get through this emotional blackmail. Perhaps your daughter is one who sees things in black and white only? With that good-paying job you think she could take advantage of your part-time offer and get daycare for the other part. I'm hoping the best for you! (((hugs)))

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 8:59PM
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10 hours a day 5 days a week is to much to expect of you. Do not feel guilty for saying no. She can afford day care. And No she isn't going to sell her home and move in with her in laws shes trying to scare you into doing what she wants of you...If you are watching your grandchild this many hourse it sure sounds like mom doesn't see much of her child!..
Of course this is very upsetting for you. But she can not expect you to give up your life to raise her child. 24 hours a week is more then enough to do for her let her arrange day care for a couple days a week and you watch your GC the other days. fair compromise.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 10:28AM
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I have babysat my grandaughter full time over 2 years, now I have another one to babysit. Both my husband and I have health problems, and its getting very hard for us to watch them, I think it is taking a toll on our health in some ways. Like the first grandma who posted, they tell me they cannot afford to pay a babysitter and will have to move in with one of the parents to make ends meet.

Also this is not my daughter, but daughter in law, which changes the dynamics. The last time we didn't babysit, we didn't see the kids, and were not able to go by the house and see them, which we respected.. but wow, it broke our hearts.

As you age, you get more vulnerable. We have become so close to them, but I know we will barely see them if we stop babysitting. It will be very hard to go through this withdrawal again, knowing those days of being close are probably over for the most part. I need the courage somehow to do it.. we are home so much now, they were our company, and we have been so good for them.. they love being here.

I feel we have made a real difference in their lives, and
I know that is our reward... I just feel so torn about all of this, knowing after being so close... the change will be so abrupt.

I know someone else has gone through this and conquered it, someone tell me how you did.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 9:22AM
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Where is your son in all these decisions? Doesn't he have a say in your coming over to their house to visit?

I can fully understand helping the parents when money is tight, but why did they have another child when they can't afford daycare for the first one?

I'd suggest asking your son to come over, alone, and explain to him what you're going thru. It's not unusual for parents to get caught up in their own world and not see what's happening to family members around them, and I hope that's the case here. I think you have to make them aware of your health issues and suggest they find part-time daycare so that you can still see the g'kids and they can adjust to not being with you full time. Don't forget to mention you also have a life!

And yes, you're will take a toll on your health, especially since you already have health problems. Ask your son what will happen if you suddenly end up in the hospital??
Also, there's no need to feel vulnerable just because you're aging.........if anything, you should have a stronger voice.

They need to start making plans to take responsibility for their family, yet also allow you to continue to see the g'kids whenever you want to.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2008 at 4:55PM
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Neesie, talk to them before they have children, mention often about how you love your free time. I would have bonded better if I had baby sat, but I bonded with my husband instead and I don't regret it at all.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 4:33PM
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My momma used to tell me when I was little and kept saying, I want, I want, I want - "people in he$$ want ice water but that doesn't mean they are going to get it".
For Shari: it's a bluff about selling the house and moving in with family. I'd ask her if she thought she'd be happy living with her inlaws? Ask her to define budget and living within their means including a babysitter.
She hangs it over your head to get what she wants and will continue to do so as long as you let her. Also, I've found when the mother says it has to stop, it usually goes on and on. However, if daddy talks to his little girl, they listen. The relationship is sooo different. You and your husband need to talk and certain you are on the same page and let him talk to her about no time for appointments, shopping, vacation or just relaxing. He needs her to find a babysitter within 2 weeks. The churches have programs and so does the Y. Maybe she could check with them.
Sunset, talk to just your son. Express your concern over the health issues. You cannot keep babysitting with the current situation. Tell him you have worried over this as you weren't allowed to see the children when this came up before. Who will take care of you or your husband if life throws you a bad health problem? You have to do what you can to prevent that from happening. Have either your or your husband's doctors told you to slow down or reduce stress? Then do it before you have no choice.
I speak from experience and life is too short to continue to enable our children to not grow up and take full responsibility for their choices.
I wish you the best. It's not easy and there will be tears but you just pull yourself up by the seat of your pants and take one step at a time.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 10:00PM
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If she is already mad at your, what have you got to lose by saying no to full time baby sitting. I had 3 step children and I had to say no several times before they left me alone and it did not cause any permanent damage to our relationship.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 11:02AM
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I can't imagine someone who makes 100 grand/year saying they can't afford daycare! That's ludicrous - what are they doing with their money, setting it on fire?
"Just say no."
You are being taken advantage of, and disrespected.

The entire matter is ridiculous.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 9:44PM
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Hello Shari,

I do not want this to sound hurtful in anyway; I only want to help you see your situation from another view.

Your daughter's actions are immature, unkind, and very disrespectful towards you. It sounds like she and her husband have bought their lovely house and expensive cars assuming and expecting you to baby-sit full-time.

What your daughter is doing is called emotional blackmail. I think it is time for her to grow up and show you the respect you deserve. Baby-sitting for 24 hours a week is less expensive than 50 hours a week. Your daughter wants material things at your expense.

I would suggest that if you really want to baby-sit part-time that you make a schedule that fits into your lifestyle. Give it to your daughter whether she speaks to you or not.

Then, you MUST wait for your daughter to agree to the schedule. I know it will be extremely upsetting wondering what your daughter will do, but it sounds like you need to show your daughter NOW that she cannot control you.

Be prepared for the cold shoulder, but I think you know in your heart that changes are going to have to be made.

I believe your daughter loves you, and will eventually grow up and take the responsibility that comes when a woman has a baby.

You're a wonderful mother and grandmother. Hang in there. The sun always comes up in the morning.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 2:43PM
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Sorry to hear your problem. My story is too long to post here but I will try to put it as best as I can.
Eight years ago Maddie,first grandchild was born. Daughter was a nurse..he was a fireman. I started keeping Maddie throughout the week without pay..I did the laundry,cleaned the house,cooked and cared for her..worked part time at JC Penneys nights and weekends. I would stay all day and then leave for work about 4 pm and worked until 9 at night. Years progressed...they moved not far from my house..I kept eventually all 3 children and worked retail. This involved nearly 100 miles of travel daily to take oldest to preschool and pick her up as it was in town near where I live and farther from my daughter's home. I had to quit at daughter and son-in-law(who is a jerk) said they would pay me whatever Penneys was paying me and never leave me hanging without a job.
I don't want to even go in to how this all turned out. This was a year ago and they of course got hard up for money..he's now working a good job though that his union daddy got him because he ended up being a lousy school teacher and quit his job doing that before his 2nd child was born and was out of work for over a year.
Anyway..months went by and they didnt pay me a cent..never even mentioned it. Because I love those children like my own I went everyday and never said a word..neither did my husband who has been more than generous over the years to allow me to do this. It finally was brought up by me..just before school began last daughter just said."'ll have to find another job." I left her house with that said and my life has been miserable ever since. At 57 and even having a college degree and experience and knowing people in this town..I cannot find a full time job.
I cannot tell you what life is like now...I stay depressed but move on as well as I can. I even kept a little baby whose mom is a teacher and lives nearly right next door to my daughter so the smaller 2 kids could visit me there daily if they wanted to. This young woman treated me like a queen. I drove there every day and she paid me $120 a week for the one child. I did a little laundry and cleaning but mostly she was just so sweet and kind to me. One day she even sent me flowers with an expression of her love and appreciation for my caring for her child. It was indeed new to me. I didn't do it this became complicated and she began to depend on me all the time as far as calling me with her problems and such..I felt I'd become her mother and it was just tough. She begged me to keep her child this year and even upped the pay. She even offered to pay me all summer when she wouldn't need me so I would come back in the Fall. I needed to escape..sadly..I do love her too but I need full time work.She is hurt now and it is a sorry situation.
I've seen a lot of the grandkids this summer. When I quit keeping them it was horrible. The 2nd youngest cried and cried..the oldest wouldn't come here to my house in hopes that if she didn't I would come back. My daughter and son-in-law are lazy...they don't want to work days when they can. They could have kept me if his mother hadn't been so busy paying their bills.
Anyway...I feel deeply for what you are going through. I cherish each moment with those children and they are most precious to us. Last Christmas for the first time we got a credit care(as I was out of work) and put Christmas on it. My daughter just a week before the holiday was taking stuff back she'd bought the oldest child. I went out and re-purchased the stuff as I felt so bad for the child. I took it out there and gave it to them to give her from Santa and got a tongue lashing that I'd out done was horrible. She told me to get out of her house and showed me the door. She then said I could come Christmas or not she didn't care she would never apologize. I went of course as the kids would never have understood.
I've been abused more than I can say..but what we do for love is most important in the end. I still can't find a job...our checking account bounced this week because they couldn't pay their water bill so we paid it...the kid's had no water.
I can tell you that my health has suffered through these years. I know as they grow older I won't see them as much...I have my memories however and they are the sweetest children. My son has a new baby and they have great jobs and are sending her to daycare. She was premature and they are worried about her but they don't seem to want me. It's heartbreaking but I guess I understand. Keeping the grandkids can be are a intricate part of everything that goes on.
Let them know daily you love them every day and tell them. Plan some outings on weekends that won't wear you out...mine love museums and parks and things like that. I always cook a meal and let them help out..they love that. The main thing is...tell them daily you love them....keep that contact and the doors open no matter how you feel...they won't ever forget it..believe me. I'm up against other grandparents who are wealthy..have campers and huge homes on the river...all I can give them is my time and my love. We did buy a set-up pool and it was a great buy..they love it. It's a lot of fun and they can stay in it all day..not too much trouble to watch either.
If you can afford it it's great to take them to concerts...symphonies...ballets around your area..culture is something everyone can enjoy. Even if it's building a bird house..planting a small garden they can enjoy. You don't have to do strenuous love being listened to...telling you about their day...walking in the sunshine. Never believe that you will lose is what kids need. Today they need their grandparents more than ever.
Their parents are so busy...they need you in ways you can't imagine. Mine love the latest Hannah Montana videos...get some hip music for your car that they like...dress-up clothes are a favorite too. I bought them a butterfly set-up online where they could watch them hatch and then let them go...they loved it!!! Check out what is new with their age groups and then get involved with it. Another thing..if you have a soup kitchen nearby..take them and let them help's a lesson they carry for life!
I hope this helps friend...I will pray for you. There is no pain like this...I know...I just try to focus on what is best for the kids. It is, as I say, risky business when grandparents immerse themselves in their children's lives..some go great...others get the end..the love returned and hugs and appreciation the little ones give us is after all...the joy of life.God bless!! :)))

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 12:29PM
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