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Babysitting... how often?

Posted by Jenn (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 29, 01 at 16:18

I'm wondering how often you working grandmas babysit your little grandkids. We're planning to give a "babysitting gift" for Christmas along with some movie coupons and such with a commitment to babysit at their place (or ours if that is more convenient) one night a month so the parents can get out together for a relaxing evening. That would give them the knowledge that they will have a break once a month without having to ask for it. But how long do we carry that out (until what age?), and what if something else comes up one month that we can't cancel, etc? I'm afraid we will feel "locked in" to it where we can't be flexible on either side. Have you done anything like this and how did you work it out? Maybe I'm making too much of it....

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Babysitting... how often?

What a lovely idea. Just give them a few (maybe 4-6) to start and see how things go--you're all family, you can sit down and talk things through, right? I'm sure that as reasonable adults, your children will understand that you, too have a life and that if one weekend isn't good, you'll be happy to reschedule for another--actually, that doesn't seem like a problem at all to me.

As far as how long to keep it up--that's not a decision you really need to make now. I will say that some of my fond memories of my childhood were Saturdays spent at my grand-parents' and my aunts' houses. It was a regular thing--each Saturday one of us (four siblings) would get to go to my grandparents, and one would get to visit my aunt and great-aunt for the day). We eagerly looked forward to our 'turns' because there was always something fun going on at either place. You may find that you're starting a wonderful family tradition that you'll all enjoy for many years to come.

Happy Holidays!

RE: Babysitting... how often?

Skye, thanks. I tend to feel "locked in" to commitments like I can't get out of them, I always have (I grew up believing it wasn't OK to say "no" to anyone) but I am getting better. When we present it, we'll mention that we should all be flexible about it while at the same time making some sort of commitment or plan to do something. I tend to be very task-oriented and, working full time, I think of Saturday as the day when I can get things done. I'm learning that sometimes the better thing is to set those things aside to make time for other people.

I think your family tradition was wonderful and also very inspiring to me. I will remember that. I've already thought of fun things we could do with the kids, those will be fun times.

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