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Too much babysitting


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#1 sandman

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 04:19 PM

How do I stop saying yes every time my DIL asks me to babysit. She has a nanny for the younger one, yet when the older one is off from school, she can't seem to manage. I have to check with her before I plan a vacation. She works PT and I babysit for those times. When there is a school vacation and I plan to go away, she always asks if I can come home sooner. I know I should say no, but I feel guilty. I am retired, but have not been able to pick up and go on the spur of the moment.

#2 4alarm

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 04:30 PM

Just say NO "I'm sorry that won't work for me." The only one making you feel guilty is YOU.

#3 pbblt

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 04:56 PM

What 4alarm said. I know - easier said than done. If you have plans, or you want to do something for yourself, DO IT. She can find other babysitting, or go without whatever she was going to do. Another one of my favorites - "An emergency on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part". Yes, it is snarky, but sometimes required. Be prepared, though - this will mean you won't see your grandkids as often. JUST BECAUSE you won't be babysitting - not because she is withholding them. I have seen numerous friends have the GP complain about the lack of time with the grandkids after the GP had decided no more babysitting. Don't expect her to make sure you have the same number of hours you used to have (not saying you would).

#4 sandman

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 05:06 PM

Thanks....somedays I just want to have a glass of wine and read a book!

#5 soontobe

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 05:12 PM

i'm with the others, just say no! somedays we just need to have "me" time. if sitting down with a glass of wine and book sounds good, go for it! actually, that sounds really good to me right now. wish i could today. maybe this weekend!

#6 sandman

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 05:16 PM

How nice to know I am not alone. Part of the problem is that we live 1 minute away. I will just have to work on the guilt. I know guilt is self imposed, but it sure feels like someone else is imposing!

#7 soontobe

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 05:35 PM

do not feel guilty. if my mom or MIL lived that close, i would hope they had other stuff to do sometimes and wouldn't feel guilty saying no to me about babysitting sometimes.

#8 airstreamfamily

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 06:25 PM

I would just say no. If you want you could say, "I really enjoy babysitting X but I have already made plans. I'm sorry." Just because this would sound nicer. You don't need to explain or justify. If you agreed to always be the backup babysitter during the school years, then it is time to sit down with your son/DIL and explain the arrangement is no longer working for you. Give them plenty of notice and politely apologize for the inconvenience. I agree with the PP - I would hope that my mom or MIL would have a life, and wasn't always available at the drop of a hat too. Also, that they wouldn't change their plans because they felt guilty. I would be concerned that the guilt might turn into frustration, or resentment later. I would also want them to enjoy their retirement. Your DIL/son may not even realize that you have been prevented from travelling whenever you feel the urge. Sometimes we get so busy with our own lives, that we forget that other people have lives too. There is nothing wrong with your DIL/son finding an alternate babysitter, for the days that you aren't able to babysit. They might use that babysitter more, if they are always available to babysit, and that has more to do with keeping a babysitter happy with hours/money. Then the babysitter is more willing to accomodate the family's needs. Some dayhomes require a minimum number of hours in a month that families have to pay for, so it would make sense that your DIL/son would use the dayhome first, if that was the case. I wouldn't prevent my children from seeing my mom/MIL from seeing, just because they couldn't babysit my children. It isn't their job to babysit my children whenever I need - they are my children and my/DH's responsibility. Not all DILs play ugly. Go read that book and enjoy that glass of wine.

#9 Bradonsmom

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 07:07 PM

I never understood this! Why have kids to just pawn them off on everyone else? Ugh---it just upsets me so much. On the other hand, my MIL would LOVE to be in your shoes! If she could babysit every day, she'd be in heaven. LOL Just tell her you love helping, but not at the expense of your own life. She'll have to find other arangements. Maybe set up a solid schedule ahead of time.

#10 Tightan

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 11:42 PM

Oh honey, I feel for you. You WANT to help out, but it's too much if you can't enjoy your retirement. The guilt will getcha every time. Releasing your guilt comes from practice. "DIL, I'm so sorry but I'm not willing to cut my vacation short. I'd love to do it, but I have plans." "DIL, I'll need to cut some of the babysitting down a bit, I need to recharge." Then have your glass of wine and read a book. My DH and I try to do this too. See, your DIL isn't learning to manage because she has others to shield her from the natural consequences (total chaos) which would teach her to help herself avoid it. She may feel a little resentment because she has expectations derived from previous experience with you dropping everything for her, but if she's sane, she'll get over it. Reasonable boundaries are your friends. They are designed to protect relationships from destruction because by you having them and her respecting them, resentment doesn't have the chance to build. So in essence, by saying no you'll protect your relationship with your DS and DIL.

#11 MomMomMaggie

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 12:52 AM

Sandman, is it guilt? Or is it fear? Are you afraid if you say no once, or plan a day that she later turns out to ask, that you won't be asked again?

#12 myjoys

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 01:49 AM

While I absolutely love my GKs, I also like spending time doing the hobbies I love and spending time with my friends. So I made it clear to my children that I will gladly help with the GKs when I can and will say NO when I cannot. I don't need to give them a reason why not, just that I cannot. This works for our family. We're blessed.