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How can I get out of babysitting?

I have been babysitting my granddaughter for free since the day she was born. I love kids! I love my granddaughter. I am a retired preschool teacher, and she's now four years old! But I've raised my kids - all four of them. This isn't what I planned to be doing at this point in my life. I would rather take care of my grandchild once a week, and make it something special, than do it every day and feel a little resentful.

However, my daughter can't afford to pay anyone to babysit. She makes just one step above minimum wage, and doesn't qualify for much in food stamps.

Head start would be free. There is a preschool program right in our public school that would also be free. My daughter doesn't want to send her child there! She expects me to continue babysitting. She's afraid her child will be labeled "ADHD" - which she won't. Grandchild is active, but not unusually so. She also is afraid of being pressured into getting vaccines. We both do not believe in them, and have had a doctor's note excusing us from being required to give them to my grandchild. She has had some vaccines, but there are tons that are given now, and there still is no proof that they do not cause autism or other health problems.

Anyway, I know I have a right to "quit" - but am I just being selfish? I mean, I am a GREAT preschool teacher! Should I just suck it up and do this for one more year? I should mention that I am menopausal, and taking anti-depressants. I've also been sick a LOT this winter - one viral infection after another. I've been on antibiotics so many times, there's probably not any good bacteria left in me. I'm tired. Need help!

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 10:20 PM on Jun. 20, 2011 in General Parenting

Answers (8)
  • I would say if it is risking your relationship you need out... or at least a break. I would suggest that you have been getting sick a lot and you feel that it may be best if you were not around a LO all the time. You love keeping her but since there are other options you would like it if she could at least give them a try. You could still keep her on school holidays and summer break (if you want to)
    But_Mommie

    Answer by But_Mommie at 10:24 PM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • I don't think there's anything wrong with your feelings or on acting on them. It might be hurtful to her at first (because we're always hurt when someone has to point out to us that we're being selfish, taking advantage, etc.), but if you follow through on making your granddaughter a priority - on your terms, of course - your daughter will come around. :)
    BethLopez

    Answer by BethLopez at 10:26 PM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • bethlopez - i couldnt have said it better myself
    danichaos

    Answer by danichaos at 10:49 PM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • bow downYou are not being selfish. You have gone above and beyond what most people would have done. Give yourself some credit. How awesome you got the time you did with your granddaughter. :-)  Talk to your daughter and let her know how you are feeling. You sound like a wonderful person and I sure your daughter is the same. She will understand. You can still have her a couple days a week or whatever works for you and she sill get used to being around new people and a different schedule. I think it could be a great thing for everyone. As far as the shots etc. It will all work out OK. I believe all you have to do is to sign a form that she is not vaccinated. Maybe you could call and get more information to know for sure what she would require. The world could use more people like you.

    LeJane

    Answer by LeJane at 10:50 PM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • I do think your daughter is taking advantage somewhat and being a little selfish, once a week is one thing but everyday for the last 4 years is a huge ask, I know, I have a 4 year old. This should only be something you do because you want to, not because your daughter refuses any other options she has available to her. I would explain to her that its too much for you, your not feeling well your feeling taken advantage of therefore your not giving your best to your grand daughter either so the change would be in everyones best interest, maybe she could go into the program 3 or 4 days a week and you watch her 1 or 2 days, that way you get your special time together and she gets some time around other children in a school like environment- best of both worlds for everyone.
    Princess_s21

    Answer by Princess_s21 at 11:05 PM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • I don't believe you are being selfish at all. When it comes to grandchildren you should be able to enjoy the time spent together rather than feeling it is a responsibility. Your daughter may be hurt at first when you point out the issues at hand but in the long run it will be better for all three of you. All 4 year olds are very active and require a lot of attention. If you are ill a good bit of the time your energy isn't there to keep up and the time with your granddaughter would be hard to enjoy. I believe if you let your daughter know just how much you love the two of them and explain all the issues she will be understanding.
    mrsbentley07

    Answer by mrsbentley07 at 11:13 PM on Jun. 20, 2011

  • This is one of those times where you just have to say it. Head start would be wonderful for your grandchild. She needs to build her socialization skills around her peers. Just explain to your daughter that you need time for yourself too and you're just not avaliable on a daily basis anymore. You are not being selfish and your feelings are justified. The child will start school before you know it so might as well start her into the routine. It will be good for you and her. Mom will come around. She needs to realize you are not as young as you used to be.
    2autisticsmom

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 10:31 AM on Jun. 21, 2011

  • Personally, in your shoes....I had come this far with her, I would stick it out for one more year. If she were 2 that's another story.
    salexander

    Answer by salexander at 11:18 AM on Jun. 21, 2011

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