Re: Grandparents looking after grandchildren.
Hi Dorrie....I am a grandma, too. I'm 54 and my 10th grandbaby was born 3 weeks ago. I have 8 children, with all grown except two teens. I learned within the first five years what I would do and would not do when it came to my grandchildren. First off, I took care of my children, and when I worked, if dad was working at the same time, I paid a babysitter to care for my children..or daycare. My mom NEVER had my kids unless she asked to have one to spend the night. I will not care for the grandchildren while the parents work, they can pay a sitter. It's really really hard on grandparents. It's not entitlement because we had our own children. I do not have the patience to "babysit", or the desire, I just want visits, and maybe the occassional couple hour stays. I want to enjoy my older years, and I want to enjoy my grandchildren without being a disciplinarian. I want to shower them with love, and cookies and the occassional special meal. They will remember us much better that way. I do not want to bathe kids, do two or three meals, run after them to keep them out of things. Sure, they get older, but there are other things with getting older. I had one daughter wanting me to watch her two yr old so she could clean out her car and wash it...she said he didn't do well at the wash place...I told her to take him with her anyway. He is now 13 and deals just fine lol. Sometimes the kids use to try to get me to watch the kids so they can grocery shop...I did it with 6 kids many times...deal with it, put them to help working. They had the children...the children need to go most places with the parents, that is what parenting is all about. We give up certain things and it's not all about me, me, me. That is why so many grandparents end up with the grandchildren. Even if you tell them that you are busy with other things and cannot babysit. It's not a lie...maybe you planned on grocery shopping, or mowing the grass, or doing laundry, or going to the gym, or a doctor appointment, etc. These things are important to you! You count, too. I will watch them here and there, just not on a regular basis. Then they EXPECT it. They just might like having a real babysitter or a daycare. It will make for a very happy grandma in the long run, and it will keep down all the stress you might have. It will end up being a win-win situation...after they get use to the idea. Do not feel guilty...it's hard...but you need to get past that part. Good luck to you