Grandparenting/Babysitting grandsons


My 24-year-old daughter has 2 sons; ages 5 and 18 months. She recently started to work outside the home, and is furious that I won't be her daycare. She lives in the same town, and I see my grandsons several times a week. I warned her YEARS ago not to expect me to babysit or raise her kids, but she acted shocked when I really wouldn't be her daycare provider. I do not work outside the home, but I'm still raising my 2 younger kids (17 and 15). My youngest has autism and is very loud all the time. I enjoy my quiet time when he is at school or with his dad. I love my grandsons and enjoy their company, but I absolutely hate having to babysit them. My son is mentally younger than his age and still needs to be supervised too. My daughter and I constantly argue about this issue, and I do feel guilty for not being a hands-on grandma who wants to have her grandkids around all the time. But I just can't help it. My anxiety and stress levels go thru the roof when I'm babysitting them. They are both very high maintenance and need to be constantly entertained, which doesn't help either. I have raised/am still raising my kids. I told my daughter there's a reason I got my tubes tied,I've paid my dues, etc., but she thinks that grandmas are supposed to naturally want their grandkids around all the time. To be honest, I felt the same way when my kids were little. I was resentful of MY mom for not babysitting for me all the time. But, now I totally understand how she felt. Am I the worst grandma of all time? Or am I in the right? Thank you!

Hi Lisa,
I can understand your frustration.  I am in your corner.  My children tried to tell me what a "Grandma should do" too.  I just laughed and told them I determine what I want to do as a Grandma and you #my children# can accommodate me!  While you are raising children of a difficult age, don't be too hard on yourself.  You have a plateful as well.  Does your 24-year-old daughter take your autistic son for long periods of time to help you out?  Maybe you could do an exchange on the days she wants you to babysit.  You are under no obligation to babysit for her and you should not feel guilty.  Love your grandchildren and take time for them on your time frame and planning.  They just want to be with their grandma and be loved!  You can plan sleep-overs or a just a few minutes over lunch at Mc'D's as you talk and share together.  Your daughter will have to do what she has to do if she wants to work#without your help#.   She is being unrealistic and selfish in her desires for you.  Enjoy your time with your children at home and as you can with your grandchildren.  You are MOTHER first to those who are dependent on you.
Debbie Preece


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Debbie Preece


I answer all kinds of grandparenting questions, give ideas on how to interact and be a positive influence with grandchildren ages 3-12.


I have raised three children who are now raising 11 of my grandchildren. Everyone should have the experience of being a Grandparent before they are a Parent,it is so much more fun! I live in the area of 5 of my grandchildren and I have experience teaching them how to cook, clean up after themselves and give happy, first time obedience. This flows over into their own homes and often helps with relations between the in-laws. I have experience using The Happy Face Token System and offer ideas for variations and adaptations with the token economy concept.

From Combat Zone to Love at Home: The Happy Face Token System

Raised three happy and healthy children who are now raising children.

Past/Present Clients
"I've listened to the [CD]and read the book,and really got a lot of ideas. I already use sort of the same system but I call it "Nana Bucks". The kids get paid for good behavior, chores, etc. Seems to work but I'm incorporating some more of your ideas in it."

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