Forced Babysitter

Dear Sara,

I am the grandmother of four wonderful grandchildren, all preschoolers ages six months to five years. My daughter wants to go back to work and wants me to keep them. She said that she has an education and she feels that she should work instead of staying home with the kids. I don’t work, but I have things that I like to do. I love my grandkids but I don’t want to baby sit them five days a week. She’s insisting. How can I tell her “no.”
-Carol Ann

Dear Carol Ann,

It sounds like you haven’t said “no” to your daughter very often in the past. She seems to think that you should be willing to do whatever she wants without question, so it may be really hard to make her see that this is a real imposition on you.

It looks like she will be angry with you if you tell her no. Are you willing to deal with that? You could let her know that you would be willing to keep the children if they were sick and couldn’t go to daycare but she should find full time care elsewhere. If you don’t want this responsibility, you will have to stand up to her and her anger. Raising four kids is a full time job and it’s your daughter’s responsibility. Maybe she could wait another six years to go back to work.


  1. Perhaps Carol Ann could watch her grandchildren 2 or 3 days per week and her daughter could find a day care or another sitter for the other 3 or 2 days. It’s a viable compromise.

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