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Babysitting full time.

Started by Glenda, November 18, 2011, 06:47:41 am

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I am a gm who babysits gc full time, while parents work.  One works shifts, (days, afternoons, weekends), the other days, Monday to Friday.  I don't charge anything cause the parents cannot afford daycare, but do need to work to pay their morgage, & their bills.
If you were the full time caregiver, going into their home, would you want to take your gc out during the day?  Not far, like the local grocery store, donut shop, (they have healthy alternatives to donuts), park, etc, if they were within a 5 min walk from their house?  (I walk them to & from school, which is further away then the above mentioned places).  Am I being unreasonable for wanting to do this?


I don't think 'reasonable' comes into play here.  I think it depends on the parents.  If they don't want you to, you shouldn't.  If you were a paid caregiver and they told you not to do it, you'd have to listen.

What reasons do they give?

Because maybe it wasn't "NO" to a walk to the donut shop, but it was "No - to donuts on the day after Hallowe'en".  Maybe it wasn't "No" to a walk to the grocery store, but it was "No - we don't need/want any of *whatever you were picking up*".

Maybe it was your timing?  If one parent works shifts and "expects" the kids to be there when they get home / wake up and they're not, it could be a problem.  Particularly if that was their only time to see their kids.


I agree with Scoop that you have to abide by their wishes, but no...I don't think that's an unreasonable request to take children on outings.  I would consider that normal.  But is that the parents' idea of normal?  What's normal to me and you, may not be what they consider normal.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Hi Scoop, If I planned an outing I would be home before parents got home.  I always ask first.  I texted my son that gc asked if we could go to local store, about a three minute walk, and would that be ok.  Son texted back, sure have fun.  When dil got home & found out, she flipped out.  Started yelling how dare I, I'm the blanking parent, etc....  I did ask permission, I asked my son, he said yes.  We were gone a total of 20 minutes.  it didn't interfere with anyones schedule, not even my gc's.  They had fun, but then had to listen to their mom berate me for taking them out.  Dil told ds straight out that he is not allowed to give permission where "her" chldren are concerned.  Ds is the biological Dad.
There is a long history of problems with dil.  I handle dil outbursts much better now than I did years ago.  I still struggle understanding a Mom who wants her children to, literally, go nowhere & do nothing, when she is at work, but hey, I'm getting used to it.  lol.
Sometimes dil won't even let me take gc out into their backyard to play, yard is totally fenced in.  Her reason?  "Cause I said so, they don't need to go outside today".
Pooh,  Believe me I do abide by their wishes, & dils are very constricting, no room to grow.  I thought it was a normal request.  So did my ds, but of course I raised him. 


The kids are the ones who really suffer when this stuff goes on. Sad.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


I think reading your story, the only reasonable theory I can come up with for DIL's behaviour would be if you'd taken them out and there had been some incident or accident which causes her to not feel comfortable with your taking them on outings.

However, if she trusts you to watch them IN your house all day, then she trusts you. So its odd they don't go in the backyard.

Have you tried talking to both of them and asking if its ok for you to tak them out? You need your exercise and to get things done to. Maybe ask what issues or concerns they have and if you can find a compromise.

My friend's mother took care of her girls for a while when she went back to work (Friend, after a few months, realized she couldn't handle being away from them when they were so little all day and eventually quit) - friend would get all upset nearly everytime she heard her mom took them someplace. She didn't argue with her mother as she was grateful for the free day care, but she was upset that it wasn't HER taking them out. Just honest emotions.


My X-dil used to do that, too. I didn't babysit on a daily basis, but enough that having to sit in the house with them all the time was difficult. I started to tell her I couldn't watch the kids because I had to go to Target or grocery shopping, etc. She finally said I could take the kids with me if I needed to go somewhere. Apparently having a free babysitter meant more to her than me sitting in the house with them constantly.  ;D


You are asking us what we think is reasonable? You know you are right but she is how she is and she isn't going to use logic or make sense. Sad but true. What we think (I think) is that you are going the extra mile and are being treated unfairly, unwisely and unkindly.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Glenda, I do not believe that what you're asking is unreasonable.  I'm actually kind of shock they rely on you this much without some form of payment back.  It doesn't have to be monetarily but I don't believe that relationships remain stable when the effort is only one-sided. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

lancaster lady

Hello Glenda :

How old are the kids ?
Also , how would she feel cooped up in the house all day with the kids ?
If it;s a nice sunny day , you mean they are not allowed out period ?
Sorry , but I find this very strange , unless you live in a very dangerous neighbourhood .
She obviously likes the power she has over you ...''Cause I said so '' ...what are you , the hired help ?
I understand ...she is the Mom , I have been well trained ....but you are the grandma ...c'mon !!
Are you elderly , or infirm in any way . If you are well enough to look after kids all day , all week ,
I'm sure a trip to the park , on a nice sunny day , isn't going to harm anyone !
Sorry sore point ...been there , got that T shirt !


My mother looks after my little girl at times and as far as I am concerned whilst she is in her care she does what she feels is right.  I am just grateful that I can leave my baby with her.   Have you ever thought of saying 'find yourself another carer'    She might just reconsider her behaviour.  Sounds like a bit of an ingrate to me. 


I also babysit 2 grandchildren, I am able to take them, park, zoo. They trust me and know I am saving them money and appreciate that I have the time and really want to babysit for them. I do try to follow what they ask me to do about food, snacks, naptime.

I, too, think your dil may feel a little jealous of you and the fact that you have her children all day and she has to work. She probably misses them and wants to do the fun things with them. She has to work and would rather be home.

If they brought their children to daycare, they would not be couped up all day either.  Maybe if you ask your son to talk to her....she needs to lighten up.


wow.  DIL isn't putting her kids first, plain and simle. Unless there's a true reason, like already mentioned, she's being selfish. Either it is jealousy, control(just because), or she doesn't like to take them places and doesn't want to "have" to do it because GM does it.  This is how my ODD is, and the things she does to me and GC doesn't make sense.  She works more and more hours(not necessary)so I can't see them lots of times, because she doesn't want to get them washed and dressed if she doesn't have to! How about that? She sounds familiar to me, so I would be careful of saying "find someone else", she may ban you for good!


Yup, the kids are the ones who are missing out. I loved it when my kids got to experience all sorts of enrichment activities, with me or w/o me.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


Thank-you so much for all the responses.  I am seriously considering not babysitting anymore.  Tired of being unappreciated.  Dil acts as if she's doing me a favour by allowing me to watch her children, my gc. Yes, I want to babysit, but I don't have to.  I have been babysitting for 5 years, gc are 1 to 6 years old.  Dil just recently went back to work after last maternity leave.  I know she resents having to work, & I think she blames me?? 
My sil, (sister-in-law), said she wouldn't tolerate being treated the way I am, & would not babysit for her ds & dil if they did that to her.  She can take her gc anywhere, anytime. Her rule is, when I babysit you trust me to make decisions for your children, or you don't.  If you don't, get someone else!  Maybe I need to get tough, & say enough is enough.
Someone mentioned that maybe the kids had something happen to them while in my care.  No, not even once!  They have actually had more mishaps while in their parents care, lol.
Again, thank-you all.