not comfortable babysitting

Marie - posted on 06/08/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I live across the country from my 2 grandchildren, ages 4 and 2. I only see them one time a year. It has been many years since I have taken care of children by myself. And I feel uncomfortable babysitting them, even for an hour or two. Is this unreasonable? Is it ok to say no?

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Dove - posted on 06/09/2012

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If you aren't comfortable with it, then you definitely shouldn't do it.. though I can certainly understand why you were asked and can also understand their response to your answer.

Marie - posted on 06/09/2012

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Thanks Shawnn. I appreciate your help. And in fact, when asked, my reply was "No, because I just don't feel comfortable being in charge of both of the children." They looked at me like I was an alien. I guess I should have added that I love them and want to spend time with them, but I don't feel that I can keep up with them. Also like you suggested, that I wouldn't want anything to happen to them while I'm in charge. But, I can almost hear my son's reply " What would happen? Nothing will happen. We'll only be gone 1 or 2 hours. What could happen? " This would be followed by more "alien-type" stares.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/08/2012

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Yes, it's ok to say no. BUT make sure that you explain to your kids the reason...not because you don't want to spend time with the kids, but because you feel a bit out of your league, and you wouldn't want anything to happen.

My mom didn't like to babysit her grandkids, but she never said a word when asked. She'd say "sure, no problem", and then spend the time on the phone to one of her other kids complaining about having to babysit. (If I'd leave my kids, she'd call my brother. IF he'd leave his kids, she'd call me to complain)

It didn't take us long for both of us to be bitter about the situation, and for both of us to be upset with our mother. We'd have appreciated the honesty from her. To this day, she is still uncomfortable spending any time around her grandchildren who are now almost grown. She doesn't know how to interact with them. When we asked, she replied "Well, I never did like kids"...

Please be honest with your kids. Let them know that you love the grandkids, but you truly do not feel comfortable sitting for them.

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