Grandparents Are Saying “No” to Babysitting, Is It Selfish or Self-Care?

Newsflash: Grandma doesn’t want to work for free!

Finding affordable childcare is almost impossible, so many parents ask Grandma or Grandpa to provide daycare. But what happens when mom and dad want grandparents to babysit for free? Are grandparents obligated to help their adult kids with free daycare? As one grandma said,” I didn’t give birth to the 3 children; I shouldn’t expected to babysit!” Today’s grandparents are more active, financially secure, and socially involved than generations before. Here are some common reasons grandparents don’t want to babysit their grandkids.

Busy Schedules

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Like younger generations, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers have busy schedules filled with work, volunteer projects, and other commitments. Babysitting may not be a top priority for them. It’s more likely that Grandma is busy perfecting her downward dog with her yoga class a few days a week.

Different Parenting Styles

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Every generation has its own set of parenting techniques and beliefs. Grandparents may have difficulty adjusting to modern parenting styles and feel uncomfortable taking care of their grandkids in a way that goes against their parenting beliefs. If Grandpa still sees spanking as an acceptable punishment, things will go downhill quickly!

Demanding Responsibilities

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Many grandparents are already juggling demanding responsibilities such as caring for elderly parents or managing health conditions. Adding the responsibility of taking care of young children on top of that can be overwhelming and exhausting.

Personal Privacy

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Having grandkids over means having to share personal space and privacy with them. Today’s grandparents are more sexually active than in generations past. Scheduling sex during naptime is for younger parents; modern grandparents want their personal space.

Lack Of Appreciation

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Although babysitting grandkids can be a rewarding experience, some grandparents may feel underappreciated for all the time and effort they put into it. This can lead to resentment and make them less willing to take on the responsibility. As one woman posted in a discussion forum: “Well, aren’t you an entitled Princess! Your kids are your responsibility 24/7 for eighteen years. If you don’t like the hours, don’t apply for the job.”

Financial Strains

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Caring for children can be costly, and some grandparents may already be on a tight budget. The added expenses that come with taking care of their grandkids may not be feasible for them. If this is an obstacle for you, try asking your adult kids to bring diapers, food, and snacks to help cut costs.

Emotional Attachment

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Being a grandparent is often associated with spoiling and showering their grandchildren with love and affection. However, this emotional attachment may also be why some grandparents don’t want to babysit, as they may find it hard to discipline or say “no” to their grandkids. “It is much easier to enjoy your grandkids and let their parents handle the discipline.” said one online grandma.

Want To Be Paid For Their Time

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Grandparents may feel they deserve compensation for their time if they provide regular childcare. They may feel that they are providing a valuable service, and they may want to be paid for their time. “Full-time jobs deserve full-time pay,” said one grandpa in a childcare discussion forum.

Spend Time With Grandkids On Own Terms

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Grandparents may want to spend time with their grandchildren on their own terms. They may want to take them on outings or do activities that they enjoy rather than simply babysitting them. Some grandparents don’t want to be responsible for the daily chores and care of a child again; they are looking forward to the fun!

They Don’t Enjoy Babysitting

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And finally, the most straightforward reason of all: some grandparents may not want to babysit their grandkids. They may have already raised their children and are looking forward to a more relaxed and carefree lifestyle in their golden years.

Childcare is a hot topic right now for many families. With the average daycare cost of $10,000 for one child, many families are trying to find alternatives, putting pressure on grandparents to step in and solve the problem. Grandparents see it a little differently; it’s finally time for them to do what they want without the moral obligation to be a babysitter.

Grandparents Are Not Free Daycare, Stop Feeling Guilty!

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Have you had the “talk” with your adult kids yet? You know the one… the talk where your kids ask you to provide free childcare because you are the grandparent? Don’t feel bad if your answer was a hearty “Hell no!!”

Hey Mom, It’s Time To Let Go of Your Kids!

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Hey, mom, are you struggling to let go of your grown child? It can be incredibly difficult to let go of our grown children. For many moms, we feel a little lost and lonely without the daily interactions of our kids.

Does Your Adult Child Have a Mental Health Diagnosis?

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So, you just found out that your adult child has a mental health diagnosis. Maybe you are feeling scared, confused and don’t want to screw up the lines of communication between the two of you. Truthfully, it’s normal to be a little worried about keeping your relationship safe and loving.

This article was written and syndicated by Midlife is Magical.

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Melane Ann is a writer, blogger, and life coach. In 2020, she turned her experience in midlife divorce and creating a new life for herself into midlifeismagical. With a master's in Marriage and Family Therapy, Melane focuses on helping women over 50 navigate their relationships and commit to healthy aging. She and her new husband share 7 children between them. Melane jokes that she has a black belt in blended families! In addition to her writing, Melane works virtually with her coaching clients from her home office.

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