Is It Normal to Feel This Overwhelming Guilt of Not Watching My Grand Baby?

Updated on May 04, 2019
M.P. asks from Mount Laurel, NJ
29 answers

My heart is so heavy from guilt. Please I need advice. I’m 68 1st time grandma. My daughter & SIL both work full time. She asked me if I would babysit when she found out she was pregnant and I said yes. I thought I could handle it. I want to handle it but It’s been 4 weeks into it and I’m totally exhausted. Baby is almost 4 mos old. I have my adorable grand baby for 10 hrs a day, 5 days a week for 50 hrs. 7 am to 5 pm They do pay me $100 week.
I told my daughter I can’t do this full time. It’s starting to take a toll on me physically. I have sciatica nerve problem in my leg. And when that pain hits and I walk the baby sometimes for quite awhile to soothe her , the pain it’s excruciating and I’ll be in tears. 10 hr days are very long for me. My daughter was surprised that couldn’t do it, she’s hurt, overwhelmed and really doesn’t want to put the baby in daycare.
I have been crying for 4 days. I feel like I disappointed not only my daughter but grand baby as well. I feel guilt so much guilt that my grand baby will be in the hands of strangers. I offered to watch her 2 days a week but she’s not sure she can find a reliable good daycare that does part time and she doesn’t really know if she wants the baby juggled from daycare, to grandma’s to home. Could be confusing for baby.
I’m questioning whether I made the right decision or if I should just “suck it up buttercup” as they say. But I’m totally exhausted. I have no enforcement nothing else I do this on my own. I still need to keep up a house and cook etc. have no help.
Would love to hear thoughts - I can’t seem to shake this guilt over it all. I’m so worried about my grand baby in daycare. And my daughter being unhappy with me, with it all. After all I did say yes to watching her. I can really use some honest thoughts. I’m making myself sick over this.

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone who commented on my question. You all are so supportive of this 1st time guilt ridden grandma.
My daughter found a Christian daycare to put the baby in. She starts next Monday.
I’m anticipating next week will be hard for me with not watching her at all and worrying about her & missing her. I’ll have to get my snuggles on the weekend.
Thank you all again. Much appreciated.

More Answers

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M.G.

answers from Portland on

First of all, you feel the way you do - physically and mentally - and there's nothing you can do about it, so let go of the guilt. You're not choosing to feel this way. It's simply a fact.

This is life. A lot of times, daycare or a sitter doesn't work out for whatever reason.

Our first daycare provider (a lady in her home) didn't work out for us. We had to pull our son out and upset her (she was relying on us for income). We had to scramble to find new daycare as I was working. It happens, all the time.

At another time, we had to pull our kids from another home provider to go to a daycare facility. I felt terrible, but she (had been in business 20 years) was fine with it. It happens.

Then there was my MIL, who wanted to care for our kiddos. We didn't feel she was up to the challenge, and wanted the convenience of having our kids in a daycare close to where we lived and we upset her.

You did your best - you gave it your all - so let the guilt go. Sometimes you don't know until you've tried it. This happens.

You've offered part time, which you didn't have to do. Now it's time for your daughter to figure out an alternative.

It's her baby, and she has to parent it. Remember - you're not responsible. She is. It's the best thing for everyone - long term. It will work out. In a few weeks, this won't seem so bad. Hope that helps :)

8 moms found this helpful

S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

oh, M., i'm so sorry you've been put in this position. i don't have grandbabies yet, but i'm eagerly looking forward to them, and i can understand every single thing in your scenario.

my gut response to being asked to be a full time babysitter would also have been an enthusiastic 'of course!' but 5 10 hour days is cripplingly long and hard. i'm not one bit surprised that it's taking a toll on your health and wellbeing.

i'm sorry your daughter is taking this tack with you. that just sucks. i'd have moved mountains to have family take care of my babies (no one was close enough) and i absolutely understand her hopes that it could be 100% you, but reality is what it is. babies survive and THRIVE in good daycares.

and it's ridiculous for her (and you!) to feel that it will 'confuse' the baby to be 'juggled' between you and the daycare. good daycares have part time provisions, and being with you two days a week is still a wonderful thing for all of you- terrific for baby, it still lets you be a part of her team, and less money for your daughter to lay out. it's a win win win and the only reason to spin it as a negative is to make you feel guilty (guiltier.)

yes, you said yes to watching her because that's what your heart wanted. well, reality doesn't always pay attention to what our hearts want.

good for you for being honest and loving to your daughter, your granddaughter and yourself by sharing how it's going with your daughter, and for offering the solution that actually works for you. for all your sakes i hope she takes you up on it.

i know it's useless to say 'don't feel guilty' because what's closer to your heart than this? but you shouldn't. you can't be there for either one of your girls if your health breaks down. you've handled this exactly right. stick to your guns.

khairete
S.

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L.H.

answers from Abilene on

I understand your feelings. I had my kiddos later in life. My sister had hers at 19 and 23. My mom was a Mima at 38.

My mom always watched my nieces and nephews for a couple of weeks each summer. It was a great time for everyone.

Fast forward I had my son at 40 (mom is 65 at this point). We decided to take my daughter to Disney and leave my son with her (her idea). He was 15 mos old. She was in good health and really wanted to take him whil we were gone.

Probably because we were gone his sleeping schedule got way off. My mom was exhausted and got sick. Later she was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis. We learned she was no longer able to physically care for my young children for a few days. We adjusted and grew their relationship differently. They adore my folks and are close to them.

You need to honor your body. Your body is telling you, no matter how much you want to do differently, you’re not able. Sciatica is extremely painful. You would feel worse if you dropped the baby because your leg gave out.

Maybe you can pick up your precious grand baby on a Friday afternoon and keep overnight to let the parents sleep in one weekend a month.

Please do not torture yourself over something you cannot physically do. They will figure it out. I’m sure part of your daughter’s issue is she’s a new mom and everything is a big deal. They will find their new normal and you can help as you can.

You are doing the right thing even though you wish it could be different. Be kind to yourself. If a friend came to you and told you this same story, how would you advise her?

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R.L.

answers from Chicago on

I’m sorry your daughter doesn’t seem to understand how unreasonable her expectations were. Please don’t feel guilty. I would never ask a grandparent to provide full time child care, that’s not your job. And 10 hour days! Wow. It was very generous of you to give it a try. I’m in my 50s and I don’t think I could care for an infant for 10 hour days anymore.

Having a loving grandmother is a blessing, and I am hoping your daughter will come to appreciate whatever you can offer her. My mom babysat for us twice a week, the other days babies were with me, my husband (we each worked flexible schedules), friends who we did child care swaps with, and later paid day care providers. Children like routine, but the routine can vary as long as there’s some consistent pattern and loving folks. After all, all children of working parents have weekends and weekdays that look different. It’s time for your daughter and her husband to get creative and come up with a more realistic plan.

Even if they choose to use full time day care somewhere else, you can still enjoy a close relationship with your grandbaby if you sit for them on occasional weekends, or pick her up from day care a couple of days a week. You have nothing to feel guilty about!

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E.B.

answers from Denver on

You're nearly 70, and you have sciatic nerve issues. It seems reasonable to me that you shouldn't have complete all day care of an infant (who will soon enough be able to roll, crawl, pull herself up on things, grab things, etc).

I get why your daughter doesn't want to put her newborn in daycare. She prefers the safety of your care, and the love of a grandmother as opposed to the unknowns of daycare.

So what about a happy medium? Could your daughter bring her baby to your house, so the baby has consistency, and family nearby, but also send a nanny or paid caregiver (like they advertise on places like Care.com or other websites) to your home? You'd be there to assure the baby was getting the best care. You could be the one to hold the baby on your sofa when she was sleepy, after her bottle, and there's nothing more soothing and pleasant than that - times like those are the grandparent's best moments. But the nanny or caregiver could do the heavy lifting - changing the baby, putting her into and taking her out of her crib, putting her in the stroller, dressing her, walking her around the room when the baby is fussy, playing on the floor with the baby when she's old enough - all the physically demanding things. But the caregiver could get a break when the baby was napping and while you were monitoring the baby. The caregiver could study and do her homework, or go to her dog-walking job or run home to start her own family's dinner or whatever.

Your daughter could schedule the nanny to be there the whole day with a couple of hours off, or just from 10 am to 5 pm, or hourly or whatever. The caregiver could be a student, or a mom whose kids are in school all day, or a retired person who doesn't have physical issues. Of course, this would mean that there would be another person in your home during the day, but it might be nice company for you too!

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R.K.

answers from Boston on

Guilt is a dark monster. Put it behind you. Turn towards the positive in this situation. All of you love each other. Breathe long breaths, concentrate on what is best for you and your grandchild. Know that you are a loving grandmother and mother. Often life teaches us what we need to do, no matter how much we want to do something else. You really tried, you have communicated your situation, your daughter is disappointed and will have to figure another arrangement out. You are not a bad guy. Your daughter is not a bad guy. This is just one of many adjustments your grandchild's parents will have to make over the years they are raising their child. And they will rise to the occasion. Hugs.

6 moms found this helpful

L.P.

answers from Tyler on

I'm so glad you posted this question. You are so right to admit that you are physically unable to handle this highly demanding schedule. It is very unfair of your daughter to expect you to change your entire daily life for her and her family. Did she and her husband consider having one of them cut back on work hours to be more available for their child? And 10 hours a day is a lot for both of them, isn't it even more shameful that their child is with you and not them all those hours 5 days a week?

Nutshell, this is their baby and your grand baby. They are asking you to raise a second generation for minimal compensation. Sure it was an easy solution, but now they have a baby and it is time for THEM to make sacrifices, not you. Grand parenting (in my opinion) is supposed to be the fun stuff, not the daily work stuff. I truly hope your daughter and SIL don't try to rob you of the fun stuff due to their selfishness. It would honestly be the greatest gift to them and your granddaughter if they can rework their schedules to make more time to parent their baby.

Good luck and know you are making the bravest decision to admit you are physically unable to handle the task. You gave it an honest try, you did nothing wrong.

6 moms found this helpful

C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

Please don't feel guilty! The baby is totally fine going to daycare. Or with an in-home nanny. You are 68 and have sciatica...10 hour days watching a baby is just too much. If it were me I would offer to pick up your grandchild on days your daughter or her husband can't get there on time due to work running late, or watch the baby on sick days, or on holidays when the daycare is closed. And also offer to babysit on a regular basis so your daughter and her husband can have regular date nights. Do not feel guilty. You are doing your best. You love them and they love you. You can't spend your time feeling exhausted and totally overwhelmed. That's not right. When my son was 4 months old I hired a really nice in-home nanny who had a baby the same age. She watched both my son and her daughter together every day while I was at work...until he was old enough to go to preschool. He loved her so much and was best friends with her daughter and they had a great time together! We stayed good friends with her and her husband for years until we both moved to different states.

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

At 68 you are ready to be grandma not daycare.
There's no shame in that.
Cut yourself a break.
Little kids are exhausting.
There's a lot of lifting and once they get mobile they are lightning fast.
For a few hours or a day every once in awhile is one thing - 50 hours a week is way over the top.
Kids do fine in day care - our son did and he started when my maternity leave was up at 12 weeks.
I'm sure your daughter wanted you to look after her child but now she's going to have to pay real rates for day care.
It was $168 a week for infants 20 years ago at a commercial daycare - I imagine that rate has gone up since then.
Surely they thought about this as soon as she got pregnant?
We preferred commercial daycare to in home daycare - the place we used had a fire station with EMTs right across the street - and there were multiple care givers so they could take a break when needed, plus parents were coming and going all day.
The baby will be fine.
Rest up and recuperate and don't be so hard on yourself.

Additional:
Most day care centers are open 12 hours - some 14 hours.
Anyone who works an 8 hour day has 30min to an hour for lunch, add in commuting time and it's easily 10+ hours that a child is in daycare.
If a parent works shift work or is a fireman or nurse or police person - they typically work 12 hour shifts.
So 10 hours a day in daycare is not unusual at all.

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M.C.

answers from Chicago on

This is way too much for you to handle. The baby is only going to get bigger and more mobile, which will further tax you mentally and physically. It was a wonderful gesture for you to do this, but it is truly unrealistic. Your daughter should be thankful you tried, but in the end, planning on having grandma as the sole caregiver just isn't realistic either. They should have a plan in place in case this didn't work out. I'm sure she is a wonderful daughter and mother, but I feel like she isn't being very nice to you by being surprised and hurt. She should try to understand how much you put into this and be graceful about finding other care. You can offer up sitting for them for date nights and such, but 50 hours per week is just not going to work.

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A.L.

answers from Atlanta on

ETA: I love Elena B's idea of your daughter hiring a parttime nanny who can come to your house; that way, the baby is with you in your home AND you have assistance in caring for her. It might be affordable that way, too, where the nanny is only on call some of the time and can do other things in between.

Original post: Ten hours a day is WAY too long. I don't think I could have tended to my own kid for that long by myself, and I was a good bit younger than you. You gave it a good try--four weeks--and it's clearly not going to work. Your body is telling you that, and there's no way to 'suck it up' in this situation--nor should you. I do think your daughter and her husband can find good daycare--they might even be able to find good part-time daycare if you really do want to watch her one or two days a week, however that would need to be your choice. As Diane B said, you even can contribute a bit to the daycare cost, but not out of guilt. The child is their responsibility, and children can do perfectly well, even thrive, in daycare. Those people who will be taking care of your granddaughter won't be strangers--they will come to be a set of loving people who help nurture and teach her. Our two have turned out just fine from being in daycare fulltime. Good luck with doing what you need for your health.

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R.K.

answers from Appleton on

Nope ... you raised your kids. This is your time - time to enjoy your retirement and do the things you put off to raise your family.
I always told my kids I would not be the full time babysitter. If the kids were sick and couldn't go to daycare or school AND I was available at the time I would take care of the kids. But no full time babysitting.

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K.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

You’ve described this so beautifully, you prove my point: providing child care is a full-time, physically demanding job! I was a provider for 20 years, and also had different back issues - caring for an infant exacerbates these.
There are several ways to look at this issue: you took on a new, full-time job, for extremely low pay, and the job is not working out. You need to resign.
Your daughter and SIL are not taking enough time to consider their daughter’s best interests - she needs a caregiver that is physically capable of meeting all her needs in a safe environment, and unless your health improves, this won’t be possible, especially as the baby becomes more mobile. Their fears about attachment are valid: it’s best to have a dependable caregiver (after the parents), and juggling baby from place to place is not best for baby’s development. Yes, having a loving family member provide care offers one piece of the puzzle, but hiring someone does NOT mean baby is “being cared for by strangers” by any means. The suggestion about having a nanny coming to your house is really intriguing!
They need to find a child care situation that works out for them, whether it’s a nanny, family child care provider, or center. Grandma sounds like the most easy option, but that doesn’t mean it’s best for grandma or baby.
Best of luck to you.

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D.B.

answers from Boston on

You are exhausted. You are not 28 or 38. You've raised your child(ren) and it's not the same now.

You're a grandma, not a daycare provider. Your daughter wants continuous and dependable care - everyone does. But she doesn't want to pay for it. That's her mistake. It's ridiculous to throw the guilt on you about "juggling" - I understand her frustration, but she and her husband had 9 months to figure this out, and they didn't. $100 a week is an unrealistic budget. If they value their child, they should value the care workers who nurture that child.

So, far more respect for child care workers would be in order. A regular nanny or child care center would be in order. If you want to pick up early a day or 2 a week to have grandbaby bonding time, that's up to you.

The guilt is something you are doing to yourself. No one can make you feel inferior without your permission. Maybe they are laying it on thick, but you're accepting it. Stop.

If you are able, you might consider giving them a certain amount of financial support to help them pay for daycare Otherwise, this is their problem. But do not take on more guilt about this! They can cut back somewhere else. It's okay, Grandma - this is not your job. You bit off more than you could chew, and you meant well, but you are maybe 20-30 years older than when you did this the last time. This is their child. They need to find solutions.

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S.S.

answers from Atlanta on

Your daughter is upset that she'll have to pay a day care $400 a week to care for her child 10 hours a day.

She and her husband need to work their schedule so that THEY can raise their child. NOT YOU. You've already done your raising of children. It's great that you want to help out but really? NO. DO NOT allow them to guilt you.

You are saving them a boatload of money. But THEY need to raise their child. THEY need to figure it out.

You raised your daughter. Now let her raise her daughter.

Can she find "part time" day care? Maybe. She'd have to ask and look around. Take time out her day to take care of HER child. It wouldn't be confusing for your grand daughter. It would be her routine. DO NOT let your daughter guilt change your mind.

Give your daughter this list and have her call around. If she's so concerned about "juggling" her daughter? She should hire a nanny. And that nanny won't be $100 a week. It will be more like $500 a week.
https://www.care.com/day-care/mount-laurel-nj

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W.W.

answers from Washington DC on

M.

It's normal to feel guilt. However, you can only feel guilt if someone is trying to make you feel guilt.

Your daughter is WAY underpaying you. You are saving them about $400 a week. Day care for an infant here in DC is about $500 a week. Maybe more.

You have done your job raising your children. Now your daughter needs to raise HER child. DO NOT allow her to make you feel guilty for this. You have health issues going on here, how guilty would you feel if you fell while holding your granddaughter and hurt her because of your pain???

There are PLENTY of day care's in the NJ area. There are some really good ones too. Your daughter can also look into a NANNY.

Stop making yourself sick. Stand up for yourself and do NOT feel guilty over this. You have helped. Now your daughter needs to take care of her child herself.

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S.B.

answers from Houston on

I'm sure your daughter is overwhelmed. Having a new baby is overwhelming. Like most working mothers it is a balance. You gave her a very good reason why you can't continue with caring full time for the baby. I think part time is a great alternative. Day care part time in the morning, grandma's in the afternoon. I don't think the baby would have an issue once she gets used to the schedule. AND she won't be paying full cost of day care.

Yes you said you would watch the baby but you know sometimes when we say yes, we realize we can't continue. A yes doesn't mean forever. You gave them 4 months. That is great. You saved them a lot of money, now, the situation has changed and as such they must change as well. Life changes all the time.

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J.B.

answers from Boston on

Awww you were sweet to give it a try but it's not working out and that's OK. My mom was in her mid-50's when I had my oldest son and she baby-sat for me 4 days a week. I lived with my parents (I was single) so I fed the baby before leaving for work at 5:30 AM, he and my mom woke up at 9, I was home by 6, and three of my younger siblings (all late teens or older) and my dad were around to help. And it was still too much. We gave it a good try but after several months, I had to put my son in day care two days per week and change jobs to shorten my commute.

When I had more children, she was still able to help out 2-3 days per week but my then-husband and I staggered our work schedules so that I was dropping off at 9 and he was picking up at 4, and we had a sitter for the first 3 months of my return to work (we needed one for our older kids for the summer) so she didn't start until they were 6 months old.

It's normal to feel bad about this, but please know that you're doing nothing wrong. I have a lot of friends and colleagues whose parents had planned on providing full-time childcare and it didn't work out once the reality of the commitment set in and people realized limits on physical stamina, time, etc.

In my area, there are quality part-time options available. Another option might be for her to look into sending the baby to daycare 5 days a week but for a shorter day. Perhaps you can pick up mid-late afternoon or have the baby in the morning for a couple of hours if that works for you. One of my sisters is also a single mom and that's what my parents have done to help out. My sister would need 10 hours of care a day but my parents used to pick her up from daycare so that she could cut back to 7-8 hours, which cut down on her bill.

Daycare is a perfectly fine option - most children I know went to daycare either part or full time and had high-quality, nurturing, developmentally appropriate care. It'll be and adjustment for everyone to find the right fit, but don't continue to take on more than you can handle. Your time and energy are also valuable and you won't do anyone favors by over-extending yourself.

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S.W.

answers from Amarillo on

I agree with most moms in here, you are not physically able to care for the child. You have told your daughter about the situation and she is upset because she will have to spend more money than planned for someone to care for HER child.

When she asked you prior to the birth, you gave an answer of yes. Life changes things and so does age. You are now not able to bend and twist and turn as before. It takes more to get up and down than before. You did let your daughter know that this is not working out.

Let your daughter find an alternative care provider for baby. Perhaps you could do a day or part of a day a week. Know your mental and physical limits. This is the time at 68 to put you before baby to stay healthy.

I had wished that I could have watched my grandson who will be 22 this year when he was a baby. He lived in another state so it was not in the cards to have that close bonding but we still have a special bond that cannot be broken.

Say no and feel no guilty. If you fell off a bike would someone stop and help you or keep walking by? Most people would walk by you and not care. Sorry. Don't beat yourself up. I like Elena's idea the best.

the other S.

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C.C.

answers from New York on

I like Elena's suggestion, could that work for you? Hosting a nanny in your home that your daughter+SIL pay for?

(I totally agree with the other posts that you should not feel guilty!! I was just thinking that maybe Elena's suggestion is a way that you could enjoy spending time with the baby in a non-stressful/non-exhausting way.)

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Z.T.

answers from Boston on

M.,

Please don't feel bad - you have no reason to feel guilty! While I get she is disappointed, parents know that childcare is a big decision and that we (not anyone else) are responsible for organizing it and having back up plans in place.

Infant care is so expensive in my area. It cost more than my mortgage and honestly, I couldn't afford full time infant care. While my parents volunteered to watch my DD full time after maternity leave, we settled on shorter hours for me and my parents 3 days a week. We also had a few people who, although they weren't an option for full time care, could help us out in an emergency. Most importantly in our case, I worked out a plan with my supervisor to work later hours from home if necessary. That way if my parents didn't work out or if my reduced hours ended up being more of a financial strain than anticipated, I had the option of working nights when my husband was home to watch the baby.

I was lucky in that I didn't have to work nights full time, but I would have done so if my parents had not been an option. I would never expect them to put their health at risk to help me out.

Your daughter may not have initially handled the news well, but I'm sure she'll come to appreciate your honesty. You will still have a great relationship with your grandchild even if you do not provide full time babysitting.

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D.D.

answers from Boston on

I'm sorry but its a lot to ask someone to watch an infant 10 hrs a day after they haven't watched a baby for many many years. Its a lot of physical work and while you love your grandchild your daughter and son in law are asking you to give up all of your time and energy instead of being allowed to just be the grandmother who enjoys their child.

This isn't your issue to figure out. You've given them child care for a while. Now its time for them to decide how to move forward. Maybe they can shift their work schedule so their child is in your care less or in daycare less time (which means less cost).

I watch 2 of my granddaughters in addition to working full time. Their parents worked their schedule to that they only needed my help 20-25 hrs a week (13 hrs of which was the weekend). My son in law tweaked his schedule to be home on days when my daughter had to be at work all day. See if they can look into changes to their work hours

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M.E.

answers from Dallas on

What a difficult situation! My mom helped me out after my 1st daughter was born for about 6 weeks. Then she helped out for about 4 weeks after my second daughter was born. My mom was in her 60s and was exhausted. When she offered, I don’t think she realized how tired she would be as she was in her 20s the last time she cared for a newborn full time. My daughter’s went into day care starting about 5-6 months old and did fine. In fact, I think my kids are better for it as they are outgoing and independent now in their tweens. Plus are not shy around other kids and it was an easy transition when they started elementary school. Plus it ended up being less stressful on me as it was dependable care (did not have to worry about someone being sick and not showing up),

I think being honest with her and offering a part time solution is more than giving. I appreciate any help my parents can give me, but certainly don’t expect it. You should not feel guilty at all! You daughter just probably does not understand that caring for a newborn at your age is very different than someone on their 20’s or 30’s. Plus as a first time mom, we tend to be a little unreasonable at times! Then we come down to earth at some point, right? I would have a heart to heart with her now verses later. Let her know you that when you offered, you had no idea how exhausting it would be at your age. Plus it is taking a tole on your health caring for your new grand baby for 10 hours a day/50 hours a week. As much as you love them and adore your grand baby, you just physically are unable to keep it up at that pace. You are concerned for not only your health, but do not feel it is in the best interest of your grand baby to have an exhausted caregiver caring for them. You want to help out so badly, but just physically cannot 50 hours a week/10 hours a day. Ask her - What do you think about 2 days a week and you still would not have to pay for a full week of daycare. Plus, I still get to visit and care for my grand baby as a healthy/happy grandma!!

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S.M.

answers from Boston on

You shouldn’t feel at all guilty. Your daughter should for asking way too much and paying an insultingly little amount. They decided to have a child. It’s not supposed to become your full time overly demanding job. Lots of people get by with no help from grandparents. They should be glad if you can do a day or two a week or babysit. If they’re aren’t, they need to grow up. Makes me mad when people put so much childcare on grandparents.

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D..

answers from Miami on

Oh my gosh. I sure hope your family didn’t tell you to suck it up. If they did, that’s abusive.

You raised your family already. This is not your child. This is your daughter’s child. She is responsible for having brought this child into the world and seeing to its needs. You have been very kind to take care of this child for all these months. But, just because she doesn’t want to pay for daycare, which is a lot more money than she is paying you, does not mean that you have to keep putting up with this. It does not matter that she doesn’t want a daycare. What matters is that this is too much for you.

Shame on your daughter for caring more about herself than for her mother. You need to stand up for yourself and tell her you are sorry but you can no longer do this. Give her a deadline. Make it stick. Stop feeling guilty. Your health matters more than her convenience.

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C.N.

answers from Philadelphia on

You don’t have to feel guilty but day care is not “the hands of strangers.”

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K.L.

answers from Portland on

Oh, ME, ME, ME!!! You, are NOT being selfish! My husband is 64, and I will be too. We have permanent, legal custody of our now precious 7 year old grandson. We have had him permanently since he was a year and a half. We will be his parents until he's 18. I am physically and mentally exhausted much of the time, and have several medical problems. The joy he brings out weigh that. That said. We understand why God gave children to the young, and ours in an unusual situation. My Mother seldom watched our 3. And had her own life. We figured things out for our selves, as your daughter and SIL should. They should trade off, you have offered to try to cut down some. If your health fails YOU are the one who suffers in the end. You are not Super Woman. Day Care is high, but they can find alternatives and they can start within their friend pool and work outward. Good luck, but take care of YOU, and be Grandma!!!! I apologize if this posts more than once. I tried to delete additional posts but it wouldn't allow me to.

Updated

Oh, ME, ME, ME!!! You, are NOT being selfish! My husband is 64, and I will be too. We have permanent, legal custody of our now precious 7 year old grandson. We have had him permanently since he was a year and a half. We will be his parents until he's 18. I am physically and mentally exhausted much of the time, and have several medical problems. The joy he brings out weigh that. That said. We understand why God gave children to the young, and ours in an unusual situation. My Mother seldom watched our 3. And had her own life. We figured things out for our selves, as your daughter and SIL should. They should trade off, you have offered to try to cut down some. If your health fails YOU are the one who suffers in the end. You are not Super Woman. Day Care is high, but they can find alternatives and they can start within their friend pool and work outward. Good luck, but take care of YOU, and be Grandma!!!!

Updated

Oh, ME, ME, ME!!! You, are NOT being selfish! My husband is 64, and I will be too. We have permanent, legal custody of our now precious 7 year old grandson. We have had him permanently since he was a year and a half. We will be his parents until he's 18. I am physically and mentally exhausted much of the time, and have several medical problems. The joy he brings out weigh that. That said. We understand why God gave children to the young, and ours in an unusual situation. My Mother seldom watched our 3. And had her own life. We figured things out for our selves, as your daughter and SIL should. They should trade off, you have offered to try to cut down some. If your health fails YOU are the one who suffers in the end. You are not Super Woman. Day Care is high, but they can find alternatives and they can start within their friend pool and work outward. Good luck, but take care of YOU, and be Grandma!!!!

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C.G.

answers from Cleveland on

explain it to her just like you've done in your post. You'd be better off to keep things up front. If you didn't, you could be overly tired and not really able to run after kids. What I'm wondering is if she could also hire someone for a small amount of time, and split it with you. Perhaps this would work out

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N.C.

answers from San Diego on

Forget the guilt trip. Your health is a safety issue for such demanding childcare work for an infant. You are absolutely doing the right thing and putting grandchild’s health, welfare, and safety first. You would feel guiltier if something happened to that baby in your care because your health prevented you from giving the best response time or care.

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