Grandparents are NOT Babysitters – or are they?

March 10, 2017

I read a lot of online stuff, a theme I have been seeing a lot lately is parents wondering how often someones Parents have their kids.

Like it’s a right or something.

Sure, there are grandparents out there who love to help out with the kids … but at the same time they don’t want to be taken for granted.

Grandparents don’t owe us anything, but their grandchildren are only going to be young and cute for so long (cue: the moody teenagers that want nothing to do with them except for their birthday and holiday envelopes full of cash).

For me it’s about obligation, I never want anyone to ever feel like my kids are forced upon them, or that they HAVE to look after them when they don’t really want to.

I also feel like a lot of parents in my generation constantly act as though the world owes them something, like “I want to go on a overseas holiday with my husband alone for a week every year” – and my parents won’t look after them, that type of entitlement to me,  reeks like dog shit – we birthed these babies and as much as we all need a break it is not our parents responsibility to be the on call, unpaid, unappreciated nanny.  (Retired or not)

Ideally, it would be nice if grandparents would watch the kids for special occasions to give Mum and Dad a break. An anniversary weekend or so the parents can attend an adults-only party. Kids should stay with the grandparents and eat junk food and be thoroughly enjoyed and even a bit spoiled. Spoiled because Grandparents already did their time being The Bad Guys and enforcing bedtime and supervising homework and watching to make sure too many cookies aren’t eaten, but shouldn’t have to do that for the grand-kids.

They shouldn’t have to be regular child-care providers, it’s up to the parents to provide that and hire what they can’t provide


My Mum and In laws are  thrilled to play with, be silly with, and yes, spoil their grandchildren in ways they could not when raising their own kids.To put the constant care of my kids on them would muddle the roles, they have raised their kids this is the time when they get to be selfish and put what they want to do first.


What do you think?




  1. Leigh-ann

    April 11, 2017 at 10:15 am

    My in-laws live across the road from us. I am VERY aware that I don’t want them to be put in the situation where they are expected to look after our children. We probably ask them to babysit less that they would like, but I don’t want to take advantage of the situation.

  2. shelley

    September 8, 2017 at 4:18 am

    Really enjoyed this article. I don’t have any grandchildren yet but have been the mom trying to encourage that special relationship between my own kids and my in-laws. I’m sharing this in a roundup post to publish on 9-9-17.

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