Do grandparents have an obligation to babysit the grandkids?

@Swtrose (3399)
Canada
May 27, 2007 12:10pm CST
I don't think grandparents should be 'expected' to babysit. I hear some parents complain that they watch their children 365 days a year and deserve a break. While that may be true, parenting is a 24 hour job and if you need that break then I believe that you should look into finding a babysitter and not expect your parents to always watch the kids. What do you think? Are you always having grandma and grandpa watch the kids or do you have a babysitter?
18 people like this
31 responses
@Foxxee (3654)
• United States
28 May 07
I never ask my mom to watch my kids because I never go out. I choose to spend my free time with my kids, plus I'm more of a laid back person, I love being home. But, I do have a sister that goes out a lot and she is either asking me or my mom to watch them. My mom finally put her foot down and told my sister that she isn't doing anymore over the night baby-sitting and said that she has done her part in raising her kids and she is done. I can't say I blame her. She is grandma, not mommy. My sister still will ask my mom to babysit, but if it's overnight, she asks me. And I believe she goes out once maybe twice a week and me and my mom just take turns babysitting. I love her, but I think she needs to settle down a little. My mom has said the same thing you said about investing in a babysitter if you really must go out. So, I understand what you are saying.
3 people like this
@Swtrose (3399)
• Canada
28 May 07
Good for your Mom. :)
• United States
28 May 07
It is important to differentiate between obligation and desire. On the rare occasion that I ask one of parents to watch my children or some of my children, I never EXPECT them to do it. However, my parents enjoy spending time with my children and I do not feel bad if I ask them to watch them occasionally, whether it is for hubby and I to have a date or for me to run to a doctor's appointment. if they cannot do it, I have many other relatives who will usually help out and if none of them can I will hire a sitter or make other arrangements (not go, take kids with me). As for paying the grandparents or other relatives, we are family and we do favors for each other often. I care for my nephews and niece and my little brother (yes, I have an 11 year old brother), as often if not more than I have others care for my kids. I also bring my dad food and cook for him often. trust is also an issue. I trust my family more than I trust a paid babysitter. I KNOW without a doubt that my family has my child's best interests at heart. It also provides for good bonding experiences for the children to spend time with relatives WITHOUT mom and dad around.
3 people like this
• United States
28 May 07
Parents do need a break, but grandparents have no obligation to be the providers of that break. I'm fortunate that my mother loves to spend time with my kids, and makes a point of giving all of us (my siblings also have families) date nights a few times a year. I don't think she needs to be sitting in the rocking chair waiting for me to drop my kids off, though. She raised us and did a good job. Now it's her turn to do her own thing. She's a great grandmother, and a part of that is b/c she isn't taking care of the kids out of obligation.
3 people like this
@castleghost (1304)
• United States
27 May 07
I don't believe that a grandparents has an obligation to watch their grandchildren. They aren't the ones who brought them into this world. Grandparents have already raised their children so unless they want to spend the time with their grandchildren they shouldn't have to. My parents like to have my sons over to spend the night every other Staurday night. It has given them a close bond. My fiancees mother lives with us so that she can watch the children while my fiancee and I are at work. It is part of a deal her mom and her made years ago when my fiancees mother found that she couldn't work anymore.
3 people like this
@wachit14 (3601)
• United States
27 May 07
No, I don't think grandparents are obligated to babysit their grandchildren. Both my mother and my husband's parents live out of state so there were no babysitting services from them. I never expected them to help me, but they did what they could and I was grateful for that. I live next door to a couple who have six kids and all their kids have children of their own and they do babysit every single day and frankly, I think they don't like it one bit.
@Swtrose (3399)
• Canada
27 May 07
I know a few people who ship their kids every weekend off to grandma and grandpa so they can have a break. I call them part time parents.
2 people like this
• United States
28 May 07
My daughter goes to my dad's house every other weekend, by the choice of her grandpa. Because he likes spending time with her. So, go on somewhere else with your Part time parent crap. I don't believe you are with your children 24/7, and if you tell me you are, then I would say you are lying........
1 person likes this
@Foxxee (3654)
• United States
28 May 07
Why would you say she is lying? I'm with my kids 24/7! I wake up every morning with my kids and I spend all day with them and then I am here with them for bedtime and then the day just starts all over. Only time I am away from my daughter is when she is at school for those 3 hours. So it can be done. If you are a working mom, then that is fine, that is something you have to do. I know not all mothers can have the privledge to be with their kids 24/7 and if that is the case, then for the ones that do work, they should make time for their kids and not pond them off.
2 people like this
@Stiletto (4597)
27 May 07
I am a grandparent and I don't feel any obligation to babysit my grandaughter - I do it because I love doing it. Actually my daughter very rarely goes out in the evening - maybe once every couple of months - but if she has an appointment or something like that I keep my grandaughter. Although she has her own room in my home she's never stayed overnight with me yet because there's never been a need for it and both my daughter and I feel that at just one year old she's still a little young to do that just for the sake of it as it would upset her routine. I've seen other posts on here where people talk about needing "time off" from being a parent and I think that's a little strange to be honest. Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying there's anything wrong with going out, etc as long as your child is well cared for by a responsible person in your absence, but being a parent is a 24/7 job and there is no "entitlement" to time off or a break. If you're lucky you will have trustworthy, responsible people that can help out but I don't think anyone else is obliged to do so and that includes grandparents.
2 people like this
@Swtrose (3399)
• Canada
28 May 07
Those people think they have it hard? Try being the parent of a child who is terminally ill or has a disability. Those parents need a break! It is nice that you help your daughter out.
@naty1941 (2336)
• United States
28 May 07
As a grandparent I enjoy taking care of my grandchildren. But we don't have an obligation to babysit the kids. I feel that parents, if they are able to, should raise their own children, however, sometimes the parents due to illness can't always take care of the children then the grandparents should help out. When I was raising my kids, my parents lived in Puerto Rico and I lived in the states so they couldn't help. I had to hire babysitters when I needed a break as my in-laws would never babysit even when I was sick.
2 people like this
@Gemmygirl1 (2871)
• Australia
28 May 07
I guess it deends on the circumstances again, i would never leave my daughter with someone i didn't trust, especially not just some baby sitter who has barely hit their teens! I do think Grandparents like looking after their grandkids more often than not, they see it as being their time to spoil & bond. I know my Mum would be over the moon if i asked her to look after my daughter but i don't feel comfortable right now leaving her with anyone anyway (my parents are a fair drive away) & even so, i don't do anything that requires her to need another person's care anyway! I guess it's really up to the parent & also how their parents feel about taking care of kids.
@ellie26 (4128)
• Malaysia
28 May 07
It true what you say. I dont ask my parents to look after my children when I have to go somewhere. If we want to take a break, we should arrange for someone to look after our kids. We should only bring our children to visit their grandparents and not to ask them to look after.
2 people like this
@4cuteboys (4103)
• United States
27 May 07
No, when my parents lived within a mile of us, they watched the kids sometimes, like if I had a doc appt and they happened to be home, they would watch the younger two kids since the older ones were in school. Now that they are further away, I just keep them with me all the time. I don't have anyone to watch them, and I worry about leaving them with a stranger. I don't mind asking, if they were already here at my house or something so I could run to the store real quick without everyone, I mean they can always say no. I don't think they have an obligation though and every weekend is just wrong lol.
2 people like this
@coolseeds (3925)
• United States
27 May 07
No I don't. They didn't make the kids.
2 people like this
@callarse1 (4806)
• United States
28 May 07
My brother is always having my parents watch them, and he even has tried to ask me. Luckily I said no. In fact, he has my sister-in-law's sister watch his baby all the time! In fact, he pays her 500 USD a month to watch him because she is always watching him. Now, I don't mind watching once in a while, however, he calls at the last minute (the night before of the day of) and asks my parents to babysit. I've already told him no before when he asks me. My parents have babysat their grandchild for two weeks when he was at work, so that was about 5 hours each day for two weeks. It's not like we live close to each other either, he lives in a suburb, and we live in the city so it takes us about 50 minutes to get there. I KNOW I am being very selfish about this matter, in fact, someone had posted about how grandparents are supposed to take care of them from time to time and how we should rejoice (from the Bible, now I forget the passage, sorry). However, I feel my brother is taking advantage of us, and the only reason he is getting his wife's sister to do it is by paying her! It is very difficult for me to always have to cancel plans at the last minute when he doesn't give us advanced knowledge (we share a vehicle together, my parents and I). Therefore, I'm without any transportation, and it does make me angry at times. However, I understand that he wants to work as much as he can, many times 3 shifts back to back. Pablo
1 person likes this
@Swtrose (3399)
• Canada
28 May 07
I understand! I think some people take advantage of it!
1 person likes this
@callarse1 (4806)
• United States
28 May 07
Amen sister, and my brother basically does it so he can work all three shifts at his job. He is a pharmacist so he loves the overtime so he gets all the money. He is making around 300 000 a year, and I am not sure why he just doesn't hire a babysitter or a full time nanny?! Pablo
• United States
28 May 07
If your parents have said beforhand that they will love to baby sit, then you you can get them to baby sit. But you shouldn't assume that they have nothing better to do and just drop off the kids at your parent's house and leave.Even if your parents want to baby sit, you should call first to see if they are free.
1 person likes this
@arsena (293)
• Germany
28 May 07
They do not have any obligation but I think it would be nice when they do it. I mean they do not have a job and they have a lot of free time and in this way they could help their children to manage the situation. And I think for them is also a lot of fun:).
1 person likes this
• United States
28 May 07
Nobody is obligated unless they are their own children. My parents are very supportive of their grandkids but I certainly don't take their help for granted.
1 person likes this
@Grandmaof2 (7604)
• Canada
28 May 07
I believe being a parent is a 24/7 365 days a year responsibility. I never feel obligated to babysit but I do think of it as a privilage. I am privilaged that I have been blessed with my two grandchildren and even more blessed to see what good parents these children have. My daughhter flat out told me right in the beginning that I would not be raising her children and I am certainly not being used as a babysitter. They don't believe much in babysitters because of all the crap that goes on for one thing but I personally do believe they should go out at least once a month even if it's just for a couple hours to the show, but I work hard at minding my own bussiness. I'm just happy as can be when I am asked to sit with the kids but it's never for long and certainly not very often.
• Canada
28 May 07
Grand parent job is to rasie there sons adn daughters nto there grand kids there should eb no obligation to do this they should be asked if they want to and not made to feel they need to say yes. Grandparents are there to spoil and enjoy there grand kids nothing really more.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 May 07
i wouldn't think it's expected. however i would much rather have them watch him vs some teenager i don't know very well. and they always want to see him, all the time. so it's a chance for them to visit with him, and yet it does us a favor as well!
• United States
28 May 07
Very well stated. I agree completely.
1 person likes this
@Foxxee (3654)
• United States
28 May 07
I don't think this discussion was against grandparents watching their grandkids all together. I think what she is trying to say is it's not right for us as parents to keep ponding our kids off on the grandparents all the time. There is nothing wrong with the grandparents spending time with their grandkids, but it's not right to keep asking the grandparents to watch our kids so we can go out and party. They are grandparents, not the parents. I know what she means because I have a sister that is always asking my mom to babysit and my mom has said many times "I am the grandma, I done raised my kids. I shouldn't have to raise another."
2 people like this
• United States
28 May 07
i agree...my hubby and i are home-bodies, and friends get mad (friends w/out kids) get mad that we don't go out ever. well i'm not going to ask my mother to watch my son, who is my responsibility, whom i love spending time with, just so i can go get tanked every weekend. been there done that, i got it out of my system. i think people that do that are irresponsible parents, to dump them all the time on grandparents. yes we need time away sometimes, and that's when my parents step in and say 'bring him over so we can squeeze his cheekies...we miss him'...it's not cuz i say, 'hey guys watch him AGAIN for me, so i can go do something i souldn't be doing'.
@rusty2rusty (6635)
• Defiance, Ohio
3 Jun 07
No I don't think grandparents should babaysit all the time. Every once in awhile if their health isn't bad and is up to it. Than yes. I do. I think it is a bonding experience for the grandparents and grandkids. It gives them time to spend with each other. When otherwise they wouldn't have. My parents do not watch my kids. As they live in another state than I. I am lucky enough to have an older child in his teens who helps to babysit his much younger siblings for a few hours so I can get a break. Even if it means just going to the grocery store to buy groceries by myself. Other wise my kids go with me everywhere I go. Even if they are in a grumpy mood and feel like throwing a fit. They go with me.
@sizzle3000 (3040)
• United States
30 May 07
no they don't have to watch them but it is nice if they do. My parents watched my daughter when she was little so that I could have date night with my husband once a month. My mom was my baby sitter while I worked. Grandparents are wonderful but remember they are still your children. Your parents have raised their children they are just helping you out.