DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My husband and I have a two-year old daughter and we just had a baby boy earlier this summer. My husband’s family lives two states away and my mom’s house is 20 minutes from mine. Whenever my in-laws visit they can’t wait to babysit so my husband and I can go out, but my own mother told me to find someone else because as she says, “I raised my own kids. I don’t need to raise yours.” Am I nuts in thinking I should be able to count on my own mother to watch her own grandkids once in a while? --- BAFFLED DAUGHTER
DEAR BAFFLED: While most grandparents, like your in-laws, jump at the chance to babysit their grandkids, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard about one who opts out of the babysitting part of grandparenthood. Their justification is they don’t want to get roped into giving up their own independence, and they feel it’s not their job to offer childcare services.
If you’ve already hashed it out with your mother and she isn’t budging, you’re better off not banging your head against the wall, but rather start developing alternate arrangements like a babysitting swap with friends, other trustworthy relatives, or a reliable neighborhood sitter.