Opinion: 50-year-old grandmother should refuse to babysit grandson on weekends

Tracey Folly

One exhausted fifty-year-old grandma doesn't want to babysit her daughter's three-month-old baby on weekends while her daughter works. Does that make her selfish? That's what she wants to know.

As a woman who is child-free and plans to stay that way, it's my opinion that this tired grandmother should just say, "No!" when faced with her daughter's babysitting request.

Here's what happened:

As reported by the website SheKnows, which is owned by Penske Media Corporation, an American digital media, publishing, and information services company based in Los Angeles and New York City that publishes over twenty digital and print brands, including Variety, Rolling Stone, and Deadline, among others, a self-professed "exhausted" grandmother has turned to a popular online forum to ask for advice and support.

The grandmother's question is regarding the expectation that she will babysit for her three-month-old grandson while her daughter works on the weekends.

The fifty-year-old grandmother provided further details about her daughter, her grandson, and the absentee dad. She explained in her original post that her daughter is a twenty-seven-year-old single mom who receives no help from the father of her child, who isn't "in the picture at all."

It sounds like this single mom is trying to do the responsible thing by working extra hours on the weekends. It appears those shifts fall outside the hours of her available childcare, and that's why she turned to her own mother to pick up the slack.

Unfortunately, the new grandmother isn't interested in providing babysitting duties, and with good reason. She's a working woman herself, and she's already raised four children of her own.

At fifty, this grandmother doesn't mind being "active" in the child's life. She simply doesn't want to babysit, citing a lack of "patience" and "energy."

She'd rather spend weekends with her dogs.

It doesn't help the beleaguered grandma that some family members are taking her daughter's side, even going so far as calling babysitting her "job."

Yet none of those same family members will take on the role of babysitter themselves, according to the grandma herself, because they aren't "responsible enough."

Her reason for protesting babysitting the three-month-old boy is simple. "Facts are, I AM TIRED!!!" she explained.

With the pressure of being expected to care for her baby grandson besides her full-time job, this tired grandmother just wants to know if she's being selfish.

"I feel like I might be being a selfish [...]," she wrote, "but I’m not sure."

Is not wanting to babysit for one's grandchildren selfish or merely self-preservation?

"The response came out pretty strongly in favor of the grandmother," according to PMC editorial manager Thea Glassman. Furthermore, SheKnows reported that the commenters on Reddit have this tired grandmother’s back "completely."

In my opinion, a woman shouldn't be obligated to take care of any children she didn't have herself unless she volunteers for the job.

Being a single mother is no doubt difficult, but foisting her child upon an unwilling grandmother is not the solution. What do you think?

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

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