Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Free the Granny Nanny

I’m currently trying to figure out how Grandmas have recently (and/or not recently) become free nanny’s to their children’s children.  Don’t get me wrong, I love asking my mom to baby-sit.  I know her, I trust her, she’s free, and she loves my kids.  It’s everything I could ask for in a babysitter.  But that’s just it.  She’s only a babysitter.  You know, the kind that watches your children for date night and a very small list of other urgent things.  She is NOT the nanny.  And she’s definitely not the free nanny who comes at my beck-and-call.  Nor should she be.

Here is a list of reasons why it’s a bit rude to ask Grams to baby-sit ALL. THE. TIME.

1.)   Grandma is getting old.  She already raised you while she was in her prime.  Then her ‘prime’ left all too quickly because you and your siblings gave her gray hair and wrinkles.  And as a result, she’s tired, and just doesn’t have the energy to run around after toddlers as much as she used to. 
2.)   There are other good people whom you could ask to baby-sit too!  Create a network of go-to friends that can baby-sit if you’ve got an OB appointment you can’t take Junior to. 
3.)   Unless you are the only child who has grandkids, well, then, Grandma has additional grandkids to love and she cannot devote all her time to your kids.  When you have other sibling and each sibling asks Grams to baby-sit one day a week you may as well just hand her a shovel to dig her own grave!  Just ask yourself,’ how would I feel if I had to baby-sit someone else’s kids, FOR FREE, as much as Grandma does?’  Maybe you would love it…but I certainly would not.   Plus, if you have sibling with kids, what an advantage you have!  You have an insta-network of babysitters to swap some babysitting duties, allowing cousins to play together.
4.)   Grandmas have a hard time saying no.  So, even if she’s run ragged and can barely get off the recliner to get herself a cup of warm milk, she’ll still tell you she can baby-sit when you ask her. 
5.)   She has other things to do.  Important things.  And some not so important things.  But it doesn’t really matter if she’s doing not so important things because she already raised her kids and sometimes her aching feet need a professional massage in the middle of the day.  After all, it’s likely the fault of you and your siblings that her feet hurt in the first place. 

So, lets cut Grandma some slack, huh?  Ask her to baby-sit only at appropriate times and, of course, anytime she offers of her own free will.  Then from there, we can either suck it up and take all the kids to Costco with us or find a friend to swap with.  I mean, our moms did it, surely we can too.  


  1. I agree! We don't live close to family though, so we have never taken advantage of grandma babysitting. I think this changes the playing field, because whenever we visit the grandmas actually want us to leave the grandbaby there to play. Also, the grandmas really aren't that old- our families are relatively young still. But I'm sure in ten years, all of these sentiments will ring true! It drives me crazy when I hear of granny nannys. It's a total disservice to the kids and moms!

  2. After 3 years with no grandmas close, I am living it up now! My mother in law watches our kids like twice a week and she volunteers!! Sad for my grandkids. I will never be that nice :)

  3. You hit the nail on the head Jami! I totally agree with this!