Am I a grumpy granny for refusing to babysit?

Published 1:06 pm Monday, January 15, 2024

Dear Aunty Pam,


I raised four children (three on my own) and have worked hard since I was 15 years old. Now that I’m retired, my husband and I want to travel and when we’re not doing that, I want to relax or go bowling with my friends.

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Yesterday I had a really unpleasant phone call from my oldest daughter, who basically berated me for not wanting to babysit her two children so that she and her husband could go to Florida for a few days. She told me that most grandmothers would want to spend quality time with their grandchildren and that I am being unbelievably selfish. She also said that my other children feel the same way— that I show no interest in my grandchildren and I’m not normal. This was very hurtful to me and I hung up on her.

Is there a law somewhere that says grandparents must be overjoyed to have grandchildren dumped on them whenever their children feel like it? I see my grandchildren on every holiday and their birthdays, but as I said, I have worked very hard raising my own children. I worked as a teacher for 45 years and I want the time I have left to do what I would like to do for a change! Am I such a horrible person?



Grumpy Gran


Dear Grumpy,


Well, Aunty Pam certainly doesn’t think so! It sounds as if you’ve done your due Granny diligence in seeing your grandkids on their birthdays and holidays. And really, your daughter went over the line to attack you for not joyfully receiving full care of her children, while she and her hubby have a holiday in the sun. Perhaps in 45 years and a couple of more kids of her own, she’ll get why you put down boundaries.

It goes without saying that I am sure you would make yourself available should there be a true family emergency, but I’m with you, Granny a go-go. You have dutifully raised four children, and, as you said, three of which you raised on your own. If anyone deserves a babysit-free retirement, it’s you. 

Don’t rise to your daughter’s guilt bait. Bowl to your heart’s content!


Cheers, dears!!

Aunty Pam