Sitter Debting (Guest post by Rahti)


© Rahti Gorfien 2009

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of grousing about lack of reciprocity when it comes to watching someone else’s kid(s).  ‘I take her kid, and as soon as I ask for coverage, there’s always some excuse…’  I call this Sitter-Debting.  Not to brag, but I seem to have the opposite ‘problem’.  People won’t take me up on reciprocating!  Is it just me?  Am I that pathetic?  Is my child so fabulous that people feel blessed just having him around?  Now I know THAT’S delusional.  A friend said recently it’s because I don’t exude neediness around the issue.  People sense that if they say no, I’ll be okay; in other words, I’ll manage perfectly well without their help.  Well, there may be some accuracy to that observation, but only because I approach child care as a numbers game.  I know a lot of parents.  I know several with kids who have the same schedule as my son, and with whom he gets along.  I won’t presume to say that we’re all so fortunate, but many of us are, even  the folks who feel isolated due to being a single parent, or are in the I’m-the-stay-at-home-parent-so-everybody-dumps-their-kids-with-me role. 

Now this is touchy.  In fact, I’m truly afraid of getting my ass kicked for saying this (metaphorically, of course).

Read More

Sane Grandmas too

While doing my too-often perusal of The Women’s Colony, I came across this gem.  It’s about grandma being grandma and herself too, and not always being ready to watch her grandkids at the drop of a hat.  She has a few things of her own to do also!

A wee sample …

Tonight my beloved daughter called to see if I would babysit her two children on Saturday night. I love my grandkids (ages 3 and 5) to pieces, but if I said yes, it would be the third time I’ve watched them in one week. I declined and told her I had already had plans to see a movie and have dinner with her dad. I could hear the irritation and disappointment in her voice. I rarely say no to her frequent requests to watch the children so that she can go out to dinner with my son-in-law (love him too), go to her book club or go out with the girls for a night on the town.

Guess what? Grandma’s tired. Grandma has a life. Grandma has places to go and people to see.

I was so glad to see this this grandma’s perspective aired, and enjoyed the comments on it also.  I get the very occasional babysitting from my father-in-law, but hesitate to ask much and know he’s got a lot going on.  I don’t live near any other family really, and often wish I did (not just for the prospect of free babysitting!).

How much kid-minding do you get from family?  Ever feel guilty about it or sense that they feel taken advantage of?  Curious.