Working Moms

If your kids have g-parents that live in town

how often do they watch your child? And is it your parents or your spouse's or both that live in town?

ETA a follow-up question: What quantity of babysitting, in your opinion, is asking too much of said grandparents?

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Re: If your kids have g-parents that live in town

  • My parents live 1 minute away and my ILs 30 min. We try to rotate who gets to watch DS...but it's not that often. Maybe once a month we leave him with one of them. Since my parents are so close to us, sometimes we'll have them watch him for an hour here and there after work, etc.
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  • We live about 4 miles from my mom and step dad.

    My mom picks DD up from daycare 2 days a week at 4 pm, and then I pick DD up from her house when I get home from work at 630/7.

    Other than that, they "babysit" maybe 1- 2x a month on a Saturday night for a few hours so that DH and I can have date night.


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  • My parents are out of state, but ILs live the next town over.  They've never babysat, because they don't follow instructions.  Which is kind of important when you have a baby with severe food allergies who needs to travel with an epi pen. 
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  • My mom and dad live 5 min. away.  They come over all the time if just for a few minutes to see the kids in the evenings.  At this point with our kids so small (12 months and 2 1/2 yrs) I only use my mom as babysitter.  We hardly go out but for an occasional dinner or wedding my mom just comes over and watches the girls and puts them to bed.  It's hard because the 12 month old is still nursing and hates bottles, but she does a good job.  She LOVES watching the girls and would watch them every weekend if I wanted her to.  

    My MIL lives in the city but way on the south side like 45 min away or longer with traffic.  She's very nice but hardly comes over because she watches our niece all the time since her daughter (my SIL) is a young single mom.  We just don't see her much (which is fine) but we do go out with her and my SIL and niece like once every month or 2 for brunch or something which is nice, or they just come over.

    I don't like my MIL watching the girls because she's so far, and I think she's flaky.  I feel like she doesn't "know" how to watch small kids anymore which sounds like a mean comment, but if you met her you would know what I mean.  She just isn't very observant.  Also the baby screams her head off with her because she doesn't see her often.  So I feel WAY more comfortable with my mom watching my girls.  We did have my MIL and SIL babysit one night and I was fine w/that because I trust my SIL way more than my MIL!


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  • Both grandmas are local though one is away a lot.

    I probably ask a grandma to full on babysit so DH and I can do something without the kids no more than once a month.  My mom I call on more often.  DH's mom I call on occasionally.  But it still is not more than once per month over the course of a year.

    Oddly, as the kids are older know, I find it easier to ask.  When they were infants/toddlers I considered it too hard on grandma (either one) to handle both for any lengthy amount of time. 

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  • All g-parents are local (within an hour), and typically they each try to take DS overnight once a month, maybe more. Just depends on what our schedules are like. I only really think it's excessive if you EXPECT it from them, for free, on a frequent basis. I always ask the g-parents ahead of time if I know there is a schedule conflict with DH and I where we need additional care. If they declined, I'd be fine with it, but most of the time it's such advance notice that one set can do it.
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  • DH's hubbys folks live 1 town over, watch our kids so 5 days a week, and we like to do dinner with them every other sunday too, to reaiterate the fact that we like to be with THEM and that we dont just use them for childcare.

    my folks on the other hand also live 1 town over (different town) and we see them like 3x a year.  theyre not so awesome. 

  • My IL's live about 2 hrs away.  We see them often, but they can't really babysit.

    My parents live about 40 min away.  They are willing to babysit often, but usually don't because of the distance.  They'll watch DS over night a few times a year and watch him when we go on vacation (my mom doesn't work).  My SIL lives about 5 min away from us.  She is our primary babysitter and watches DS maybe once a month.

    Unless they are a part of your child care arrangement, I tend to think that 1-2 times per month babysitting is a good amount.  Maybe closer to 1 time per month if it's a spend the night babysitting.

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  • My parents live 30mins away and my IL's live less than 5mins away.  My mom babysits A LOT!  She used to watch the kids FT, but we switched to DC b/c it was getting to be too much.  She watches them anytime they are sick, have a DR's appt, or DC is closed.  I try not to ask her to babysit on the weekends unless we really need her, since she watches them so many other times.

    My IL's live down the road from us.  They help out quite a bit, probably babysit for a date night about once every other month.  They will often stop by and visit on a weekend, while i am doing stuff around the house.  My SIL also lives with them and she babysits occassionally.  When I was pregnant with DS, she was a huge help watching DD for all of my doctors appointments.

    We do have a non-family babysitter that we use for date nights occasionally b/c I feel guilty asking my IL's too much.

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  • ILs live OOS, my parents live 3 miles away. Due to DH and I having weird work schedules, they have watched DS 1-2 days, half days or evenings per week since he was 3 months old, with about one overnight a month. My sister usually babysat one evening a week as well.

    I feel like that's plenty, but sometimes if we end up with a week where our work schedules align so one of us is always home, my mom will call and ask when DS is coming back, so I don't think we're wearing them out too much. 

    I will say, ALL of my parents older grandkids live out of state except the one born a few months before DS and the one they got through my brother's marriage right after that (and a few more local ones have been born since then) so they're pretty excited to finally be able to have grandkids around pretty much whenever they want.

  • My parents live in town (maybe 10 minutes from us).  My mother used to provide daily childcare for my kids but that didn't work well for me. My mom used stop by and take the kids for ice cream, or the playground (when the weather is nice) frequently until we had our "falling out" when she wasn't able to watch the kids anymore.  Now I've let her take the kids (not all at once) out for ice cream, or a sleep over at her house, I don't think I'll ever let her watch my kids in my house anymore (which is sad).  I know she would come around more if I invited her to, but I'm not going to.

    My in laws live about an hour away and my MIL takes the older three kids for a week at a time during mid winter break, and Spring break.   She also takes them for a week or two in the summer.

    As for quantity of babysitting, that depends on the grand parents. My mom would watch the kids ever Friday/Saturday night so DH and I could go out, but I'm not comfortable with that.

    ETA: I totally forgot that my dad picks up DD2 from preschool 3 days a week and brings her home!

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  • Both my parents live about 20 minutes away (not together), and my mom watches the kids for us probably 2-3 times a month so we can have date night.  She always offers--I think she likes having special time alone with the kids.  And we enjoy getting to go out and have time to ourselves and skip the dinner/bathtime routine once in a while.  My dad rarely babysits--maybe a couple of times a year and I don't think he's ever watched both kids at once.

    My sisters also live close and babysit once in a while--sometimes they'll come over with my mom and once in a while they'll do it on their own or together.  One sister lives about 10 minutes away and is a firefighter, so she has random days off.  She's helped out when we needed someone in a pinch or the kids were sick and DH and I couldn't take off.

    I keep thinking we need to find a non-family babysitter, but so far it's worked out for us.

    I think how much is too much just depends on you and your family. 

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  • Thanks for the input. I feel like BIL/SIL use my in-laws way too much, almost like a second daycare. But my other SIL and her 3 year old daughter still live with MIL/FIL so they've never even gotten to have an empy nest. In an odd turn of events, I feel like DH and I are the ones FIL and MIL get annoyed with because we don't ask them to babysit much...maybe once a month, which is far far less than they watch my niece. My parents live 9 hours away, which sucks. Anyway, just wanted to see what people considered a normal amount of grandparent time. Thanks!

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  • Both sets live nearby.  We just moved a few weeks ago, so they are little furthur away now, but still within driving distance.  They were only 10 min away before we moved.  They watch kiddos if one gets sick and can't go to daycare, but isn't so sick we feel we really need to take off work.  They will watch them if we go out on a date too (ha ha, that never happens anymore!)  If I just have an appt, sometimes one will pick DS1 up from daycare or something too.  I think asking them to watch kids more than maybe a hour a week is too much if they aren't being paid and didn't volunteer or beg. 

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  • MIL lives about 5 minutes away and never babysits.  We rarely see her.  We're really busy, and she makes no effort to work with our schedules even though she's retired.  We asked her for help when DS was sick last week and we were having trouble getting off work, and she refused.

    My parents live about 30 minutes away, and they babysit maybe once every 3-4 months, usually for special occasions like my birthday or our anniversary.  We see my parents once a week usually; we go over for dinner on Saturday or Sunday.  They both work full-time.

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  • My parents are nearby, but haven't ever watched my daughter on their own. For some reason she won't allow them to hold her and my mother has a disability that makes holding her difficult. We've agreed that when she's old enough to walk around and not need to be picked up or carried that she can then go stay with Grandpa and Grandma for overnighters.
  • Basically we don't ever ask my parents to babysit on the weekend b/c they help watch our son during the day. He will be going to daycare soon and when that happens it is possible that we may occasionally ask them to watch him on a weekend.

    We try to go out once per month on a date. For that what we tend to do is switch off between asking my sister and asking my ILs to watch him. So maybe it happens once every other month. Sometimes less. We need to go out more.

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  • My parents live 25 minutes away.  They see DS every weekend, and oftentimes we'll leave him there for a couple of hours during the day on either Saturday or Sunday.  They love it.

    I'm more hesitant with overnights, but as I explained in the other thread, unless DH and I have a true date night planned, I would prefer DS stay at our house.  My parents generally prefer overnights to be at their house, so we do that maybe once a month.  

    On days when DS does not have daycare for whatever reason, we leave him with my mom all day.  This is probably once a month.  

    Thankfully my cousin recently moved back in town and is willing to come over and sit with DS (who is already asleep) so we use her a lot of date nights and then just have DS there when we get home.

    My ILs live several states away, and I'm relieved because I would not feel comfortable leaving DS with them overnight or even for longer than a few hours during the day.

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  • My in laws take my kids for grandparents overnights 2 times per month. They'd actually do it more often if we wanted but we're happy with this balance. My sister babysits maybe once every 3 months or so.

    Overall there is no hard and fast "too much" rule. It is up to each grandparent to set that limit. My mom is not local but even if she was she wouldn't baby sit often. My kids are just too much for her. She's fine take one kid to the library for an hour though.

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  • My parents live about 20 minutes away and don't babysit on any kind of a regular basis.  Every few months one of the two older kids gets to sleep over but my parents won't take more than one at a time (and I don't really blame them, four kids is a lot to handle).

    My in-laws live out of state but when they visit they will take the three oldest to stay overnight at the hotel and sometimes keep them for an entire day as well.  We don't ask them to as I would feel that much would be imposing, but they offer and want to spend the time with their grandkids.  I'm guessing things will change as they get older, meaning my in-laws, not my children.

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  • ILs are around the corner and my parents are 10 minutes away.  ILs have Livi two days a week and my parents watch her on Fridays (my mom's day off).

    I didn't ask them to babysit at all, when I was pregnant and DH and I were figuring out a budget for daycare, ILs volunteered to babysit two days and my mom said right along she'd watch Livi on her day off.


  • My parents live 10 minutes away. DH's father and siblings live across the country from us.

    My parents don't really watch DD much for us - maybe 2 Saturdays a month so we can go out for date night dinners? And we always put DD to bed first before we go out (she has an early bedtime - was 6:15pm and now just recently she decided she was ready for a 7pm bedtime).So they don't even really do much with her in the way of care - and by that I mean dinner, bathtime, pajamas, bedtime. Which is better if it's us doing it because my mom isn't in great physical shape and has awful arthritis and my dad just isn't very confident doing that stuff for a toddler.

    To answer your question - the amount of babysitting that would be "too much" is entirely subjective and up to the grandparents. What's too much for one family is nothing for another.

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  • image JessieJH:
    My parents are nearby, but haven't ever watched my daughter on their own. For some reason she won't allow them to hold her and my mother has a disability that makes holding her difficult. We've agreed that when she's old enough to walk around and not need to be picked up or carried that she can then go stay with Grandpa and Grandma for overnighters.

     This is very, very similar to the situation we are also in. DD will have to be a lot older and self-sufficient before she can stay with them overnight.

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  • My FIL lives 15 minutes from us, and the other grandparents are OOT.  He will often watch DD on a Saturday night so we can go out (maybe twice a month), and additionally he'll pick up DD from school and put her to bed once or twice a month when we have evening conflicts.  Add in the occasional day watching her when school is closed that we both work, and he's usually doing *something* with DD every week.  I balk at asking him to help out two or three nights in a week, since he's a busy guy and I don't want to overburden him.  But that's my own issue - he's never suggested that we ask too much of him.
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  • Both of our parents are within 15-20 minutes of us. His parents have watched her for no more than 2-3 hours at a time, and at their house. My mom spent a lot of time with me when L was born and I would run errands. So a lot of small amounts of time, at my house. My mom was over here Monday when I was working and watched L.

    We see them pretty much every weekend or every other weekend.

    My parents don't mind watching her and would if needed, but they lead a different life then DH's parents if that makes any sense. DH's parents would watch her at the drop of a hat. Mine I would need to plan it out.

    Lillian April 17, 2012
  • DH's dad lives 30 mins away and we'd never leave ds with him. DH won't even leave the room unless one of us are in the room when his dad visits. He just really doesn't know what to do with DS and is akward around him. (DH's mother would have been amazing with grand-kids, but passed away 2 months before DS was born). My parents live 10 mins away part of the year and part of the year they are snow birds. When they were here this past summer, my mom would watch DS once a month overnight and a couple times a month for a few hours so we could get out. I can't wait til April when she's back here!
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  • My parents babysit for us once every other weekend or so. I'm sure it will be more often now that we are moving closer (it was a 25 min drive).

    It's asking too much if they are not willing to do it; my parents always love to watch DD.

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  • My parents live about 5 minutes from my house.  They will only watch DD in an emergency.  And I mean a true emergency - like one of us is in the hospital and the other one had to transport the victim.  They're too busy watching their other grandkids to help out with DD (bitter much?)

    My ILs live about 5 hours away.  They watch DD almost every time we see them so DH and I can go out, but they'll only babysit if she's already asleep.  That's because all of my nieces and nephews on that side are horrible at bed time, so even though DD's pretty easy, they don't want to take the chance.

    We've got an awesome babysitter that we rely on for weekends and evenings if needed.  She's a college student, lives across the street, studies early childhood education, and DD thinks it's such a treat to have her over to "play".  It's so much easier than trying to beg our relatives for help that they don't want to give...

  • My parents live here. She watches her twice a week (Tuesday and Saturday) so we can go to exercise. If Boo is sick and they can watch her so we don't have to take off they do. THey are watching her tonight so we can go to a concert. They watch occasionally so we can go to the movies.
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  • My parents live close (in laws a few states away but honestly they'd only babysit a few times a year even if we lived closer). My mom watches DS at least 1 night a week when DH and I are in school. Most weeks she usually wants him another day on top of that. (My parents are divorced) My dad will typically take him on a weekend day or night for us to do a date night and they get their time.
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