Reddit Moms Are Frustrated That Their Own Parents Won't Help With Babysitting & It's Spawning a Debate

What is the role of a grandparent — and why does it seem to be changing so much right now? My siblings and I love our grandparents. We spent many weekends at their house, where I learned a love of black-and-white musicals and the beauty of the stars and the deliciousness of raw cookie dough. And when my grandma on my dad’s side moved close to us, we loved spending time with her, too. So why does it feel like such a burden to ask my own parents to watch my kids?

Like me, many millennial parents are going through the same struggle with their own parents. One posted about it on Reddit, and it deeply resonated with other moms.

“MIL and mother both won’t babysit,” a post in the “Parenting” subreddit was titled. Then parent went on to explain: “I very rarely ask for help. When I do ask, it’s usually a no,” they said.

“My kids are easy. Grandmas are both healthy and don’t work that often,” the OP continued. “They are also local. I know I’m not entitled to babysitting, that’s part of the reason I don’t really ask. Grandparents have active lives too, I understand that. It’s just really a bummer when I hit a wall, can’t find a paid sitter, and grands won’t help. That’s all. Just venting.”

This is such a delicate topic, but one that I can relate to! It can be so awkward asking our parents for the occasional babysitting help — I know they are busy, and my kids are full of energy, and that isn’t their job, but still. My own parents leaned on their parents all the time (I remember!), but it always feels like a big deal for me to do the same. They do help out, but I worry that I’m burdening them if my kids aren’t perfect.  

The Reddit parent clarified a few things at the end of their post. “I’m not looking for ‘date night’ help here,” they wrote (which, BTW, should also be fine to ask for!). “I need 2 hours of babysitting next Saturday, Jan 7th for something specific and necessary.”

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