I had a bad day babysitting our youngest two grandchildren. I felt SOOO tired and they need so much attention that it seemed a horrible chore rather than any kind of pleasure. I wondered why we do it once a week. And then I remembered. It was to share the burden with our children, who often feel the same way.
I felt guilty for the not enjoying. But I find I am one with hoards of grannies who feel exactly the same. And of course grandpas like Mr Furlong too.
Our children have been very good at doing everything right about us babysitting. We babysit all day on a regular day and our grandchildren are delivered and collected on time. The littlest has had a bad start in life and needs special food and medication. Her mummy always brings it. Usually, she brings enough extra clothes in case there are accidents which there are at the moment from the three year old. Expecting accidents can make people jumpy, not to mention grumpy!
We always get warned if the babies are sick – we need that information in case we have to protect our own health, or brace ourselves for a horrible day. We get basic updates on the latest fear/obsession/behaviour or word so we more or less know what we are doing.
And every time the kids are collected we are THANKED.
Today, our daughter gave us a gift. It wasn’t a gift gift all wrapped in fancy paper with a card. It was just something we couldn’t afford to buy ourselves. I found that touching.
Babysitting is entirely stressful. Some days are better than others. But today I seemed to have no patience or energy. I don’t know how parents can do it most of the time, and survive.