I Refuse to Babysit My Grandkids Because of My DIL’s Insulting Rules

Family & kids
6 months ago

No matter how much a grandmother loves her grandkids, she doesn’t always have to be so enthusiastic about babysitting them, especially when it comes with a strenuous list of conditions and rules. Mary, a Bright Side reader, has recently written to us seeking advice because she finds herself in an uncomfortable situation with her daughter-in-law, Claire.

Mary opened her heart to us.

Hi Mary, thanks for getting in touch with us. We’re glad you’re honest. Here are some tips we hope you find useful.

Seek compromise and set boundaries.

Having an honest conversation to strengthen your commitment to maintaining a positive relationship with your son and daughter-in-law is crucial. Demonstrating flexibility can foster a sense of collaboration, so make sure to find common ground that respects their parenting choices while also addressing your needs and establishing your own boundaries.

Discuss reasonable expectations for daily routines, activities, and emergencies. Make it clear that you are fully capable of caring for the kids without having to compromise your personal space or routines, all while ensuring their safety.

Express your emotional pain openly and candidly.

Feel free to open up to Claire and discuss your feelings without hesitation. Articulate your discomfort with the request for twice-daily showers and detailed hygiene preferences.

Politely share your understanding of the importance of cleanliness, while expressing that your established routines effectively maintain personal hygiene, rendering the stringent measures unnecessary for you.

Highlight grandparenting experience.

Let’s keep in mind that Claire is currently navigating a challenging and stressful period. Dealing with an unwell parent and the prospect of being separated from her kids for an extended period can be incredibly demanding.

To offer support, make an effort to reassure her and alleviate any concerns she may have. Remind her of the times when you successfully cared for her children, sharing anecdotes that highlight your competence and the positive experiences the kids had under your care.

Offer alternative solutions.

If you genuinely feel overwhelmed by the demands, propose alternative solutions that align with their parenting philosophy. Suggest exploring professional childcare options or finding a local caregiver who can adapt more conformably to her requests. The goal is to find a resolution that respects everyone’s concerns and maintains the family bond.

We hope our tips can help Mary figure out this tricky situation. Another Bright Side reader had also reached out to us asking for advice regarding her refusal to babysit her sister’s 3 kids unless she gets paid; check out her full story here.

Preview photo credit cottonbro studio / Pexels


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Why all the confusion? I would tell her she could bring them to my house or find other arrangements and carry on as I always have. If she doesnt like it, she can find other resources. Bathe twice a day even physicians would tell you this is not a good idea. What is wrong with people? My cat would stay too.


The DIL is rude. I don't blame her for being upset. Telling her to bath twice a day. The kids can stay with Grandma at her house.


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