Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Stay-at-home mom resents babysitting requests

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I'm a young SAHM (stay-at-home mom) of a 5-month-old baby. My husband and I worked hard to budget, pay off debt and cut expenses prior to our baby being born.

I'm the only mom in my friend group who stays home, and recently I've been getting asked to babysit (for free) quite frequently.

One friend asked me well in advance to drive across town to pick their daughter up from school two days in a row and watch her until they got home.

I agreed, knowing that the child care they had lined up had fallen through.

Under those circumstances, I was happy to help.

A week later, that same friend is asking me to watch their child for an entire day because she works and her husband has made other plans.

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I really don't want to do it, but feel bad knowing that I have no excuse. I just don't want to.

Their child is much older than my own and requires a lot of attention. It's way different than my infant and takes away from my bonding with him.

If there was some financial compensation I would be more inclined to do it, but I feel like free babysitting should be kept for times when they are REALLY in a bind. How can I politely decline without feeling guilty, or making up an excuse?



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