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Health & Spirit

Stay-at-home mom resents babysitting requests

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear SAHM: If you are the only SAHM in your friend group, you might be fielding requests from several different sets of parents.

Your job is to take care of your child, and to live your own life the way you want to.

Because you are a good person and a good friend you will occasionally want to help out other parents who are facing an emergency. However, "I'm working and my husband has other plans" does not qualify as an emergency. And this friend should always offer to reciprocate when you step in.

One way to handle this might be to leverage your own needs when replying to a request: "I can take 'Sara' for the day, but could you reciprocate by taking care of 'James' this Saturday afternoon?"

Or if you want compensation, ask for it: "What would you normally be paying your sitter for these days? I'll do it for the same fee." Many parents would be thrilled to pay for a steady and reliable backup.

Here are other words to say: "I'm sorry you are in such a jam but I can't help you out. You really need to find backup child care, other than me." Don't succumb to the temptation to pile on explanations, rationales, etc. Keep it simple.

 

Dear Amy: This year has been one of the hardest of my life. My grandmother passed away, my uncle died from a stroke, my sister was killed in a car accident, I went through my first romantic heartbreak and I suffered a miscarriage.

I've always been a positive person, and I am fighting to maintain that in my life right now. In an effort to do that, I am avoiding news reports on current events. I do this just so I won't break.

Recently a co-worker asked me about a mass shooting and I expressed why I didn't keep up with such things. She scolded me, telling me I needed to be aware of these tragedies.

Amy, I don't want to! I don't want to know that people kill each other for no reason. I am doing everything I can just to get out of bed some days! This co-worker complained that I was being rude. Was I? Am I wrong because I don't want to know about these things?

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