Life Advice



Ask Amy: Granny is too busy to babysit

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I have a 4-year-old son and am expecting another child in a few months. I started my own business a few years ago, and my husband works full time.

My son is in daycare three days a week (we can't afford more care right now). I asked Mom if she would commit to helping me care for my son on one of the days when he is not in daycare. (My in-laws also help out.)

She balked at the suggestion and actually started yelling at me about it. She works as a sometime-realtor, but makes herself very busy with women's groups and volunteer work.

She often offers to watch my son at the last-minute when it's convenient for her, but refuses to make a schedule to give me much-needed (begged for) help.

She makes me feel selfish for asking, but I really need the help to grow my business and support my family. I get upset that she doesn't "want" to help me when she spends so much time doing things that to me aren't as important as helping her family.

She constantly calls me to tell me how "busy" she is, but it's with things that are completely voluntary, and meanwhile I'm drowning.


She loves my son and he's an easy, calm child, and my mom is in great health.

I realize she has her own life, but I can't see why she won't just agree to one day or even a half-day a week, when she often helps my sister (a stay-at-home mom with three kids).

-- Frustrated Mom

Dear Frustrated: You obviously value your time and energy more than your mother's. And guess what? She has needs, too.


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