Life Advice



Ask Amy: Relatives aren’t thankful for political discord

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

These moms are asking me to babysit their children for all or part of the day so they can go to work or attend previously planned activities.

I’m hesitant to spend extended periods of time with children who are sick or who have been around other sick kids.

So, my policy is that I will help out, only if the child has a current negative COVID test.

I have received some flippant responses: (i.e., “Never mind,” and, “I have no intention to get a test, because they weren’t exposed”).

This has made me question whether I’m being unreasonable.

I think some of my friends believe that since I have all this “free time” I would make a great free babysitter. Ultimately, I know they are stressed, and I do want to help them, but I also want to keep my family safe.


What are your thoughts?

– A Loyal Reader

Dear Loyal: You do not have to justify your choice to decline babysitting for children who are home from school because they are sick, or have possibly been exposed to COVID.

Nor do you have to justify your choice not to babysit, regardless of the circumstances. You only need to keep in mind that parents do exchange child-related favors over time, and you might someday be in the position of asking.


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