My 75 yr old mom babysits my younger brother's 4 kids--should I say something?


#1

So my younger brother and his wife have 4 kids, ages 9 months to 7 yrs old. Both work a lot and my mom is happy to help out with babysitting--every day.

My DH and I also have 4 kids (see my signature) and when they were younger my mom watched my kids and helped us out immensely.

My dilemma is that my mom is TIRED and not as spry as she once was. And she's also starting to slack off in the safety arena. (She was never that cautious to begin with--giving preschoolers hard candy, no gates to the basement stairs...) For example, we were together at a store and before she knew it, the toddler was running through the small parking lot to her car.

So should I say something to my brother about finding another sitter for the kids?

During the school year she only watches the baby and the toddler, but picks up the 7 yr old from school every day. That's a lot!

Or is it not my business? My mom insists she's fine and does not want me to say anything.

I feel badly because I was able to benefit from my mom's generosity, and here I am possibly telling my brother that he can't benefit now.

I could watch his children 1 day a week, but the rest of the time I am working, too.


#2

If you see that the safety of the children is easily at risk, because she's just not that alert, you will kick yourself into next year, if something really awful happens...

I'd mention a few incidents and let them make a decision... Keeping in mind even a DR. would pull her drivers license after a while if she seemed a risk to traffic.


#3

OK, it sounds like you talked to your mom before you talked to your brother which I think in modern day terms is called 'triangulating'

Nonetheless, is your mom always complaining? Or is it just you notice things? I think you do is mention to your brother the unsafe things you see happen and leave it in his court. Do NOT say 'you should find another sitter'. That is meddling. If your brother knows there are unsafe issues, he could possibly make arrangements with your mom to deal with them that you will never find out about because it is his right to privacy.

After telling your brother the unsafe things you saw, leave it at that. Unless it gets really bad to the point you need to call children's aid, then call them

CM


#4

Instead of replacing your mom, why not help her? On the one day that you are available, you could drop in and keep her company and take it upon your self to deal with the most demanding of the 4, whether it be calming the fussy 9 month old or changing diapers or getting lunch ready for the kids or whatever. You could also offer to pick up the 7 year old.

You should discuss this with your brother and his wife first though and clear it with them.


#5

I am in the business of taking care of other people's children. Quite often parents will leave children with elderly relatives that aren't up to the job, usually to save money. If your mother is taking care of your brother's children for free you may never convince him she can't handle four children. If she is doing it for pay she may never admit there is anything wrong with her.

You might express concern about your mother's driving skills going downhill to your brother without letting your mother in on it. Everyone's driving skills decline as they age. You might mention to your brother that most nannies won't deal with more than two children. I deal with three which gets a lot of comment and the most I've seen a nanny with is five

If your mother is constantly complaining about having to take care of the children that is a good indicator that she is too old for the job.


#6

I would bring up safety situations you actually observed, not the general topic of Mom is past it, with our brother.
Joe, when Mom had the kids at Walmart on Tuesday she lost track of Jonnie and he actually ran out in the parking lot. She was really tired and out of breath when she finally got the kids rounded up. What do you think?

those 2 adults with 2 salaries may just have to bite the bullet and do what the rest of us do and pay for child care.


#7

Hi, my mom is almost 70. She still works and is somewhat active.

She doesn't watch my children anymore, she just is not able to anymore. She gets too distracted, the kids get her too tired.

You know your mom, if you had kids your brother's age, would you feel comfortable that it was a good scenario?


#8

My mom is 67 and picks up my 4 year old from preschool then the 2 older boys after school until we pick them up. She tried to watch them this summer and has but it was difficult. Luckily I could work from home part of the day most days and she only had them a few hours.

If your mother is watching the kids it's because she wants too, they are her grandchildren. I like the idea of helping one day a week if you have the time. If it is truly a safety issue then yes talk to your brother about that. However it also, from your post and the age of the kids may be something else. Perhaps you should ask yourself if part of this is being driven by the fact that she is taking care of his kids all the time and possibly too tired for you and your family?

Remember that, from what you said she did that for you, I'm sure because she wanted to as well. Just make sure you are doing these for the right reasons and jealousy, even in the least, is an underlying factor... I'm not saying it is but from your last sentence I got the feeling that you may already be asking yourself that question. Figure that and the safety out and I think you have your answer :)

Joe


#9

My Mom is 89 - and still picks up the last one at school....the 'baby' is now 10.

SO....that toddler running through the parking lot thing would worry me too. Maybe say something to your brother about that?

I know how sensitive our Moms can be as they age, but maybe...well, I think you have gotten some good advice here. I will keep her in prayer..

And I think you are a very good Auntie.


#10

[quote="cmscms, post:3, topic:250878"]
Nonetheless, is your mom always complaining? Or is it just you notice things?

[/quote]

She does complain, even to my brother (she has never been one to hint around at things, or leave her opinion unexpressed! :D)

But she also is quite insistent that the children must stay with her.

[quote="Mary_Gail_36, post:7, topic:250878"]
You know your mom, if you had kids your brother's age, would you feel comfortable that it was a good scenario?

[/quote]

Yeah, I don't think I'd feel comfortable leaving them there every day.

[quote="jwashu, post:8, topic:250878"]
Perhaps you should ask yourself if part of this is being driven by the fact that she is taking care of his kids all the time and possibly too tired for you and your family?

[/quote]

I appreciate the question, but this is really not an issue for us. Our eldest is 18 and we have 2 other teens, besides our little 8 yr old surprise and blessing :). We are pretty much self-sufficient now.

[quote="LSK, post:9, topic:250878"]
And I think you are a very good Auntie.

[/quote]

Oh, p-shaw! :pshaw:


closed #11

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