Am I Wrong for Refusing to Babysit My 3 Grandkids after What My DIL Did?

When Ellen is asked to babysit her three grandkids, she jumps at the opportunity to spend quality time with them. But then, her daughter-in-law, Linda shows up with a list of offensive rules, causing Ellen to refuse.

I’m a doting grandmother. I love spending time with my grandkids. Even before I became a Mom, I couldn’t wait to be a grandmother!

But then this happened, and things took an unexpected turn.

My son, Michael, his wife, Linda, and their three children live about thirty minutes away from me. Michael is constantly popping by to bring the kids over on a Sunday afternoon — ice cream and pool time at Grandma’s have become a norm.

Michael and Linda asked me to babysit the kids for a weekend while they visited Linda’s ill mother. It made sense because I knew that Linda’s mother was battling cancer, and the thought of having my three grandkids run around her home just made me anxious for her.

She needed peace and time to recover from her chemotherapy — Michael told me that she recently started it.

Anyway, it seemed like a simple request, right?

I agree.

Until Linda came over two days before they were scheduled to leave for their visit. She came over during her lunch break to hand me a list of rules.

“These are important to Mike and me,” Linda said, leaving the envelope with the instructions on the table.

Rules to look after my grandchildren?

At first, I wasn’t angry because I knew all parents do things differently. But as I sat down with a cup of tea and read through them, I was utterly stunned.

The first rule was a real kicker — no touching their fridge for myself. The refrigerator was off-limits for me, and I was instructed to take my food.

The second rule required me to perform a daily “wet” cleaning marathon of their two-story house. Who still had the time or energy to mop every day? Did they think I was Cinderella?

And then, the third rule was the real head-scratcher — I was instructed to shower twice a day to prevent the kids from catching “infections” from me.

I couldn’t believe it.

After a night of tossing and turning, I decided to call Michael early the following day and put my foot down.

“Michael,” I said before he could get a word in. “We need to talk about these rules that Linda gave to me. They’re excessive and frankly humiliating.”

“Mom?” he asked. “What rules? I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

I explained how these rules made me feel disrespected and undervalued.

He was so shocked. And when I read them to him, he seemed as offended as I was.

“I’ll call you back,” he said. “I promise.”

While I waited for Michael’s call, I decided to bake something to get my mind off everything.

“Mom, Linda said the rules are for the kids’ safety. And she won’t apologize for that. But I’m telling you, I understand your feelings. I’ve told Linda to apologize, or I won’t go with her.”

“And?” I asked him, dusting the flour from my hands.

“She insisted that the rules are reasonable. So, she’s going alone. I don’t want to spend the next few days alone with Linda after this.”

I was proud of him for standing up to Linda — for himself and me. But, also, I wouldn’t say I liked that I was the cause of conflict in their marriage.

And the thought of her having to drive to see her mother alone loomed in my mind.

“Are you sure?” I asked him. “I’ll still babysit, minus the rules.”

“Yes,” he said. “She took it too far, and I’m not okay with that.”

In the end, Linda went to see her mother by herself. She apologized to me via text — probably because she realized it wasn’t a joke and had truly offended me so much that even her husband opted to stay home with the kids.

Linda is still at her mother’s, and I’m preparing meals for the kids.

I didn’t babysit them, but Michael decided that the weekend called for ice cream and pool time at Grandma’s.

I will encourage Michael to talk to Linda because I feel bad about causing this rift.

But am I wrong for refusing to babysit my grandkids after those rules were handed to me? And is it worse now that I’ve caused a conflict between them?

What would you do?

Here’s another story for you | Widower, mom-of-five, and grandmother-of-six Caroline Duddridge has been charging her family for Christmas dinner, ensuring each member chips in for the holiday celebration. While some may not agree with her setup, she believes it is practical and fair.

Read the full story here.

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