“I need some advice on how to handle this situation I’m in with the parents of the children I babysit for…”
A mom writes in asking for advice about the appropriate age at which she could consider leaving her child at home. She says that she is gearing up to go back to work, and now that her son is entering sixth grade, she no longer has the option to use her essential worker daycare, which is K-5 only. She is considering letting her son, who is 11 and will be 12 soon, stay home alone (where he will be doing remote learning) while she works, but she is nervous that he may be too young.
A mom writes in asking for advice about whether she should send her two-year-old back into daycare. She says she was due to send him back part-time after the arrival of her new baby, but due to COVID-19 and the ongoing pandemic, she is unsure if that is wise. She loves having her son home with her and the baby, but she recognizes that he is missing friends and interaction at school. What should she do?
A mom writes in asking for advice about watching her sister-in-law’s kids. This mom-of-three (who is currently pregnant with her fourth) says that recently her sister-in-law asked her to watch her two daughters. This mom agreed and continued to help with her SIL’s kids over the last couple of months. Between the cost of feeding two additional children and scheduling issues, this mom is feeling stressed and is thinking she may not be able to watch her SIL’s kids anymore, but she doesn’t want to create drama. What should she do?
A mom writes in asking for advice about a situation with her friend. She says her friend’s mom recently passed, and this mom had planned to attend the burial service. However, all of her options for having someone look after her daughter while she planned to go fell through, and for a variety of reasons, this mom does not want to bring her daughter to the service. After telling her friend she couldn’t make it, her friend told her that she was pulling the “mom card” and that her behavior would not be forgotten. Is the friend overreacting? Or did this mom make a mistake?
A mom writes in asking for advice about her ex with whom she shares a son. She says her ex reached out and asked her to watch their son, she said yes, but instead he reached out to the OP’s mom. The OP is estranged from her mother and doesn’t want her watching their son without supervision due to a history of drug abuse and other issues. Predictably, things did not go well, and her son ended up getting bitting by her mom’s dog. How can she lay down the law?
A mom writes in asking for advice about dealing with mom guilt. She says that her 5-month-old daughter has basically been by her side all day, every day since birth. This mom feels guilty leaving her baby with others, including family members. She is worried that this attachment is bad for her baby, who has become fussy the few times she’s let family care for her. And then she feels more guilt at the idea of leaving a fussy baby with a loved one. She’s looking for advice about how to get used to letting her daughter be in others’ care and managing her emotions and mental health in the process.