I adore my grandchildren but I’m exhausted by constant requests for childcare

DEAR DEIDRE:  I ADORE my three children and five grandchildren but I’m exhausted by constant requests for childcare.

At the moment I work one day a week on a Monday. On a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I have three of my grandchildren who are aged four, three and two. I’m a very fit 69-year-old.

Now my youngest daughter, who has a seven-month-old baby, has asked if I would have her on Fridays.

This means I would lose my one day off, which is when I pop in to see my ageing dad and catch up on chores.

The whole situation is stressing me out but how can I say no to my youngest daughter when I help out her older brother and sister?

I refuse to take payment for any of the childcare I do – it doesn’t feel right asking family for money.

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DEIDRE SAYS:  I’m exhausted just reading about your week. Of course you love your family but that shouldn’t mean putting your life on hold for them.

There will be other childcare options open to them. Organise a family gathering for all of your children and explain you are feeling overwhelmed.

Have a clear idea of how much childcare you would like to undertake and together you should work out the fairest way to distribute this.

I hope these clear boundaries enable you to have some down time so that you can properly enjoy your grandchildren again.

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