What Virtual Babysitting?

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

I happen to say to one of my friends that I was virtually babysitting. She asked what on earth is that and how do you babysit like that. It may be something that is normal, I really don’t know. I just thought it was a cool term to use. Let me give you some background on me so you understand what I mean.

I have watched my grandchildren for 17 years now. I actually quit my job years ago to watch them. I wanted to help my kids out with the cost of daycare. I became such an intricate part of their lives that when it was time for them to go to kindergarten they would get upset because they were afraid that they wouldn’t see me anymore. I remember when Gabe had to go to school, he sat on the stairs just sitting there crying. I asked him what was wrong and he told me he wouldn’t be coming to my house anymore because of school. I sat with him and just held him and told him I would come by to see him as much as I could. This happened with with all the kids. By the way I have eleven grandchildren. The joy of watching your grandchildren is tremendous. As grandparent I am sure you can agree with me.

Then the pandemic happened. All of a sudden things changed for everyone. Even though I didn’t work outside the home, this pandemic rocked my world. I was so invested in the kids that I had to learn to find a new norm. For a while it was very difficult, I was depressed and became very anxious and I didn’t know what to do. I went to a grieving process. Some might say why would you have to go through a grieving process. Well this was a tremendous lose for me. It almost was like I was going to the empty nest syndrome again. Actually for me it was.

Eventually everything settle down for me and I learned to accept that things had changed.

My kids were working from home, the grandkids had and still have some virtual school. I offered to watch the kids one day a week. But no one wanted to take the risk of me getting sick. Eventually I did help my daughter out for a bit at her house. Being a single mother it was hard to work from home and do the home schooling with the kids everyday. So whenever I can help I will.

Well one day my granddaughter Bri, age 5 FaceTimed me and she wanted to play a game with me. So she used her imagination and we started playing. She asked me to come along to the kitchen so she could get a drink. I told her sure I will come with you. Now mind you she doesn’t always talk to me but I always stay on the line even if I have to work and she is playing. We will play together like I was there. I think that is so awesome. I am sure a lot of people do this now but for me that was a new thing. So I am so happy for technology. Aren’t you? We may have a pandemic but it certainly will not keep us from our families. Especially now with FaceTime and Zoom. So have a great day with your families.


Paula W. Thomas, BMCH

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