DEAR JERKASS: I am a divorced, single woman in my 50s. I love my grandchildren dearly but am faced with a dilemma. I work full-time and take my grandchildren some nights and on the one day I have off -- usually on weekends.
I can't plan things on a weekend without feeling I have made it difficult for my son and his wife to find someone to watch their children. Her mom, a stay-at-home wife, watches them several days a week.
I want to continue spending time with my grandkids, but I also want the freedom to be there when I choose to be. I realize finding a sitter you can afford and trust to watch your children is a challenge. I have tried talking to my son, but it doesn't seem to get through to him. I know I need to do something, but what? I'm afraid I won't see the kids at all if I take a stand. -- LADY ON THE LAKE IN MICHIGAN
Just lay it out for them. There is legal recourse for you regarding visitation rights in certain areas of the U.S.
Go out. Have fun. Visit your grandkids at your leisure. If you are asked for help remember that when a person is asked they are given the option of saying no. If that option does not exist it is blackmail.
Risk it. I'm sure your grandchildren will wear down your son because they miss their grandma.
Heck, I don't keep my kids away from my mother-in-law and she's all they ever want to see?