Should I pay my mother in law?

Amanda - posted on 05/31/2011 ( 205 moms have responded )

8

16

0

My mother in law watches my two children, 6 and 18 months old, 3 days a week while I go to work. We have had no problems until last week when she said she won't watch them anymore unless we pay her. I was shocked by this. We provide the formula and diapers that they need. Is she wrong to ask for money? She is calling it Grandma's Daycare. I don't agree with this. I have no problem staying home, I just liked getting out of the house and earning a little extra cash to help out with the bills. What should I do?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Laurie - posted on 05/31/2011

2

0

1

Maybe she started out thinking that she would do it for free, but then started feeling used. An 18 mo. old can be a lot of work. If you want to work, I would pay her. She probably isn't going to ask for a lot and having a child provider that loves your children is important. Some people feel that family should do it for free but I feel that if you aren't hurting for money and she is watching them so that you can work, then it is wrong to expect her to do it for free. If you want out of the situation, stay home. Before you know it, they will be grown up and you can work while they are in school.

[deleted account]

Listen, every family situation is different. While some grandaparents rejoice in watching their grandchildren at no cost, there are other grandparents that would like to be paid. And there are multiple reasons for their request for payment.



1. Grandparents could be financially strapped



2. Grandparents could feel overwhelmed-face it-6 and 18 months is HARD WORK! She simply wants compensation.



3. Perhaps Grandparents do feel like they are being taken advantage of. IS she housebound with the children all day? Or, take them out that requires 2 car seats and a double stroller?



4. Perhaps Grandma is planning on starting an educational savings account with the daycare money-who knows?



5. Please share with us why you expected free childcare. Was that in the arrangement when you returned to work?



6. Did Grandma have to give up a part of her daily life to accommdate for watching the grandkids?



I'm interested in your reply.

Gwen - posted on 05/31/2011

1,345

7

217

No, she is not wrong. I'd gladly pay my mom to watch my daughter. Isn't your child worth it to be in the good care of her grandma? While many grandparents don't expect money for it, I wouldn't say she's "wrong." Maybe it's a financial issue? Maybe she has financial problems and is afraid to admit it?

If you don't have a problem staying home, then do it. You can go have playdates at Grandma's for free!

Rebecca - posted on 05/31/2011

100

23

19

no she is not wrong I babysit family for free if they are going on a date or to the doctor and such but if they are getting paid them so am I, not a lot just enough that I don't feel taken advantage of, it is possible she is feeling that way

Jodi - posted on 05/31/2011

25,928

36

3891

I can't see why it would be wrong to pay her. Why do expect free daycare? If she chose to, she could go and get a job, where would that put you? I think a small payment is appropriate.



Edited to add: How is asking for payment taking advantage of your own kids? Isn't asking for free daycare taking advantage of your parents? Pot ---> kettle.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

205 Comments

View replies by

Christine - posted on 06/02/2011

15

26

0

i dont think its wrong of her to ask for some compinsation for watching your children, but i think that she went about it the wrong way. instead of demanding that you pay or she wont watch them, it would have been nice if she had asked for a small stipend. is there anyway that your mother could watch the children? i think its very important to inform your mother in law how you feel and not just let it hang the way things are now. you can tell her that you would have been more than happy to pay her from the beginning and had no idea that she felt that way and you wished that she would have said something sooner, before she felt that she was being taken advantage of. when you have a family daycare dynamic, communication is key so that nobody feels like they are getting the short end of the stick. good luck.

Mary - posted on 06/02/2011

8

28

0

Personally I would not pay grandma. But your choice is to pay her or someone else if you want to work. Compare prices and who is cheaper. You will still have to provide formula and diapers.

Again in my own humble opinion I would not pay grandma.

Megan - posted on 06/02/2011

12

8

0

I think this is a simple case of misunderstanding. Have your husband and you go out for an evening with her and casually discuss the situation. Tell her what you've told us and inquire into the change of heart. Maybe she's ok with just the older one? Maybe it would be easier on her if it were only two days... Lots of solutions, you just have to find out what's going on in grandma's head. :) Good Luck.

Laurie - posted on 06/02/2011

1

17

0

You pay or you stay at home with your own kids. She is grandmother, not mother. She's raised her kids. How is it fair that you are earning money while she stays with your children for free? Frankly, I am shocked that you would even question her request.

Wedlow - posted on 06/02/2011

1

11

0

Yes! It's the right thing to do give and it shall be given unto you, now on the other hand if you all are going to be hanging that different, 3 days a WEEKS... is not just sitting that's a job as you do a job and recieve payment. M thoughts.

Bonnie - posted on 06/02/2011

4,813

22

257

Obviously you are going to get many moms saying, yes, no matter what, she should be paid and many moms who think the exact opposite and it should automatically be a given that grandma watches the kids for fee.

The thing is, every situation is different. Some grandmothers would say, no way am I going to take money from you and no way am I going to allow you to send the kids to daycare, but we don't truly know what this situation involves. Is she sacrificing anything at all in order to watch them? Does she bring in any income? Maybe she needs some money. As a person gets older, it gets more difficult to be able to care for children. For example, my mom is a couple of years shy of 60 and she would never be able to watch my boys for more than 2-3 hours, ONCE IN AWHILE. I think you need to find out what is really going on if she hasn't already made it clear and why she changed her mind. I think that would help.

Margaret - posted on 06/02/2011

1

1

0

This reply is based on some assumptions, since certain pieces of information were not mentioned. Assuming you asked her to babysit your children, pay should have been discussed up front. If she volunteered to sit, it would have been to your advantage to mention some amount of payment. You don't say how long this has been going on. Sounds like you enjoy your part-time work and it has some perks. You have someone you trust who is able to care for your children. Would you rather intrust their care to a day care, which you will definitely pay for, or their grandmother, who wishes to be paid for daycare services? It's a no brainer for me. I don't think the issue of is she wrong worth debating. You are most fortunate to have the type of care available to you. However, what would be wrong would be if the daycare charges cut deeply into or exceeded your part-time pay! Discuss your MIL's expectations, compromise if you can, before making any rash decisions. You don't mention what your husband thinks about this, or if he has any involvement in the plan. Good luck with this!

[deleted account]

The general rule is this: Grandparents watch kids for parents for things like date nights, etc., But when they watch our kids for us so we can go to work you pay them.

Eunice - posted on 06/02/2011

5

1

0

Of course she should get paid. Your children will never get the care at any day care center compare to the love and care that she provides and I am sure at a fraction of the cost.

Amanda - posted on 06/02/2011

6

1

1

well when i was working i use to pay my mum for looking after my 2 kids i had at the time i now have 3 but im not working now but i use to pay her 100 a week but if ur supplying everything then i would say no

Michelle - posted on 06/02/2011

21

6

0

i think its a weird situation. she should have told you in the begining. now its just awkard. if its family i dont think you should have to pay them. asking for money to watch your own grand kids is kind of terrible. thats like saying the kids are an incovenience and id like to be compensated even though it wasnt talked about. not right. if i were the MIL id be out of place asking for money to watch my own grand kids. i am a stay at home mom and figure if i went to work id be in the same place cause id have to pay for a babysitter or daycare. or maybe find another person to watch them?? talk to her and do ask her why it is a problem now.



also it isnt all of grannies time, it is only 3 days out of the week. sheesh!!! people will find a way to make money off of anything i guess. i know no one in my family would even dream of asking for money to watch my kids or anyone elses in the family. what is family for if they can watch some kids for a few hours?? you probably work like 9-5 that is 8 hours there are 24 hours in a day. 8 hours is nothing. and who said she was taking advantage of granny?? please people. they are her kids but the MIL AGREED TO DO IT!!!! like i said the MIL should have brought it up in the beggining.

Louise - posted on 06/02/2011

5

6

0

and expecting something for free isn't really good for our society, either..... there are pros and cons to each and every situation..... i hope that she and her MIL can come to a suitable agreement. :)))

Jackie - posted on 06/02/2011

1

0

0

The grandparents should be honored to have their grandkids over. No you shoulnt pay her

Linda - posted on 06/02/2011

2

7

0

Was the agreement in the beginning for her to watch your kids without payment?
Does she live with you?
What is watching your kids worth to you?
Have you ever offered to give her anything to watch your kids?

Louise - posted on 06/02/2011

5

6

0

WOW, Andrea!!! Take it easy!!! Sounds like YOU might like to take complete advantage of certain people. Just because a person is a grandparent does not mean they should spend all their time with their grandchildren... and does not mean they are selfish! Us grandparents have raised our children.... I didn't take advantage of any of my relatives when mine were young and wouldn't dream of EXPECTING free daycare.... we are all entitled to our opinion, though. The name calling and accusations are not necessary.

Marie - posted on 06/02/2011

1

10

0

Coming from a MiMi you are the one responsible for the diapers and formula, they are your kids. I think she is feeling you took advantage of her. Maybe before it got this far, you could have taken her to lunch or given her a small gift card - nothing big - just to let her know she is appreciated

Karen - posted on 06/02/2011

35

41

2

like I said before...just waiting until the rest of you, who aren't already, become grandparents. And I hope your kids use you too.....3-4 days a WEEK....not just the occasional night out. Then you will understand why this grandmother should get paid for having these toddlers in the home as much as she does.

Becky Elmer.....no need to claim her as a day care....many people babysit just one or two children and don't have to be licensed. Sheesh....that's taking it a bit too far, but this grandmother deserves a little something for the hard work she's doing just so this mother can get away from her kids 3 days a week to work, when she said she could just as easily stay home with them.

Becky - posted on 06/02/2011

6

1

1

My mother in law watches my daughter 4 1/2 days a week and we pay her as i wouldnt want her to do it for free. I couldnt find a suitable nursery i was comfortable with and she said she wanted to do it for all her grandchildren.

At the end of the day shes giving up her time to do it, why shouldnt she be compensated. I get it a hell of a lot cheaper then normal childcare and she gets something out of it aswell.

Diane - posted on 06/02/2011

2

21

0

Dear Marisa, Granny did not make these Grandchildren and the fact that she has put herself out all this time, clearly shows her love. Love alone does not pay the bills and why should Granny have to sacrifice her free time so that the kids can work, get paid and enjoy their earnings? If her daughter was totally fair, she should have paid her from day one! Grannies are not automatic baby sitters!

Denise - posted on 06/02/2011

7

18

0

God...it's amazing how many people on here put that she SHOULD do it for free...what the hell..she raised her kids, and now if she WANTS to do if for free...great, if she doesn't then you all better be adults and figure out how to pay for your own chilcren and that includes CHILDCARE! It's expensive and I'm sure Grandma will give a good rate, but it's her choice! God...annoying! The sense of entitlement in this generation is amazing!

Denise - posted on 06/02/2011

7

18

0

God...it's amazing how many people on here put that she SHOULD do it for free...what the hell..she raised her kids, and now if she WANTS to do if for free...great, if she doesn't then you all better be adults and figure out how to pay for your own chilcren and that includes CHILDCARE! It's expensive and I'm sure Grandma will give a good rate, but it's her choice! God...annoying! The sense of entitlement in this generation is amazing!

Andrea - posted on 06/02/2011

11

0

0

I can't believe all the posts I'm reading. Oh, it is such a sacrfice to spend time with family ... she has her own life she is giving up... etc. Bull! Why isn't her life spending time with the grandchildren. I'm sure all the other stuff she would be filling her time with is so important and fulfilling compared to spending time with her grandkids. I mean she could be shopping or watching TV or playing bridge. Only in this day and age would anyone think it is reasonable for grandparents to ask for money to care for grandchildren. If she is that bad off she should move in with you watch the kids and reduce her costs. Family should take care of family. To me this is capitalism gone amok. We know we are in a serious recession and that the cost of raising kids is going up and that one income isn't enough anymore. Do you think during the depression grandparents were asking for money to watch the kids while the parents worked. I think not. It is just this selfish society that believes everything they do must be compensated.

Denise - posted on 06/02/2011

7

18

0

Sometimes poeple (your mother-in law) bite off more than they can chew...or they feel like they are being taken advantage of. Of course if she wants money you should pay her. If you have no problem staying home then stay home. If you decide you like to get out of the house 3 days a week then you need to pay her. If she wanted to do it for free that's fine, but you are not entitled to free day care. It's a lot of work to care for a 6 year old and an 18 month old, and whoever does it (whether it's a relative or not) should be compensated.

Dalice - posted on 06/02/2011

7

19

0

I think Adnrea's comments are a little harsh, the last thing you want is to react negatively to this situation and blwo it out of proportion. It is interesting to hear from June as a Grandma with expereince in this situation. For me her comments reiterate what I think is the actual problem here that you MIL is feeling taken for granted (see earlier comments). June is given thanks in a lot of ways for what she does (not just given nappies, formula and maybe a verbal thanks) so she feels what she is doing is valued. When we feel valued & appreciated we are happy and content - this may not mean paying a set amount per day or week it may be as with June giving her a dinner voucher, paying a bill, buying her her favourite chocolates etc...

Jennifer - posted on 06/02/2011

5

4

0

Families can be tough to figure out sometimes! My Dad, who is retired, watches my two girls, 4 and 2, between 4 and 5 days a week every week while I work. Although I have offered to pay them, and have also suggested finding alternate childcare on days my Dad seems especially exasperated with them, my parents won't hear of it. However, I have two older siblings, the oldest of which is a disabled adult who also lives with my parents. He has never and will never be capable of living on his own, and can be a handful at times. My parents are against him living in a group home or other institution, which I definitely agree with. I have always had the understanding with my parents that I would take care of him when they are gone, so ultimately he will live with my husband and me. So although it sounds weird, I see it as kind of a trade. They don't have to worry about who will care for and support my brother when they are gone, and I have the peace of mind knowing a family member is caring for my girls. In your situation though, it would probably make the most sense for you or your husband to talk to her and find out what's really going on, whether it's that she needs help with some bills or is feeling overwhelmed.

Louise - posted on 06/02/2011

5

6

0

well, yeah..... that's a whole different story, then..... has she said why she now wants to be paid? huuummmm... sorry! those kind of issues cause problems a lot of the time!! best of luck!! :)

Mona - posted on 06/02/2011

1

21

0

Stay at home and watch your own babies sometimes the $$ isn't worth it..weigh your options as expenses go and u will have your answer.

Esme - posted on 06/02/2011

1

4

0

All I can sugggest is don't take offense, sit down and have a talk to her and ask her what she's thinking/ feeling, and how you are feeling about the situation too! I hope you can sort out something that works well for you!

Michele - posted on 06/02/2011

3

3

0

Pay her. She shouldn't charge as much as a daycare, the children are your responsibility. I understand wanting to work and take on some bills. But, she has taken on a responsibility that she does not have to. She wants to continue obviously, but she should get paid for the work she is doing for you, unless its a short term thing or emergency situation. I paid my mother in law to watch my children when I went to school and worked.....I would never expect anyone to continually watch my children with out being reimbursed for their time! I would rather pay a family member than a daycare!

June - posted on 06/02/2011

1

0

0

Ok, this is coming from grandma of 17. I watch my grandkids (some more than others) and I never get paid. Would I ask for it? No, would I accept it? No, but it is nice to be offered. It makes me feel like I'm worth it I guess. My kids pay me in other ways, like a dinner out once in a while, or changing the oil in my car, fix a leaking faucet.It's a give and take with us. I don't ask for their help with things, they just do it. I don't ask for payment, I just do it. I love being around them. The other day I went to pay my light bill and it had already been paid. See, it all works out in the end, with no money really changing hands.

Farnaaz - posted on 06/02/2011

2

6

0

With all due respect... I think that's odd. Who does that?!
However, if u have to choose between gran n playschool,i'd go with gran.

Andrea - posted on 06/02/2011

11

0

0

I think it is rediculous for her to ask for money. A grandparent asking to be paid for being a part of thier grandchilds life is perverse. Some grandparents rarely see thier grandchildren and would love the opportunity to spend more time. Being part of a childs life is a blessing. Does she really cherish her relationship with her grandkids? If you decide to stay home with the kids I would quit bringing the kids over soon she'll be begging to see them. In not to long your kids won't want anything to do with her as they will be too busy with thier own activities and friends. Your MIL should be making the most of it and if she would sacrafice her relationship with her grandchildren for a bit of cash each week I don't know if that is someone I would want spending time with and teaching her values to my child. Its disgusting!

Monica - posted on 06/02/2011

2

0

0

Amanda: i had my mother help me for 2 years with my twin boys...i stayed home with her while my husband went to work....i would never question paying her. She had expenses of her own not to mention that she needs a little money for herself. Its very hard and difficult to stay home with 2 small kids. My answer to u is to b considerate of her and yes pay her...u r lucky to have her and so r ur kids.

Celeste - posted on 06/02/2011

2

13

0

Although you provide the materials that your child needs she is still giving her time to supervise them and care for them, I'm sure there are also other things she may want to do sometimes on those days that she can't because she is watching your children. Just because she's family doesn't mean she doesn't deserve to be compensated just as anyone else would be. I'd rather pay a family member I knew was taking excellent care of my kids rather than anyone else.

Dalice - posted on 06/02/2011

7

19

0

For your Mother in law to saw something it is obviously bothering her, perhaps (unintentioanlly on your guys part) she is feeling a little taken advantage of. I too provide diapers and formula to the daycare my boys go to. Maybe you could try talkign to her (without distraction of the kids) to see if you can get to the bottom of why she feels this way, try to empathise with how she is feeling and that may help her open up. I don't think she needs to be paid daycare rates as such but in NZ we also have homebased carers (who don't need official qualification life skills and life experience is all they need) and they get paid hourly rates which can work out to be an equivalent price to daycare (and you have to supply all the food). She loves her grandchildren, as I menioend before I suspect she is feeling taken for granted so to resolve this it would be best to acknowledge that she feels this way and understand what she thinks can be done to resolve the issue, you may find that simply providing a small 'pocket money' fund may be enough, to cover food & outing costs. Best of luck.

Diane - posted on 06/02/2011

2

21

0

I do not think for a moment that she wrong asking for money to look after them. She gives up her time, her friends and everything that she could normally do, for your privileges. This however does not mean she loves them any less, if she does not look after them, just making you realise that she is not here to be taken advantage of, and further more, what a cheek, you made them, stand up to YOUR responsibilities, they are not hers! She would give them far more attention than any daycare, so pay your way!

Mindy - posted on 06/02/2011

16

22

1

My mom watches my 2 girls (3 months and 3 years) while I work and we don't pay her. Instead I sometimes pay for her lunch or take her and my dad out to dinner or pay for their groceries if we are out together. I also get her gift cards to some of her favorite places to eat or shop as a 'thank you' for helping us out. If my mom wanted to get paid money she would go out and get a job that pays other than the pleasure of being with her grandkids and helping us out.

Joy - posted on 06/02/2011

1

16

0

It's not bad of you pay her ;) anyway you are earning extra and see your mother in law can also babysit other couples child & earn...maybe this is her point...

[deleted account]

Ok, I haven't read any other replies yet so forgive me if I repeat anything already said by someone else. I don't think it's about her being "right" or "wrong". It's just like every other situation in life...it's all about what a person feels is acceptable for THEM. How many hours per week is she watching them? If it's more than 10, then yeah, I'd have no problem with her asking to get paid. And to take it a step further, if my MIL watched my son (just ONE kid) for more than 10 hours a week and wouldn't let me pay her, I'd feel bad and find other ways to pay her. As for what I think you should do? I think you should respect the fact that she's giving up her time three days a week to watch 2 very young children. If it were only every now and then, no big deal. But you're expecting something for free that most other people would have to pay for so....I say find a happy medium. Find middle ground with her. Ask her how much she wants to be paid and if it's less than what you'd pay a sitter or daycare then just be grateful and pay her. That's my two cents :)

Pam - posted on 06/02/2011

1

15

0

To receive payment for childcare you need to be an Ofsted registered childminder, so unless she's planning to go down this route you should not pay her.

Louise - posted on 06/02/2011

5

6

0

everyone's situation is different. there are a lot of good points made on here.
i, personally couldn't handle it. if you like the care your children are getting, then you should pay her (something). she may not have realized how overwhelming it could be. they are a lot of work at those ages.
just because you provide what you should, doesn't mean she doesn't deserve some compensation.
have a calm conversation with her and don't be on the defense. that will not get you anywhere, except hard feelings. best of wishes to you! :)

Jennifer - posted on 06/02/2011

47

2

3

Pay her something. Just because she's grandma doesn't mean that it isn't a sacrifice of her time and her personal agenda. That deserves to be compensated and if you weren't paying her you'd be paying someone else. Don't let money ruin a lifelong relationship.

Linda - posted on 06/02/2011

2

0

0

Having worked for Social Security for close to 30 years, I guess I'm looking at this question differently than most Moms would. You don't say how old your mother-in-law is, or what her financial situation is. You talk about getting out and earning a little extra money for bills. Would earning money for her bills be important to her, too. Calling it Grandma's Daycare makes me wonder if she thinks this could earn her quarters and entitlement to Retirement benefits? She would need to check with her local SSA office about this, I remember family employment as being a problem area. Is it getting to feel like a job for her, where at the beginning it was fun to be with the grandkids? You don't say how long this has been going on without pay. But in any case, sounds like time for a family discussion would be helpful, even if awkward, for you and her.

[deleted account]

I can understand why you're feeling put out if she didn't want money to begin with but now she does. Maybe she thought watching them or not getting paid was only temporary until after you got a few paychecks or something. One of my friends watched her sister in laws kids for free because her boyfriend, who was the breadwinner in the relationship, left her and she had to get a job. But after a while it started to wear on her and she was relieved when the oldest one started school and her sister-in-law paid someone else to watch them twice a week or something like that to give her a break. I would just work out something you can afford to pay or stay home.

Jessi - posted on 06/02/2011

53

28

2

My friend and I trade off babysitting sometimes (we have no family in the state). Our rule is though if you are babysitting because the other person is going to work then you pay the babysitter. If you are making money, then you should pay her! 3 days a week with a 6 and 18 month old is a lot of work as you know!
I'd say pay her or stay home!

Lary - posted on 06/02/2011

2

9

0

Does she work ? Or is she at home anyway? Cause I think its rude for her to ask. But maybe she needs the money ? If it she doesn't need the money I would pay someone else to look after them. I would not pay her (unless she's given up a job ve help you out) good luck and let us know what happens :-)

Rebekah - posted on 06/02/2011

1

0

0

It is not at all wrong for her to ask for money! I think you should have already offered to pay her. Your children are YOUR responsiblilty. If she was watching them every now and again, then there is not expectation to pay her. She is watching them 3 times a week and it is a LOT of work. Do not get offended that she asked, you should appreciate that she is willing and healthy enough to do it. Hope this helps.

CRYSTAL - posted on 06/02/2011

2

17

0

Okay well see everyone is different. See I personally dont set expectations bc something always happens, its just universal...On another note, maybe she could be asking for money to benefit everybody. Maybe like potty training that takes extra work. But i'm not too sure...When there is an agreement between both people, both should stick with it, honestly.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms