Should a grandparent be reimbursed for gas expenses?

gr8grandkidsMay 22, 2010

Right after my granddaughter was born, I retired. My daughter said to me while she was pregnant that she didnÂt know what she was going to do for daycare and since I had planned on retiring, I offered to watch my granddaughter when my daughter went back to work. She is 16 months old now and I have watched her since she was 6 weeks old, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. My daughter lives approximately 50 minutes from me. I get up every morning at 5:30 a.m. to drive to meet my daughter halfway so she doesnÂt have to get up even earlier for work. I drive approximately 80 miles a day. Gas is very expensive and I have been spending hundreds of dollars on gas which I cannot afford, not to mention I have already logged almost 10,000 miles on my van that I purchased used in February this year. I realize that I offered to watch my granddaughter but at the time, the cost of gas did not enter my mind. Today after once again listening to her talk about planning yet another vacation this year (theyÂve already gone on 2 this year), I tried asking her if she could at least fill my car with gas twice a month - she went ballistic and called me greedy! She said she was going to put my granddaughter in daycare and I wouldn't see her again. She brought up that she gave me some money when she got her income tax refund and that it was not her problem that I got myself in a financial bind and that I moved so far away. I responded that the money she did give me out of her income tax was almost what I spent on gas in one month. The financial responsibility for my granddaughter I feel is her parents, not mine. I am not asking to be paid to watch my granddaughter, I am only asking for assistance with the amount of money that I am paying for gas to watch her. If her parents were struggling financially, I would have never even brought it up  I would have suffered in silence. They have a brand new car and purchased a motorcycle when my granddaughter was about 1 year old  they spend money like there's no tomorrow! She says, she works hard for her money and she deserves to be able to buy things and go on vacations. I agree, but not at my expense. I also worked hard for over 30 years and deserve to have a nice retirement! I am not asking for full reimbursement on what IÂm spending on gas, only suggested if maybe twice a month they could fill my gas tank. I love my granddaughter very much and really enjoy her, but I simply feel used. Not only do I watch her while they work, I also watch her when they have other plans. This August, she informed me that they are going on vacation for one week so I will be watching my granddaughter. At this point, I am both hurt and disgusted at her response and donÂt even know if our relationship can be salvaged. Was I wrong to ask for help with the cost of gas? Thanks for any feedback.

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No, you are not wrong to ask for help with the cost of gas. Your daughter is very blessed to have a mom who is able and willing to keep her baby. You are being very generous to keep the baby without being compensated for your time, and certainly you should be compensated for your out of pocket expenses.

You have every right to ask to be compensated for your gas money, and to move wherever you choose. Your daughter has every right to put her child in daycare if that arrangement works better for her. I hope the two of you can work it out.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 1:28PM
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There might be more involved than gas money. I would be surprised that if she found out how much day care cost she would reconsider. The relationship won't be destroyed if you and her allow it to. As to vacation this August? did she ask or assume? Can you plan a vacation yourself? After all, you need time too. You are the grandma, not the mom. Be firm, plan your activities, and tell her you will baby sit part time. I do not babysit, by choice and my kids and grandkids know why and they are fine with it. I help out in other ways. Start with baby steps. Ask for a tank of gas per month, or figure how you need and then you can break it down on a day by day figures.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 9:32PM
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It would have been much better if you had set perameters when your granddaughter was born, but it's not too late now.

I think your daughter is taking advantage of you and you are allowing her to, because you fear losing your granddaughter. I can see that, but I can also see that this is just the tip of the iceburg, and she will take advantage as long as you allow her to. You don't have to have an all out war. Begin with little steps-- When she assumes you are going to babysit tell her you have other plans. Tell her you can no longer afford to meet her. Let her get up earlier and deliver your granddaughter to your door.

If she goes for daycare she will soon find out that it is not cheap. I don't know what they charge where you live but here they charge $40 a day, that comes to $200 for a 5 day week. There are not often no spaces left and if there are they only have set times they are open. She will have to find a sitter for the times they just want to go out and babysitter fees are not very cheap either. I think she will soon come to the conclusion she has a sweet deal.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 3:50PM
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Only you can put a stop to this.aperson can only be used if YOU let them.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2011 at 5:00PM
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This post is over two years old... it would be nice to know what the situation is like now and what grandma did/didnot do.

I am a mother of 19 mos old and I was looking for a day care from the moment I knew I was pregnant. So when the time came, I had nanny ready and waiting. This daughter is a monster! She is saving thousands of dollars and treats her mother like she is the guilty one? My nanny takes two weeks off every year and the federal holidays. My suggestion would be for grandma to take a vacation -- for a month!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 11:08PM
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@jollyrd- I would like to know how this turned out as well in hopes that the mother realized how totally selfish she was/is. Congratulations to you for planning well ahead of time. Best wishes to you and your little one.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 7:23PM
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