should grandparents be paid for daycare?

LynniecoOctober 30, 2002


I recently became a grandmother for the first time. My daughter plans to go back to work and would like me to babysit my infant grandson during the day. I mentioned her paying me a little something (one dollar an hour) and she got really angry and said she couldn't understand how I could ask for money. Now I feel guilty and wonder if I am way out of line. I would like to hear from other grandparents who are in this situation.

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I'm not a grandparent but I'm in a similar situation. My parents watch my boy twice a week, in my house.

They do it for the joy of it. They asked to do it (long story), as opposed to me asking them to help.

That said, if my parents wanted compensation I wouldn't hesitate to pay them . . .what I could afford.

Instead I make sure there's special treats/foods they wouldn't buy for themselves, buy them gifts every now and then (and not just b/days and Xmas).

If you are going to be watching the child every day, all day, you are entitled to some sort of compensation, and your daughter should be darn glad to have you.

At a minimum she should take you out to dinner at a nice place once a week.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2002 at 1:07PM
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I am also a new grandmother, I can't believe your daughter would object to paying you something especially since you will be required to arrange your schedule to fit her. This isn't a "drop by and see grandma" thing, it's a job! Her bad attitude may cause problems in the future. She doesn't seem to respect you enough. Not knowing her, I don't know what would work. Is she having post partum depression? Did she just have the baby? Is she usually nicer? DLynn

    Bookmark   October 30, 2002 at 1:14PM
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Maybe if she knew what most sitters charge, from 5-10.00 per hour she would have second thoughts Is this going to be all day everyday. Includes visits to Dr's etc. What is your schedual --do you want to really do this, or do you want to do other things, like travel, take classes, etc now you are retired? If you are married, how does your husband feel. Does she really need/want to go back to work and how old is the baby. Would you do it in your home or hers? I would list all the pros and cons and I know you will make a decision that suits everyone.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2002 at 3:05PM
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Your daughter wants free day-care. She has no regard for your life, but feels that your like should revolve around hers/her child's! Of course you love your daughter and grandchild, but it's incredibly selfish for her to ask you to spend every day watching her child. Does she think you have no life? You raised your children, now you have to raise hers?

    Bookmark   October 31, 2002 at 5:26PM
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My feeling is that if it is a financial problem, then certainly she should be willing to pay enough to cover the cost of food, diapers, etc. Paying you for just staying home and taking care of the child everyday is another thing entirely. If I wanted to do it, then I couldn't ask for money, however, if I did not want to tie myself down daily, money wouldn't help a bit.

So unless I needed the money, I wouldn't ask for it. What I would do is put a time limit on the free care. I would be willing to tie myself down until the baby is old enough to go to a daycare. I think about 6 months would be good. Babies often do better when they have the stimulation from other children.

Any longer than 6 months, I would expect to be paid as by then it would have become as restrictive as a regular job.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2002 at 9:20AM
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Jeeezzzz.....I would not EVEN ASK my parents to be a babysitter. They raised their children. If they offered I would pay them what it would costs for me to put my child in day care. She got angry? Tell the little witch to check out day care costs.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2002 at 8:32AM
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I can't help wondering whether your daughter is a single parent. If so, it might be that she feels she deserves your help for free or really wonders whether she can manage to pay for childcare when she works. That said, I don't think expecting some compensation is out of line at all. It's awfully easy for grandmothers to become fixtures to be relied upon. I didn't have my MIL watch my kids very often and did feel the kids missed out because it was obvious she didn't want to do it (she babysat while my sisters-in-law worked and obviously resented the he11 out of it). My mother died long before I had kids, my father took care of my sister's child while they lived with him and she worked. I have for a nominal amount watched my grandchild who was already walking and beginning to talk well when my DD was going to college. DD and SIL could pay but full daycare costs for a few classes was very expensive and having the little girl around was very good for me. Would I want to take on full-time infant care? Only under truly necessary conditions. I love my grandchildren dearly but they aren't my kids or my direct responsibility. Even if you get paid something for childcare, chances are you'll end up spending most of it on things for the baby.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2002 at 11:49AM
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I agree with teeweeone. Sounds like you raised a very spoiled daughter. Of course you're entitled to compensation. You're not obligated to babysit if you don't want to, either.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2002 at 8:40PM
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When I asked my mom to do daycare for my daughter when she was little, I paid her the going rate for daycare. I figured I had a great sitter that I didn't need to worry about, so I should pay her the going rate. Babysitting and being paid is one thing (I babysit my granddaughter for free no problem), but daycare is entirely different. That's a HUGE committment. I think she just wants free daycare

    Bookmark   November 4, 2002 at 3:41PM
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I don't see why she'd not want to give you something for what you're doing. $1/hr isn't as bad as it can be. She's got to realize you're whole life has to change to make room and time for this little one. I'm not saying you won't have fun spending the time with your grandchild, but it's going to be a lot of work. It's also not fair to EXPECT someone to watch your kids just because they're at home or the grandparents. I dont' think that's right. It's a differnet situation when the parents offer to watch the child than when the kids ask the grandparents and seem to expect they'll say yes. I'm sure if someone, say a friend or SIL, asked your daughter to watch her kids as much as she expects you to watch her daughter for free.. she wouldn't be too happy. I also think that helping out with food and other things that the child will need is not un-called for. She has to do something. She had this she can't expect everyone else to chip in and help her with it all the time.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2002 at 1:37PM
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When I was pregnant with my daughter, my mother (retired and a widow) let me know before the baby was ever born that she would not keep her while I worked. She was an active woman with a life of her own and I fully understood that. Of course she loved my daughter very much and many many days she would pick her up early from daycare and school to spend time with her. And she spent almost every Friday night with her so me and my husband could go out. I never expected her to give up her life to babysit every day for me. In my opinion, that shows selfishness on her part and total unconcern for her mother's life.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2002 at 4:28PM
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Sorry had to post again... I am thinking of having a baby in the next few years. I will be working and have thought of who would raise my child during the day (that is really what you are going to be doing)...If my mother in law who has a job in home care with seniors would be willing I would offer her room and board and what the going rate is for day care. I would be thankful for her every nite and feel I am getting one heck of a deal!!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2002 at 9:07PM
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Your daughter sounds like a single mother or even a teenaged (or young) single mother. I had my son when I was still at home, I worked and went to college. I paid my mom the going rate for childcare, which is 2 dollars an hour, btw, not only when I worked, but also when I went to school or when I went out. It was actually more money than I made from working, and I was lucky that I had some money saved, and I used that to cover diapers, formula, etc.
I think your daughter is very, very wrong to be mad at you for asking for a dollar an hour (a dollar?!? Can you be MY mom?) and if I were you I'd say Fine, you can pay for daycare and I'll get to be the "fun" grandma- have the grandkid(s) on Friday/Saturday nights for a sleepover and make cookies and pizza, take them shopping Saturday afternoon. Spoil them rotten and send them home. But it is not your responsibility to be (free, or even reduced fee) babysitter. I don't know anybody who doesn't pay their parents for childcare. There are alot of people that work with my hubby whose moms watch their kids, but they pay them THE GOING RATE. The advantage to having your parents watch your kids is that you get to know they're safe and having fun. Leaving your children with a stranger is scary, and that's why if your mother agrees to keep them, you jump at the chance, not because you think you can TAKE ADVANTAGE of her and get free childcare.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2002 at 12:45PM
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You are not out of line - your daughter is! Let her see how much daycare costs!! She should be paying you more than $1 an hour! She is absolutely taking advantage of you. My sister does that with my mom and it makes me sick. Not exactly your situation - her daughter is 12 now. But from the minute she was born my sister used my mom to watch her, and now to take her places, pick her up from school, stay over if sis is working late...

What REALLY pisses me off is that when mom occassionally says no, she is busy, my sister gets mad!!! She complains to me: "Mom wouldn't pick her up from school. Said she was too busy. What does she DO all day?" What NERVE!!!!!!!

Very recently my mom developed a medical problem and now she can't drive. Seems my sister will have to figure something else out now....

Oops, sorry I got off on a rant. I just hate when grandparents are taken advantage of.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2002 at 9:56AM
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I thought about this post after I made my last post and things that happen in our family...well my fiance's family. MIL was expected for 3 years to watch my one BIL and SIL's kids one weekend a month because they both were in National Guards. They never asked MIL if this arrangment was okay and would just re-enlist without asking if she minded again. The lowest thing they did was when they first joined. Their son was 2 and the daughter was just 6 months old when it came time for their 2 weeks in the summer. So MIL was left to care for two young children for two whole weeks! Can you imagine leaving your children for that long let alone a 6 month old? MIL had to get up early to prepare breakfast for the kids and drive to her sister's house who did daycare and then rush off to work (she starts at 7am!) and was getting up all hours of the night with a baby (her youngest is my fiance' and he was 22 at the time so it was a LONG time since she had to take care of little ones!) She said she lost a good 5 lbs in those two weeks. The big kicker was half the time they would drop the kids off with one outfit for the whole weekend....even the baby! They often only gave her 2-3 diapers and she'd have to keep some around the house for when those were used up. I always felt they just took advantage of her and should at least give her some money for watching the kids. They got MIL so burn out on watching kids...she won't watch the other grands at all for anything. Also, the same BIL and SIL would often call up whoever at the last min. and say they need to go to work early or have plans so can you take the kids. It got that that was the only time anyone heard from them and I got good at excuses!


    Bookmark   November 21, 2002 at 10:19AM
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Don't people just amaze you? Your daughter has a child and immediately EXPECTS that she has instant gratis infant care. Who else does she know who would supply her with this service for so paltry a fee? I would be thrilled to pay my mother whatever I would have paid any daycare service because I KNOW the quality of care and love my child would receive! When (and by who) did your daughter learn that she could have her cake and eat it too? Sounds like she has decided that going to work outside the home would be an easier job than raising her child :+)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2002 at 9:27AM
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Your daughter is, indeed, trying to take advantage of you, perhaps without even realizing it. Any working mother knows that the first check she writes monthly is for day care. No one has free day care for their child(ren). Perhaps you could offer to 'fill in' when the baby is sick and can't go to the regular child care provider, or when the child is older, during school breaks/vacations. That in itself would be a colossal help to your daughter. Let her pay the going rates for child care, like everyone else. Then maybe she will appreciate you more, and realize how generous your offer of $1/hr. really was!

Here is a link that might be useful: Welcome to Gram's Pantry

    Bookmark   December 8, 2002 at 11:47AM
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You should not feel guilty for compensation. I din't catch if this is a daily sitting job or occassional. I was assuming daily.

I wouldn't even consider having my parents babysit (if they even would have..another story) and not paying them if I was earning money while they watched my child.

If it was for an evening out I wouldn't charge. No, you don't have to babysit, that is your choice. However, both you and your Grandchild will be robbed of memories, and a relationship if you don't spend time with them while they are young.

If she needs help right now because of her circumstances maybe you could help her, but give her a resonable limit to your service and what you are willing to do.

We helped a sister out in a crisis, and she definitely took advantage of us. At first she needed us, but when she was spending money on nice clothes and then a car, we decided enough was enough. She would have used us as long as we let her! To be honest I still don't think she really appreciates it,but those kids benefited from it because they needed stability.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2002 at 9:47PM
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I do daycare for my Grandchilren and do get paid....if my daughter and her husband had to go out and find daycare they wouldn't beable to afford it especially for 3 children....I do drive from another town to her's just to do it ......I do think that all grandparents who do daycare should get something for it..we brought up our kids and now we are bringing up's a good feeling as I do love the closeness that I have with all 3 girls

    Bookmark   January 3, 2003 at 11:43AM
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Grandparents should get something for watching their grandchildren if it is going to be an everyday job. It does not have to be a going rate of pay that daycare gets but yes something. This give the grandparent the feeling of NOT being taken for granted and should be worth something. Also it gives the parent the responsibility of knowing they are doing their best on providing for their children. If it is a night out then no don't charge. If it is a job so parent can go to work then yes something.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2003 at 11:16PM
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Hi lynnieco,

Does your daughter know how to spell "freeloader"?

If she's a single parent and having a hard time making ends meet, maybe help for a while at little or even no charge - but have time frames and limits on length of time built in from the start.

I hope that you can help her see how unfair she's being - without her getting all bent out of shape and causing long term bad relations.

If there are siblings who had children but didn't get that service (or - might want it in future) maybe ask how you can justify so much more giving to one of your offspring without the others probably developing resentment against both of you.

I hope that you can get the issue resolved without lingering bad feelings.

Good wishes to you all.

joyful guy/Ed

    Bookmark   April 21, 2003 at 10:03AM
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I don't think it is out of line to ask for something. I pay over $11,000 a year for day care for two children! And I have had so many of what I call "daycare debacles." We have a great one now, but it was extremely hard to find. Good, quality daycare is hard to come by.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2003 at 4:59PM
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When my daughter's marriage failed, she moved back home with her son(a 2 year old at the time). The arrangement was she was to get a job as soon as she could and put her son into daycare as soon as he was fully potty trained. Here it is over a year later , grandson is still not potty trained, daughter works partime at a grocery store gas station and I am the one who watches the grandson. I am lucky if my daughter pays me at all. The last time she paid me it was 3 dollars. Since she started working it has been a total of 18.00 dollars for over 6 months of daycare while she worked. Yes I am bitter about it because as I babysit for a hyperactive unruly kid, my mother is dying of liver failure and congestive heart disease. I can't be with her due to this brat.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2003 at 12:25PM
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Daylilydazed - so sorry to hear about your situation. I really think it's past time for you to assert yourself with your daughter. She is responsible for her son, not you. You are letting her take advantage of you, and missing precious time with your mother.

Whatever it takes, BE WITH YOUR MOTHER. You will have difficulty forgiving yourself or your daughter if you don't.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2003 at 9:49AM
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Grandparents SHOULD be paid for providing daycare. Maybe not as much as public daycare would cost but still....
Even Grandparents time is valuable whether they have an active social life or not. Lots of grandparent would welcome a little additional pocket money.
I also think that the mother needs to provide all the diampers and food that will be needed each day.
I am a grandmother who watched my 3 DGK's for the summer.
I charged the same amount that DD paid for after school care per week. It was quite a bargain compared to what it would cost for her to put them in any kind of daycare, not to mention that they had someone that loves them watching over them AND they were fed very well here!
We grandparents have already raised our kids and while I don't mind watching them occasionally, when it is a full time job, I expect to be paid something.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2003 at 3:13PM
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Wow, I can't even imagine NOT paying my mother to watch my children. I have always paid her the going rate for in-home child care.

Perhaps your daughter should shop the day care centers and see what her options are, she'll be amazed at how cheap $1 an hour is for infant care. Not to mention that your grandchild will be getting one on one time with a loving grandmother - which is priceless!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2003 at 3:44PM
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I told my daughter I would look after thre kids only in an emergency. I still work as well . If God wanted me to be a mother at my age (66) he ( or she) would not have let me have my menopause.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2003 at 10:38AM
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I don't baby sit PERIOD. I tried when the grandchildren started arriving, but I soon stopped that except for emergencys. I baby sat 3 times in one week when we only had two..while the parents went to places like the pound to look at puppies, to drive in movies, company picnics. They even wanted us to baby sit for 2 weeks while the parents went on a vacation. Those are places you take children. I even asked to baby sat for the sitter they had hired to take care of them. My husband likes garage sale, auctions, flea markets, etc., I chose to be a part of his life, instead of raising our childrens children. We have 13 grandkids and 6 greats, most live in the same town. I would have been a full time, unpaid sitter.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2004 at 12:23AM
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Definitely you're not out of line. Tell her that if she feels that $1.00 per hour is too much, she should feel free to look for another daycare. She should also buy diapers, wipes, formula, baby food, etc.

Do you actually want to care for your grandson full-time? If not, tell her that, too, along with when you *would* be willing to babysit, if at all.

Even if I could well afford to babysit without pay, I'd ask for compensation. Then I'd put it in a college fund for the grandchild.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2004 at 1:13AM
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My mother was really looking forward to the birth of my son and couldn't wait for my wife to go back to work so she could look after the wee lad. She didn't want payment but did look for reimbursement of legitimate expenses which is justified.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2004 at 10:26PM
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Family takes care of each other. But it's a two way street.

I am going back to work this fall. My mother is going to watch my kids during their school holidays and sick days. She is also going to babysit them overnight when DH and I go league bowling every other week. I am not going to pay her a dime.

Ungrateful? Hardly. I have just spent the past year helping my mom clean/pack/sort her house of 40 years so she could move to a condo. DH and I have done all of her yard work, I've painted every room, and I've done a lot of grocery shopping for her. When she had surgery recently, I stayed with her for two nights at her home. I still have to move/sort her stuff in storage, and I'm sure I have a lot of grocery trips, doctor trips, etc. ahead of me too, because she hates to drive. I give her goodies from my garden - tomatoes, which she loves, etc. Sometimes I bring her leftovers, like when I make an extra-large batch of beef stew.

It's fair. No, we don't keep track. And I think it's really sad that people who ought to love each other so dearly should even think of keeping track, or have to. Expect a lot from one another, and give just as generously.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2004 at 2:32AM
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pkock, you are right it is a two way street. The street around us has always been a one way street, we need some money, we need a sitter, we need your car, we need you to fix our car, we need you to take us to school, we need you to come jump our car battery, we need, we need,but they don't even know where we live until they need.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2004 at 8:28PM
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When our youngest granddaughter was born I offered to keep the baby so my daughter could return to work in six weeks. I knew my dd and sil were in financial hardship so I didn't ask for any payment. I feel good about this even now. My dd and sil do lots of little things for me that help out a great deal. We live way out in the country and they often pick up medicines, groceries, or whatever we need. This is a huge help since I also help out with my senior parents that live here close to us. I always feel open to tell them when I can't keep the baby. There's no animosity on either side. A lot of times I'm busy taking my parents (82 & 85) to doctor appointments and other things. Many times my dd will offer to take them for me and also take them grocery shopping. I keep the baby and she does these things for me on her days off. So far we have had a really good relationship and feel free to say what we think.
I think you should sit down and talk to your daughter about the situation and see if something could be worked out. It's feelings that are unspoken sometime that cause problems. Good luck!


    Bookmark   August 25, 2004 at 2:16PM
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I hardly ever ask my mother or MIL to baby-sit so when they do I don't think I should have to pay because it is more of a visit.Which since they have gotten older 7 & 9 they don't stay with either of them ever. And i stay at home to be the care taker.
But yes if you do it all the time "as her babysitter" then I think it is fair, to get something.
I have babysat for my sisters and I think after awhile it gets old, when start expecting you to do it and they don't appreciate it.
I did it when they were having a hard time.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 4:01PM
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Tend to your family as would your garden: FOR FREE!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 2:28PM
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I have been taking care of my 2 year old grandson full time, since he was 3 months old.I have never asked for any payment and never received any.My daughter( my youngest of 4 children) provides diapers, toys, etc., but I provide food and milk and lots of love and care.She and her hubby take us out to dinner once in a while and play cards with us occasionally.
I somehow manage to have a life too with my husband, although we are not socializing much, but like to go back to our hometown in Europe once in a while.
I also am semi-retired from real estate and semi-active as a Master Gardener, attend water aerobic classes regularly and do scrapbooking.
I offered to babysit, before she had the baby. We even moved to her town, when my husband retired.
4 of our 7 grandkids live far away, one is here in town, but she is already a teenager and the youngest, a darling little girl, lives in a nearby town.
I lost a lot of precious years with 5 of my grandchildren, because I was so busy with my real estate carrier.
Taking care of my grandson now, makes me very happy,despite of my limitations due to my rheumatoid arthritis pain.
As far as payment for daycare, I am happy to see, that by saving that money, I helped my daughter and her husband to attain a lifestyle (beautiful big house,new cars,etc)that they could not have now, if they had to pay for daycare all this time.
If the time comes that they want to pay me something, I will take it, but I am not obsessing about it.
I do have a problem though. It hurts me so much, that I cannot spend more time with my youngest grandchild (she is now 16 mo. old) and that she has to go to regular daycare every day and has colds most of the time, that she picks up there. I wish I could take care of her too, but she lives 1 1/2 hours drive away from us now.
I also think, that my son(the daddy of the little girl)secretly somewhat resents the fact, that I am helping our daughter, but not him.What should or can I do?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 7:53AM
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In some cases I can see where some payment would be required, like financial need, and when its a full time thing, which I have already said I will not do, the dd should compensate you someway. I babysit usually one day a week and would never take anything for it. Ladieg

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 1:44PM
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Katie....speaking of not being able to care for the gd as often, that is hard, I am getting ready to go for a week to help with my 3 100 miles from me. Well, one is going to church camp so she won't be there. That is how I do it, ever so often I go and help them. But I can with only babysitting one day a week with the others, and their Mother can get her Mother at times, plus she can move her work schedule around also. But I know what you mean, they get hurt feelings, i send the ones away mail ever so often, a special card, with a dollar, gum and draw pictures for them, so they feel special. Ladieg

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 3:25PM
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I will be starting to babysit for my daughter in a couple of weeks. We live in a very expensive part of the country and I would rather my daughter and her husband put money away for their future rather than pay me. They will, of course, provide diapers,food, etc. I feel families are so out of touch these days that I feel it is important to have my granddaughter be with family during the day. I am retired (my husband is not) and we have set vacations in place and have set boundaries.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 1:00PM
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Is this foster care or family? I work in child welfare, and we do not pay relatives to take care of their own family, and most do not expect to be paid. We provide medical, counseling, and child care if it it needed, but we do not pay them directly--they are called "kinship family care." A newborn should not be looked upon as a financial opportunity for the grandparents unless they are willing to have that income reported to the IRS. I plan to work until I am no longer able, pay off this home, and take care of my grandchildren one day...but I have to plan because I don't want anyone financially responsible for me.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 9:49AM
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That's interesting msstephanie. Something I didn't know. When my 1st grandson was born, his mother applied for welfare. I babysat while my son's girlfriend finished school. The other grandmother said welfare would pay me for keeping my grandson. I couldn't imagine the state paying me for keeping my own grandson so I told her no thanks. Glad I wasn't counting on that. :)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 1:08AM
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She got upset about a dollar an hour?! If my mom were offering daycare, I would insist on paying her whatever I could afford and would be THRILLED that my baby would be in the care of someone who loves him, rather than a nanny I just met. I'm sorry that your daughter doesn't see it the same way.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 4:00PM
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My mom quit her job to watch my boys. She couldn't have afforded to do that if I didn't pay her so I GLADLY do (and pretty well I think!). I'd never say no grandparent should be paid and I'd never say no grandparent shouldn't be paid. It depends on each individual situation and what works best for everyone involved.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 9:59AM
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I kept 3 for 6 years for free and worked part time in retail...3 nights a week and vacation..nothing. When my health was about to be a big issue they offered me what I was making part time to keep the kids and I could quit my job. I did it. I NEVER got paid on husband had to call them and it was a tough thing to do. 8 months in to it...they just stopped paying me altogether...we said nothing...just waited. At the end of the summer I asked when I could expect to start getting paid again....I didn't even ask for the back pay. I was told that they just guessed I'd have to find another job. I was in shock and I can't tell you what this did to the kids. I cleaned..kept all the laundry done..carted kids to preschool(almost 100 miles a day..including trip back to town to work nights) I cooked with food I bought...I cared for..loved...nurtured these precious little things with all my thrown out like and old apologies at all after having told me that they would NEVER leave me hanging without a job.Well....a year later and I'm 57 yrs old and been on countless interviews...worked in health care for 16 years...know people all over this one has hired me. My grandchildren fell apart when I no longer was there from 6 in the morning until after 8 at night...daughter's a nurse and jerk son-in-law got a cushy job from his union dad so he worked different shifts. They simply fell apart and I was left having to tell them that I had to make money.
My ADVICE...Don't even start. She's already selfish and you are sitting yourself up for some of the worst heartache you will EVER know. Let her make it or break it on her own.See them as much as you like but don't even start with this daughter...she'll hurt you worse than you ever imagined and the lies will never end either. Sorry...but I'm there and it's the worst place I've ever been in in my life...I thought I'd known pain...I knew nothing. When I was doing all of this on the one day I didn't have to be out there she would leave me a message EVERY TIME that she was sick..had a headache...stomach virus...EVERY time it was something. She'd lie in bed while I did the rest. Her husband never lifts a finger. I found out later in the time I was there that he had told her when she got in from work that he had been getting up around 3 in the morning and cleaning and KNOW she couldn't have believed this..however...I set her straight. That man has never lifted one finger...I cleaned up after this jerk for 6 years...he took the credit. Also...I've been talked to like a dog...disrespected...thrown out of the house..while jerk daddy never gets so much as an unkind word. That only proves what an idiot my daughter is. He quit his job because he got mad (he was a teacher and a lousy one) when she was pregnant with 2nd child.What man does that??? This one.
Don't do it..don't start it...the signs are there and you'll live to love every minute with those kids..and wonder how the daughter you raised (and the one I did never gave us one minute of trouble until she met this jerk) isn't the person you once knew. I'll never figure it out. We stayed silent through all of this..never once criticizing...attacking....and we got nothing back. DON"T DO IT.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 2:38PM
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WOW. This thread has been an eye-opener to say the least. Thanks to everyone for their contributions.

I watch my 3 yr old grandson 5 days a week and he lives at our house (with his mom, our daughter, age 24). She is a recovering heroin addict and has been clean for one year. (And in case you think we caused her addiction or contributed somehow to it, she says we had nothing to do with it. Her unhappiness over the years has been a source of endless speculation, and therapy, at our end...)

ANYWAY, she was arrested and went to rehab last year, so we (I, actually) stepped up to be his full time caregivers. She has cleared all court ordered requirements and finished 2 consecutive rehab programs while working full time and cleaning up her life. We are proud of her for this, but we remain wary of another relapse, as families do with all addicts.

This little boy is so beloved and when we were needed, we were there for him. But we are starting to wonder about the timeline of all this. Not sure if we should require her to pay us (either for daycare or for rent, or both) and we walk a fine line. Every addict stands a better chance at full recovery if family supports him/her, but enabling is NOT something we want to do. We are watchful about that, but it's getting murky now. I think it is humane to see each addict as a person who deserves some time to rebuild her life. Meanwhile, I am suffering with lack of privacy, strain on my marriage, lack of social life, reduced working hours, etc.

ANyone out there have any experience in this arena? We are flying blind and want to do the right thing. Interestingly, "the right thing" to us is no longer to help HER but to halp our little grandson. He deserves so much.

Thanks for any feedback.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 9:42PM
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flyingcarrot, I totally understand. I have 2 stories to tell you. I'll keep them as short as possible.

Ten yrs ago DH and I had just married, and his defiant drug using 17 yr old son, who had dropped out of school in another state, came to live with us and my 14 yr old daughter. DS brought guns into my house without my knowledge (I found out at 3 am one night when I heard him shooting outside my bedroom window, when DH was away on business, and DS said "I could shoot you"). He brought drugs into my house, with DD living there. He was totally disrespectful in everything he did and said. DH and I disagreed so much about how to handle him that DH almost rented an apartment for himself and DS to live in. After months and months of arguing/discussing back and forth, DH
and I agreed that the best approach was to put DS in an apartment and pay the rent on it for 6 months, to allow him to get a job and get on his feet. Well, he would get a job and get fired within a day. Smart-mouth. This continued so long that he couldn't get another job. So we took him back. On and on it goes. Finally, after more and more of his disrespect, drug episodes, job failures, wrecked cars, etc, the final straw was when he offered drugs to DD. I threw him out on the street. I told him he could sleep in his car. And he did. It was sink or swim. He absolutely hated me when I put him out. And DH was scared to death that his son would die on the streets. So he kept in close touch with him. And he probably gave him money or food that he didn't tell me about. DS hit bottom. Well, he's 27 now, and we are more proud of him than we are of my husband's lawyer son. For the past 3 years this troubled boy has had the same job where everyone adores him, he calls us regularly, is polite and caring, tells us he loves us, and quite often thanks us for "kicking him out" as he puts it. He says he doesn't know where he'd be if we hadn't kicked him out. This one turned out great.

This story is about my cousin. She began using in her late teens. She's now in her 60's. Her parents have always supported her emotionally, as parents do, because how can they not, she's their daughter. They also have always been there when she relapsed again, as users can do, again, and again, and again. At the beginning you don't know if your child will be the one who recovers or doesn't, which makes it so hard. Over all these years, they have paid for her to go to rehab over 30 times. Her grown sons do not allow her to see her grandchildren, because their own childhoods were so awful. For many, many years now she has lived with her parents, who are now in their late 80's and just about broke because of her. And she abuses them. Her sister has seen her kick her dad, and when he falls, she says she's too tired to get up and help him up. She's been convicted of drug possession and prostitution, and within the last 3 years or so she was in prison. When she's home she stays clean for a short time and then "disappears" for a while. My aunt and uncle's lives have basically been ruined for the past 45 years.

I guess my point is that, at least in my cousin's case, she learned early on that her parents would always be there to take advantage of no matter what. So she has always done whatever she wants. And they keep taking her back, and she keeps relapsing, costing them money, emotional pain and anguish, and more. It's too late for them, but what if 40 years ago, after the 2nd or 3rd (or whichever) relapse, they had been able to know she wasn't going to get better? They would have been able to make an educated decision about their lives, rather than to carry on with such a cruel hopeless hope. If they had only set a limit to the number of relapses they were willing to witness and pick up after.

I'm a mother too, and I know the kind of love a mother has for her daughter. It can just tear you up. I can't be sure how I would handle such a situation if it were my daughter. I'm also a grandmother and I love my granddaughter so very very much. I do know this: I would not stand by and let my daughter do something that is hurtful to her. I pray I would have strength to at some point before my life or my granddaughter's life is too negatively affected, to say enough is enough, and that my daughter is going to have to get things right. I would probably sit her down and help her work out a timeline for accomplishing goals, and then enforce it. And have a consequence/ultimatum spelled for if it isn't met.

You are so right to be focused on your grandson. Now that the baby girl is in our picture and she has stolen my heart too, she trumps DD for the time being. You know why? Because she's an innocent child. So I have found my voice to DD about alot of things concerning the baby. I speak up about the baby. I think we have to speak up about the important things, whether DD appreciates us for it, or hates us for it. And your daughter's recovery is every bit your grandson's story. It's important that she be held accountable.

Your post touched my heart. You will be in my thoughts and prayers every day.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 1:42AM
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When my son was a year old I decided to go back to work because we didn't have health insurance. It was hard to choose a daycare. My hubby insisted that we 'let' his mother do it!

I insisted that if she did agree that we would pay the going rate. I did think it selfish that hubby 'knew' that his mom would take on such a huge responsibility, never mind that she raised 8 kids without a complaint. But I thought you should never just assume that someone would take on a huge responsibility and monopolize their time!

In the end it was the best of both worlds. Being a wonderful grandma she took excellent care of my son (and subsequent daughter). I always paid her at the end of the week and even though she babysat for other family members I was the only one who paid. I didn't resent doing that and I was happy to see her buy new furniture or other things that she desired. My kids often came home in new tennis shoes or with a new toy. They also got to see lots of relatives that they wouldn't know otherwise had they gone to a day care center. And of course, they got to spend precious time with their Grandma. Grandma passed away last year and my kids are in their twenties. They have great memories of her and I know I respected and loved her. Win - Win

    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 9:30AM
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neesie- That is great that it worked out like that for your family. I admire that you did pay her what you could and helped to meet her needs even though she didn't insist on it.

It sounds like her good actions and your unwillingness to just assume she should do it were both real blessings.

It sounds like she wouldn't have been a resentful person about helping you whether you paid her or not. It is good that your own conscience made you unwilling to take advantage. Did good communication help it to be a win-win situation?

My mother in law assumed that she would have the roll in our lives that your mother in law had. Part of the problem was that we never spoke about that and my husband and I had different plans. I was a stay at home mom. We had regular plans with his mom but it was never what she wanted apparently. There was a great deal of resentment.

How did you and your mother in law resolve differences in expectation, neesie? Or did you have similar ideas that didn't really have to be worked out?

    Bookmark   December 2, 2008 at 2:38PM
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I know this thread is old, but would like to make an observation.

PappaM wrote: "Tend to your family as would your garden: FOR FREE!"

Sorry, but expecting a person to do a full-time job (or three day per week job, or whatever) without compensation of some sort is just plain wrong. Caring for a child is WORK. Many grandparents have jobs of their own, or are in a well-deserved retirement after both raising children and working for decades.

It is unfair to expect that they will drop their daily lives and work for free. If they decline payment, that's one thing. To expect that they should is just wrong.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2008 at 3:51PM
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I too have kinda the same situation. My daughter got married last year and had her second daughter 3 months ago. Both her husband and her work nights and I care for my 3 month old granddaughter (the oldest daughter stays with her father while my daughter works). I was planning on going back to work (after long illness) prior to my daughter getting pregnant, but instead agreed to provide care for my granddaughter. I have her half of the time, since they work nights and need to sleep during the day I just keep her straight through for 2-3 days (3 days first week 4 days second week). I asked to be paid $75 a week and my daughter talked to her husband about the fee and he was upset and told her that was $300 a month they couldn't afford. With my husband being our sole source of income they make approx. double what we make each payday. Of course they say it is not the same becauce our house and vehicle is paid for. I feel like a jerk for asking them to pay me, especailly since I did not charge her to babysit the oldest one when she was little. I had her just as much as I have this one now, but my daughter was single and really struggling. If we had unlimited income I probably wouldn't ask to be paid except for right before this one was born we were discussing birth control and waiting a good long time before having another one and my son in laws response was well if she gets pregnant she gets pregnant. They have since gotten birth control, but if they hadn't would I be expected to take care of another one too. So part of the reason I requested pay is for them to learn there are consequences for having babies. When he pitched a fit about paying me, my daughter told him that was a lot cheaper than childcare any where else, especially over night. But each payday (every two weeks) I have to ask for the money they do not volunteer it. Therefore each payday I feel like a jerk for asking for it. I though my daughter was okay with paying me then this morning when she picked up my granddaughter she forgot to give me the money. I called her cell phone before she got more than a couple blocks and she said she had it to meet her outside she would bring it back. When I went outside to get it her exact words were 'There your paid'. I want to see my grandchildren and I don't get to see the oldest one very much but I would also like just a little spending money too. Am I wrong?

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 6:20PM
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