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Is my friends mum BU by expecting to be paid for babysitting her grandchild?

(181 Posts)
IsChippyMintonExDirectory Tue 08-Jul-14 12:50:40

Posting on behalf of a friend who doesn't 'do' the internet (total luddite)

She has an 11 month old son and is going back to work next month 4 days per week. Her and her DH can only afford 2 days a week at nursery for their DS, so the DHs parents are having him on the 3rd day (they work part-time and can accomodate this) and she has asked her mum to have him on the 4th day.

Her mum (who's 54) isn't retired but she is in a sense - i.e. she hasn't officially taken early retirement and released her pension, but she never intends to work again and is supported financially by her husband. My friends mum wants to be paid for the days she looks after her grandchild. �25 a day shes asking for (which is half the price of nursery). She says it's because her husband doesn't earn a lot and it will take her away from her domestic jobs (by that she means the chickens and geese they look after daily).

My friend and her DH earn good money, but not enough to budget for 4 days a week at nursery (which would be �200 per week). They can afford to pay the extra �25 a week, but my friend is feeling a bit indiginant about being charged by her own mum, who won't lose out financially from looking after her grandson.

her and her mum have a volatile relationship and she hasn't been particularly interested in her grandson, she does see him but not very often (my friend has to take him to her mums to make this happen).

Who IBU here? My friend has told her mum she'll think about it.

I actually think your friend is being unreasonable. They obv don't have a close relationship and it sounds like your friend is only asking her mum because she is desperate.

If they can't afford to budget for childcare then really she needs to give up work. Her child care issues is not someone elses problem and she shouldn't expect it to be done for free.

She needs to either pay her mum the £25 or shoot herself in the foot and look elsewhere. She had better not think about it too long in case her mum retracts her offer.

Namechangearoonie123 Tue 08-Jul-14 12:54:22

She's been unreasonable asking anyone who doesn't want to, to childmind.

She should wait til she can afford a professional to do it, rather than sending the kid to someone who isn't interested or relying on family.

And she should have thought about it before having a kid.

ChickenFajitasAndNachos Tue 08-Jul-14 12:54:43

If it's legal to pay the mum to pay to look after her grandchild then I think it's fair. The mum is giving up one day a week so wants a small amount of monetary compensation. I think that sounds fine.

Onesleeptillwembley Tue 08-Jul-14 12:55:16

Why on earth does your 'friend' expect all and sundry to have to look after her child, especially for nothing, and trying to palm the poor kid off onto someone uninterested. Sounds like your 'friend' is selfish.
Poor kid.

sooperdooper Tue 08-Jul-14 12:56:38

I think it's a fair request, it's ongoing child care she needs, not babysitting and it will restrict what her mum does with her time (whether that's feeding chickens or not is completely irrelevant, it's her time to do with what she wants)

If your friend doesn't like it she should consider other child care options

beccajoh Tue 08-Jul-14 12:56:42

I think it's perfectly reasonable for her mum to ask for some payment if it's a regular thing. Grandparents shouldn't feel obliged to do these things.

LoisEinhorn Tue 08-Jul-14 12:56:48

Its only legal if the nan does it in the child's home. Otherwise she can't charge for her 'services' even in gifts.

strawberrydaquari Tue 08-Jul-14 12:57:16

My mum charges me £10 to watch the dc when I occasionally ask her to babysit. At least your friends mum is upfront about it.

ChickenFajitasAndNachos Tue 08-Jul-14 12:57:31

I think the fact that the mum doesn't work or is early retired doesn't come into it. The friend is U to think her mum's time isn't worth anything.

Pootles2010 Tue 08-Jul-14 12:57:48

I think its fair, because no one is obliged to baby sit for free! �25 a day is nothing.

Having said that, I wouldn't take her up on it, because I wouldn't want someone whos not interested in ds looking after him.

I wouldn't choose someone who isn't interested in my child to care for them.

If there are issues caused by the Mum, that has made their relationship "volatile" and difficult, I would think carefully before I allowed a close bond to develop between GM and GS, unless she was a very good Nan.

I don't think MM gives a fare representative of what you should be able to expect off your Mum, or even close relatives, when it comes to children.

We are a family that helps and supports each other, I couldn't imagine anyone charging for care given, unless they were giving up work etc.

sezamcgregor Tue 08-Jul-14 12:58:04

I sometimes have to give my mum money for food when she has DS. He's 6 and she has a rubbish income which alters week to week.

Maybe something like £10 and only if she obviously hasn't spent it (ie only had to buy milk) do I ask for any change.

I would not expect to pay my mum or any family member to look after DS and get paid for it. Although as a long-standing arrangement, the payment emotionally is far higher than passing over £25 and I often wish it were that simple!

I don't know if the grandmother is right in asking for money or not - it's her spare time, she can do what she wants with it.

5Foot5 Tue 08-Jul-14 12:58:55

Providing regular full day child care is not the same as "babysitting". I assumed from your thread title that you meant occasionally looking after the child for a couple of hours in the evening while they go out. But your friend is after a full day a week commited to child minding.

Sorry but I too think your friend is BVU

SaveTheMockingBird Tue 08-Jul-14 12:59:07

Sounds like the MIL doesn't really want to look after her grandchild, and in that situation I woulnd' tbe sending my kids there. Not sure if the MIL is BU asking for money, but my mum or MIL would certainly never dream of asking for money in this situation, but I would compensate them in other ways.

I would be shock if my Mum asked for money for looking after her Dgc but I suppose if it's a whole day, and every week, it's quite a commitment and therefore she is viewing it like a job. She is enabling your friend to go & have paid employment, so yes, I think it's fair.

Opinionatedbugger Tue 08-Jul-14 13:01:05

You can't charge to look after your own grandchildren!!

glasgowstevenagain Tue 08-Jul-14 13:01:09

I look after my niece about once a month - usually on a weekend day when I am off work to allow her parents to do something - anything - shopping, DIY, day out, or nothing!

I get given money to spend on her - which I give back

It is a pleasure.

In the case of the OP friend

I would never see the pair of them again!

ProtegeMoi Tue 08-Jul-14 13:01:50

I wouldn't dream of charging any relative to care for their child unless it was actually going to cost me financially. It sounds like her mum dosnt want to do this though.

""My mum charges me £10 to watch the dc when I occasionally ask her to babysit.
Why on earth does your 'friend' expect all and sundry to have to look after her child, ""

Your Mum isn't "all and sundry", it's not normal to not want to know and be a big part of your Grandchildrens life.

It might be on MN, but in RL, it isn't.

Humans have always lived in tribes, we are supposed to live in family groups, even dogs do.

My DD is due to have a baby in November, my Neuce had hers last year, I'd pay them to take them off their hands.

Having your own child can bring it home how shit and messed up your own family actually are, though.

Optimist1 Tue 08-Jul-14 13:03:03

I too think your friend is BU. Your title says "babysitting", which to my mind is a Saturday night so the parents can have a night out or covering for an INSET day or some such. What her mother is being asked to do is "child care" - a long-term commitment. Her request for payment puts the arrangement on a businesslike footing that would be beneficial to all parties.

It's very nice that the PILs are doing the other day unpaid, but that's their decision.

ChickenFajitasAndNachos Tue 08-Jul-14 13:05:17

It isn't babysitting the DM would be providing full on childcare. I don't think she should have even asked her mum.

gordyslovesheep Tue 08-Jul-14 13:06:12

My mum was ny child minder for two years. I wouldn't have dreamed of not paying her

She had a contract and paid leave as well

She adores her grandchildren but she had to eat and pay a.mortgage as well!

PosingInManilla Tue 08-Jul-14 13:06:13

Friend's mum is NBU. She is right to say that time taken looking after the child is time taken away from her other activities and no matter how little your friend values her mum's activities, the mum is NBU to ask for some kind of compensation if she feels it appropriate.

Friend is probably BU by leaving her child with her mum with whom she has a volatile relationship and doesn't seem interested in son. Friend is also BU to make the assumption retired people have nothing better to do than look after her child. Free childcare from parents/inlaws is a wonderful gift but not an absolute right and your friend seems to hve made assumptions here.

And yes, it is illegal, but in the real world where people live and let live it's not going to be an issue.

DamnIWishIWasYourLover Tue 08-Jul-14 13:06:34

It sounds like your friend has a sense of entitlement, ie "I can't afford paid childcare all week so I am entitled to freebies from family members"

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