Do you pay your parents money for childcare?

(261 Posts)
NineteenThirtyOne Sun 11-Aug-19 21:14:34

Will be going back to work soon 3 days a week after mat leave. Parents have said they will be happy to mind DS but for £50 a week..

AIBU to think this isn't the norm? confused

OP’s posts: |
MTGGamer Sat 11-Apr-20 11:35:09

Mine have my DS every Friday when my husband is working (he's currently on LTS). They don't ask for any money, because I only work Fridays because they want us to save on childcare costs (neither of them work it anyway, and my work would much rather have me work a Thursday)
However, they live an hour/50 miles away, so we alternate - one week they drive up to us for the day, and one week we drop him down to them the day before so he sleeps over and has Friday at theirs, coming up in the evening.

March20 Sat 11-Apr-20 10:59:40

I would definitely pay. Firstly 3 days a week is a lot. In summer I’m sure your mother would take your child out to the park for ice creams Ect it all adds up and to be honest as the child gets older £50 a week won’t cut it. Just because somebody is your family member I think it’s best to pay your way as they could be general family arguments and at least they cannot turn and say they are doing it for free. I agree some others £50 a week is NOTHING. I pay for my child to go to play scheme £40 a day and I’d much rather due to he’s kept busy (no meals included). Some people may not pay their parents that’s not really your concern (everyone’s family dynamics differ).

myself2020 Wed 14-Aug-19 09:33:36

@saraclara don’t feel guilty! neither my parents nor my parents in law provide us with childcare (any! not evenings, not weekends, not overnights, ...). And that is fine! they are retired, they should enjoy their retirement and travel. i would feel extremely guilty if they would be constricted by having to look after our kids. we have 2 kids, which is exactly what we can afford. we wouldn’t have had the second if we couldn’t afford childcare!

theruffles Wed 14-Aug-19 09:00:57

My MiL has my DD usually for two days a week, at what I consider to be quite long days from 8:30am-5:30pm. We don't pay her but I don't think she would accept it if we did try and insist. We provide all food, nappies, etc but I do feel guilty about it. She says it isn't a problem but she is retired and, as much as I know she adores her DGC, it must be tiring. We can't afford nursery or childcare so have tried to move our hours around as much as possible at work to make sure MiL is not doing too much childcare (compressed hours and DH has gone p/t) but some weeks it is unavoidable.

saraclara Wed 14-Aug-19 07:44:22

"Fill my retirement with new experiences" even

saraclara Wed 14-Aug-19 07:42:55

it's a privilege they can spend time with their grandchild.

There's a massive expectation put on grandparents to provide childcare these days. My friends who are doing so are all knackered, and trying hard not to be resentful. But they feel pressured to do so because their kids need the help and its what their kids see their own friends parents doing for them.

But all spontaneity has gone from my friends' retirements. They can't book holidays for themselves because that causes problems, and though they love their grandkids, it's a slog, not a privilege.

In at least one case, the friends felt they had to do a couple of days a week because the other grandparents were. None wants to be seen as unsupportive in comparison.

Do their kids realise just how tired their parents are, and just how much they're putting themselves out? Not really. And my friends are hardly going to tell them.

My first grandchild is due soon. My daughters know the reason I took retirement recently was so that I could travel spontaneously and full my retirement with me experiences. So they don't expect me to provide regular childcare at all. But already I'm feeling guilty. Societal expectations have changed so much.


HotChocolateLover Wed 14-Aug-19 06:56:04

I never needed to ask my mum but my brother pays her £50 per day for a 3 year old boy and 1 year old girl. That’s 2.5 days a week. My brother also pays parking, entry fees and lunches out if required. If they were in nursery it would be £1600 per month so a bargain I reckon.

Blondeshavemorefun Wed 14-Aug-19 06:52:02

Is op going to come back and say what job she has that pays so little @NineteenThirtyOne

Aprillygirl Wed 14-Aug-19 05:42:47

Let your MIL look after your kid if she's so keen then OP. I have a funny feeling that she will soon get fed up of playing the role of best grandma after a couple of months and start wanting payment for the 'privilege' of your kids company though.

Rock4please Wed 14-Aug-19 05:18:10

Looking after young children is exhausting even when you are young, so I think YABU to expect your parents to sacrifice their retirement to look after your DC at all. It is not a privilege and I can't believe how ungrateful and entitled you are. Why not pay for professional child care and spend weekends etc with grandparents rather than regarding them as unpaid skivvies who should be grateful for the opportunity to look after your child. Their child rearing days are done and it is horrible and insensitive of you to take advantage in this way, let alone bitching to your in laws.

Orangepancakes Tue 13-Aug-19 23:08:03

Ahnowted She would be offended if I offered.

It's just the way we are! I think it's a cultural/regional thing.

Amanduh Tue 13-Aug-19 23:00:48

‘I would never pay my parents and they would never expect it! They pick up DC from school once a week and they stay over every fortnight or whenever!’ Etc etc.
Is NOT THE SAME as three constant days of childcare! Even if it is... three days is a lot.
Also the OP has a magical job that she works at for three days... yet earns less than £50.
Also OP i don’t think you understand what ‘hypocritical’ means. Your GP providing childcare for free and your parents not doesn’t make them hypocritical 🤷🏼‍♀️

HollyGoLoudly1 Tue 13-Aug-19 22:49:42


It's a fair question and I'd say yes in theory but the reality is I'll probably be 70 or not far off when I am finally able to retire. I imagine DS will have kids long before then. My parents both retired with final salary pensions in their 50s.

piglet81 Tue 13-Aug-19 22:45:09

But are all of you who receive free childcare from parents/ILs planning to offer the same for your hypothetical grandchildren? I am bloody knackered now and I'm not even 40. Fast forward 30+ years and there's no way I'd want to be looking after small children even for loads of money!

HollyGoLoudly1 Tue 13-Aug-19 22:28:59

Yes, it IS normal to pay parents.

Looking back at this thread, I don't think that's the case. The majority (myself included) seem to be gifts/treats etc., fewer people seem to actually give their parents cash payments for childcare.

but 3 days a week.. of course you would
I don't. My parents would never take cash off me, hence gifts etc. to show my appreciation. They're retired, have more money than I ever will and offered to have DS before he was even born.

AhNowTed Tue 13-Aug-19 22:18:06


Yes, it IS normal to pay parents.

Not for ad-hoc perhaps, but 3 days a week.. of course you would.

ElleDubloo Tue 13-Aug-19 22:00:59

We pay MIL £1000 per month for 4 days a week.

Isithometimeyet0987 Tue 13-Aug-19 21:56:12

My mum and dad refuse to take cash off me, but in a round about way I pay her and dad by paying for dinners out (unless he’s in one of his insistent moods where he has to pay for everyone’s meal that he gets in every once in a while and sneaks off to pay the bill while your still talking) and usually once or twice a year pay for a nice weekend away somewhere, although my parents are still young in there 40s and dad is nowhere near retiring (yes they had me young and yes I had DD young but mum doesn’t have to work, dad is ex army and landed himself a very good job when he left, so I got to get my career and I’m very thankful for that). So if you added up the meals, weekends away, wee presents etc it probably adds up to more than £50 a week although still less and better care than a full time nanny and I regularly ask if it’s still ok or do they want me to find a nanny.

stucknoue Tue 13-Aug-19 21:39:18

It's a good deal but you need to be somewhat careful as do they because if it's income they need to declare for tax and ni

notanotherfucker Tue 13-Aug-19 21:33:30

No, it's not normal to pay parents.

QueenofmyPrinces Tue 13-Aug-19 21:31:33

It wasn’t until I joined MN that I realised how many people expect/accept childcare from the grandparents for regular arrangements.

When my sister’s children were younger my mom had them one day a week and I couldn’t believe my sister even had the audacity to ask her to do it.

When me and DH were planning on TTC#1 we agreed that when I went back to work the child would go into formalised childcare and we would not ask or want any of our parents to regularly give up lots of their time to look after our children seeing as they are our responsibility.

My FIL is now retired and has our 5 year old for 1.5 hours on a Thursday morning before taking him to school, and then 1.5 hours after school on that day too. I feel guilty about him even providing 3 hours childcare a week for us.

Anyhow - back to your issue.

£50 is a great deal but I can see why you are feeling perplexed about it too.

Personally, if any of the grandchildren had been raving about wanting to provide childcare but then at the last minute start saying they expect payment then I would decline their offer. If your parents wanted payment for their very kind gesture then they should have been honest about it from the start - I.e from when they were first talking about it during your pregnancy.

Blondeshavemorefun Tue 13-Aug-19 21:11:54

jeez you sound so ungrateful !!!

50 a week is a bargain !!!

doesnt matter that yur parents didnt pay your gp

if they did, would you be less selfish about it

and if paying them 50 a week makes you not worth working, how thought? then you shouldnt have had kids to expect your parenst to look after them free

TheLette Tue 13-Aug-19 20:44:40

Is this really workable long-term? A colleague has just come back to work with her mum doing full-time childcare and she always seems to be off work. It's quite a lot to expect someone else to do - 1 day a week or a few half days is one thing, but 3 days a week seriously fetters someone's freedom. I pay my mum £100 / month to cover her costs (including petrol, as she has to drive 45 min each way) and that is for 1 day a week. Recently my mum was unexpectedly hospitalised and it was a real struggle and stress covering 1 day a week. I would really consider what your backup plan would be if your mum was sick or wanted to go on holiday. A nursery is a dependable option - maybe better to have a few days at nursery each week and 1 day with your mum.

AhNowTed Tue 13-Aug-19 20:41:44


She may not charge you, but as her daughter would it not occur to you to pay her something?

Teddybear45 Tue 13-Aug-19 20:31:04

Of course your MIL has said she’d do it for free, you mug. She’ll probably plonk your child in front of the TV for 8 hours and skimp on food as she can’t afford it. A lot of freebie grandparent childcare is basically just that!

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