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Actually, is my mother being unreasonable?

(163 Posts)
kittywise Sat 08-Aug-09 07:34:56

OK here's the senario:

My mother has offered to take various of my children to the local cinema, both today and on Monday. On the whole I am pleased that she is doing this as I am not a great cinema fan, I have tinnitus and cannot be in very noisy situations.

She has taken them before too.

The catch is that I have to pay for everybody to go, including her. She is certainly well off enough to afford it herself though, she is, for instance, planning to buy an antique clock worth £9,000 because she likes old things and it's a good investment etc etc.

I wasn't too bothered by this initially as it enabled the kids to see films and got me out of going.

Dp, however, thinks she is outrageous in asking me to pay. He reckons no other grandparent would do this if they could afford to pay with their own money.

He says that the kids will think she so wonderful and generous, taking them off to the cinema, when infact she hasn't paid anything for it.

Now I feel very agitated by the whole situation. Yesterday I bought tickets for her and 3 of the kids and it cost £21. She has offered to take them again on monday and it will be even more money then, as 4 kids are going. Money IS an issue for us though, we are, like many people, struggling big time.

She has gone on holiday with me and the kids ( dp stays at home and works), but she does not pay ANYTHING she hands dp a bill at the end of the holiday for all her 'expenses' which last year, for a week, amounted to over £300!!!

So basically I don't know whether she is being normal or rubbish.
Please tell me what you think. Is this normal behaviour? Would you be quite happy for this to be the 'arrangement' in your house; that your mother offered to take your kids out, but you had to pay for it?

Thanks( a very confused kitty)

FlamingoBingo Sat 08-Aug-09 07:43:09

If you can't afford to buy the tickets then don't. But you also can't insist she does. Surely if she's taking them instead of you taking them on a trip you would do otherwise, then it's acceptable for you to pay. But it's not acceptable for her to say 'I am taking them, whether you like it or not, and you must pay' either.

Tell her you can't afford it so they can't go, regrettably. Then, if she really wants to take them, she'll have to pay.

racmac Sat 08-Aug-09 07:44:28

She offers to take the kids out and then expects you to pay? Just tell her you cant afford it so they wont be going.

She gave your dp a bill for going on holiday WTF!

bigstripeytiger Sat 08-Aug-09 07:45:41

I dont know. If my mother was taking out my children I would expect to pay for it, because they are my children. Though we often have to have a little discussion about whether Im going to be allowed to pay or not.
In my case though I earn a lot more than my mother does, and that is why I would rather that she didnt spend her money (not that I would ever say that to her).

Peabody Sat 08-Aug-09 07:45:56

She is being rubbish, I'm afraid. If she didn't pay for your kids but paid for herself, then she would be selfish (as you say she has lots of money) but this is acceptable. However, her insisting on you paying for her ticket crosses the line and is totally unreasonable.

If she comes on holiday with you she should pay her own way. Anything else is absolutely out of order.

Personally I would not accept this situation.

Sorry to be so negative, but I hope I have at least answered your question.

kittywise Sat 08-Aug-09 07:46:11

Yes, well, she reckons she is doing us a favour by helping, which is she, but she wants money for itsad

KIMItheThreadSlayer Sat 08-Aug-09 07:46:45

[shocked] over the holiday thing, do not ask her again.

I think it is a bit rude to offer to take your children out then expect you to pay for her.

My mother would never do this, in fact on Wednesday I took her out for the day (she is in a wheelchair) and she would not let me pay for even a cup of tea, and Thursday she took me and the children (2) to see a film.

Does your mum know you are struggling for money right now?

thirtypence Sat 08-Aug-09 07:48:50

I have asked my dad to take ds to the movies and have usually provided at least a voucher for him to see the movie or a buy one get one free voucher. If I don't have a voucher I wouldn't ask him.

I think your mum needs to go and do something free with the children. Is she watching awful children's movies - or good stuff?

oysterpots Sat 08-Aug-09 07:48:53

YANBU, I think, if you're sure she can pay her way it does seem a bit stingey. But what she does with her money is her business.

I don't know whether it's normal behaviour or not, it isn't in our house, hence me thinking YANBU.

But like you say, £21 is pricey no matter who pays. What if you look at it as babysitting (it kind of is) - £21 seems quite reasonable then to have 4 kids off your hands for a few hours! You're arguably getting more out of it than she is

If it wasn't for the clock, would you be upset?

Sounds like you need to come to a more formal arrangement as you've obviously been going along with this sort of thing for a while now and if you've decided it's not working for you then you need to say something.

I would just say that you can't' afford £21 or more twice in one week and could she do something else with the kids? Maybe look up some free activities near you?

georgimama Sat 08-Aug-09 07:49:35

Sorry, YABU. She provides you with free childcare for 2 days and you expect her to pay for the pleasure too?

The clock thing is completely irrelevant - her money, she can do what she likes with it. Presumably if it is an investment when she snuffs it you'll do very well out it anyway.

Flower3545 Sat 08-Aug-09 07:52:39

You shouldn't have to pay for favours though, seems mean and penny pinching to me.

Say, for example, my neighbour asked me to get her some milk while I was at the shops, I'd expect her to pay for the milk but not pay me for getting it for her!

MummyDragon Sat 08-Aug-09 07:52:53

Yes YABU but I understand why!

She is providing free childcare. How much would holiday clubs etc cost you if your mum wasn't there?

I agree that the holiday bill thingo is completely out of order though!

sleeplessinstretford Sat 08-Aug-09 07:56:15

my mum wouldn't do it but if you had asked her to come on holiday to 'help' you with the kids then maybe she asked for the money as some kind of recompense?
is she one of those mums who thinks 'now i've retired i am not working as unpaid childcare for my darling daughter so this will prevent her asking too often'
one of my mums friends did that with her daughters and actually charged her for babysitting-her reasoning was she'd brought up kids already and was too old to be having them dumped on her?
Does this sound like it might be the case?
My parents have our families kids to the exclusion of them actually doing anything else really which is quite sad.

kittywise Sat 08-Aug-09 07:59:16

Thanks for all you thoughtssmile

I am struggling to work out exactly what sits uneasily with me. It's NOT the money as such, as people say, she could do free things with the.

I think it is her attitude that saddens me. I honestly don't expect her to spend a penny of her money. It is her money after all, her choice.

It is dp's comments everytime this whole cinema debacle comes up.

She has always been pretty tight with money. She boasts that it is her mean penny pinching yorkshire lass wayshmm

posieparkerinChina Sat 08-Aug-09 08:00:56

So if you can't afford it they don't go...

As for the holiday, do NOT take her again unless you pay for everything (not her food) and don't pay her bill!

WideWebWitch Sat 08-Aug-09 08:04:16

You are being unreasonable. She's taking them, fair enough that you pay imo.

kittywise Sat 08-Aug-09 08:04:54

sleepless, she always offers to come on holiday. I have never asked her. But in all fairness, if she hadn't have come, we couldn't have gone away.

I understand the reasoning, she is coming with us, it is bloody hard work, hardly a holiday,why should she pay?

The expenses list is for everything she has paid for, including ice creams and other treats for the kids. So she is off course very free with the money.

What really pisses dp off is that the kids think she so wonderful buying them treats all the time when in reality she doesn't pay a penny.

Buda Sat 08-Aug-09 08:09:22

Being tight with her money is how she has money and can afford to buy such an expensive clock!

I would just say you can't afford to pay for them to go twice in one week and it will have to wait until you have a bit more spare cash but that if she wants to take them to the park you would be very grateful. You could provide a mini picnic or money for icecreams.

Ninkynork Sat 08-Aug-09 08:11:41

That would piss me off too to be honest, Kitty. YANBU about that.

And nine grand for a clock is obscene IMO no matter how much money a person has.

FlamingoBingo Sat 08-Aug-09 08:17:19

I don't understand the YABU responses. Surely if the OP wanted the childcare, then she would be happy to pay, but it's a bit much for someone to say 'I am going have your children for you, and take them on an expensive trip and you have to pay for them and me' surely?

If you can't afford it, you can't afford it and they don't go. What's the problem?

The OP isn't saying 'Mum, I want you to take my children to the cinema, but I'm not paying', is she?

Hmmm, if I asked my mum to take the dc's to the cimema, or anywhere else, I would also offer to pay, though she would probably decline.

However if she said she would like to take them somewhere, then I would presume she was paying.

FlamingoBingo Sat 08-Aug-09 08:20:37

And Kitty, I would have an 'official' word with her about the children and money.

My mum loves buying things for my children - she wishes she could have bought them for myself and my brother when we were little, so it's a treat for her to do it now. If the children want something and I can't afford it, but my Mum thinks it would be good for them to have it, then she buys it. End of story. My money is mine to spend how I see best and if I only have enough money to have to choose between new children's shoes and a cinema trip, then of course it will be the shoes that get chosen. If mum wants to then take them to the cinema, then she should pay - I simply couldn't afford it.

Please speak to your mum about this and ask her not to buy your children ice-creams without asking you if you can afford it first - she is being completely and utterly unreasonable.

FlamingoBingo Sat 08-Aug-09 08:21:40

Gah! Can't stop posting this is annoying me so much! grin

How is spending someone else's money without their agreement acceptable? Can the YABU responders please explain?

Bumpinthenight Sat 08-Aug-09 08:26:28


When my parents take DD out for the day I don't get asked to pay, and I wouldn't exoect to have to pay. They want to entertain her, they can choose whatever they do be it free or expensive.

If asked them to take her out to somewhere specific, that would be different I would expect to pay, it is up to my parents to accept (or not).

When I have suggested a day out (Sealife last week for example) I provided the 241 vouchers and offered to pay. I got lunch instead.

More often than not they pay for us to go out, have lunch etc.

Another tact is to go through the children "Sorry, Mummy can't afford to send you and Grandma to the cinema again". May make your Mum feel guilty!!

mistlethrush Sat 08-Aug-09 08:27:56

When my mil, fil or my parents do anything with ds they use their money.

I think the most unreasonable thing is the holiday issue - I cannot believe that she pretends that she's buying all the icecreams etc and then presents you with the bill. This is totally unreasonable.

But yes, if you want the children out of your hair and paying for them and their carer to go to the cinema is how you want to do it fine - but I would be giving the oldest child the responsibility of paying for the tickets - and making sure that they know that its YOU buying them the tickets, not your mother. She's trying to both have her cake and eat it. This is the unreasonable aspect.

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