Grandparent asking for money for looking after my 9 month son

(383 Posts)
Candyfloss11 Tue 04-Jan-22 23:04:46

I have a 9 month old son and for the past year my mother has been living with me and my husband. She has helped us out a lot by looking after my son when both me and my husband are in a pinch. This has been great and much appreciated and at first i thought she was happy to help out because she expressed how much she wanted a grandchild before my son was born.

So we let her stay with us so she can spend more time with her grandchild. However she has recently said she now wants to be paid for looking after my son and is upset that we haven’t paid her at all. She did not indicate that she expected payment in the first place. Does this seem reasonable at all? Given that she is staying with us she has no expenses, she is divorced with no partner and is retired so it’s not like she has been missing out on any employment income anyway. We have also taken her to a few holidays with us as well.

If anything i’m more hurt that she feels this way, as my point of view us paying her feels like a transaction and not the fact that it’s her grandchild. I’m more than happy to pay for expenses that she might incur for looking after my son but in our case there isn't any because she lives with us. But if she wants payment then i might as well take my son to a nursery when im back at work.

OP’s posts: |
rattlemehearties Tue 04-Jan-22 23:09:09

As far as I understand it she needs to be Ofsted registered if she wants to be paid for regular childcare (as opposed to babysitting)

rattlemehearties Tue 04-Jan-22 23:10:21

I agree anyway you should use a nursery and just rely on her for ad hoc situations as she clearly doesn't enjoy the current set up

Skiptheheartsandflowers Tue 04-Jan-22 23:10:27

Does she not pay you anything towards living costs? No contribution towards food, no rent (even a token amount), nothing for bills?

If not then I think it's cheeky to ask for childcare payment as to me that would seem like her contribution to offset living with you.

IAmSantaOhYesIAm Tue 04-Jan-22 23:11:48

Why is she living with you?
It seems strange that she’s asking to be paid for childcare when she’s living rent free as a family member.
What did you say when she mentioned payment?
Is her living with you a long term arrangement?

YuleiamsaidI Tue 04-Jan-22 23:12:44

Kick her out then pay her for childcare,will work out cheaper.

Hotyogahotchoc Tue 04-Jan-22 23:13:30


That's strange OP


MrsElijahMikaelson1 Tue 04-Jan-22 23:13:36

Say yes-happy to pay you. At the same time, we set up the rental agreement for us housing you/subsidising your living expenses and then we can knock it off what you owe us…!

Howshouldibehave Tue 04-Jan-22 23:15:19

Why is she living with you?

To live with you in your house at no expense and to them charge you for childcare is not on.

Toomanypeople Tue 04-Jan-22 23:15:28

you assumed she was happy to do it for free in return for room and board. Now you know this isn't the case she will of course want to pay rent and you will in turn pay her for the childcare

LawnFever Tue 04-Jan-22 23:15:31

I’d suggest she needs to start paying towards household expenses then, bills, food etc, doesn’t sound like she’s contributing?

LublinToDublin Tue 04-Jan-22 23:15:37

How did it come about that she moved in with you? What discussions were had about her financial contribution to the household etc?

How much does she actually look after your dc?

NYnewstart Tue 04-Jan-22 23:16:33

Agree but then tell her how much the rent will be. Oh and how much her share of holidays will be.

Actually I’d be really sad about this.

SonicBroom Tue 04-Jan-22 23:16:33

This set up sounds a little unhealthy, how does your DH feel, do you have time for each other, is it a big house where you all have space? I’m not sure how something like this can really end well, does she have her own home to go back to?

Time for a Frank conversation I think, not about money but about everything, before anyones feelings start to boil over. Focus on the good stuff you’re doing for each other and how it is all well intentioned, no one ever meant to upset anyone but obv something has changed and it’s not working anymore

AnneLovesGilbert Tue 04-Jan-22 23:16:58

Might there be something going on she hasn’t mentioned? Is she doing more childcare than she can cope with and is trying to tell you that by asking for money?

It seems very odd she’s suddenly saying this. If she really means it then ask her to move out, stop paying for her holidays and get professional childcare.

It must be upsetting, I’m sorry.

Bouncer500 Tue 04-Jan-22 23:19:39

I would pay her. It is hard looking after a 9 month old all day every day. I think it is odd that you don't. I paid my DM to look after my DC.

BurningBright7 Tue 04-Jan-22 23:19:40

Maybe she is cash strapped? Maybe check and see.
It really all depends on your relationship with your mum, for my own personal circumstances, I wouldn’t even think of rent food electricity etc when it comes to my mum it would be unconditional and I would offer a reasonable amount for taking care of baby if mentioned. It really all depends on your relationship that’s all.

Doyoumind Tue 04-Jan-22 23:21:36

Are you expecting her to do full time childcare when you go back to work? That's a big ask as it limits her freedom. Is that really the issue here? If it's just occasional she is BU and you need to bring up the subject of rent etc.

Bouncer500 Tue 04-Jan-22 23:21:47

Are you paying for her holidays or bringing along someone to look after the baby so you can relax as the 2 situations are very different?

ZoeTheThornyDevil Tue 04-Jan-22 23:22:18


As far as I understand it she needs to be Ofsted registered if she wants to be paid for regular childcare (as opposed to babysitting)

No she doesn't. You are free to employ anyone to look after your own child in your own home. But if you are paying someone for regularly weekly hours set by you, they are an employee and you need to run payroll, contribute to pension, have employer's liability insurance etc.

Hairyfriend Tue 04-Jan-22 23:22:32

Its not clear from the post, but the evil side of me would say 'I've calculated the free rent you've had for X months, at a cost of £xxxx, and taken of the childcare fees, so in total, you now just owe us £xxxx.' grin

In honesty though, is she paying rent, part of the household bills, food etc??? I'd have an adult sit down/chat. You need better communications between you all. It cant be assumed that she will mind your baby for free. Equally, it cannot be assumed she can live with you for free! Seems strange if its a rare, ad hoc thing, that she brings up payment now.

Ozanj Tue 04-Jan-22 23:23:22

This type of request doesn’t come from thin air. She either feels like you’re using her and so has asked for payment to end the arrangement, or you or your DH may have accidentally insulted or offended her by mentioning the extras you do pay for. If she were truly happy with you and your family she would never have asked for money, so you do need to delve a bit deeper before having a go.

I do think it’s incredibly easy to take in-house family childcare for granted when you don’t pay for it. You may deny it but I bet there have been loads of times you’ve made plans without consulting her knowing she’d be around to take care of the kids. Is she given carte blanche to discipline / make decisions about the kids or does everything have to go through you? I come from Indian and Romany families and so have experience of proper extended family living where childcare is expected, but even then it only works effectively when all adults get equal or near equal parenting rights and responsibilities.

MobyDicksTinyCanoe Tue 04-Jan-22 23:24:17

I think she needs to find somewhere else to live and stop sponging off you. 😬

NeedsCharging Tue 04-Jan-22 23:24:23

As far as I understand it she needs to be Ofsted registered if she wants to be paid for regular childcare (as opposed to babysitting)

This is only relevant if you are claiming childcare costs from benefits. I employed my mother for 6 years no registration required all above bored.

PGSTesting123 Tue 04-Jan-22 23:24:44

Send your son to nursery.
He'll learn more there than with your mum.
She's selfish, pouncing off you and can't even offer a helping hand.

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