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Mother asking for money she spent on grandkids back

217 replies

Timeforachange2018 · 19/04/2018 06:27

My mother came down at half term for 3 days to look after my 2 kids. I am grateful she did as it saved me 3 days in school club fees.
I bought lots of food and made sure there was enough of everything in the house.
My mother decided on a couple of occasions to take the kids out for lunch & to go out & about.
Spoke to her yesterday & she asked me for all the money back that she had spent on the kids including the train fair. I was a bit shocked but now I am wondering if aibu.
We are quite skint at the moment and this is why I asked her to come down- we took her out for a meal when she was here to say thankyou aswell.
Her & her husband have just renovated a new house & spent 50k doing it up, as she told me. We rent and are just about getting by and she knew that was the reason I asked her to come down.
She said to me last night that they are pensioners so don’t have much money despite just moving house. She only sees my kids twice a year anyway.
I just don’t know what to think- I feel really upset - apart from anything I don’t have the money to give back to her anyway.

OP posts:
DuchyDuke · 19/04/2018 06:34

Be honest with her and tell her you weren’t expecting her to charge & if she had you wouldn’t have asked. She’s taking the piss.

Coveredinbeeeeeeeeeeeees · 19/04/2018 06:35

She's being cheeky to ask for this afterwards, she should have told you in advance that she wouldn't be happy paying for anything and then you could have decided whether she was still going to come. If it was me I'd give her the train fare but politely explain that there was no requirement to eat out as you'd ensured adequate provisions were available at home, and it was therefore her choice to go out and spend money on food unnecessarily.

GreatThingsWork · 19/04/2018 06:38

The really sad thing about this is that it will surely affect you asking her to come again?

Whatthefoxgoingon · 19/04/2018 06:39

Fuck me, with mothers like these who needs enemies? I will never understand parents lording it up while their children suffer. Expensive home improvements and you can’t afford to take your own grandkids for lunch? Jesus wept.

acornsandnuts · 19/04/2018 06:40

I would pay up but not ask her again.

Bananamanfan · 19/04/2018 06:43

I would say to her that you really can't afford to do expensive things with the dcs. If she wants to do these things and expects you to pay, she should ask you in advance. Do you think her DH gave her a hard time about it and has asked her to recoup what she spent? I would try to pay, but let her know I was upset (and probably not ask her again).

Pasdeprobleme · 19/04/2018 06:47

How much money are we talking?

qwertyuiopy · 19/04/2018 06:48

You say “her husband” rather than “father”, so I presume he isn’t your dad? I wonder if he said something when she got back as she didn’t mention anything while she’d was down? Not that it matters, she asked anyway so must agree.

I’d explain and say you can’t afford to pay her expenses for looking after her grandchildren, you assumed she would do it for free, but that either you’ll pay her when you can, or, now younknow, you will bear it in mind and save up to pay her train fare if she visits in the future.

Springnowplease · 19/04/2018 06:49

I agree with Duchy. Tell her you wouldn't have asked her to come if you'd known she wanted money and you won't ask her again. What a cow.

Inertia · 19/04/2018 06:50

I think you have to be honest with her and tell her you don't have the money as you weren't expecting her to take the children out, since you'd bought everything in at home for her visit. I guess you will need to offer to pay her back in instalments (though I would be sorely tempted to balance this against the cost of her food/ meal out!). And then never ask for her help again.

It's not fair that she made the decision to take the children out without checking whether funds were available.

Next time you are going to need to find other childcare - holiday clubs are sometimes cheaper if you book in advance.

twobarnsmammisonthebus · 19/04/2018 06:50

How strange and sad. If she is usually not like this, I might be somewhat concerned that as a pp says she is under undue pressure from her husband and might gently go down that avenue with her....

Idontknowwhatithink · 19/04/2018 06:50


I really can't understand why people do things like this. There was no actual NEED to take the children out for food or fun, you had enough food in the house and I'm sure gran could've found other things to do with them that didn't cost money.

I would tell your mum your sorry she's out of pocket but you wish she had told you her plans to take the children out and ask you to pay for it because you would've told her not to because you couldn't afford it.

seventh · 19/04/2018 06:51

I would explain that you hadn't realised that she would want the money back, but of course she can have it. And that you are very grateful for her help.

Sadly you can't afford to pay it all at once but you're happy to set up a S/O for £X a month.

And ask her , when she looks after the kids again, NOT to take them out for meals etc without asking you first, if she's going to claim it back afterwards - as you are struggling atm.

A little p/a never hurts 😂

Iloveacurry · 19/04/2018 06:51

She taking the piss. She should of mentioned this before hand. Just tell her you haven’t got the money. I assume it was her decision to take the kids out?

Mary1935 · 19/04/2018 06:53

Timeforachange - WOW DONT PAY HER. She made a choice to come and too take them out. Tell her you cannot afford it. She had a break, a change of scenery, she had the pleasure of spending time with her grandchildren, you treated her to a nice meal. How upsetting that she has the nerve to ask you for money and put you in that position.
I bet there's a bigger picture here. Why does she only see them twice a year? Sounds bloody entitled to me. 🌺

Timeforachange2018 · 19/04/2018 07:00

@mary1935 yea there is a bigger picture in terms of her not seeing them very often, stepdads grandkids (who incidentally are loaded) get all the attention, mother is a bit of a narcissist etc. The stepdads kids take them abroad on holiday & obvs we cant afford that. I feel like she almost punishes us for not havin much money, renting etc. Luckily my real dad isn’t like that but is too immobile to visit.

OP posts:
Charley50 · 19/04/2018 07:02

She's out of order. How mean. Tell her she should have asked you in advance if she wanted you to pay, and say no. I'd be really hurt. My mum has loads of savings etc. and just gives my DS £20 for Xmas etc, so you're not alone.

clumsyduck · 19/04/2018 07:04

Jesus sorry op :(
My parents would never do this ever and I hope il be the same as them if I'm ever a grandma . ( I don't take the piss btw but I'm a single parent so they help me with childcare frequently - they offered this from the start I didn't ask )

I feel bad for you, half the point of her coming was to save you the cost of childcare . She doesn't see the dc that much anyway you would think she would want to treat them ??

And purely from a sort of logical viewpoint it was her choice to take them out ! She could have used the food you provided and gone out to the park / bike ride / a free event etc ?? If you say that to her do you think she will realise she is being a bit mean ?!


VodkaRevelation · 19/04/2018 07:10

OP, it's really unkind of your mother and I agree with a PP that your stepfather has probably said something. That she is going along with it is a worry. I'd agree to pay her train fare but nothing else. She chose to do those things without asking. "Sorry, I couldn't afford meals out which is why I got enough food in."

Charley50, £20 is a reasonable amount for a present. There may be more to your back story but this example alone isn't comparable to the OP's situation.

JennyOnAPlate · 19/04/2018 07:10

She should have told you in advance if she was expecting payment and the days/lunches out should have been agreed with you before they happened.

Outlookmainlyfair · 19/04/2018 07:13

Agree with vodka on both points

Bambamber · 19/04/2018 07:14

I would give her the train money and tell her she chose to go out for lunch respite a house full of food, so she can bloody well fund it herself. And not to worry you won't bother asking her again


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EatTheChocolateTeapot · 19/04/2018 07:15

It almost sounds like she did it on purpose to create drama. This would fit with the backstory.

Lennie16 · 19/04/2018 07:15

I would be honest, just say you are grateful for her coming to help you out but she should have discussed it with you if she expects to be paid back for money she spent, advise that you thought she had enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and had chosen a lovely treat as she doesn't see them very often. I would advise that things are quite tight and if she needs the money you will arrange to pay a small amount monthly but be clear she us welcome to come and visit again but if she'd wants to treat her grandchildren or take them out she will need to save up herself to treat them which you hope she will do.

Sugarpiehoneyeye · 19/04/2018 07:15

I'm with @Mary1935. If your DM wanted payment, then she should have said so, way before she arrived. You are struggling to make ends meet, and this is her idea of being a mother ..... words fail me ... 🤔

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