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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:
Pinkvoid · 19/04/2018 07:17

Very sad.

Explain you don’t have the money and also that you didn’t ask her to take them out at all, that was completely her idea therefore she has to stump up the cost. Unbelievably cheeky to ask later down the line for the money.

BeakyPlinder · 19/04/2018 07:19

That's sad, yanbu. She should of asked you before she went out and spent the money if she was expecting you to pay for it.

AuContraireStarfishHair · 19/04/2018 07:20

How horrible Sad I would pay her, (put the money in a wage envelope) and make it clear that I’d never be asking her ever again.

ADarkandStormyKnight · 19/04/2018 07:24


Presumably you wouldn't have taken her out for a nice meal if you'd known. Tempting to offer her a revised amount deducting what her visit cost YOU!

Ghostontoast · 19/04/2018 07:25

Tell her she is setting a precedent and in years to come when she is old and infirm and looking for your help, will she pay for your train fare to visit her?

supercalifragilisticexpiali · 19/04/2018 07:27

Typical narcissist. They can’t do anything for anyone without wanting revenge.

I would decide whether you want a relationship with her, and if so, offer to pay her back (for being a grandmother) at a couple of pounds a week or whatever you can afford. Set up a payment plan, do it by email, so she can see a record of your payments, stick to it, and in future if she wants her train fare paying to visit, think long and hard whether she is worth the money.

Hortonlovesahoo · 19/04/2018 07:28

I’d be tempting to say something like: sorry DM we can’t afford to pay you back. One reason we thought you were coming down during half term was to help us avoid paying the club fees. The kids really loved you being here and we hope that we showed you our appreciation for all your help when you were here?

If your DM is a bit of a narcissist as you mention, you might need to be a little harsh and blunt and keep repeating it as she’s likely to come back with a blackmailing response.

I honestly can’t believe she’s got the guts to ask for money now!

ADarkandStormyKnight · 19/04/2018 07:30

Is this out of character? I'm also concerned about possible influence of her husband if this is unlike her.

toolazytothinkofausername · 19/04/2018 07:30


If your mum wanted you to pay, she should have told you before she did said activities. Do not give her a single penny!!!

MiniAlphaBravo · 19/04/2018 07:31

Wow how mean of her. I’d send something like this, making it clear that you can’t afford it and that she’s out of order....

Hi Mum

I’m really sorry to hear you want to be reimbursed for visiting your grandchildren. I am grateful for you looking after them in the holidays but you chose to take them out for lunch and you never informed me in advance that you would require payment. I don’t have the money at the moment, as you know, we are really struggling financially even though we both work really hard.

If you are really desperate to get paid for your visit I will set up some kind of monthly payment to you. This does make me terribly sad however. If you would require payment for visits in future I won’t be able to afford to have you to stay.

Aprilmightbemynewname · 19/04/2018 07:32

Ask for her bank details and send £1 a week. And go nc.

Yogagirl123 · 19/04/2018 07:34

No, if it was me no way would I refund her!

She choose how she spent time with her grandchild, it was unnecessary to buy lunch out, when you made sure there was food for lunch, did she need to take them on a train trip etc?

Trips to the park, library, local museums, beach if close enough are free.

This is a grandmother who should not have spent money she couldn’t afford too.

Not an influence I that I would find nurturing for my children.

Unfortunately not all mother’s are always kind and loving.

Manyfridays · 19/04/2018 07:37

£1 a week via direct debit - nc - all the way

holiday101 · 19/04/2018 07:37

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?

This was my first reaction. Your DM went home and her DH who has different views about money has convinced her that you were taking advantage of her. I would act very shocked and say that she didn't tell you in advance that she needed paying, therefore you don't have it now. Would it be possible to pay her back £2 a week as you are so skint? Make her very aware in an apologetic tone how much this has upset you. Hopefully she will come to her senses..

Sadly OP I assume that you won't be seeing much of her again.

sauvignonblancplz · 19/04/2018 07:38

That’s really rubbish op, agree with the advice, pay back but explain why you’re upset. How much does she want back?

supercalifragilisticexpiali · 19/04/2018 07:40

OP, my mother required payment when I went to visit her, not from my sister’s, just from me (I presume because DH and I were doing ok financially). She wanted food and board money.

I stoped visiting. There were other things I’d rather spend my money on.

My mother died with only two members of the family speaking to her. That’s where your mother is heading.

Notallthat · 19/04/2018 07:42

She definitely did it on purpose to cause drama and look like the injured party. If you possibly can pay her back then go no contact. It doesn't matter what you say to her she will always go against what you say and cause problems then make herself look like the victim.

motorpink · 19/04/2018 07:43

Fuck off would be my reply!

CoraPirbright · 19/04/2018 07:52

I like MiniAlphaBravo’s message.

How much is she asking you for versus what you would have paid for the holiday clubs? Did she come down on that basis ie “we are struggling to afford the holiday clubs - any chance you could combine a visit with looking after them?” I think she sounds really horrid and surely if she expected to be reimbursed for visiting her family (Hmm) then she should have made her expectations clear before the visit, not after. When you buy a pair of shoes, the shop doesnt ring you up a few days later and say, “actually having thought about it, we feel you should also pay us for the shop assistants time so that’ll be another £50!!”

supercalifragilisticexpiali · 19/04/2018 07:56

A narcissist would never do it beforehand, they would assume you would decline the visit, or worse, tell people that she wanted to be paid to visit.

But they’ll do it afterwards because they will get all worked up about the favour they did and how they weren’t lauded enough (even if they were) and (literally) want pay back.

ChikiTIKI · 19/04/2018 07:58

I would think she didn't want the money otherwise she would have asked when she was with you. Sounds like maybe she has got home and her husband might have told her to ask for the money?

Teenagerwoes · 19/04/2018 07:59

Works both ways in that case, charge for her food at the meal and board etc.

I’m sorry op, I’d be gutted.

Glumglowworm · 19/04/2018 08:01


if she wanted money for coming to help then the time to say so was when you asked her to come! At which point you could’ve declined if it would work out more expensive than holiday club, and you could’ve agreed a budget.

GothMummy · 19/04/2018 08:09

I'm so sorry for your horrible experience, I would be devastated if my mum did that. I agree with previous posters, be straight with her regarding your financial position, pay her back in small manageable amounts and never ask her again :(

reallybadidea · 19/04/2018 08:09

I'd pay her back, minus the cost of her dinner when you took her out and then have a long hard think about whether I wanted to continue the relationship.

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