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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:
expatmigrant · 19/04/2018 08:09

This makes me feel very sad for you OP. Another one of those MN threads that has me gobsmacked.
Like PPs have mentioned, I would set up a s/o for £1 a week which will hopefully make her see how ridiculous and unkind she's being to you and your family.

sandgrown · 19/04/2018 08:10

I don't understand your mum. My mum never had any money but would scrape together the bus fare to travel to us because she wanted to spend time with GC. At first I could not afford to reimburse her but when my circumstances improved I would treat her. She found lots of free things to do with GC and they remember those times with great fondness. Even DD's best friend remembers when she tagged along too.

elsmokoloco · 19/04/2018 08:11

Sorry OP, I suspect you already understand your place in the pecking order. It's regretful that your Mother equated helping you out and time with her Grandchildren as Paid employment, and is in fact "billing" you for "her travel and time, lunch included". I would pay her regardless, and remove any thoughts of obligation to her in the future with a clear conscience.

Charley50 · 19/04/2018 08:12

@VodkaRevelation - sorry was just trying to emphasise with the OP.. there is a back story but it's not really relevant here.

Juells · 19/04/2018 08:18

Can't pay, won't pay.

Ridiculous to demand money after the fact, for treats you didn't agree to. I'd go NC if there's nothing but pain in the relationship for you. You don't have a duty to like your mother.

dontticklethetoad · 19/04/2018 08:19

That is shit op.
How did you get along whilst she was with you? Was her husband staying too?

I know there is a back story in the OPs case, but I say 'my mum's husband'. They've only been together for 7 years in total, they're in their 70s and I'm 37 so it would be a bit weird me calling him my stepdad Grin

Mightymucks · 19/04/2018 08:27

I think you need to ask her if she is doing this because you have somehow upset her.

This sort of thing tends to happen when someone is offended and particularly if they feel financially taken advantage of. In fact I’ve sometimes seen Mumsnetters advised to do this sort of thing in those circumstances.

When she was looking after your children how did you prepare? Did you have food ready to be given to them while she was there? Did you tell her what food was in the fridge that she could give them? Did you suggest any free of cheap activities and have things available for them to do at home like baking or crafts? Did you give the children money to take out or offer to pay for lunch one day. Did all of you remember to thank her and maybe give her some flowers as a thank you when she left.

You do make a lot of assumptions that she is very comfortably off at the moment which might not be the case if they’ve just spent a lot on their house.

I hate to say it, but I think the most likely reason is that she feels you took advantage of her.

ADarkandStormyKnight · 19/04/2018 08:31

Read the OP Mighty Hmm.

Mightymucks · 19/04/2018 08:32

Also, as a couple is the wealth hers or your stepdad’s? It’s possible that she personally isn’t as flush as you think.

bushtailadventures · 19/04/2018 08:33

I would tell her you can't afford it, and that you won't ask her again. Don't really see what else you can do.

My parents often took all 4 of my dc out, and never once asked for money, it was their way of treating them. I'm a grandmother now, and often spend on my dgd, but that is my choice and I wouldn't dream of asking for money back. I really don't understand her thinking.

blueskypink · 19/04/2018 08:33

Jesus Mighty - the time you took to write your long post would have been better spent reading what the op has already said about stocking up with provisions, taking her mother out for a thank you meal etc.

Heismyopendoor · 19/04/2018 08:33

I think the OP explained it pretty well mighty

blueskypink · 19/04/2018 08:37

Who takes their grandchildren out and then asks for payment afterwards? You either don't do it, especially when there's no need, or else you discuss payment up front (if you're the sort of person who won't treat your own grandchildren that is ...)

supercalifragilisticexpiali · 19/04/2018 08:40

mighty If the grandmother couldn’t afford it because she’s spent all her money on a house, she should have said at the outset instead of billing for her time later.

tishhope · 19/04/2018 08:41

I agree with the others who say pay back £1 per month. Poor you, OP.

Juells · 19/04/2018 08:41

Also, as a couple is the wealth hers or your stepdad’s? It’s possible that she personally isn’t as flush as you think.

Haven't RTFT but this strikes a chord. I wonder if she went home and got shit from the husband for spending money, and he demanded she recoup it?

OnTheRise · 19/04/2018 08:42

Tell her you'll happily pay for her expenses, but that to make it fair she will have to cough up for her room and board while staying at yours.

I think you might find that the two amounts cancel one another out.

What a dreadful thing for her to have done, OP. It's narcissistic manipulation at work, I'm sure.

supercalifragilisticexpiali · 19/04/2018 08:42

OP has said her mother is narcissistic not submissive to her latest husband.

BMW6 · 19/04/2018 08:42

Well if she thinks its OK to charge you for the children's meals out that SHE decided to take them to you should deduct from her "bill" the entire cost of the meal that you took her out for! That shit cuts both ways.
I'd send her the bill back adjusted accordingly and pay her the balance with the post script "Now Fuck Off"

BMW6 · 19/04/2018 08:45

Oh yes don't forget to itemize and charge for electricity she used, every crumb of food she ate from your stock, wear and tear on mattress, carpet etc........
And for being a cunt add another £100

Moxiebelle · 19/04/2018 08:47

I think telling her you are shocked she would ask to be reimbursed for all her expenses when you assumed she was doing it to help out her daughter and as a chance to visit with you and see the grandkids. Tell her you won't be paying her back and she has no chance of forcing you. Then just don't ask her any favours in future.

missbonita · 19/04/2018 08:47

What a sad thing for her to do, I'm sorry your mums so selfish OP. Flowers

MissEliza · 19/04/2018 08:48

Agree with Bushtail.

DaphneduM · 19/04/2018 08:52

Wow, I'm so sorry OP - how sad for you and how horrible of her to ask for money from you. It should be a huge joy and privilege for her to spent time with her grandchildren, the fact that she has asked for refunds speaks a lot about her. I would be honest with her and tell her exactly how you feel about this. She is being very callous and unreasonable.

akkakk · 19/04/2018 08:53

Dear Mother,
Thank you for coming down and spending time with your grand-children, they loved seeing you and getting to know you a bit better.

Regarding money and costs etc. I am sorry, but I don't think that is appropriate - as you know, there was plenty of food in the house, so while the children were delighted to be treated to meals out, it wasn't necessary, and certainly not something we would pay for having already bought food for those days. Equally, we would not have been choosing to go out to activities which cost money when we are trying to save.

I am sure that you understand that it would be very strange for me to pay my mother to spend time with her grandchildren, so we won't be doing that. You are always welcome to come and spend time with us / them, and maybe in future if you are concerned by costs it would be better to not spend money on meals out when there is food in the house, the children would be equally happy to just spend time with you...

yours - daughter

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