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AIBU?

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.
Aibu?

OP posts:
mouseistrapped · 19/04/2018 08:53

I'd pay and afterwards tell her you
Are disappointed and would ditch her quite frankly!

Juells · 19/04/2018 08:56

Wow, what a brilliant summing up of the situation, @akkakk

That lays the situation out clearly, unemotionally, and leaves no space for CF to continue demanding.

billybagpuss · 19/04/2018 09:01

So sorry you're going through this, I think akkakk's response is perfect

SmilingButClueless · 19/04/2018 09:05

If you asked her to come down, I can see why she might want you to pay her train fare (although she should have mentioned that before). So I’d probably pay that.

The stuff that she chose to do with the kids while there is on her.

supercalifragilisticexpiali · 19/04/2018 09:05

It’s not just the meals though is it, she’s wanting her train fare paid for also isn’t she?

WeirdCatLady · 19/04/2018 09:08

What a cheeky bitch! I think akkakk has written the perfect reply for you. I certainly would never again make any efforts to see her 😡

yoyo1234 · 19/04/2018 09:13

Flowers This must have hurt you so much.

Ruffian · 19/04/2018 09:19

Actually I agree with Mightymucks that it sounds as if the Mother is upset about something. Not the provision of food etc as that sounds fine but perhaps she feels OP didn't show enough gratitude or should have offered to pay the train fare (giving the dm the chance to say 'no it's fine' etc). Maybe the dc didn't show enough delight at having her there.

Something's up anyway. It's the sort of arsey behaviour I'd expect from someone who's pissed off but doesn't know how to express it directly.

Marmitesoldiers · 19/04/2018 09:19

Definitely agree with Akkakk’s reply.

You don’t reimburse someone for travel costs when they are coming to see you. She’s not an employee, she’s your mother. If she hadn’t wanted to do it, she should have said so. She was happy to take the thank you meal and that should have been it.

I’m sorry she’s so unkind OP. Unfortunately, you won’t change her but you don’t have to indulge her whims either.

Btw in response to some posts, if my husband said I had to get reimbursement for looking after my own dgc I’d tell him to jog on.

StillMe1 · 19/04/2018 09:27

I would never ask for money to treat any children. I would be unhappy to think that I was used as cheap child care.
On MN it is always the DM or DGM who is narc. Surely the daughter/OP was expecting free care for her children rather than pay for child care or holiday club. Grandmothers are not people to be used, they are human being with feelings. The OP's mum may well be under pressure from her Husband and a supportive and understanding daughter would be needed in the situation. Did this happen before "mother's husband" joined the family. Grandmothers are not all multi millionaires some are skint, some worry about money some have dodgy husbands.
This situation would never have arisen had the OP not looked to her mother for free care.

Mightymucks · 19/04/2018 09:27

Yes, but she only says she bought a lot of food. She doesn’t say if she made it or pointed it out. If you’ve got a child who is telling you how skint they are you’re not exactly going to feel comfortable rummaging through their fridge and taking what you want are you?

Plus the weather was shit over the holidays so people saying ‘she should have gone to the park or the beach’ that wasn’t really an option.

And I think the ‘thank you meal’ might actually have been the final insult. Put it this way, if your child is telling you how skint they are and how they need you to help them out because of it, so you go down and help out and get things for the kids and go to a lot of expense. Then on the final night you suddenly decide that actually you have enough money to take your family out to a restaurant even though they haven’t offered to pay for anything all week, you’d be raging. Because the vast majority of the thank you meal was spent on themselves, not her. I think she would probably have preferred a small bunch of flowers and an offer to pay for one of the lunches she had with the children rather than taking themselves out for a meal and dressing it up as a favour to her.

The other thing I think might be a problem is that trains go in two directions. If the Gran only sees the children twice a year, she’s not the only cause of that.

There are two possibilities here. One is that she thinks this is normal and reasonable in normal circumstances. The other is that she upset and I think that is much more likely and she needs to ask if she has offended her. It sounds like she was dropping hints her financial situation is not as rosy as the OP thinks too.

I honestly think from the mother’s point of view this is going to be a case of a DD who only gets in touch when she wants a favour and pleads poverty then magically comes up with the funds to take the entire family out for a meal despite not offering anything towards her expenses during the week and also expecting her to be grateful.

If I was complaining to my Mum that I was skint and needed her to go to a lot of expense to travel and look after my kids and then at the end of the week I suddenly announced that actually I had the money to take the entire family out to a restaurant she would be fucked off too and we get on

Appuskidu · 19/04/2018 09:30

Blimey-how much has she asked for?

MapleLeafRag · 19/04/2018 09:30

On the other hand maybe the stepfather was the one who drove the house move and renovations and she’s had to divvy up all her savings to pay for them , “oh we’re going over budget and I really want gold leaf wall-paper/ Axminster carpet in the loo - can you give me money from your pensioner bonds to pay Dave the builder” etc.

SarfE4sticated · 19/04/2018 09:33

Do you think that her husband is complaining about the money she spent on your children and making her feel bad about it? It seems odd otherwise, unless she has form for this kind of thing.

If I were you I'd offer £5 a month or something like that to pay her back, and see what she says?

LemonysSnicket · 19/04/2018 09:37

My mother wouldn’t dream of doing this.

My friends wouldn’t even ask for the money back for an unnecessary trip they chose to take ....the bloody cheek. You don’t spend other people’s money, plain and simple.

Tinkobell · 19/04/2018 09:39

I'm a bit deferential with my old mum. Personally I think I'd accept there's something amiss back at home with her DH and id pay up but just not do it again. I think I'd let her know that you are hard pushed to find that cash, you didn't want or mean to "put her out" and prob next time best for everyone if kids go to school club. It's such a shame this scenario. Feel very sorry for you....what a plonker she is! 💐

blueskypink · 19/04/2018 09:44

BMW6 - "And for being a cunt add another £100"

Are you a Peaky Blinders fan by any chance? That's exactly what Alfie Solomons (the brilliant Tom Hardy) says when presenting his bill to the Italian mafia boss!

supercalifragilisticexpiali · 19/04/2018 09:45

mighty You’re just making things up now!

waterrat · 19/04/2018 09:49

the thank you meal was a 'final insult' hahah only on mumsnet.

MacaroniPenguin · 19/04/2018 09:50

In the current situation, I think reimbursing her for trips out but not meals would be reasonable, but really this is about who feels offended and used and why, not what is logically "fair".

She might have taken offence at you being so explicit that you were mainly asking her down because you're skint. Maybe if you want her to come again, at least pretend you or the kids would like to see her!

gamerchick · 19/04/2018 09:51

How much is she asking for?

Tell her you will refund her train fair at a quid a week but the rest was her choice and you won’t be giving her that and that it’s best you don’t have her come help again. Then go low contact.

Or tell her to take you in judge tinder so the nation can see how much of a loving mother and grandmother she is.

firstnamecraplastnamebag · 19/04/2018 09:52

That's bloody awful!

Mightymucks · 19/04/2018 09:54

But that’s what they did! The OP said to her Mum that they were really skint and they needed her to come at her own expense to help them out because they couldn’t afford childcare. Then on the last day they miraculously have the money for the whole family to eat out. Can you not see why that would offend her?

Why do you think she told her they had just spent £50k on renovations? It sounds like she was dropping hints that she is not that well off at the moment either.

The OP needs to ask her.

Americantan · 19/04/2018 09:56

OP’s is correct in saying she’s being punished for not being as wealthy as the mothers’s stepkids, with the stepfather pulling the strings. He’ll have said “did they get you a nice gift for looking after the kids? No? Unacceptable so we’ll charge them”. Pure greed. As others have said, I am really very sorry they have behaved like this. Pull the control back and absolutely refuse to reimburse Flowers

SilverDoe · 19/04/2018 09:59

MightyMucks you really seem to be skewing the situation here.

For lots of people there are no smoke and mirrors around their financial situation with their parents, and it is sort of ridiculous to expect someone to pay for your travel when coming to visit them, and I find it hard to believe that a) the OP failed to mention to her mum that she would be working [so therefore might not have been aware she would be looking after the GC] and b) that she would then go on to find it so offensive and horrible that it was convenient and money saving for her own DD that she was coming down in the holidays and so saving her DD money on childcare.

There is nothing the OP has said that supports this, there seem to be much more likely explanations.

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