Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
July 7, 2024 ·  5 min read

Mother Gets Upset When Her 64-Yr-Old ‘Jobless’ Mom Demands Payment For Babysitting

Years ago, parents could make ends meet, with one parent working and the other staying home to care for the kids. However, things have become more expensive, particularly since the pandemic. As a result, many stay-at-home parents are joining the workforce and looking for help with babysitting. For example, one mom disclosed that her mom is 64 and without a job, but wants money for helping with the baby.

Been Babysitting for Years

A woman sitting in chair holding a stuffed lamb. Wooden floors in the background.
Image Credit: Robert1234 | Pixabay

An anonymous mom shared a recent plight regarding babysitting. She shared that her 64-year-old mother hasn’t had an official job since 1992. Instead, she was a stay-at-home mom. The new mom thought it would be great if her mom would help with babysitting. Because she was getting ready to end maternity leave and head back to work.

Read More: I bought a house with another single mom to share costs and maintenance. Now we have a kid paradise, with built-in babysitting, car-sharing, and a craft studio.

Babysitting isn’t Traditional

A grandmother babysitting her granddaughter in a field of dandelions. Trees and greenery in the background.
Image Credit: Surprising_SnapShots | Pixabay

“She refused, saying she was too old and that she already raised her kids. She also added that if I really wanted this baby, then maybe I should have thought about staying home like she did to take care of it while my partner went to work and provided for us like a “traditional” family. And that if she and my dad were able to work it out, so can we.” The anxious mom wrote, regarding help with babysitting.

Babysitting Help During Financial Hardship

Black and white portrait of a grandmother holding a baby.
Image Credit: Pixabay

The mom also shared that she and her partner are recovering from financial difficulties, coupled with the current economic status. “However, we are just coming out of a pandemic, going into a possible recession, there and there is no way me and my partner can make it financially on one income. I make $55k/yr but have $39k in student loans + $20k in other debt (credit card, car loan, medical debt on credit). My partner makes about $36k/yr and has $5k in credit card debt. I as the higher breadwinner, have an internal obligation to go back to work. Since not only do I have the most at stake, I also make the most to keep our family afloat.” She added.

“We are currently in a small, 1-bedroom apartment in a metropolitan area, and would need to save money to move to a 2 bedroom once the baby grows up in a couple of years as we will need more space.”

Babysitting for a Fee

A closeup of a black and white image of an adult holding a baby's hand.
Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures | Pixabay

After hearing her daughter’s concerns, the grandmother agreed to babysit, for $20/hr. She’ll also be charging late fees. Furthermore, she refuses to “step foot” into her daughter’s “house for her own personal reasons.” So, she’s requesting her own car seat and stroller.

Aiming to Save Money

A baby riding an adult's back with a colorful wrap. Blurred background.
Image Credit: TranThangNhat | Pixabay

I want to save money to bring down our debt, and don’t want to pay her as much nor invest as much in double everything as it will spiral into more debt for me and my partner. I’m on the fence about enrolling my baby into an infant daycare instead as the cost will overall be lower and a little closer to our home.” Continued the stressed mom, before questioning: “So, am I the asshole for wanting my mom, who again is at home all day long (trust me, she does not do anything besides watch TV and cook meals), to take care of my baby for free while I and my partner try to fix our finances?”

Read More: Is It Wrong That I Expect My Mother-in-Law to Clean While Babysitting for Free?

Internet Users are Divided

A picture of an adult holding a baby's hand in color. Pink patterned blanket in the background.
Image Credit: Beeki | Pixabay

The story has since made its way to Facebook, where commenters are divided. Many grandmothers explained that they love babysitting their grandchildren and if they don’t need the money are happy to do it for free. Meanwhile, others understand the grandmother’s position, acknowledging that it’s okay to want your freedom after you’ve retired, raised a family, or done both. Interestingly, this isn’t the first time a similar situation has risen. On the contrary, over the last decade or so, more mothers have ventured out into the workforce, posing the question of how should childcare and babysitting be handled.

Reddit Votes for Payment

happy and laughing grandmother and her granddaughter in the park on a bench. Joyful meetings of family members
Source: Shutterstock

In one instance a woman turned to Reddit after she asked her mother, who’d been babysitting for free, to watch her baby while she and her spouse attended a wedding. The grandmother said she would but not for free. Instead, she wanted $75 for babysitting that particular night. Interestingly, most Reddit users felt the mom should pay for babysitting, given how expensive childcare is and that her mom had been doing so much of it for free. Many acknowledged how lucky someone is to have a grandparent willing to babysit for free. However, everyone agreed that child care is labor and as such, grandparents should be compensated fairly.

Siding with Grandma

Grandmother spending happy time with grandson. Woman assisting young boy in painting on canvas. Happy senior woman looking at her grandson painting and smiling at him
Source: Shutterstock

Another time a grandmother asked for payment for babysitting and the woman slammed her mother-in-law for the request. “How dare she ask for money for precious time with her grandchild? Putting a price on time spent with Katie?? When I was a baby, my grandma used to babysit me and my sister for hours on end. My grandma never asked for any kind of payment, money, or gifts, she just did it out of love for us.” She explained. However, her husband sided with his mother explaining: “If she didn’t care for our kid, we’d still be obligated to hire a complete stranger and we’d probably end up paying even more.”

Appreciated but Not Obligated

Elderly grandmother and her little grandchild walking together in sunny summer park. Friendship of grandma and grandson. Two generations of family.
Source: Shutterstock

Well-off families often put their children in daycare programs and camps or hire a nanny. However, parents with fewer resources at their disposal may struggle to afford babysitting rates or daycare. Therefore, grandparents and other family members who offer to help are invaluable as sometimes people need a little more time or support to find their footing, more so after becoming a new parent. Yet, no grandparent is obligated to babysit for free if they don’t want to. Perhaps the grandmother can take less per hour and use the car seat and stroller they already have to allow for her daughter and her little family to find some stability amidst economic uncertainty. Either way, a good way to come to a resolution is to talk about compromise.

Read More: 20 of The Creepiest Babysitter Stories

Sources

  1. New Mother Gets Upset When Her 64-Yr-Old ‘Jobless’ Mom Demands Payment For Babysitting.Inner Strength
  2. Woman slams mother-in-law for expecting to be paid for spending time with her grandchild.Tyla. Ali Condon. November 29, 2022.
  3. Redditor Asks if It’s Common for Grandparents to Expect Payment for Watching Their Grandkids. Parents. Beth Ann Mayer. December 1, 2021.