April 13, 2012,
A.N. asks from Oshkosh, WI on May 09, 2007
Does Anyone Pay Grandma to Babysit?
Hi just wondering if anyone has there mom or dad watch there kids and if they pay them, i have a 5 year old son and my husband has been working a little later lately so we asked my mom of she could watch him for an hour or two about twice a week. she said ofcourse and my husband half serious asked her how much she'd want and she said oh pay me when you can what ever you can afford. i was kinda shocked she'd charge me to see her grandson, for such a brief time, when we only get together a couple times a month, i'd be dropping him at her house and my husband would pick him up. don't get me wrong its better than paying a babysitter and i totally appreciate it. i just feel a little weird about it. whats your opinion and im i being unresonable to feel akward?
L. answers from Minneapolis on May 10, 2007
If she is making a regular committment to babysit I do think you should pay her. It does feel awkward to pay a family member, but you will get used to it.
C.M. answers from Janesville-Beloit on May 10, 2007
I think it depends on the situation and family. My parents and inlaws would never charge us to watch my son, even for long periods of time. I even have had close friends who would never take any money to watch him. I do try and get them a gift of some sort every once in a while to show appreciation. I probably would pay her anyway, just to avoid an uncomfortable situation.
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D.M. answers from Minneapolis on May 10, 2007
We have are grandma watch are son and it is the best he has more one one time and gets to go out and do things with her and be around others we pay her and I think it is well worth it.
A. answers from Minneapolis on May 10, 2007
I must be part of the minority. Yes I would pay my parents to watch my children. I have my MIL watch my children and we paid them 100 a week per child and we had 2 children. My husband and I are making money at our job and taking care of children is a job even if it's the grandparent doing it.
Just becuse they are the grandparent doesn't mean they shouldn't get paid. Wnenever I've asked family members to watch my children I offer to pay, if they say no I do take them out to eat or buy them a coffe on several occasions.
I think that if the tables were turned I would expect the same thing to get the offer to pay even though I would say no. I feel that if someone is taking care of my children's lives I need to pay themj the world.
My parents too love my children but that doesn't mean they shouldn't get compensated. Payment and love are 2 different things.
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T.H. answers from Milwaukee on May 10, 2007
I think since your husband was the one to bring it up, she was just going along with him and being vague because it was probably awkward for her too. My suggestion would be to *not* bring up money again, but do like Marie said and take her out for dinner, bring flowers or something like that once in a while as a thank you.
J.M. answers from Anchorage on May 09, 2010
My mom never watches my daughter unless I pay her and I only ask her to watch her for an hour or two. I hate it. I don't think I should have to pay her to spend time with my child. Never not once has she offered to take him just because she wants to see him and she never comes to visit unless I pay her either. I think its very sad that my own mother would be like that towards my daughter. There has been times I would ask her to watch her just for a few minutes so I can run to the store because she lives right across the street and she always says she is not up to it until I mention paying her some money for it and then she will do it. And after she takes my daughter she never watches her for the full amount I pay her for. My mother in law will however babysit for free whenever she has the time to she is very willing to spend time with my daughter whenever we ask and we watch her kids as well when she asks. We kind of trade off. I don't think its fair to pay your own mother to watch there grandchild it should be an act of kindness from the grandparents. Maybe if it was a scheduled all the time thing like every day or every other day for a long period of time like for you to be able to work or something then some sort of payment would be expected and I wouldn't mind but just on random occasions when you want some time alone or to go out or run errands I don't think paying is fair.
T.N. answers from Minneapolis on May 15, 2007
I'm also mother to a 5yo boy. My husband works 1st, I work 2nd, both full-time. Now that DS is out of preschool for the summer, we're going to be asking for help with childcare more frequently. In my case it is the in-laws, not my own parents.
Since it is your mom, you should ask her for clarification, even though your husband was the one who initially brought up payment. Discuss with your husband how much you're willing to pay since she is providing a routine service for you then have a conversation with your mom. I think being straight-forward about it will prevent it from becoming an issue later, either when she expects payment or when you present her with money and she wasn't expecting it.
Every situation is different so some of the cut and dry responses will not help your situation at all. The only way you can be sure of how to proceed is to talk with those involved - your husband and your mom. And whether it is decided to compensate her financially or not, little expressions of gratitude go a long way.
J.C. answers from Dallas on April 13, 2012
If you are asking her to do it on a regular basis, then my answer is a resounding YES. Definitely offer to pay the woman. Besides, your husband ASKED her how much she wanted. If you really didn't want to pay her, he shouldn't have said anything and you should have asked if she would MIND to watch your son.
As for those saying they would never pay their parents for watching their grandchildren (on a regular basis), why would they expect someone to babysit for free? They are going out of their way to do something FOR you. I'm sure they have all kinds of stuff they can do instead of watching your kids for you.
L.R. answers from Duluth on May 10, 2007
Some times out of respect payment would be nice, but since it is a short time maybe now and then take her out to dinner buy a gift such as a plant to show her your appreciation.
J.P. answers from Minneapolis on May 13, 2007
My mom is the only one who ever babysits for me... and paying her has never been brough up. She likes to have time alone with him to play with him without me, and I don't think it would be right for her to get that and get paid for it (she is not the greatest with kids... we disagree a lot about how to do things... so that is a big part of it... I would never pay her to take care of him her way, when I have to fix what she messes up after getting him back- things like violence and screaming that she thinks boys are supposed to do and teaches him to). But that is just occasional, usually not for more than a few hours. My sister is pregnant right now, and because she works nights, she is planning on paying my mom $100/week to watch her daughter from about 3:30 pm to about 8 pm when her boyfriend is off work, 3 days a week. I think it really just depends on your situation and relationship with her....
M.L. answers from Minneapolis on April 16, 2008
On Tuesdays I drop our daughter off at my mom's house on my way to work (6:15 am) and my daughter stays there until I get off (4pm).
My mom does not charge us anything. We provide her with all of the necessities that she keeps at her home(diapers, formula, clothing, etc.) We bought her a car seat for her car. She has went on her own and purchased a play yard and some additional clothing.
My mom loves the time she gets to spend with her. granddaughter.