28 answers

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?

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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.

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.

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.

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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.

1 mom found this helpful

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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....

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.

My Mom and Dad never ask for money to watch their own grandkids. she watched 4 kid at once everyday for about 8-10 hours from age 6mos - 7 years old. sometimes my dad watches them too. maybe your mom is joking with you about paying her. just ask your mom about it. does she want you to pay her or not.

We pay my mom when she watches our kids during the week during typical "nanny" hours. If she babysits on the weekends or some other time that would usually be considered a regular "grandma" babysitting event, we don't pay her. I like to pay her because then I feel like I am not taking advantage of her. She is making a lifestyle change for my families' benefit.

I don't think you should pay unless it's on a consistant regular basis and your mom is putting off other things and wiggling in time for your child.

My friend pays her mom 50dollars a week to watch her 18mo. old full time everyday/everyweek.

I have had to bribe my brother to watch my daughter but he's young and broke so I didn't mind. Other than that I don't think it's right to have to pay family.

My mom watches our 18 month daugther at least once a week and most of the time it's for an entire day. I have never paid her nor would she ever let me pay her. I do think that is kinda strange that she would say to pay her whatever you want whenever you can especially since it's not hardly any babysitting at all. I could see maybe just maybe if it was almost full time during the week, but it's her grandson, but I'm not posing judgements, just my opinion.

I always try to buy my parents lunch if we're together or get them a really nice gift for the holidays and spend extra time thinking about their gifts. Plus I keep them stocked with pictures and pay for them so there are ways you can pay for the babysitting without 'paying' for it. I know it sounds weird but maybe once in a while a gift card for lunch or something would be appreciated. I know I would feel weird giving cash to my mom for babysiting. Hope this helps.

If you feel awkward paying her ,you can pay her utility bill or bill but pick the one you can afford . most people will love someone pay their electricity or gas ,phone water car insurance for them.this may be cheaper for you but will be most apreciated to take the burdden of several weeks in one lump sum inthe form of bill. they wont feel that you are paying them and you wont feel so

I understand feeling obligated to pay something but it's grandma : ) I don't pay my parents, they insist on watching him aytime I need them to and just love being with their grandson. I don't think you need to pay your own parents but you could always show gratitude by getting giftcard for a dinner or favorite dessert or something if you still feel guilty.

Yes, I think you should pay her to watch your child. You are making this a regular thing and now it's her job so pay her for her services. Yes, it would be nice to not pay a relative but since you are making this a regular thing it changes things in my opinion. It's now her job to watch him when she could be doing other things with her time. Don't get me wrong. I'm sure she just loves spending the time with her but to be paid for it is even better and it helps cover her time and food etc. If you wouldn't be paying her then you'd be paying someone else to watch him. At least she is not being demanding or setting a $15-25 day charge on you. She's being nice about it and letting you choose how much you can pay based on affortability. If it's 1-2 times a month I think a freebie is fine.

I think i'd find it a little strange myself. My mom never charged me or my siblings to babysit and my husbands parents are more than happy to take our daughter for awhile. Maybe instead of handing over cash you can invite her over for dinner on a regular basis or go out to dinner on you. I think the time together would be a nicer gesture rather than a couple of bucks.

I think it depends on the family. My mother watches Gabby once a week while I work my part-time job. I leave and then my husband comes home three hours later. She loves every minute of it and would not take a penny. I have two friends that use their mother as full-time care while they work. One pays her mom $50/week, while the other pays nothing. Personally, I would ask her if there was another way to compensate her. Maybe you could have your husband mow her law, shovel snow, etc. I dunno, I'd feel a little weird about paying if it was only an occasional thing.

I think it depends on the family.

In my family, we don't pay each other to watch our kids and I am talking about our whole family.
My cousins all have kids and we all watch each others kids free of charge. It's pretty much a trade off. When someone needs a sitter there's usually someone who will need one next week.
I usually pay the gas for my sister, who lives in WI, or we trade sitting services.
Our parents love our kids and have never mentioned being paid.
My husband mentioned it one time and they said that spending time with their grandchildren is a reward from God for not killing their children.

Are you sure that both hubby and grandma weren't kidding, and you missed the joke? My mouth is hanging open here...

I've never heard of paying grandparents like babysitters, although I'm sure a person could find everything out in the world if you looked long enough. My in-laws are so eager to see the grandchild, they call and email suggesting time they can take her alone so hubby and I can have time off (so much so it's irritating to me). My parents, on the other hand, are very timid around children so are more reluctant to be alone with granddaughter, but nevertheless have taken her for an hour here or there and never asked for money. I think it's more about them forming a relationship and bond with the child, not about getting money for doing tasks.

If your mom really was serious about getting paid, I'd see what the going rate was - and see if she is okay with getting less than going market value. If not, I'd go for the cheapest or most convenient option for you guys - as you do have a need for childcare that needs to be filled.

Good luck,

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.

When I was talking to my mom I was asking her what is fair to pay a baby-sitter. Obviously she told me she didn't have a clue because it had been awhile. She knew I was asking because my sister-in-law was going to be watching my son. I always offer to pay her; although she always refuses. My mom told me that day that I should never feel like I have to offer to pay her (my mom) or my mother-in-law.

Maybe it's different for us because our mom's live 3 hours away so they don't get to see our son that often.

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.

I have never paid a grandparent, and if I ever even notioned that I would pay them, they would say "no" anyway. They might even feel a bit insulted. To me, that's what family is about. But,...we do give the parents alot of le-way when it comes to rules, etc...afterall, they have already raised kids and now it's time for them to spoil mine...that's what grandparents do best. it's true that I've had some issues with the grandparents in the fact that they don't do things exactly how I would, but I know what to expect and I know they would never let harm come to their grandkids so I bend the rules for grandparents. Grandparents and kids get away with alot more than a sitter would. That's what yo get when you get a free and total loving babysitter. Most rules are out the door as soon as you leave.

Hope this helps. I think it's completely appropriate for you to feel awkward about it. But, if she insists, you could pay her in a gift card instead. Or,...pay her a little less than what you'd pay your sitter,(she is probably unaware of the going rate) giving yourself a family discount.

she probably was kidding...ask your husband to ask her if she was serious...take her out to dinner once in a while or bring dinner over to them and give big on mother's day and birthdays to show your appreciation.

My MIL has a daycare in her home. She watches both of my boy while my husband and I are working. She does give us a discounted rate (which is nice). My thought...definately pay her while you two are at work. You would have to pay someone else anyways, why not pay grandma? Now, when we are not working (weekends or some evenings) when we need someone to watch the boys then we don't pay her.

I did feel a little akward at first, but then once I thought about it - we both are working and we need daycare/sitter, I'm going to have to pay someone either way (stranger or relitive) why not, she is providing the same service as a stranger would but it's family (which is alway more reasurring).

For when we need someone for the kids on a weekend for a couple hours, I'll ask grandma and she'll always say yes if she dosen't already have other plans. We don't pay for these times the kids are with them. Then the whole family thing comes into play...be there for them when they have been there for you...

Pay her whatever you can afford.

Maybe she needs the money - and doesn't want a plant.

Maybe she feels that she is providing a service to you and she should be compensated. She asked for cash, not a dinner out.

You stated "I was kinda shocked she'd charge me to see her grandson." But she isn't charging you to see your son. She is charging you for babysitting services.

Be happy you have a safe place to take you precious child and pay grandma!

I think there are a couple of ways to look at this...

IF you were using your mom as full time care, then yes I think even though she is grandma...she should be paid.

but your not...you having her watch him a couple times a week for only a couple of hours...

I have never paid any of my extended family (and we have a lot) for watching our boys...they claim that is what they are there for....BUT we do do something nice for them every now and then as a thank you...sometimes we send a little gift and have the kids (though they are very young, we do finger painting 'art', which is basically a blob of paint thrown on a piece of paper...then I write thank you for...and mail it). For some reason terrible kid art is dotted upon by 'those seniors'...even dotted upon by my 15 year old niece...or we have them over for a dinner or we go take over their kitchen and make them dinner and not let them do anything to 'help'...

Maybe grandmas favorite treat, like cookies or bars, your son could help you make them and he can give them to her...

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.

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