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Finding daycare for a newborn is challenging. It’s expensive and not every place that is available is suitable. So it’s not a surprise that it’s quite common for close friends and immediate family to help parents with their newborns, as it’s probably more reliable and cheaper. However, sometimes it’s important to agree clearly about the payment even when your own parents agree to help in order to avoid any misunderstandings in the future.

A Reddit user recently shared the uncomfortable situation that she found herself in after her mom offered to help with her baby without any pay, but a year later started saying that it’s wrong to make her work without getting paid.

More info: Reddit

If you reassure a couple that you will help with the baby when the time comes, it’s not the best idea to change your ‘statement’ a year later

Image credits: cottonbro studio (not the actual photo)

Couple shared that they can’t afford daycare for a potential baby, but the woman’s mom reassured them that she would be happy to babysit 3 days a week

Image credits: Pixabay (not the actual photo)

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Couple agreed to pay mom $1000 per month for childcare for their potential kid and when everything was agreed they decided to have a baby

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Image credits: Alexander Mils (not the actual photo)

Mom was thrilled about that and assured them they don’t have to pay her at all, as spending time with her grandchild is the most important

Image credits: Cool_Ask_2773

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However, a year later, during lunch, she started asking how she can be expected to be paid as it’s wrong to make their elderly mother watch a baby and not pay her

Not long ago, a Reddit user shared her story asking community members if she was indeed being a jerk for not wanting to pay her mom for babysitting her soon-to-be newborn as she offered to do it for free. The post caught quite a lot of attention and received more than 2.4K upvotes and almost 1000 comments.

The author starts her story by sharing that around one year ago, her mom came asking when she and her husband were planning on having babies. They explained that they couldn’t afford to pay for the daycare, but OP’s mom reassured them that she would happily watch the baby 3 days per week. 

After discussing it with her husband, the couple decided to pay her mom $1000 per month for babysitting, made sure that mom was on the same page and decided that it was time to have a baby. OP’s mom was happy about her future grandchild and emphasized that they don’t need to pay her at all. However, it’s been almost a year since that conversation, and the woman is 7.5 months pregnant.

Recently, during lunch, to the couple’s surprise, OP’s mom suddenly started asking how she can be expected to be paid. The woman emphasized that for a year, her mom had reassured them that she would babysit for free. But now, she has decided that it’s wrong to make one’s elderly mother watch a baby and not pay her. Finally, OP added that they are willing and able to pay her, but it was just unexpected.

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The community members awarded the woman with the ‘Not the A-hole’ badge and agreed that her mom did a bait and switch. “She’s been insisting on not being paid for a year and now this? Talk about a bait and switch. Also, she’s not ‘elderly’!” one user wrote. “Bait and switch isn’t a harsh enough term for this. She manipulated her daughter to get grandkids. I would find alternate childcare personally,” another added.

Image credits: Christian Bowen (not the actual photo)

Moreover, Bored Panda got in touch with Adrienne Bradley, who is a founder and CEO of Thriving Childcare. She kindly agreed to share key considerations when deciding whether to pay family members for childcare services, shared advice for payment discussions and what alternative ways parents can express gratitude if family members refuse to be paid.

“First off, kudos to the mom-to-be for setting clear expectations from the get-go. It’s crucial for both parties involved to be on the same page when it comes to childcare arrangements,” Adrienne emphasizes. “I totally get that life happens, plans evolve, but it’s also about keeping commitments.”

Speaking about considerations when deciding whether to pay a family member, especially grandparents for childcare, the founder shares that from her perspective it’s all about understanding the true value of what they are providing. ”Taking care of a baby is no cakewalk—it’s a 24/7 gig that demands a whole lot of patience, energy, and love,” she notes.

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“While it’s heartwarming that some family members may offer to help out for free, it’s essential to recognize and compensate for the significant effort and time they’re putting in.”

Now, speaking about discussions about payment, Adrienne noted that communication is key. “Parents and family members need to have an open and honest conversation about expectations, boundaries, and, of course, compensation. It’s not just about the money; it’s about avoiding misunderstandings and ensuring that everyone feels appreciated and respected.”

Finally, in cases where family members refuse compensation, expressing gratitude is key. The founder adds that it could be through thoughtful gestures like preparing meals, running errands, or simply spending quality time together. “The goal is to make sure the caregiving arrangement feels like a fair exchange of support, even if it’s not financial.”

Adrienne emphasizes that she advises parents to tread carefully when mixing family and business, especially in childcare. “While it can work out beautifully, maintaining clear boundaries helps avoid misunderstandings and ensures that relationships stay strong.”

And what do you guys think about this story? Was the woman wrong for even expecting her mom to babysit the soon-to-be newborn without being paid? Or did mom really bait and switch her daughter? Share your thoughts in the comments below! Also, don’t forget to check out the Thriving Childcare blog, where Adrienne regularly shares insights and advice on navigating the business side of childcare!

Redditors had a discussion with the author about this situation, and most of them pointed out that 49 Y.O. is not elderly

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