Grandma Refuses To Babysit For Free, Her Daughter Goes Online To Vent
If you’re a parent who’s lucky enough to have a “built-in babysitter” in the form of a close friend, sibling, mom, dad or neighbor, you’ve hit the parenting jackpot. Eliminating the stress of scrolling through websites and apps every time your little one needs to be watched for a few hours is a huge luxury. But it’s still important to make sure you don’t take advantage of your beloved babysitters.
One grandmother recently decided that she wouldn’t be providing free childcare any more, but her daughter refuses to start paying her. Below, you’ll find the full story the mother recently shared on Reddit, as well as some of the replies invested readers left.
This woman used to rely on her mother for last-minute babysitting
Image credits: Alex Green (not the actual photo)
But now that her mom’s demanding to be paid, she’s wondering if she was wrong to keep her wallet closed
Image credits: Rido81 (not the actual photo)
Image credits: getDoor21
Most families enlist the help of a babysitter once or twice a month
Every family has their own individual needs and might require a babysitter more or less frequently than others, depending on the parents’ jobs, how many relatives live nearby, and what kinds of needs the children have. But according to Kidsit, the average family enlists the help of a babysitter once or twice a month, and the average American family spends about $1,000 a year on babysitters.
When bringing in someone outside of the family to babysit, there’s no question that they’re doing a job. They’ll be playing games with the kids, feeding them, making sure they’re safe, and they might even need to help them with homework, give them a bath, and put them to bed. UrbanSitter reports that the average rate for babysitting one child at a time in the US in 2022 was $20.57 per hour.
When deciding how much to pay your sitter, Parents.com says moms and dads should consider the babysitter’s experience, the number of kids they’ll be watching, how many hours they’ll be there, the level of responsibility, and the total time commitment, including their transportation and how often they’ll be needed.
Image credits: Lina Kivaka (not the actual photo)
There’s no question that taking care of children is a job, even if family members refuse payment
So why do some of us fail to consider the fact that babysitting is a job when our family members offer to help out? Well, some relatives might refuse to accept payment just to spend time with their grandchildren or nieces and nephews, and if the babysitting is only needed once in a while, it might not be seen as a burden at all. But according to Verywell Family, there are a few factors parents need to consider before enlisting their own parents to help with childcare.
They recommend discussing payment as an option before even scheduling your parents for help, as babysitting is a job. If your mom and dad aren’t well off or don’t have a lot of free time, it might make more sense to compensate them for their help. Assuming they don’t want payment can be presumptuous and lead to resentment.
It’s also recommended to keep their responsibilities simple. They’re older, and they probably don’t have the energy to be running around with kids for hours each week. Suggest calm activities that are safe and won’t wear them out, and don’t expect them to be watching your kids for too long at any given time.
Image credits: Markus Spiske (not the actual photo)
It’s important not to take advantage of relatives who are willing to help out with childcare
As much as your parents must love their grandchildren, Verywell Family also says it’s important to give them an out if they no longer have the time or desire to babysit for you. You should always have a plan B in place to make sure they don’t feel taken advantage of or obligated to reorganize their schedules around babysitting.
If you’re in need of alternatives to hiring your family members to babysit, parents can look into programs like Mom’s Day Out and babysitting co-ops, or reach out to other parents to see which babysitters they can recommend. If using family for childcare starts putting your relationships at risk, it might not be worth it anymore. And if literally paying them is the price you have to pay to ensure your children are in safe, capable hands while you’re out running errands, it might be well worth the cost.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this situation in the comments below, pandas. Do you think this mother is being unreasonable by expecting her mom to babysit for free? Feel free to share, and then if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article, you can check out this one discussing whether or not to pay family members for childcare!
Image credits: Nikoline Arns (not the actual photo)