My Mother-in-Law Thinks She Should Get Money for Babysitting Her Grandchild

Family & kids
9 months ago

About 20% of new moms noticed things got trickier with their mother-in-law after having a baby. Balancing parenthood is tough, and some must return to work quickly. A Bright Side reader was stressed when her mother-in-law asked for money to babysit her grandchild.

Hello Amy! We received your letter, and the Bright Side team discussed this situation. Here’s the best advice we came up with:

  • Consider why your mother-in-law is requesting payment for looking after your child. You mentioned she’s recently retired, and experts say retirees often worry about their savings lasting. This concern could be behind her suggestion. To get to the bottom of it, having an honest conversation is essential, which leads us to the next point.
  • Have a chat with your mother-in-law. Set up a time for a candid, mature conversation to express your feelings calmly. Conversations like these can sometimes go sideways, so we’ve put together a 3-step guide to help you keep the discussion on the right path and prevent it from becoming a heated argument.
  • Step 1: Don’t assume your mother-in-law will react badly.
  • Step 2: Express your feelings without over-explaining. For instance, say, “I feel misunderstood,” instead of, “I feel misunderstood because you asked for Y.” This way, you encourage a discussion without making her defensive.
  • Step 3: Emphasize what you do, not what you don’t.
  • Would you prefer a skilled stranger or a caring family member? Keep in mind that hiring a professional babysitter might cost more than what your mother-in-law is requesting. Ultimately, consider what makes you and your husband feel more at ease. Also, remember that your mother-in-law raised the person you’re building a life with, so she likely did many things right as a parent.
  • Explore alternative options. Daycare has pros and cons, such as higher expenses and added stress. It could also require more involvement from both of you, like dropping off and picking up your child. Additionally, there may be times when your child can’t go to daycare, and you’ll need a reliable last-minute babysitter.
  • Many grandparents don’t anticipate payment for babysitting, but it’s entirely fair to compensate them. Taking care of a child can be a full-time job. Feeding, changing, and constantly watching over a child are not simple tasks, especially as people get older.

We hope this advice will help smooth things out, and we’re crossing our fingers that whatever goes down, your relationship with your mother-in-law only gets better. As you wrap up, be sure to read this article, addressing a similar situation where a mother discusses her experience with a mother-in-law trying to take over her role with the baby and exert control over her.

Comments

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She is a covert narcisist. This is the red flag waving in front of you obviously for the first time. Your husband was raised under her and therefore is a codependant ergo his response supporting her. You should avoid as much contact with her and also no info regarding your life. Move further away. And the most important part ABSOLUTELY DO NOT LET HER NEAR YOUR CHILD. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT NPD IS. She will make your child NPD. Npd is uncurable.

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Actually, if I am the daughter in law. I am gladly to give more than she's asking. And I will not wait for her to tell me to pay her. Instead, I will give her what she wants and more than that, I will give her some jewelries or other things that would make her happy. Because of the truth that there is no such thing that you repay the love & care that your mother-in-law gave to your child.

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You should pay her. This is a daily job while you work. This is not dropping the kids off to spend time with grandma. This is a chance to get great childcare you could trust, hopefully at a fraction of the price. I would apologize for not offering her to begin with. But now you can discuss how this can help you both out. See what childcare would cost if you didn't have her, and discuss how much you can give and how much she wants. I doubt she wants to charge what it would cost outside. She probably just wants to have some spending money that doesn't come out of her fixed income. Your lucky to have this choice, some people have to trust outsiders with their babies they just gave birth to.

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What have you provided her for taking care of your responsibilities? May be something is missing and you need to look at that aspect. That’s probably why she is asking for compensation. Also you cannot give away her ALL your responsibilities to her and enjoy. You need to contribute a lot as well.

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Just maybe you should reconsider what you are thinking about your mother in law. She drives to your house every day. Watches the children, cleans, cooks, does small chores while her son is working from home. She has no life of her own, she is dedicating her days to your family. Maybe she would like to go to lunch with friends, play cards, golf, go shopping, or get a part time job for a few extra dollars in her purse. Look at her as a person, no just as a sitter. Yes pay her something fair so she can say ' I have a job' Todays life is not yesterday. Look at the price of gas for her car alone...!

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