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25th Dec 2023

People left divided after woman says she refuses to babysit granddaughter ‘for free’

Sophie Collins

Two women arguing

“She will charge me €18 for each hour she takes care of the baby”

A woman has left people divided after she revealed her mum refused to babysit ‘for free’ and demanded an hourly rate as well as ‘late fees’.

The 29-year-old new mum said she and her partner work and because she is the higher earner between them, she can’t afford to stay at home.

In addition, she said the type of jobs they hold mean they can’t work from home.

She asked her mum for help because the pair have accumulated a lot of debt from medical bills and student loans, and wanted to avoid spending money on childcare if they can.

She said they also need to save to move into a larger home to accommodate for the new baby.

Although the grandmother didn’t refuse to babysit, she simply said she wouldn’t do it for free, because she is ‘too old’, and rather harshly added: “If she and my dad were able to work it out, so can we.”

The gran also said that if she were to look after the baby, she would need to be paid the equivalent of €18 an hour. She also said that she would charge late fees if they didn’t pick her up on time.

In the post on Reddit’s ‘AmITheA**hole’ column, she wrote: “I (29f) asked my mom to help me take care of my newborn so I could go back to work once my leave is up.

Two women talking
Credit: Getty Images

“Mind you, my mom is 64, has been a homemaker/stay-at-home-mom since 1992, and hasn’t been part of the workforce since then. She refused, saying she’s too old and that she already raised her kids.

“She also added that if I really wanted this baby, then maybe I should have thought about staying home like she did to take care of it while my partner goes to work and provides for us like a “traditional” family, and that if she any my dad were able to work it out, so can we.”

After explaining that the pair are in a lot of debt from student loans, she went on to say: “We are currently in a small, 1 bedroom apartment in a metropolitan area, and would need to save money to move to a 2 bedroom once the baby grows up in a couple of years as we will need more space.”

Despite explaining all of that to her mother, “she then proceeded to say that she will charge me $20/hr (€18) for each hour she takes care of the baby, plus late fees if we are late for pickup, and must provide her with a carseat, stroller, bottles, and pretty much double of everything we have at our home to compensate for taking the baby to her house.”

The 29-year-old said they have exhausted all avenues for childcare within their family and in the local daycare, but essentially need to save money.

She then asked: “So, am I the a**hole for wanting my mom, who again is at home all day long (trust me, she does not do anything besides watch TV and cook meals), to take care of my baby for free while me and my partner try to fix our finances?”

People were left divided, however, most sided with the grandmother who has “done her time parenting” and should be put under so much pressure to babysit.

Grandmother holding baby
Credit: Getty Images

One person responded saying: “Sorry to be blunt and rude but maybe don’t have a child if you can’t afford to take care of them.

“And if your plan was always go back to work you should of discussed that during the pregnancy with your mom.”

Another said: “Childcare is work, your mom is older and frankly you shouldn’t expect her to watch your child for free.”

However, one person had a different opinion on the matter: “You’re not the AH for asking, she is not one for refusing. She is not one for asking for payment.

“She is offering a different service level than a daycare, so asking for more money is also reasonable. You can be sad that your mom isn’t more giving. You can be jealous of other people whose parents are more generous with their time.

“But you need to chill with the attitude, completely, starting now before you become the AH. You’ve got some choices to make about daycare.”


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