Grandmother sparks debate after saying she won't babysit grandson without being paid
Where do you stand?
In Ireland – and certain other countries around the world – childcare is extremely expensive. So much so that many parents rely on the use of grandparents when it comes to looking after their little ones while they are in work. Others might have their children in part-time daycare, but will also use grandparents to avoid needing full-time care, as this can often cost so much it is simply out of reach.
However, one grandmother recently caused a bit of a stir when she took to Reddit to admit she was not keen on being used as free daycare for her grandson – and had asked her daughter for payment to babysit her own grandchild.
"My daughter is 29, she has a one-year-old son and will be returning to work soon," the grandmother wrote in a post to Reddit.
"She works five days a week, about 7-8 hours a day from 7:30am-3pm, and asked me if I would be willing to babysit her son either two or three days a week."
The granny then said that while she would love to spend some quality time with her grandson, she had also asked her daughter for $12 per hour payment to do so.
"She understood my need for payment but then lowballed me with requesting $10/hour because she claims that she cannot afford it even with her $22/hour job," the grandmother continued.
"I’m not a daycare, I have my own life, I work for myself and I think she should understand that I’d be giving up my time when I work from home, and if I’m going to be giving up that time then I need money to replace that time I’m giving up from my job."
She went on to say that she does indeed love her grandson, but having him at her place will mean she misses out on income herself, but her daughter argued that it's "only" two or three days a week since her husband's parents will have him the rest of the time, and she is willing to provide food for him to save them on expenses.
"I love my grandson," she repeated, "but as I stated above, I’m not a daycare."
"Just say you don't want to babysit"
After posting her conundrum online, it did naturally not take long for other Reddit users to weigh in on the grandmother's post.
Many were quick to call the granny out on her lack of empathy for her daughter's situation, and for editing her post afterwards to reduce the amount she was asking for down from $15 to $10 an hour.
"Dude, just say you don't want to babysit," one person wrote.
"You're asking for over 2/3 of the money she's making pre-tax. Obviously, she can't afford that."
The user added that the grandmother is in the wrong, not for asking for payment per se, but for not just being honest and admitting she doesn't want to do it.
Others agreed the lady has every right to be paid for her time, particularly if she's in fact going to be losing money herself by helping out her daughter, but, people agreed, she should not be asking for so much as she does not provide the same service as a creche or daycare. Some commented to ask if she has professional childcare qualifications? A current first aid certificate? A degree in early childhood education?
"Sure, she'll probably have to pay that at a daycare centre - maybe even more," once person wrote.
"But a centre comes with qualifications and certifications. Why do you feel like you deserve a pay rate almost equal to professional daycare workers?"
Another Reddit user added, "In my area, these are the qualifications for paid child care workers who earn that much who also manage more than one child at a time."
Another one simply posted this cutting comment:
"You wanna charge your daughter more than half of what she makes to watch your grandson? If you don't wanna do it just say no and let her find someone else."
What do YOU think? Is it right to ask grandparents to babysit for free? Or should they be paid for the service they provide?