A woman was shocked when her mother-in-law demanded money for babysitting her grandchild. Angered by her MIL's expectations and confused about what to do, she wrote to the Bright Side team after the situation began affecting her marriage.
Parenthood is a life-changing experience that presents people with numerous challenges, many of which aren't easy to overcome. Raising a child isn't an easy feat, and many parents depend on their family and friends for support to help with their kids' upbringing.
Often, when parents are busy with work or other important matters, grandparents might step up to take care of the children. In such cases, leaving your kids with trusted family members might be better than going through the hassle of looking for babysitters.
A baby is pictured holding onto someone's finger. | Source: Pexels
PARENTS TO A LITTLE ANGEL
A woman named Amy reached out to the online publication Bright Side with a personal dilemma, hoping to find sound advice to navigate her situation. She began her story by saying that she and her husband had been happily married for ten years and were doting parents to a six-month-old baby girl, Katie.
The woman said she was deeply shocked and angered by her mother-in-law's unrealistic expectations, which had also started to impact her marriage.
Because she needed to get back to her office job while her husband worked from home, the couple had to map out everything to ensure their baby was taken care of in their absence.
A smiling baby girls crawls on the floor. | Source: Unsplash
THE MOTHER-IN-LAW STEPPED UP
While they were weighing their options, Amy said her mother-in-law, who had recently retired, offered to watch Katie while she and her husband were at work. The couple readily accepted the offer and were pleased with the setting because, according to Amy, her MIL "has a way with kids." Amy expressed:
"I truly appreciate her time and devotion and everything she does."
Besides looking after their baby, Amy explained that her mother-in-law cooked food, washed the dishes, and cleaned the house. Everything seemed to be going well for this family until the mother-in-law had a discussion with her daughter-in-law.
An older lady is pictured washing a carrot. | Source: Unsplash
SHOCKED AND CONFUSED
Amy said she was taken aback when her MIL demanded to be paid hourly for babysitting her grandchild. "How dare she ask for money for precious time with her grandkid? Putting a price on time spent with Katie," asked Amy in an angry tone. She further revealed:
"When I was a baby, my grandma used to babysit me and my sister for hours on end. My grandma never asked for any kind of payment, money, or gifts; she just did it out of love for us."
Moreover, Amy shared that when she was young, she babysat her siblings for hours without asking her parents for money. The woman said she was deeply shocked and angered by her mother-in-law's unrealistic expectations, which had also started to impact her marriage.
A little one pictured with an older woman. | Source: Unsplash
But things took a turn when Amy's husband discovered the situation and was said to have taken his mother's side.
Amy noted that her husband believed his mother was justified in asking for compensation because if she didn't take care of their baby, they would have no choice but to hire a complete stranger, which would cost them a lot more.
After thinking it through and having no options or help available, the troubled woman wrote to Bright Side, asking them for their expert advice. The team advised Amy to understand her MIL's point of view and her reasons for asking for money in exchange for babysitting.
A candid shot of an older woman holding a little girl. | Source: Unsplash
WEIGHING THE PROS AND CONS
They suggested Amy have an open discussion with her MIL and added that perhaps she demanded payment because of her retirement. The Bright Side folks told Amy to calmly sit down with her mother-in-law and express her thoughts while giving her a chance to do the same.
While talking to her MIL, the team advised Amy not to presume she would react negatively and avoid turning the discussion into a heated argument. They also presented her with the pros and cons of entrusting her baby to a loving relative versus a qualified stranger.
The Bright Side team explained that sending a child to daycare had its benefits and disadvantages and involved more money, stress, increased responsibility, and backup options for the days when the child had to stay home.
A grayscale picture of an older woman watching a baby. | Source: Unsplash
While most grandparents didn't demand money to look after their grandchildren, Bright Side revealed that it was reasonable if some expected to be paid. They also added:
"Caring for a child can be a full-time job. Feeding them, changing them, and keeping an eye on the kid at all times are not easy tasks, especially in old age."
An elderly couple is pictured with two little ones. | Source: Pexels
In addition to Bright Side's advice, several netizens shared their feedback in the comments for Amy. One person wrote: "When my M-I-L kept our son while we worked, we paid her. When we went out or left him with her other times, we did not."
"Why would you expect anyone to watch your child for free? Sure, a few hours here and there grandparents are happy to babysit. But doing so full-time while you work is a JOB!!"
What are your thoughts on this story? Did your grandma ever ask for money to take care of you? Would you ask for money to look after your grandkids? Do you think the grandma in this story was right in demanding money? Please share your thoughts with us on Facebook.
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