Dec 07, 2021

Grandmother demands to be paid for looking after grandson

Grandma demands babysitting money

“My daughter is 29, she has a one-year-old son and will be returning to work soon,” she posted on the online discussion forum.

“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 woman has asked her daughter to pay $12 an hour to care for the child, explaining she would love to spend time with her grandson, but it would come at the expense of her own work.

“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 explained.

The daughter responded by offering her mother a lower rate.

The exchange raises an important question about grandparenting: should there be an expectation that grandparents provide free childcare?

The comments on Reddit reflected different views on the topic.

Many sympathised with the grandmother, saying she is perfectly entitled to charge for her time.

But others said she showed a lack of empathy towards her daughter and that $12/hour was more than half her daughter’s before-tax hourly pay rate.

Others said if she didn’t want to look after the boy just say no.

Some made the point that even though the amount the grandmother wanted to charge was close to that of a childcare worker, those professionals hold specific childcare qualifications and care for many children at once. The grandmother on the other hand has no childcare qualifications and would only be caring for one child.

What do you think? Should grandparents provide childcare for free? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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  1. I think it fair and reasonable to recompense any out of pocket expense.. Not for food, but anything provided for the child such as extra entertainment. I personally could not charge a family member.

  2. Why not compromise look after grandson 1day a week for free that way you will be spending time with your grandson and helping your daughter
    The other days your daughter put child in a daycare centre

  3. I care for my granddaughter one day a week and fit this around my casual work. She attends childcare 3 days a week. I love being a part of her life and we share a special bond because of being part of her life, without the strain and responsibilities of parenthood. Undiluted love.

  4. There is a great deal of information on being a carer at https://www.carergateway.gov.au/

    Without knowing the grandmother’s income from her employment it’s hard to make an assessment. Obviously she needs the money for her own survival otherwise she probably wouldn’t have considered asking. Given that the daughter only earns $22/hr it might be worth her while remaining at home caring for her own child on the parenting payment and retraining to upgrade her skills so that when her child goes to school she will be able to earn a better rate. It would be terrible if this became an issue in the relationship between the two women in the child’s life.

  5. I think it is fair enough.
    I paid my mother to look after my daughter.
    The mother has raised her children and has most likely done it tough-now is her time

  6. As the Grandmother is still working it is unreasonable of her daughter to ask for up to 3 days of babysitting for the whole day.
    I think that 1 day a week for a retired Grandmother is as much as one should ask for.
    I would have no expectations if my Mother was still working, far too much of an ask.
    I understand that childcare is expensive but working near to full-time is hard on the child and Grandparents expected to babysit for the whole day.
    Children need to consider what they are asking of Grandparents and not cross the line of using them, or, over-using them!

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