grandmother with child
Thomas Nelson
Thomas Nelson
April 7, 2024 ·  4 min read

‘I don’t want to babysit my grandchild without being paid’

When you’re getting ready to have a baby, there’s a lot to stress about. Will it be a boy or a girl? What color should we paint the nursery? How much will the birth cost? How about prenatal care? If your or your partner’s parents live nearby though, childcare is usually something you can cross off your list of concerns. There’ll always be someone close by who can babysit in a pinch. But one grandma has flipped the script on this issue and has demanded payment for childcare.

It seems like a pretty foreign concept to me. I’m not a grandparent but my mother is, and she jumps at the chance to watch her grandkids (although they’re now getting a little too old to be babysat). But one grandmother took to Reddit to ask if she’s in the wrong.

Grandma just doesn’t want to babysit

She opens up the post with a quick overview.

“My daughter is 29, she has a 1-year-old son and will be returning to work soon. She works 5 days a week, about 7-8 hours a day from 7:30 am-3 pm, and asked me if I would be willing to babysit her son either 2 or 3 days a week.” She wrote.

So far so good, right?

She continues:

“Of course I am open to spending time with my grandson, but I explained to her that I would like payment of $12/hour. 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.”

“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. “

“I love my grandson, but as I stated above, I’m not a daycare.”

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A sharp response

The community was quick to respond to this unusual post. Many users identified that asking for money wasn’t the issue, but that the grandma seemed like she just didn’t really want to babysit her grandson. The top comment came in with a sharp viewpoint.

YTA dude,” writes u/MeggieKat87, using the subreddit’s internal abbreviation lingo to indicate that they think grandma is in the wrong (YTA = you’re the a***ole). The top comment goes on to suggest that the grandma should simply say she can’t or doesn’t want to babysit and not demand two-thirds of her daughter’s income.

Asking for Compensation is ok, but…

“To clarify, you’re not TA for asking for compensation, you’re TA because it’s clear you don’t want to do this,” the user continues. Others weighed in with approximately the same viewpoint.

YTA,” writes u/SevsMumma21217. “Not for asking to be paid. After all, 24 hours a week is basically a part time job on top of your actual job. You should get paid. No. You’re TA for trying to screw your daughter out of 2/3 of her paycheck.”

Not every user was quick to jump on the YTA bandwagon for this grandmother. One user asked for more information.

“What are your qualifications to insist on $15 an hour?” asks u/CajunKC. “Current CPR, pediatric CPR, current first aid certification, at least at associates degree in early childhood development? 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.”

Something tells me that this request for information was a rhetorical, roundabout way of saying YTA.

Another user, u/AbraKadoobra, points out that the counter-offer of $10 was fair.

“You’re asking her for 2/3 of her pay to take care of your grandchild,” u/AbraKadoobra writes. “Her offer at $10/hour is almost half of her pay! How is that lowballing you? Even at that price, she’d be making just $12/hour – how is she supposed to support both herself and her child at that rate?”

Some thought grandma was in the right

Not every user believed that grandma was in the wrong, though. The user u/BitterSyllabub came in with a differing opinion.

“I’m appalled at how entitled these comments are. A GRANDPARENT IS NOT FREE CHILDCARE! So don’t have kids expecting to pawn them off on your aging parents. If they want to that’s fantastic but to expect it is selfish beyond words.”

Ultimately, it’s probably a good thing that grandma took to Reddit to help decide the best way to navigate the issue. It’s possible that grandma just hadn’t really considered what she truly felt, that being that she didn’t really want to babysit her grandson. She’s clearly a busy person and watching a one-year-old as basically a part time job is a lot. r/AITA was more than happy to dispense some valuable life advice.

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