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Grandma refuses to babysit grandson without pay, asks if she's wrong: 'I'm not a daycare'

Many Reddit users reacted strongly to the post with some saying she was entitled to ask for money while some hit out at her.

Grandma refuses to babysit grandson without pay, asks if she's wrong: 'I'm not a daycare'
Senior woman teaching her grandchild - stock photo/Getty Images; Insert: Reddit

Editor's note: This article was originally published on June 1, 2023. It has since been updated.

It's not easy for mothers of young kids to make ends meet. They need all the help they can get, especially if they're working full-time as well. Normally they rely on friends and family to help with babysitting when they go to work. And often it's grandparents who watch their grandkids during the daytime, a nice way to create a strong bond. However, one grandmother put a price on her efforts and demanded her daughter pay her to look after her grandchild. She took to Reddit to share her story and ask if she was being a jerk by charging her daughter a price for babysitting her grandchild. One could make the argument that labor is labor at the end of the day and needs to be compensated, especially when you consider how the economy rarely accounts for the work of women at home. However, Reddit users said she wasn't accounting for the fact that her daughter barely made ends meet and it was cruel to charge her for it. 

Shot of a senior woman spending time with her grandsons/Getty Images


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



She explained that she had a life of her own going, and if she was going to be taking time off to tend to her grandchild, she needed to be compensated for it. "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 wrote. She argued that every hour she would spend with her grandkid was time she could have been out earning. "While I am working at home, I cannot simply work and watch her child at the same time," she wrote. "She says that it’s only 2-3 a week since her husband’s parents are babysitting on the other 2-3 remaining days while she works, and she’d be providing food. I love my grandson, but as I stated above, I’m not a daycare." She turned to Reddit to ask if she was in the wrong, and an overwhelming majority called her out. 



"Dude, just say you don't want to babysit. You're asking for over 2/3's of the money she's making pre-tax. Obviously, she can't afford that. To clarify, you're not the a$$hole for asking for compensation, you're the a$$hole because it's clear you don't actually want to do this and instead of outright saying so, you're instead demanding an outrageous (for what your daughter earns) amount," wrote u/MeggieKat87. Many others chimed in that for the rate she was demanding, her daughter could find cheap daycare.

"You're the a$$hole," Reddit user u/SevsMumma21217 wrote. "Not for asking to be paid. After all, 24 hours a week is basically a part-time job on top of your actual job. You should get paid. No. You're the a$$hole for trying to screw your daughter out of 2/3 of her paycheck. Sure, she'll probably have to pay that at a daycare center—maybe even more. But a center comes with qualifications and certifications. Why do you feel like you deserve a pay rate almost equal to professional daycare workers?"



Some pointed out that it was obvious she didn't want to babysit and asked her to be honest about it. "Just say no. You don’t want to. That’s perfectly ok. But the absolutely oblivious world you live in where someone making $22/hr can afford $15/hr is insane. Instead of being manipulative and trying to make out like you offered to help," wrote u/username2-4-3-7. "I’m a mom with a toddler. I don’t like other kids. If a family member asked me to watch their kid I wouldn’t say, 'only if you pay me 70% of your gross income', I’d say, 'I’m sorry, I’m not well suited for caring for other people’s young children. I would be happy to research some local daycares if that would help you find care?'" 

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