‘I Don’t Want To Babysit My Grandchild Without Being Paid’

Having a baby is much more than parents imagine before getting one.

Yup, it is much better, and much harder, let’s admit.

Moreover, being a parent and a normal, modern, and properly socialized human being often demands help from someone close.

And who’s better for looking after the new cute baby than a grandparent?

I know my parents look forward to me calling them to ask them to come over and spend some time with my son while I need to go shopping or go out to see a friend.

However, it turns out that not all grandparents are so thrilled to babysit their grandchildren!

Namely, one grandmother took to Reddit to ask if she’s in the wrong.

This was a quick overview of her post:

“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.” 

Okay. So far, so good.

Yet, the woman 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.”

This unusual post surprised many people online. Some pointed out that asking for money wasn’t the issue, but that the grandma seemed like she just didn’t really want to babysit her grandson.

One user had a sharp viewpoint:

“YTA dude,” writes u/MeggieKat87, using the subreddit’s internal abbreviation lingo to indicate that the grandma is in the wrong (YTA = you’re the asshole).

The top comment went on to say that the woman should simply say she can’t or doesn’t want to babysit and not demand two-thirds of her daughter’s income.

The user added:

“To clarify, you’re not TA for asking for compensation, you’re TA because it’s clear you don’t want to do this.”

Others agreed.

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.”

Another 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 an 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.”

Let’s be honest, this is another, roundabout way of saying YTA.

Another user, u/AbraKadoobra, suggested 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?”

However, many understood the grandma, and supported her attitude.

The user u/BitterSyllabub wrote:

“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.”

One woman agreed:

“Yes, I pay my mother to childmind twice a week for me while I work. She is retired and she does not owe me free childcare. It also locks in the days I need and brings a level of formality to the arrangement which is needed so I have stability throughout the working year. It’s not market rates so that is the benefit I get – cheaper childcare and my daughter gets one on one care from someone who loves her. For ad hoc babysitting no she does not charge me but I give her petrol money and if it is over a mealtime sometimes give her some cash to take herself, my dad and my daughter out for a meal if that’s what they want to do.”

Another user wrote:

“Should you pay grandma? Yes, if asked. Kids are hard work. I am extremely lucky that both my mother, and my mother in law are willing to step in and watch my daughter so that my wife and I can work. We can’t really afford childcare, and they do so much for us. They deserve to be paid, and if they asked I would, and if I couldn’t afford it I would just have to look for alternatives. Right now I mostly pay them back in smaller ways. I cook for my mom once in a while, I call her regularly to stay in touch outside of childcare, stuff like that.

It sounds like you have a different problem though. Grandma isn’t entitled to watch your kid for free, but it sounds like you really need to apply for state help here. There are resources to help you, google for them in your state. You might be able to find a more agreeable childcare solution, or at least get some help financially.”


“If it’s consensual and works for them, fine, but otherwise I think it’s wrong. Your children are your responsibility and no one else’s. If others want to help or you made some prior agreement, as they owe you a favour, OK. You are not owed babysitting, however, just because you are family. I don’t buy into that whole “blood is thicker than water” claptrap — I believe that family is what you make of it. Family can consist of biological relatives but it can also be a couple, a single person with pets, etc.

My cousin is (was?) like this. Unless things have changed in the last two years, she has relied heavily upon her mother to take care of her kids. It showed when she stayed with me and my parents while I was living at home.

It seemed to be harder for her to cope without her mother there to help. I once got asked to watch her toddler for “just 5 minutes” while she cleaned out a borrowed car and she ended up taking at least 30 full minutes.

My paternal grandma is the kind of person who would most likely babysit as often as possible. Her whole life has been about babies and kids, since she had 7 of them. Most of what she knows is about cooking, cleaning, religion and children.

My aunt once remarked that Grandma would spend all day with her grandkids if she could.”

In the end, this grandma surely got the answer she needed, and let’s just hope she found the best way to navigate the issue.

It is probable that she didn’t really want to babysit her grandson, as she sounds like a busy person herself.

Therefore, these people might have helped her consider her true feelings on the issue.

Yet, a nice conservation with her daughter, while having all these suggestions in mind, will surely iron things out.