Grandparents spark debate by refusing to babysit daughter’s newborn for free

11 July 2023, 14:24

A grandad has been praised for refusing to babysit for free
A grandad has been praised for refusing to babysit for free. Picture: Getty Images

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Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Some grandparents aren’t willing to look after their grandkids for free.

A couple has gone viral after they complained about their parents asking for money to babysit.

Taking to Reddit, the new dad explained that he and his wife had moved closer to her parents before having kids so they could be on hand for babysitting duties.

The dad then added that his mother-in-law was due to retire the year they were expecting their baby ‘so it all worked out.’

But unfortunately for the couple, his father-in-law had some terms and conditions when it came to childcare.

A man has complained about his father-in-law on Reddit
A man has complained about his father-in-law on Reddit. Picture: Getty Images

He said: “Before we decided to have kids, we moved out into our own house shortly after we got married.

“We took everything into consideration: community, area, school district, but most importantly… location.

“Not just distance to work or local shopping areas, but more importantly, the distance to my wife’s parents, as we knew later on, we would have them babysit as they were the closest grandparents.

“My parents live 3-4 hours away, which was not really ideal for daily babysitting.”

He went on to say that his father-in-law ‘liked to have financial responsibility and security,’ which meant he never gave ‘free handouts’.

Would you charge to look after your grandkids?
Would you charge to look after your grandkids? Picture: Getty Images

The post continued: “He never really shared how much he makes or made, or how much he has. He never liked the idea of ‘free handouts’, but he would help her in her financial needs.

“Like paying part of her college tuition, buying her a car as long as she takes care of insurance, gas, etc., Which is a good mindset to which we agree with.

“He has spoken to me about his retirement funds (somewhere in the couple millions range), and how much he makes (somewhere in the $150k per year range) so I know he doesn’t need money.

“My wife knows he doesn’t need money, but doesn’t know how much he has.”

The anonymous dad went on to say that his wife’s parents always loved the idea of babysitting because they would get to be with their grandchild every day.

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Things soon changed when his wife was heavily pregnant and the baby was due, with his father-in-law beginning to ask about payment.

“Seeing as he wasn’t fond of the free babysitting, he started to compare pricing of daycares in today’s market and how much he would start charging us weekly,” he said.

“After his research, he surmised his amount to $400 [£312] per week for babysitting and $100 [£78] for weekends and we were shocked.”

The new dad claimed that while he and his wife were planning on paying them, he was annoyed when they asked for the money.

He added: “It’s not like my wife and I were well off either, we make enough to live comfortably.

“So it became a huge discussion between us to the point where we almost decided that they weren’t going to see their grandchild unless we decide to see them on the weekends.”

A grandad is asking for payment to look after his grandchild
A grandad is asking for payment to look after his grandchild. Picture: Alamy

While the Reddit user was hoping for sympathy, he definitely didn’t get it with one person writing: “This should go without saying but you are also wrong for assuming grandparents would volunteer for daycare duty (paid or otherwise) just because they are the grandparents.”

Someone else said: “I don’t know why you expected them to do it for whatever piddly amount you were ‘planning’ on paying. $400 a week for newborn care is a bargain where I am.”

But someone else said: “My parents told me up front that they feel too old and don’t have the energy to chase a toddler full time, and that is totally fine.

“Most grandparents here do look after their grandchildren for free, usually all summer long on school breaks and when they are too young for day care."

Another agreed: “I don’t get grandparents that don’t want to spend time watching their grandkids. This has never made sense to me.”