Grandma to the Rescue

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“I am a grandmother who watches her three grandsons three to four days a week…

I have done it for over five years but just recently my situation has changed. I either have to go to work or charge my children to watch my grandchildren. I feel terrible for asking.
I also watch my five month old granddaughter two days a week for my other daughter who is on board with it. They know how expensive childcare is in New Jersey and would rather her be with grandma. I am waiting on my daughter to discuss it with her husband. They are all successful but as you can imagine how it might be difficult with three boys ages one, three, and five. Looking for opinions and advice.
Are there other grandmas out there charge and how do their children feel about it, does it upset them or are they grateful grandma is able to do it?” -Anonymous
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20 thoughts on “Grandma to the Rescue”

  1. We have 7 grandsons and have helped with babysitting before and after school or while the parents were working etc- it’s a one and quarter hour round trip to school drop Off or pick up. We don’t need the money and have never charged our kids for the care. It’s fun being with our boys and something that was never done for us. We could never charge our kids for the care of their / our kids.

  2. If I was your son-in-law, you’d have been on full salary, plus benefits 5 years ago. I’m not joking. I hope that they all understand how fortunate they are to have you, and that they find a way to make it a win-win for everyone.

  3. My mil always looked after my boys, and I always paid her current childminder rates. I had a childminder I trusted, and she had a fair income.. Win/win.

    1. I’m sure that they will understand your reasons. I’m hoping that they continue with you watching your grandkids. Grandmas are the best child care they can get

  4. I think it’s about respect for your time, attention, unending love, wisdom and nurturing. Mine say the next best thing to mama is grandma and are happy to pay me. (much less than what they’d pay in daycare) I’ve watched 4 of mine until they started school and have so many heartwarming memories of that time. For me it was a labor of love but it was nice to know my kids appreciated it so much too.

  5. I think it is their duty to pay for childcare while they are being paid to work. But there are always times for you to watch them when you just want to have an adventure with your grandchildren.

  6. I kept my now four year old grand-daughter for her first two years, and it never dawned on me not to charge them. It wasn’t because I needed the money, because I didn’t. It was because they needed to be responsible for their child. I charged them less than half what they would have to pay the daycare, and every penny plus, spent on the baby. Trips to the zoo and other outings can be expensive. I have two more now, and I’ll keep her until she finds a sitter, but I’m 72, and I love my grand-babies, but I would never keep them if the parents didn’t want to pay. It’s not about the money, it’s about taken advantage of your love for your grandkids. I would expect them to pay something, but not as much as a daycare.

  7. I have been daycare for my 2 granddaughters for over 4 years. The first year I did it for free but my situation changed. I talked to my son and daughter in law, and they had no problem paying me. Daycare is crazy expensive and finding a trustworthy provider is hard. I feel most parents would be willing to pay for the best daycare provider there is, grandparents! It has been wonderful spending so much time with my granddaughters and being a big part of their life. We have so much fun making memories! I am blessed to be able to care for them. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.

  8. I quit my job to stay home & watch my grand-daughter 4x a week because both my son & I didn’t want her in daycare. I couldn’t afford to do this for free, so we agreed on a monthly price (WAY less than I was making working) and despite the fact that 1 grand-daughter has turned into 4, the price hasn’t gone up. If your children have a problem paying you, then THEY have a problem and they don’t truly appreciate what you’re doing for them. If you can’t continue to watch their children then they’ll be paying someone and it’ll probably be more than if they were paying you.

  9. For five years you have saved them a minimum of $250 a week (at minimum). You are now in need so they are either going to pay daycare/aftercare or pay you. It’s pretty simple and I can’t imagine why it would be a problem.
    Take care of You because You obviously cannot count on them to be fair on their own.

  10. I get payed to watch 3 1/2 year old grandson 3-4 times a week and sometimes on weekends. I do get a small pension and SS, but with bills and taxes, it leaves me little. My son is happy to help me out, I even made him pay less than what he offered originally. I think he’s happy that his son spends so much time with me, as he was close to my mother growing up. It works for us.

  11. This is a hard question as we want to do everything we can for our children and grandchildren. I think this best thing to do is be honest with them about your situation. My bet is they will help you make a decision that works for everyone.

    1. I’ve minded my two grandsons to help out my daughter and her husband. I have never taken payment for it. But saying that my daughter is so good to me paying for holidays for me bringing me on weekends away. And if I’m ever short of something (because I am on my own) I only have to ask. So it works both ways. Best of luck.

  12. If you don’t really need the money don’t charge them . Feel blessed of sharing so many things even the parents can’t with the kids. I live with my daughter and granddaughter in mu house and I thank God every day of my life for that. When I feel tired that is what I think. You’re blessed as I am!

  13. I looked after my grands also when they were small after I retired but when my situation changed and I was on my own…I told my kids I would have to charge a minimal rate as I needed to top up a pension…they were fine with this as they would rather have me than a day care or other sitter who would not only charge more but not give the love and attention they were used to…this worked well for years until I found that physically as I aged it was harder to keep up with the smallest and I only looked after for for 2 days a week…I thank goodness for my children’s rising to the occasion which allowed me to continue doing something I enjoyed by not having to find work…but the benefits to both grands and I were priceless and I have so many great memories now and so do they…so have that conversation with your children and set some boundaries…good luck

  14. To make a long story short, I adored the time I was able to watch my grandchildren, but once it got too much for me, I was honest with my daughter that I just physically could not keep doing it. It was never a question of money for me, although I did expect the parents to provide diapers, wipes, formula, etc. when the kids were small.

  15. I totally get it. I help my parents (in their late 80’s and 90) by paying their bills (from their account), managing their medical bills, coordinating with medical professionals, taking mom on errands, trying to check that they have social contacts, access to meals, etc. We also get asked to watch grandchildren several times a week. My husband, who still works, always says yes but lately I’ve been saying no. I’m weary. I love my grandkids but several days with my parents wears me down. That wouldn’t change if I was paid. If my parents were no longer around I would work part-time to pay the bills to help us be in better shape for retirement. We both have health issues. I feel selfish when I just want to rest.

  16. When my grandson was born in 2018, I was asked to watch the baby while the mother transitioned out of the military. They said they would pay me since it would have costs them more to put the baby in daycare. They felt safer with me. I didn’t get paid until a few days after I left to go home. You put in a lot of your time to watch your grandchildren on a regular basis while your children pursue their lives. It is not the same as a visit. Many adult children are either unaware or selfish of the fact you are caring for their children. If you go back to work, they will need to find alternative care. You are not suppose to go into a poor status while they are pursuing their lives. Call a family meeting and discuss this with all involved. Also, don’t feel guilty. You raised your children. There is nothing in the books that say you have to raise theirs.

  17. I think it would be one thing is the children were struggling, but you said “they’re all successful “. The one struggling is you! You saved them SO much money already! And even PAYING you, the kids are STILL with grandma, so the “kids” don’t have to worry as much, and it’s still building that relationship. Plus I bet grandma takes those babies even if they’re sick and running a fever, saving mom and dad from missed work. A daycare won’t keep them if they’re sick. I feel like if your children knew YOU were struggling, they would want to help. If that’s NOT the case, then they don’t deserve you anyway.

  18. I keep my granddaughter every evening through the week after she gets out of headstart I’m blessed to be able to keep her without charging my daughter any thing. I enjoy this little girl so much.

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