Parents that use their parents as free babysitters

terry123

Well-known member
Location
Houston, Tx.
Years ago before my stroke and my grands were still young I would drive 4-5 hours to Houston after work on a Friday to spend Saturday and Sunday baby sitting them. My daughter worked as a pharmacist every other weekend. My son in law worked at an oil refinery with erratic shifts. So for a few months I loved spending most of the weekend with them while they both worked the weekends. As they got seniority in their jobs I did it less but I loved being there for those precious babies. Never thought about them paying me even though they could have afforded it. You do for family!!
 
Yesterday I saw a woman in the market who was probably at least 80 years old with a baby in the shopping cat and a about a 4 year old toddler. She looked to tired and harassed I felt sorry for her, especially if she was doing it for free.
I've never seen anyone with a baby and a toddler who DIDN'T looked tired and harassed. It goes with the territory, whether you're 80 or 28.....
 

Sassycakes

Well-known member
Location
Pennsylvania
I think I was born to be a baby sitter. I became an Aunt when I was about 7yrs old. My older brother moved in to our house and I watched his son and then his 2nd son before they moved. Then after I got married and had kids I was a stay at home Mom. I not only watched my children but even some of their friends who had working Mom's. Then when I became a Grandmom I watched my 2 grandsons everyday. I have to admit it I absolutely loved it and would do it again . Those days for me where the best days of my life.
 

win231

Well-known member
Location
CA
Just when the seniors can kick back and have a rest after raising a family, they now have to raise another. When I was a kid, my mom HIRED a babysitter if I had to be left alone for any time. She's never think of asking her mother or mother-in-law to stay with me.
She probably liked her mother & mother-in-law too much to expose them to you.
 
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CarolfromTX

Active member
Location
Central Texas
I help out with my grandkids because I want to, because I am able to, because I love them, and because I love my daughter and want to help her if I can. Why would I take money? I don't need it, so I'd just as soon my daughter kept her money. She has never over-stepped and asked us to do anything too difficult. My involvement has included staying with the kids when they're sick, ferrying them to the dentist or the allergist, things like that. Seems to me that loving acts like that are what keeps a family together. We also have taken the kids for short vacations -- mom and dad get a break, and Nana and Poppops get to be spoilers and maybe grow closer to the grands. You ask me, it's a win/win.
 

win231

Well-known member
Location
CA
Gosh....when I think of the money I could have made!! :)
I drove my sister to high school for 3 years & also drove her to university when I was between jobs. I was able to shuffle my work schedule because I was a Process Server at the time & could work evenings if I wanted to.
After she had kids, I picked them up from school every day so she could keep her full-time job.
By the time I retired, my parents were too old to drive safely. I chauffeured them everywhere.
 

Warrigal

Well-known member
I don't know why this annoys me.
This may rankle with some other board members because they love their grandkids and like to spend time with them and I say "More power to you." However, I would never agree to babysit for free no matter how much I loved the children. I feel that if people want to have kids, they should have enough money to pay for their care.
It's not free baby sitting. It is safe baby sitting. I wouldn't leave my children with people I did not know well. Fortunately I had many options, mother, mother in law and an auntie.

Better them than a paid baby sitter who could be a risk to the children. In my turn I have been available to safeguard our grandchildren when their parents were somewhere else.
 

toffee

Well-known member
Location
uk
I THINK ''my self is yes do the baby sitting on n off or to help out for a reason' but there is limits to this issue ' some times
baby sitting can get a chore and it should not-- take my niece -she has done this from day one- 6 days a week from 7 till
3 pm she has little life now all because she dont wanna upset them ' that is crap to me '' it comes under free nusery in my eyes
and they both work -she would have to pay a lot here for a day nursey - dont like gran parents being put on its disgusting and free loading - and I have gran kids - and did baby sit here and there but no way would I do it everyday ...had my kids -and never asked my elderly parent ...
 

TravelinMan

Active member
It sounds like many of you have great relationships with your children and grandchildren so kudos to you. But not all children are so endearing. Our son, who is single, lives 2 blocks from us and has made it abundantly clear that he does NOT want to see us and that we are NOT welcome in his house. He says that most families get together twice a year(?) so he can't bring his girls over to our house so that we can see them.

He is single and has his 15 YO daughter living with him who was born out of wedlock to a 17 YO drug addict. We moved 1800 miles to live near him to help take care of her when she was young and spent 8 years raising her in our home - from age 3 to 12. Three years ago she left our house to live with her father and his then current squeeze. The son also has a 12 YO daughter from a failed 2 year marriage whom he unabashedly favors over his 15 YO.

So now we get to see our granddaughters mostly when they can get something free from us. The 15 YO just got her braces off after 7 years and her father never took he even once to an appointment. My wife and I provide transportation to her church youth group every week so that we can see her. We provide other transportation and, or course, provide other assistance like getting medicine that she needs, home coming dresses, school clothes, and on and on.

We have also bailed our son out of numerous crises because her is terrible with money and lives pay check to pay check with no emergency reserve even though we sent him to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University course twice. I know that we have enabled the heck out of him so we are blaming ourselves for this insanity and dysfunctionality.

But it is hard not to resent him for so unashamedly using us to pursue his dysfunctional lifestyle. When we try to impart some of our hard earned wisdom his reply is, "Everything if different now!" Maybe this is what debo was trying to say.
 

Gemma

Well-known member
I don't know why this annoys me.
This may rankle with some other board members because they love their grandkids and like to spend time with them and I say "More power to you." However, I would never agree to babysit for free no matter how much I loved the children. I feel that if people want to have kids, they should have enough money to pay for their care.
When my grandson was a toddler, many many years ago, he visited often, slept some nights at our home and we enjoyed those days, playing outdoors, hiking, even cooking together. The boy sure loved to eat what he made! And, was so tired in the evening from all the fresh air he got being outdoors.

When my daughter & her husband divorced, and he won custody of their son, he asked if I would babysit him while he worked second shift 5 days per week. I told him I didn't have a problem doing so but it would cost him $5.00 per day, since this would turn into a full time job for me. SIL agreed to my price. The money he paid me, was matched by me and placed in a savings account for my grandson.

After he married another woman, the full time babysitting stopped but not the occasional visits. I continued adding money to his account over the years. When he graduated high school, I turned over the savings account, that also drew interest, to our grandson with a nice chunk of change in it! He was SO surprised, as was his father!

I do not feel guilty about charging dad a few bucks to watch our grandson. If he would have had to hire someone else, it would have cost him more than what I asked for. Besides, SIL own mother and 3 sister's did not want the responsibility because it would encroach on their freedom to travel when they felt like it.
 
I don't know why this annoys me.
This may rankle with some other board members because they love their grandkids and like to spend time with them and I say "More power to you." However, I would never agree to babysit for free no matter how much I loved the children. I feel that if people want to have kids, they should have enough money to pay for their care.
Social security is a pay as you go system.


Social Security is largely a pay-as-you-go program. This means that today's workers pay Social Security taxes into the program and money flows back out as monthly income to beneficiaries.
That means that they money you paid in when you wereworking is long gone. It went to pay the old farts that were retired back then. Today, the money that your kids are paying into the system is what is funding your checks. So, in effect they are already paying you. So while they are out there working to support you, how about you help out a little bit and watch the kids for them?
 

911

Well-known member
Location
USA
My wife left her job for 5 years to watch my daughter’s and son’s children. My daughter’s son was born in August and my son’s daughter was born in November. My wife volunteered to watch them (not babysit) until they began Kindergarten. My wife did more than just watch them. She taught them a lot, especially math and words.

My daughter and son each paid her $25.00 per week. When they turned 5, both kids went to kindergarten. My wife saved all the money that she was paid and on Christmas Day, she gave them all the money back that they had paid her. I don’t know exactly how much she gave them, but I heard my daughter-in-law tell my son that it was over $5000.00. They were ecstatic.
 

Judycat

Well-known member
Location
Pennsylvania
I where I live I see many grandparents raising the grandchildren while the kids' parents have a social life, take vacations and live like they don't have the burden of raising children at all. That's ok with me as long as the grandparents are willing. I see mine once a month. It is kind of hard being left out, but it's an either or situation. I have to be all in or not much at all. My daughter-in-law's dad and girlfriend get to see the grands all the time, but they also have to be available for babysitting at the drop of a hat too. They live less than half a mile away and I live over 20 miles away so there is that too. I do it when they need but no I'm not raising the kids for them. Don't think I'd want to either. Do love seeing them though.
 

StarSong

Well-known member
Location
Los Angeles
I wouldn't consider taking payment for the pleasure of watching my beloved grandchildren, just as my mother and in-laws didn't want money for watching my children when requested, nor did my grandparents want or expect payment for watching me and my siblings.

Likewise, I neither wanted nor expected payment for helping my mother and in-laws through their elderly years, nor did my parents charge their parents for the same, nor did my grandparents charge my great-grandparents. Further back than that, I cannot go, but suspect this is a tale as old as time. Each generation helps the next and the previous.

You do for the ones you love when and how you are able. They return the favor when and how they are able.

No payment or formal structure required or desired.
 
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Don M.

Well-known member
Location
central Missouri
My wife was going over the the granddaughters house, about 15 miles away, for about 3 months this Summer, to watch the great grandkids on Mondays and Tuesdays....until the granddaughter found a better "nanny". The Wife thoroughly enjoyed the "duties", and I got to play Bachelor for a couple of days per week. Every month, we get the little ones for a weekend while the granddaughter and husband take a weekend break. We enjoy having the little ones around, and it helps maintain the good family bonds.
 

RadishRose

Well-known member
Location
Connecticut USA
It's Family and it goes back to the cave.

Families within a tribe lived together usually. It was natural then for the older ones to care for, even bring up the babies while dads hunted and made tools and moms gathered, sewed skins, kept fires, etc. We depended on one another, formed bonds, developed affection. This is how we survived.

When the babies became more self-sufficient and took a load off their parents, the parents had time to tend to the elders until they died. The cycle repeated through millennia. We don't live in this natural way anymore.
 
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Lc jones

Well-known member
Location
Florida
I love my grandson very much but I’ve got to tell you there’s a reason why contained in the word retired is the word tired! I just don’t have the energy that I once had and as he is very mischievous and rambunctious when our kiddo goes back to his house I feel like I’ve been run over by a car and it takes me at least a day to recover....I’ve seen grandparents taking care of their grandchildren full-time or even part-time and I say God bless them but honestly unless it was an emergency I would have to have a serious heart-to-heart with my kids about being asked to do this. Also I have raised three children one with a severe disability and it’s now it’s my children’s turn to raise their own so I’ll be there to provide cookies and cuddles but I don’t want to be the disciplinarian. A grandma or grandpa would have to be the disciplinarian if you took care of the grandchildren for any length of time if we were to do the job right and I don’t believe that’s what a grandparent has been made to do. It’s all about lovies to me.
 

Ronni

The mouthy one ;)
Location
Nashville TN
I know some grandparents who are being taken advantage of by being guilted into providing fulltime free babysitting for their grands. They’re not happy about it but don’t want to alienate their kids

I know another grandma who begged to be able to watch her granddaughter fulltime, left a lucrative job and moved two states away with her husband in order to do so.

I adore my grands, babysit frequently, pick them up from school sometimes, visit or have them over a lot, but I make very sure I’m not taken advantage of which would just cause resentment. I’m not a drop in babysitting service so I require notice, and because I have a busy life sometimes I’m not able to because of scheduling. My kids never just assume that I’ll do it or be available, which is respectful and I appreciate it.

My daughter’s kids are having a sleepover with us in a couple weeks and they are sooo excited! “I’m PUMPED for our sleepover, Bee!!” Is what my 8 year old grandson greeted me with when I saw him the other day....made my day!!! 💕
 

Knight

Well-known member
Yesterday I saw a woman in the market who was probably at least 80 years old with a baby in the shopping cat and a about a 4 year old toddler. She looked to tired and harassed I felt sorry for her, especially if she was doing it for free.
debodun I'm certain you are aware that many seniors aren't living their best life in their seniors years. Looking tired & harassed could be that woman's natural look. Not knowing if she was looking after what appeared to be a 4 year old as a way of making a few bucks or for free makes you feel sorry why? Would making some money make you feel less sorry?
 


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