Paying grandma to babysit? These parents have their say

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Should you be paying grandma to babysit?
Should you be paying grandma to babysit?

After Parent24 shared the story of the mother who says she's 'livid' after her gran demanded a weekly babysitting fee to watch the kids while she worked, we received many emails from readers who had strong thoughts on the topic. 

So we asked our readers if grandparents' should be paid to babysit their own grandchildren and respondents are certainly divided in their opinions. 

27% of respondents said yes, grandparent's time and experience deserves compensation, but 31% said no way, it's their role and grandparents' shouldn't expect payment.  

But the majority of respondents, at 42%, took a balanced approach and said that it depends on how long and how often they have the kids. 

Should grandparents' be paid to babysit their own

Pay up, it's our time 

"Should Granmas' be paid? The answer is YES," one babysitting grandmother mailed to share with us. 

"No one knows the time and offering you spent with those little ones until they do it themselves everyday. Although my daughter insists on paying me, because she says I'm doing a job," she wrote. 

Another reader shared with us that she believes the granny in question is asking for payment because of her daughter's behaviour.

"Do you thank her?" she asked, "Or do you believe it's her duty to look after your child?"

"You young people are so ungrateful," she added. "Think twice girl: get your child a babysitter. That woman is a grandmother not a babysitter." 

A grandparent mailed to tell us that "I love mine but will NOT do it full time without payment. This is MY time of my life. I have worked hard. But I will help in emergencies."  

Capping the fee

This parent wrote to say that she believes in payment where it's due, but that grandparents' should have reasonable expectations. 

"Whether it was my grandmother or my own mother I always paid for a live-in sitter to look after my child when I was away for work," she shared.

She goes on "20 years ago I gave my mother an allowance of more than 2k per month to say thank you when she was looking after my child. When my child lived with me, my mother asked to spend a weekend with my children. I dropped them off and delivered half a pig." 

But then, she says, "I will never forget it when my mother asked 'where's the groceries?'. I was so shocked that there's no end to this women's abuse. I reached for my purse and gave her R500." 

"I think it's appalling to ask for more, after I had gifted her so much meat," she explains. Some parents' may abuse the role of grandparents, she warns, but they should be able to pay for their own children too. 

Chatback:

Share your stories and questions with us via email at chatback@parent24.com. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

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