Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

does grandma watching your kids for free pretty much go without saying?

my mil watches atleast one of my kids almost every weekend. i have 3 and sometimes ill leave all 3 with her or send the 2 oldest to my mother's and leave the baby with my mil. it's only for one night so hubby and i can go out. she has never asked for money but i have never offered, so it got me thinking, should i atleast offer to pay her, even though she'd probably say no anyways? do you offer, do your parents/inlaws expect money to watch your kids? thanks.


Asked by Anonymous at 10:43 AM on Feb. 24, 2010 in Just for Fun

This question is closed.
Answers (92)
  • I think it's great that you are thinking about this, as you certainly don't want to abuse your mil. While I think she might truly love the opportunity to see her grandkids every weekend, she might also mind. She might not want to say anything for fear that you will find another sitter and then she wouldn't get to see them much. Maybe the best person to ask is her. I think as long as you go about it with the right approach, she will appreciate it immensely, even if she says no. I would think it would make her think more highly of you for even offering.

    Answer by JawgaMom1 at 12:30 PM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • I'm glad I'm not your free babysitter. The woman has a life. Why would she want to raise your kids? You had them, you watch them. That's what I told my kids. If I have to watch them in an emergency situation I get my gas paid. If I have to watch them for days there better be money left for me to take them somewhere and out to eat. I'm not paying to take kids out bc they drive me nuts in the house and I certainly am not paying to feed them....and not cooking.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:46 AM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • My mom wouldn't ask for money but I make sure to always slip her a little cash or do something nice for her when I can.

    Answer by benjamink at 10:46 AM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • My mom knows i couldnt afford to pay her, but i do offer to get her something from the grocery store or something like that when im on my way. I try to do something small so she doesnt feel taken advantage of. BUT my mom only watches my son about once a month, and RARELY over night! She watched him over night V-day weekend, so we could go an hour away and not stress about the time of coming back. I dont ask her for alot...i think sometimes she wishes she could keep him more. But be careful assuming that they feel great doing it for free. Family can be finicky!

    Answer by sweetstkissez22 at 10:48 AM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • Well you can offer but it also depends on how often they see their grandchildren. Like for me (my inlaws) live 5 hours away so whenever we go visit their like go go go out go do what you need to take care of so of course my dh and I leave and catch up on stuff. We have never offered but if it was a common thing I would even though they'll probably say no. But atleast you let them know you thought of it...but be ready to pay incase they do decide to take it...LOL

    My parents live 10 hours away I doubt they will take the money they'll be too busy loving and catching up on

    Answer by Butterfly1108 at 10:49 AM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • Every weekend! It sounds like you are taking advantage of her big time. Free babysitting or when ever you need it babysitting is not a given. My mom has done some babysitting for me, and while she won't accept money I do always make sure I at least buy her lunch or dinner. I also leave money with her to cover any expenses she might incur taking my kids out to eat or taking them to places with an admission fee.


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:49 AM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • Well, my parents would love to have my daughter every weekend. And they would be highly offended if I ever offered to pay them. However you might want to ask her if every weekend is too much for her. Its great that you get a date night every weekend but its not really that necessary. Especially if its overwhelming for her. I would just sit down and talk to her about it.

    Answer by MamaChamp at 10:52 AM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • No - my mom/inlaws keep my kids all the time too. Not for me and dh to go out (although they do that too), but for dr appts, dentist appts, etc. They enjoy seeing them and have never asked for money, and I don't offer them any but if I notice that they've been there a lot lately I make other arrangements with a sitter. I try not to abuse my parents/in laws simply because they are usually willing.

    Answer by missanc at 10:52 AM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • Every once in a while...I don't offer, and she doesn't expect. If it's a regular thing, or really putting her out, you should at least offer. If she turns you down, then that's that, but offering I think is the decent thing to do.

    Answer by DragonRiderMD at 10:52 AM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • we are former military and never had family or friends around to watch our children..i never trusted anybody enough to come and watch my kids...(just my choice)...i think its great if you have the option of having your mother in law volunteer to do so....its not about paying her but i`m sure she would love to hear how much you appreciate it...maybe flowers ...a nice card...a spa...mani/pedi coupon....just so she knows you dont take it for sons are eight and thirteen now

    Answer by mollysmom212 at 10:54 AM on Feb. 24, 2010