Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Question for Parents and Grandparents Out There

My son and daughter-in-law recently had a new baby boy.  This makes 2 lovely boys for them.

Both parents are working, although my DIL is currently on maternity leave.  She will be going back to work at the end of  next month.

I am going to be watching the baby 3 days a week in lieu of their having to use a daycare worker, and they will be paying me (less than they would pay a daycare worker for those three days - I insisted on that).  I was curious to see if there are a lot of grandmothers like me who accept payment for watching their grandchildren.  There is a lot of negative feedback toward grandparents who accept payment.

I love my grandsons dearly and often watch them for their mom and dad at no charge when they are running errands, needing time away for dinner or dates, or I just stop by to visit and play with the baby to give mom or dad a break to nap, watch tv or do household things if they want to.  My older grandson loves to spend the night at least once a week.  I don't ask for payment - just the pleasure of his company, playing games and reading books.

I was forced from a well-paying job into early retirement six months ago, and payments by the kids (who offered, by the way - I did not request) will help to supplement my lost income. Had I been able to continue working I would have worked until 65 and been able to collect my full retirement.  From my point of view, I am locking myself into a schedule depending on when the kids need me to be available.   I am also available on those three days to watch both boys when my older grandson doesn't have school, at no extra charge to the kids.  This option is not available through an outside provider - they have to pay per child per day.  If the kids are off from work on one of my scheduled days, I don't ask for payment that day as a daycare provider would.  If you sign up to pay a daycare for 5 days a week, you pay for 5 days a week, whether you're there 5 days a week or not.  I don't have 5 or 6 other children to keep an eye on as well.  My kids don't have to worry that someone else's kid might be mean to their child.  What would I be doing if not watching my grandson(s)?  Crocheting, for one thing.  It's my passion, outside of my family.  That's not possible when all of your attention is on the precious baby in your charge. 

Of course, I spend quality time with my grandchildren.  It's something that I hope they will remember all their lives once I am gone.  But why does the fact that I accept remuneration for that privilege make me a bad grandmother? 

1 comment:

  1. Not at all. It is never a great idea to accept the consensus of outsiders. First, it is a financial savings over what they'd pay at the daycare. Second, the child is with family, not strangers. Lastly, you could seek outside employment, just because you haven't doesn't mean at some point you wouldn't. Making this commitment means that isn't going to happen.

    My Mom learned it isn't free to babysit. There always seem to be things that you need to have at the house to make it work and it costs. That doesn't get factored in when you start this processs.