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Dear Wendy

Paying Mother-in-law

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by avatar SpaceySteph 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #806770 Reply

    Hello! My MIL does not work, and has not worked for several years. She has no intentions of getting a job, because several have become available to her yet she finds excuses not to apply. She is way too picky when it comes to finding a job that suites her. She swears she can’t do stuff or can’t learn to operate technology, but wont even try. So, because she doesn’t work, she doesn’t receive an income. Her husband works 40+ hours a week and makes pretty good money at his job. However, he has nothing to show for it because she spends it all on loan payments, bills (that don’t always get paid bc she asks us for money to pay them) and other unnecessary stuff like redoing her kitchen or bedroom or going out to eat every single weekend. He continues to let it happen, so I do not feel sorry for him.

    Ok, there’s the back story. Now to the issue:

    I work a full-time job, and so does my husband. We both works day time shifts. My grandmother and mother help me with keeping our daughter but they both work so some weeks they can’t watch her at all because their schedules do not allow it. When my family does watch her, they do not charge us anything.. but we make sure that she has everything that she needs. My mother and grandmother live about 20 minutes away (in another town) and its out of our way to take her to their houses, so they will meet us in our town to pick her up and do not even ask for gas money.

    My husbands mom lives about 2 miles up the road from us so its super convenient, however, she is wanting to charge us weekly to keep our daughter. She has started redoing furniture for people but its not a steady income and she doesn’t always have time/money to do it. I feel like since she doesn’t do anything all day (and has no desire to) that keeping the baby would be something to occupy her time but now she is wanting to be paid for it. My mother and grandmother would never EVER ask me for money for keeping my daughter. I can pay her, but if I do, it will only be like $25 a week and I will keep up with it and I will claim it on my taxes as child care. What are yall’s thoughts on this? Should I pay her?

    #806774 Reply

    You are not entitled to have free child care just because she is family or your others relatives don’t ask for money.
    Also, you can’t judge what she does with her money or her time.
    Taking care of a kid is a difficult task. If the others do it for free then that’s great but that doesn’t mean that everyone should do the same.

    #806775 Reply

    Yes, you should pay her. What’s your option if you don’t, and your family aren’t available? You need childcare, she needs money, she’s available, and presumably you trust her.

    No one owes you free, regular childcare. It’s also very presumptuous to decide that someone needs to fill their time and so should be glad to watch your kids for free.

    $25 a week doesn’t sound like much of a fair wage. What does she think is reasonable?

    #806776 Reply

    Hah – child care rebranded as “occupying her time”.

    Yes you should pay her. You should do a little research, determine a reasonable rate and pay her. You should supply her with food and diapers like you would any other day care center.

    She does not owe you child care for free.

    #806777 Reply

    It’s very very generous of your family to offer free childcare. You are very lucky to have that. Many families do not. Most people have to pay thousands to cover childcare, or someone has to stay home because the finances don’t make sense to have both parents work.

    Just because your family has been uber generous does not mean your MIL also has to be. If she’s willing to provide childcare for a relatively cheap, be grateful that you are still getting a much better deal than most parents have available.

    I mean, it’s still a way better deal than paying a professional childcare giver to cover the hours your family can’t provide care, right?

    And, don’t worry about how she spends the money. Her finances are her and your father-in-laws business, don’t make it yours. As long as she’s not asking you for loans that will never get back (which you can say no to), don’t worry about it.

    #806781 Reply

    Everyone above is correct in that you’re not entitled to free childcare. I would go a step farther and state that you should be paying your mother and grandmother regardless that they haven’t asked. They’re even going so far as to drive to your town when YOU’RE the one asking for the favor and you’re not even offering to cover their gas.

    Budget for child care regardless of whose providing it. $25 a week is laughable depending on how many hours/days you expect people to watch your child. Figure out a reasonable rate and give that to everyone. If you can’t afford it then maybe their is government kick back you can get regarding childcare than you can then forward on to them.

    #806782 Reply

    Furthermore – its a little dismissive of you to say she has “nothing to occupy her time” when you literally said in the sentence before she was trying to get a business of redoing furniture off the ground.

    Regardless of whether that’s a good idea or not, regardless of whether she is likely to succeed or fail, she is in fact not sitting around on her ass all day. Just because *you* think her time could be better spent doing something else doesn’t matter. She can do whatever she wants with her time.

    #806784 Reply

    5 dollars a day for childcare?
    Ummmm… Exactly what 5th world hellhole do you live in? Oh, and really — could you please try to be just a little more entitled?
    I am so tired of dimwitted asshats breeding like rats. Sigh..

    #806785 Reply

    I’m disappointed that no one else has mentioned this, but she does not owe you free child care and it’s not your business how she spends her money.

    #806786 Reply

    As someone who works full time and has an 18 month old, I am dead tired after a weekend/day off with her and I feel like my desk job is a comparative vacation… I get to sit down for most of it. I get to pee mostly when I want, without someone trying to break down the door, I get to eat lunch without someone throwing food at me. I don’t have to change poopy diapers. Its glorious.
    I mean I love my daughter, but caring for a small child is a lot of hard work and bodily fluids. My daycare deserves every penny of the $275/week I pay.

    Your MIL doesn’t want to do it for free, so your choices are pay her (a fair amount which $25 a week is definitely NOT) or don’t use her for childcare. Really simple.

    Sounds like you are in a pickle because your mom and grandmother can’t do it all the time and you need to fill the gaps. Enrolling her at daycare you didn’t need most of the time would cost a heck of a lot more. Beggars can’t be choosers, so time to pay up.

    #806787 Reply
    Miss MJ

    Good lord, everything about this letter is gross, entitled and judgmental.

    LW, I’m going to skip over the ickiness of you acting like how your MIL and FIL spend their money and time is any of your actual business. Instead, I’ll just address your question of “Why should I pay my MIL for childcare when my mom and grandmother do it for free?”

    Well, you should pay your MIL because you’re taking advantage of your mother and grandmother’s generosity. If I’m reading this right, they are both working and keeping your daughter for free on their days off (instead of doing whatever it is they would otherwise do in their free time) as a favor to you, and you can’t even be bothered to undertake the “inconvenience” of driving 20 minutes out of your way to drop her off and pick her up? Or pay them gas money for taking an additional time out of their days to make the drive in addition to babysitting all day? Seriously? Good on your MIL for saying, thanks, but no. If you want her free time (and, believe it or not, her free time is hers to do whatever the fuck she wants to do with it – even if it’s nothing at all), then you can pay her an actual fair rate for it, which, of course, is NOT $25 per week. If that offends you, then go check out what actual daycare costs.

    #806792 Reply

    There is a flavor here of her husband and her splitting tasks equally in her mind has drifted to it is his obligation to get his mom to provide as much free help as her mom does — her mom making up a big part of what she counts as her personal contribution. Just because your mother is happy to babysit (or perhaps she isn’t as happy as you think and feels burdened) doesn’t mean that your MIL needs to take the same point of view.

    LW — you seem to have a very low opinion of your MIL. Given that stance, I’d think you would not want to be indebted to her based upon free or 10% of normal rate child care.

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