A woman has been criticized online for using her mother as childcare. In a post on Mumsnet, user WatermelonSugarRainbow wrote: “I am one of three siblings, my sister is a single mom and my brother (much younger, single) has a great job. My parents and siblings live in a small town while I moved to London to study and work (20 years ago). I’m the only one in the family who goes to university and has a ‘professional’ job. “
She goes on to describe: “Over the years, I always treated my mom and siblings – I took my mom shopping (cashmere sweaters, linen dresses, perfume, new cell phones and even a laptop). I took her to Barcelona (everyone pays long weekend) for her 60th birthday, I would also take my family out for dinner (to the bar or pizza express – nothing too fancy) and pick up the bill knowing they could not afford it, but I wanted to just spending time with them / strengthening our bond. “
She recounts a specific situation where she ended up paying for an entire holiday home for her mother and sister, as according to her mother: “It was too expensive for my sister because she is a single mother (even though she agreed to the costs before I have to admit my dp (Darling Partner) was very angry about this whole situation.
“After I had my second, I asked if my mother would help me with childcare and nursery drop off and pick up. I suggested she move in with us until my son is ready to start kindergarten (at 2 years old). She asked me to pay her for childcare and we agreed that I would pay her £ 500 a month while I provided her with food, accommodation, etc.
She goes on to say that despite the fact that she and her husband have well-paid jobs, they have large monthly expenses in the form of, “Mortgage on an expensive house (good area / schools, etc.), car loan, student loans (about to be paid off) and credit card debt we used when we decorated the house, about £ 500 a month for childcare is not an insignificant amount for us, but it is obviously less than kindergarten and we agreed because we felt that she is the best person to look after dc (darling child) to give us peace of mind.
“Fast forward to now, we booked and paid for her to come to Spain on holiday (only in 2 years) to help with childcare and she agreed. She asked my brother to join us at the villa closes. (I agreed that me and my brother shared the villa costs for my mother equally.) On day one of the holiday both my dp and ds got sick, that’s when she told me she was ‘on holiday’ and is not going to help.On day 4, my brother demanded that we give him money back as he would not / should not pay for my mother.He accused me of ripping him off, took out a hammer and threatened to to damage the villa, I finally asked him to go and gave him all his money back for his share (£ 400) even though it was already halfway through the holidays as I did not feel safe to have him nearby .
“My mother took his side and demanded that I pay her for childcare in June (I have not done so yet as she ‘took 2 weeks’ leave’ to go back to her house and just came back for a flight to pick up with us) she then told me she no longer wanted to look after my children and accused me of being ungrateful and ‘not generous’ with my family when I said I spent so much money on this holiday to pay for everyone. ”
Finally she asks: ‘I owe her money (£ 250), should I just give her the money I owe her, or should I’ deduct ‘all the costs for’ gifts’ (£ 450) plus the cost of the holiday villa and flights (£ 500) – which means we would all be square? Am I unreasonable in deducting gifts and holidays? “
Users were critical in the comments with one writing: “I think you are unreasonable. It sounds a bit like you exploited your mother here. I’m not sure where else you would find a resident. Babysitter for £ 500 “The poor woman uprooted herself to look after your children and you were going to deduct money when she wanted a break?”
While another wrote: “None of you sound good tbh. They benefit and it sounds like you do it too by wanting to buy it all. Send your mom home and get proper childcare. No extravagant gifts anymore not and let your relationship develop naturally. “
The results of research conducted by Age UK indicate that 40% of grandparents over the age of 50 regularly look after their grandchildren, with one in ten of them doing so at least once a day, giving the economy more than £ 4 billion per year.