Grandpaents as childcare providers

Should grandparents provide full time childcare for their grandchildren? Or should working adult children pay for daycare, and only ask parents occasionally? Please le me know your opinions. thanks

Grandparents are NOT obligated to provide childcare–they may. Parents should be prepared to shoulder the expense of daycare or a nanny if having a SAHP is not feasible. Discuss these things with your parents BEFORE having kids–so you don’t end up assuming a service that hasn’t been offered. Keep in mind, that even when grandparents choose to provide childcare, they may not be physically able to do so every day or for extended periods of time–and sometimes you just don’t know that until you try it.

I am afraid there are as many different answers to your question as there are different families!

I think it is lovely when grandparents are involved deeply in the lives of their grandchildren! However raising them full time is another matter. I would not see taking care of grandchildren full time as the moral obligation of grandparents. Not sure if that pertains to your situation or not, just my two cents. God bless you.

This has recently come up in my life. We have agreed to a two month trial period watching my grandson for $100.00 a week from my daughter (less than half of what she offered). We would like to do it for free, it is a great opportunity to spend some time with him as he grows up, but she wants to pay and we could use the money (part may go into a college fund). I personally don’t feel grandparents should be used as babysitters, (they have raised their families) but my daughter is in need and we have the time. The question needs to be settled on a family by family, case by case basis. :blush:

I do not think grandparents should provide full time care for the grandchildren, because I believe very strongly that a mother should be able to stay home and raise her own children. Period.

When my H and I were starting out and really struggling financially I thought I had to go back to work to “help out.” We asked my MIL if she’d watch our son for a few hours a day three days a week. She refused outright and told us she’d “already done her time.”

I asked my mother, who also did not have the energy or desire to do this, but agreed because she also (like me) could not bear the thought of her grandson being “cared” for by strangers.

This was a painful reality for all of us … and I only went back to work for about a month before I just broke down and told my H I could not do this. No matter if we continued to live in a duplex the rest of our lives … I had to raise our babies myself.

Thankfully, my H agreed and stepped up and worked hard and provided a decent living for our family. We didn’t have expensive clothes, extracurricular activities or vacations … but we have had each other … and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Grandparents should encourage their children to find a solution so that they can raise their own kids … and grandparents can do the extra things, if they want.


I will have raised my kids. They can raise their own.

I have made my sacrifices/gifts to my kids in terms of time, effort, sweat, worry, and giving up pursuing pastimes and opportunities to live up to my responsibilities to them. To provide things for them. Their kids are their responsibility, not mine.

There are a lot of things that having the responsibility of having kids kept me from doing. A willing choice I made by having kids. People’s circumstance are different. I had to stop or delay doing some things as time unfolded and their mom decided to move out and stop being a mom, just a visitor. I became a single Dad. When my last kid leaves the house, it will be my time to start doing those things again. Maybe even start dating (received a declaration of nullity a while back) and find companionship. I don’t think it’s really fair to me to ask me to again give up on things I’ve had to delay.

I’ll try and live my life in the future so I don’t become a burden on my kids. I’d appreciate if they’d do the same for me.

If I provide daycare/baby sitting to my grandchildren- guess what, it will be on my terms and by my rules. I’m not hired help, I’m doing them a favor and saving them money and I’ll treat my grandchildren my way. Chocolate covered espresso beans, ice cream, activitiies, or means of discipline, TV or computer time, games and activities, – my choice in my home. They want to set rules, go hire somebody.

well, my situation is that I am the “step-grandparent”, but I am also a young mother raising small children. I stay at home, so my husband thinks that I should also provide full time care for his grandson who is still in diapers (diapers being one thing I did not want to do again).

In the beginning my step-daughter said it would only be occasionally on Saturdays, when her mom couldn’t take care of him. then it was weekday evenings and every Saturday and some sundays. Now its full time 8-12 hours 5 days a week.

I feel I am a bad Christian, but I don’t want to do it anymore. I just want to raise my own, and not plan what I do around her hectic schedule.

what should I do? How can I cope with this situation?

If I provide daycare/baby sitting to my grandchildren- guess what, it will be on my terms and by my rules. I’m not hired help, I’m doing them a favor and saving them money and I’ll treat my grandchildren my way. Chocolate covered espresso beans, ice cream, activitiies, or means of discipline, TV or computer time, games and activities, – my choice in my home. They want to set rules, go hire somebody.

As long as you are clear about this upfront, fine. However, you should be aware that you may not only be asked to babysit from time to time, but they may refuse to visit if you actually undermine a parent’s wishes. You’ve just described the reason we don’t stay with either of our parents–they refuse to repsect our choices as parents. We don’t let our kids have unsupervised time (or much time) around anyone who actively undermines our parental authority.

Well, not everyone views kids as just a burden to be dealt with.

Some grandparents actually find it a blessing to be able to help care for their grandchildren!

Everyone’s different.

You misunderstand. If they visit and I’m not responsible for ‘daycare’ supervising kids on a regular basis, then yes, they are setting the rules for their children visiting with me. I don’t have to step in to discipline, because that is the parents job.

But providing regular, particularly full-time daycare, is a completely different situation. In which case I will set the rules. Because in that case I’m being used to provide a service not just be a grandparent. I become responsible for their standards of behavior given the much greater amount of time with and positional authority I’m being placed in relative to the grandkids.

BTW: I’ve already had this discussion with them, and none are even seriously dating yet.

Good to know. It was the “my choice, my home” part that led me astray.

We have no children yet, but I already know that my parents would never go for the idea of watching our kids full time. Nor would I ever ask them to. They’ve raised their own kids and also cared for elderly parents; they need a break and are certainly not responsible for the care of their grandchildren, ever.

If either set of our parents offered and truly wanted to, we might take them up on it, and we might occasionally ask if they’d mind watching them for a few hours, but there is certainly no obligation. No one is entitled to have family members or friends provide free babysitting, and I’ve known quite a few couples who acted like they “deserved a break”- by which they meant they felt other people somehow were obligated to care for their kids so they could get one. It’s very generous of those who can and want to do it, but should really never be expected.

Exactly. I don’t find my kids to be a burden at all. The things I have done by choice I think of as a gift I’ve given them vice a sacrifice. Everyone is different.

But I would never have expected my parents, after everything they’ve done for me to take on my kids as well. I never viewed it as their responsibility, or my right to demand, to take on a lot of work and effort as a result of my choices. Hey, Mom and Dad, I know you guys worked hard all your lives, put us through Catholic School, fed, clothed us, played with us and now you want to travel a bit, relax, pursue your hobbies, but hey, I need somebody to watch my kids!

Besides, I wanted to raise my kids, the more you place them in others care the more time authority and influence you are ceding to others. Kind of unreasonable to ask someone to do something for you and than try and demand exactly how they go about doing it-- especially when its a favor to you.

I can’t tell you what to do. Really, this is something for you and your husband to discuss.

Circumstances could change. Man plans, God laughs. I’m not saying I wouldn’t help out if my kids were in difficult circumstances. But I just don’t think its something you should automatically expect grand-parents to take on.

My mom loved quilting later in life, and someone suggested that she should volunteer to watch her grandkids more because she was ‘just sewing stuff to pass the time’. After raising 6 kids, losing her husband just as they were able to travel, retiring from work-- somehow she’s not supposed to pursue a hobby she enjoys. She hasn’t done enough for everybody yet?

I’ve been reading your comments, and I think most agree that grandparents should not be expected to provide free full time child care. But my husband sees no reason why I shouldn’t. my experience is a bit different than what I have seen posted In that I am not yet done raising my children and I am not the grandmother. any thoughts on my situation?

No, in spite of a popular misconception, SAHMs are not at the disposal of the members of the family who have salaried work. They are not free daycare for other members in the extended family who can’t be SAHPs because they are in the paid workforce, either. My sister was married before my little brother was born, and she would not have dreamed of imposing on our mom for regular childcare. Mom took care of the grandchildren occasionally, but on the whole the visits were for the mutual pleasure of it. When I took care of my sister’s two kids for a summer, I was paid. If my sister had left her children regularly with any of the family, she would have expected to pay them, and that only if the arrangement was mutually beneficial and agreeable.

The answer is that you should tell her and your husband that while occasionally taking care of your grandchild is wonderful, full-time care is too much for you. Your daughter needs to find other arrangements. This has nothing to do with you being a “step” or a 2nd wife. This is how a biological grandmother with children still at home would handle it, too, I can assure you.

If your husband was in construction, your daughter wouldn’t expect him to build her house for free, after all. Helping out is one thing, especially if this is an emergency, but unless you are a stopgap, she is taking advantage. (Which may be why her own mother “can’t do it any more”?)

Again, I think this is for you and your husband. I don’t know how much he’s helping out with the kids, the job, details about why his daughter needs the daycare, other options available. etc. etc. etc.

Thank you, I have been feeling horribly with myself for not wanting to do this anymore.

It is not that she ought not do it, but it is her choice, 100%, and the responsibility for caring for the child belongs to the daughter, not to her. Her husband and daughter have to convince her with all those details. No way do Grandpa and Mom get to feel they have some standing to pressure Grandma into full-time child care, not at all, and it does not matter how many other kids (or whose) she is already choosing to care for.

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