With the cost of childcare in the U.S. steadily increasing by the year, working parents know the struggle of finding an affordable way to raise their children without sacrificing income.
Grandparents to Take Care of The Baby
One new father thought he won the jackpot when his in-laws offered to babysit, but soon faced a new conundrum: should he pay the grandparents for taking care of his baby?
Who is Going to Babysit?
“The big question we all saw coming… Who is going to babysit our new baby?” wrote the new father on an online forum for solving moral dilemmas.
They Lived in The Perfect Area
Before getting married, the young couple considered childcare options when choosing their newlywed home. After the wedding, they moved from an apartment in a city to a suburban house with an active community, a safe area, and a good school district.
But, according to the new dad, the biggest selling point of their new home was its proximity to his in-laws.
They Wanted to Live Closeby
“As we knew later on, we would have them babysit as they were the closest grandparents,” he explained, and added: “My parents live 3-4 hours away, which was not really ideal for daily babysitting.”
They Had Already Retired
Per the new dad’s retelling, the older couple is financially stable and on track to live out the rest of their days comfortably retired. The father-in-law (aged 63) has always been savvy with money, prioritizing fiscal responsibility and security.
They Had Their Own Way of Dealing With Money
“He never liked the idea of ‘free handouts’, but he would help [my wife] in her financial needs,” the new dad described. “Like paying part of her college tuition, buying her a car as long as she takes care of insurance, gas, etc.”
They Are Very Stable Financially Speaking
Although his wife is unaware of exactly how much her father has saved in his bank account, the new dad knows it is a substantial amount: “He has spoken to me about his retirement funds (somewhere in the couple millions range) and how much he makes (somewhere in the $150 thousand per year range), so I know he doesn’t need money.”
Everything Was Well Planned
When his 67-year-old mother-in-law decided to retire the same year that his wife became pregnant with their first child, the dad initially thought it was a serendipitous turn of events.
“Whenever we talked to them about babysitting, they loved the idea,” the dad recalled. “Since [my wife’s] mom would be retiring, it would work out perfectly. And they’d get to see their grandchild every day, or most days.”
The Grandfather Decided They Should Get Paid
But when the couple’s parental leave was coming to an end, and it came time to work out the babysitting logistics for their newborn, the grandfather had a change of heart. It was unfair, he argued, to expect the grandmother to provide full-time babysitting services—entirely without charge.
After doing some research online and comparing the prices of different childcare options in today’s market, the older man determined that $400 per week (with a $100 surcharge on the weekends) would be a reasonable payment.
The Father Reckoned It Was a High Price To Pay
“We were shocked,” the new dad shared. “We thought to ourselves, at that rate, we might as well just take our baby to a daycare and not have to drive back and forth.”
Current Average Costs Across The U.S.
Currently, the average weekly cost of a nanny service is $736 nationwide, while a week of daycare will set new parents back $284 on average. In more expensive states (like D.C., Massachusetts, and California), the average weekly price of childcare can climb as high as $885.
The Mood Changed
Although the new dad insisted they had no problem paying and didn’t want to abuse the grandfather’s generosity, the couple was not pleased. “We only started to get upset when [my father-in-law] started demanding that we pay them for babysitting.”
The New Dad Sought Advice From The Internet
Since the younger couple is not as financially well-off as the grandparents, the issue has become a point of contention between the families. Distressed by the situation, the new dad turned to the Internet to ask,“Am I in the wrong for not wanting to pay my in-laws for babysitting?”
The overwhelming consensus in the comment section? Absolutely.
Grandparents Have Had Enough Already
“When you have been parents for twenty years, you will understand this better. Grandchildren are better than children. Why? BECAUSE THEY GO HOME,” reads the most up-voted comment.
The online user goes on to explain that the grandparents most likely lost interest in babysitting when they realized it would be taking on the equivalent of a full-time job. “Thus, the $400 a week is not about money. It is encouraging you to find a different arrangement.”
Perhaps Being Unreasonable
“This should go without saying, but you are also [wrong] for assuming grandparents would volunteer for daycare duty (paid or otherwise) just because they are the grandparents,” opined another commenter.
Another user wrote in agreement: “[New dad] here uses the term ‘babysitting’, but actually the request for grandma is to become a full time nanny at 40 hours/week for newborn care. Finding a full-time nanny to care for a newborn for a paltry $10/hour is an unbelievable bargain.”
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This article was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching. Source.
I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.
I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others!
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