Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Free vs. Paid Grandparent Babysitting Causes Hurt Feelings

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: Ever since our granddaughter was born, I’ve sat with her two days a week so my daughter could first recover from what was a tough pregnancy, and then so she could go back to work. We now have three beautiful grandchildren, and I continue sitting for them on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Our son-in-law’s mother sits on Mondays and Wednesdays, and I just found out, after all these years, that she has been getting paid for watching the kids.

I don’t know if I’m more upset with her for taking the money, or with my daughter and son-in-law for never even offering to pay me to babysit. I don’t think I would have taken the money, but it would be nice to be asked. I haven’t said anything yet to my daughter, but I feel a growing resentment that I don’t want to interfere with our relationship. Would you say something if you were me? --- THE UNPAID GRANDMA

DEAR THE UNPAID GRANDMA: Letting a resentment build is never a good idea. An honest discussion with both your daughter and son-in-law may clear the air and help soothe your hurt feelings. By opening the subject with them, you may find out that there are reasons the other grandma is getting paid. Her financial situation may be an issue, or the relationship between her and your daughter and/or son-in-law may be of a very different nature than the one you have with them.

The only way you’ll find out is if you talk about it.

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