I Hope My Unemployed 64-Year-Old Mother Will Look After My Child, but She Insists on Being Paid


In an engaging Reddit discussion, a young mother’s predicament has drawn significant attention and sparked a debate about the dynamics of family support, generational differences, and the financial realities of modern parenting.This situation centers around a 29-year-old woman who, upon preparing to return to work after giving birth, approached her 64-year-old mother to babysit her newborn. However, the seemingly straightforward request took a complicated turn when her mother insisted on being compensated for her services.

The woman, having recently become a mother, faced the challenging task of balancing her career with the demands of a new baby. She expressed her situation succinctly on Reddit: “A female Redditor opened up about a dilemma she was facing with her mother. The woman explained that she had just given birth to her child and needed help caring for her newborn as she was returning to work.” Believing her retired mother to be the ideal candidate for babysitting due to her extensive experience and trustworthiness, she was surprised by her mother’s response. The older woman, who had been a homemaker since 1992, voiced her reluctance to commit to a full-time caregiving role. She explained her viewpoint: “The grandmother reasoned that she was too old and had already raised her children. She also told her daughter that she should have considered staying home if she wanted to have a baby.” The financial pressure on the young mother was palpable. She outlined her financial struggles in the post, revealing, “I make $55k/yr, but have $39k in student loans + $20k in other debt (credit card, car loan, medical debt on credit). My partner makes about $36k/yr and has $5k in credit card debt.” This detailed breakdown illustrated the economic constraints that made it necessary for her to continue working despite her new motherhood. Despite the young mother’s clear need, her mother’s terms for helping were steep. She requested $20 per hour, additional costs for late pickups, and insisted on having a car seat and stroller since she refused to babysit at her daughter’s apartment. The young mother found these terms financially and logistically untenable, leading her to consider alternative childcare options that might prove more cost-effective. Her decision to possibly opt for a daycare was further explained by her: “Therefore, every cent counted for the new mother. However, the grandmother did not agree to babysit her child without any compensation. She asked to be paid $20/hr, including late fees should the parents pick up the child late, a car seat, and a stroller, and to be compensated for driving the child back to her daughter’s house because babysitting from their apartment was not an option.” The response from the Reddit community was mixed, with many criticizing the daughter for appearing entitled. One user pointed out, “She does not do anything besides watch TV and cook meals,” underscoring the sentiment that the grandmother, now retired, should not be expected to take on such an active role without compensation. Others emphasized that child care is a demanding job, and the older woman was justified in her request for payment.This narrative highlighted the shifting expectations between generations and the severe economic pressures facing young families today. It has stirred a broader conversation about the nature of familial support and the financial sacrifices involved in parenting under modern economic conditions.

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