Many children worldwide grow up in the care of their grandparents — it's high time we discussed what they get in return
A mother sparked a debate about whether or not grandparents should get paid for babysitting their grandchildren. She discussed this online so as to hear and know what other people also think regarding this matter. Lauren, from Queensland, Australia, like many other women in their 30's and 40's banks on her parents to take of her children.
As reported by Mamamia, she acknowledges how her parents look after her children three days a week without being paid and says, "I appreciate that I have it easier than a lot of people" She has her own parents take her eldest children, Grace, and Lucy, to school in the morning and look after her youngest, two-year-old Violet, until she gets home after work at 5 pm.
Fiona, Lauren's mother is also otherwise responsible for all the household chores - from doing the family's laundry to cleaning up the kitchen dishes after breakfast every morning. Taking care of the house and 3 children almost become a full-time job - one that Lauren believes is okay to ask for money in return for.
Lauren says, “They do so much. All of my friends tell me all of the time how lucky I am to have mum and dad to help out. I know how hard it is for people that don’t have that support around trying to juggle work and kids. I appreciate that I have it easier than a lot of people in that regard.”
“I don’t have to worry about trying to get them dressed and ready to go to before-school care, or rush to finish work early to be back to pick them up. Or if there’s something at school, I know Mum can be there."
While this works out wonderfully for Lauren and her family since it helps her save both time and money which she otherwise would have to pay for a babysitter or not work at all, Lauren feels like it comes too easy for her and that she should have to pay a price for this arrangement instead of basking in its simplicity.
However, Lauren's mother, Fiona, does not share this belief and disapproves of getting paid to take care of her grandchildren. She says that not only does she enjoy taking care of the kids but it also gives her something to do and "fill in the days."
Fiona says, "I certainly don’t expect my children to pay me to look after their children,” she says. “It fills in the days for us and hopefully our children appreciate what we do for them but no, we don’t expect to get paid. We enjoy it."
She asks for nothing other than appreciation from Lauren in return which results in a conflicting debate in Lauren's mind. She says she feels guilty about the situation and hence buys gifts to show her appreciation.
“Each week when I put the petrol in the car then I will get an extra treat, like a box of chocolates, and leave it in the car for them, for when they get back in the car and they’re heading home.”
However, looking into the future, Lauren says, “It will be a very short amount of time and they’ll all be at school and doing their own thing and they won’t want to hang out with the old grandparents anymore. Then we’ll move on.”
She shares her thoughts online to know how other mothers or grandmothers feel about being in this situation.
While one person commented saying,
“I help because I love all my grandchildren, and I love my children and their wives. I don’t call it work as such, to be able to play, do craft, wash them and feed them when their parents need to work or just have a day together, for me is a joy.”
The other said,
“So lucky indeed. It takes a village to raise a child. This family is very blessed as I’m sure the relationship between child and grandparent would be wonderful!”
Some others though were unconvinced by Lauren's story and said, "I paid my parents to have my kids for the four hours a week they had them,” and some agreed with Lauren's former thought suggesting that "if they’re doing it all day then yes pay them.”
Share your thoughts in this regard with us!
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