Gransnet forums


Would you ask?

(104 Posts)
Bopeep14 Fri 21-Jun-19 20:42:29

I have just been browsing mumsnet, and was reading a post entitled in boiling point.
Basically she has her child looked after by a family member for 3 days a week on one day its her in laws.
She is annoyed because they have asked her to supply everything for her child ie nappies, wipes, food etc. Most of the replies have been positive ie have some shopping delivered for them as they are providing free child care, others have said put the child in nursery another day, she has every right to be annoyed.
This has been on my mind lately as the summer holidays are approaching fast and i will have a couple of extra mouths to feed, for three meals a day would i be a horrible person to ask my daughter in law to provide a little food for the extra mouths. I am really feeling the pinch having to feed the one at the moment, even though most of it goes in the bin as he is a terrible eater. She does supply his nappies and wipes. I actually think this women needs to be grateful that she has free child care, but thats just my opinion though.

Sara65 Fri 21-Jun-19 21:23:25

Personally I wouldn’t ask, but I guess it depends on your circumstances, you can feed little children quite cheaply

sodapop Fri 21-Jun-19 21:41:20

It does depend on your own financial circumstances and the amount of care you are giving,. Wipes, nappies etc are all expensive as is extra food. If you are providing regular care then I think you should reach some agreement with the child's parents about all the extras. If the parents had to pay nursery fees the cost would be much higher.
I think any adult children expecting their parents to give regular child care should offer to cover these costs.

Avor2 Fri 21-Jun-19 21:43:23

How can you be a horrible person? If you can't afford it and it is going to be an ongoing thing, the least she can do is help you out as you are helping her out, she is working after all. I know it is difficult to mention money, it always is, but it is a two way thing. See how you go and if it becomes a problem go from there.

Its fine if you can afford it, I know little'uns eat like sparrows (my one does anyway), or don't throw theirs away, you have it instead smile joke smile See how it goes, but good luck I am sure it will work out fine x

phoenix Fri 21-Jun-19 22:11:16

The person on Munsnet complaining about being asked to provide nappies and wipes for the person looking after their child needs a damn good wake up call!

Although it was a lifetime ago, if anyone was looking after my little ones, I would provide nappies, cotton wool & lotion (it was before baby wipes!) and food if appropriate.

cornergran Fri 21-Jun-19 22:44:34

We’d all like to be able to offer whatever is needed for our grandchildren but sometimes we just can’t. I think you’ve got to take a deep breath and be honest. If you’re happy to have the children but find the food too much of a strain on a tight budget you must say so, but be calm and gentle if you can. If it’s too hard to talk to your daughter in law is your son involved? If so would he be easier to approach? You’re not being unreasonable, more realistic.

crazyH Fri 21-Jun-19 22:44:49

I have picked up my daughter's children from nursery/ school for the past 12 years and never asked to be paid, despite being divorced and not having a lot of money. But my daughter repays in other ways....she takes me out for meals, or gets us take-aways or buys me clothes she thinks I like. They are teenagers now and I'll be lucky if I see them once a week.

crazyH Fri 21-Jun-19 22:47:36

Sorry Bopeep, I didn't mean to belittle you. You are not horrible - we all do what we can, in our own way.

Bopeep14 Fri 21-Jun-19 23:02:42

Thanks for the input. If it was a couple of days i could probably do it but it will be an extra two children 7 and 9 for three meals a day 5 days a week for the six week holidays as well as the toddler and the 4 year old i already have during the week. I may just see how i go for the first couple of weeks, and take it from there.

Bopeep14 Fri 21-Jun-19 23:06:00

CrazyH just to clarify i am not asking to be paid, i would never take money for the privilege of looking after my grandchildren, i just may need a little help with a bit of food for the children.

GoodMama Fri 21-Jun-19 23:38:12


I saw that post as well and thought the mother was quite ridiculous. She came across as difficult in my opinion.

In your case, I think it depends on your relationship with the children's parents, how comfortable you are talking with them.

Do you fear if you ask them for assistance feeding their children while they are in your care that they will change their plans and not send them to you? If so, I'd say the childcare might not work out anyway because you will be spread too thin and they aren't reasonable caring people.

If you are comfortable speaking with them then perhaps if you ask their parents feed them breakfast before they arrive and to send them with 1 packed lunch when they visit you and you can provide the other meal? You can whip up an inexpensive dish to feed all of you? Does that seem reasonable?

That would most likely be the case if they sent their kids to a camp or day care, so it's really not asking more of them.

Whatever you do, don't put yourself in a bad position financially. You shouldn't worry or go without so you can watch the children.

GabriellaG54 Sat 22-Jun-19 00:59:50

Oh dear!
I do feel for grans who have to ask other people whether it's ok to ask or feel a particular way, in other words, AIBU.
If you feel uncomfortable or can't afford to underwrite the cost of nappies, wipes (not good for the environment as they are 83% plastic ) food and with older children, entertainment, then how you yourself feel is the only benchmark.
Figure out a cost per day and take a bit off but only 20% at most.
Present your request and show how much more value your contribution is as your GC get more individual attention at a much reduced cost compared to nursery.
I do understand that it is a difficult subject to discuss but face it head on in a calm reasoned manner.
Please don't feel you have to justify your expenses or feel guilty.
Before my AC had any children I made my position crystal clear to avoid later animosity.
If you invite or offer to have GC overnight or for a weekend/whatever, that's a different ball-game but being an unpaid childminder for days and weeks at a time is something else entirely especially as it's tiring, it curtains your own life and you can't afford it.
You feel better when the subject has been aired, perhaps over coffee without interruptions.
Best wishes shamrockgrin

GabriellaG54 Sat 22-Jun-19 01:01:18

curtains curtails

GabriellaG54 Sat 22-Jun-19 01:10:39

Just noticed...*4 children* 😳😧😱
A toddler plus 4, 7 and 9 yr olds?
A cheek if you ask me. You've brought up your family.
Sorry, I can't comprehend families who expect free childcare etc from their retired parents.
Do you have a life during the daytime, meeting friends, going on a day out, pleasing yourself?

BradfordLass72 Sat 22-Jun-19 01:41:34

Don't offer your gc anything he doesn't like, and only in tiny quantities, then nothing goes to waste.
Ask what he eats at home and, if he constantly refuses it at your house, tell his mother and ask her to bring something she can guarantee he'll eat.

If the mothers of the extra children are expecting you to care for free, that's enough of an imposition without assuming you'll feed the little nestlings as well. So no, you're not horrible at all.

Lyndiloo Sat 22-Jun-19 02:59:42

WOT? Have I got this right ...? You are expected to look after your four grandchildren right through the summer holidays - 5 days a week. And generally, year-long, you look after two pre-school children 5 days a week ...???

So, basically - You are the nursery ..? Unpaid. And unrecompensed.

In my opinion, you are doing far too much! You have no life left of your own. When do you ever do your housework ... gardening ... go out for your own pleasure ... have a day's rest ...?

Apart from the money it costs you, your daughter or son is taking the piss! Whilst you are saving them hundreds of pounds per year! (And I think they are being extremely selfish and uncaring.)

You might be quite happy with that. (If you are you're a Saint!)

I wouldn't be asking for money. I'd be telling them to find a nursery for the younger two for at least two days a week, and find some 'holiday club' for the elder two.

Phew! I couldn't do what you do.

Feelingmyage55 Sat 22-Jun-19 04:22:39

What about asking the parents to do an online food shop - “so that the children are eating what the parents want them to have”? A bit oblique but it might work. Everyone saying children don’t eat much have not met mine. Some days that picked but out and about in the fresh air in the summer they were ravenous. Good luck.

Feelingmyage55 Sat 22-Jun-19 04:24:11

That picked. - they picked

janeainsworth Sat 22-Jun-19 07:21:16

Bopeep I’m wondering why the parents of your GCs don’t take any annual leave during the school holidays?

I enjoy the school holidays when GC come to stay, but they come with at least one parent and we go out and do nice things together.

I couldn’t cope singlehandedly with a 9, 7, 4 and a toddler safely. End of.
I think that’s just as much an issue as the cost of feeding them all.

Juliet27 Sat 22-Jun-19 07:34:38

I’m glad I looked at this. My son, his wife and their 15 month old son will be visiting from Australia in August and although I’m borrowing/buying cots and pushchairs, I didn’t think of nappies etc. They certainly won’t want to be carrying extras of those on the long flight so I shall be getting a stock in for them.

Harris27 Sat 22-Jun-19 07:38:29

Iwork nearly full time ( necessity) in childcare and it isn't easy I can tell you. You are doing a great job just slip it into the conversation how much food has gone up and how much more you'll have to buy she should take the hint! I think all younger generation think we have huge pensions to rely on!!

lovebeigecardigans1955 Sat 22-Jun-19 07:40:10

There's nothing wrong with asking nicely. Say that you're glad to have them but are feeling the pinch, could a few snacks be provided? Then hope that she isn't offended.

Sara65 Sat 22-Jun-19 07:46:10


I didn’t realise it was so many children, and for so long.

Can’t some of the older ones do holiday clubs? There’s a huge choice of them now, and not all expensive.

I personally, wouldn’t be able to say anything, but I think you’re in for a very expensive summer if you’re not careful, not to say tiring!

I have one day a week off, when I have the youngest, and two or three in the holidays, we always do something, a lot of things are cheap or free, but even just buying Ice creams for them all can mount up

Blinko Sat 22-Jun-19 07:59:41

Blimey, I'd be worn out! Time to have a little chat with your DiL and DS, I think. Some good suggestions on here already. I do think you should give yourself a break, and not just a financial one.

BlueBelle Sat 22-Jun-19 08:07:42

I ve never had this when my son comes to stay the first thing he does is go and do a big family shop
When my grandkids were babies all the items milk jars nappies wipes etc were sent round with them as they got older I never asked for any food as I always felt you can feed three/ four kids for virtually the same as one you just put a bigger shepherds pie in the over or a pot of something on the stove and that’s the way I chose to spend my money but my daughters always used to send bits and bobs snacks or drinks and some pocket money for ice creams etc which I m sure would help you and surely would be expected by most so I can see where you are coming from Bopeep anGoodmomma approach sounds right you obviously love having the children and I would think you have some good fun Are these four children from two different families and do neither contribute ?
I don’t adhere to Gabriellas business model approach I bet she did make it crystal clear to her children 😂 but then that worked for her so all good but why she needs to feel sorry for folks that like others opinions I ve no idea

Good luck with the summer holidays I hope the kids all get on well together otherwise that will be a nightmare