Grandma Drops $475 On Day With Granddaughter, Bills It All To Mom

But there’s nobody better suited to babysit than granny, or is there? This visit to granny clearly didn’t go to plan for mom.


She had been excited to see her daughter, although it had been nice to have the day off so that she could run some errands. But she never expected her own mother to put her in such a rage.

It wasn’t the usual grandma offenses, either. She didn’t load Trish up with sugar or let her stay up past her bedtime. No – what she did was much, much worse.

Seeing Red

Trish greeted her mom excitedly, running up for a hug and handing her a manila envelope. Her mom, thinking nothing of it and expecting a doodle or love letter from her daughter, opened it up and unfolded the offending piece of paper inside.

When she started to read, she couldn’t believe it. And then, she saw red.

The Perfect Sitter

Grandparents play a vital role in families. Everyone can agree that it’s great for them to spend time with their grandchildren and share the knowledge they have accumulated throughout the years. They always have funny stories and hold a wealth of history — it’s all the fun stuff without the responsibly of parenthood. Your job is done and dusted when your children move out and start their own families.

But there’s nobody better suited to babysit than granny… or is there?

Burned By Grandma

Sophie and her mother had never quite seen eye-to-eye. As soon as she finished college, she got as far away from her as possible. Her two siblings followed closely behind, and soon, all the Miller sisters had put an entire state between themselves and their estranged mother. But Sophie thought that it was important for her daughter, Trish, to see her grandma from time to time.

Trish’s visit to granny resulted in a scorned mother and a post to ‘Ask Amy’ named ‘Burned By Grandma’. You read that right.

Innocent Enough

Scratch Pad

Surely Grandma Miller can’t be blamed for making sure that 14-year-old Trish had a good time while she was visiting? She had planned everything down to the last detail.

She’d booked train rides into the city to visit the Field Museum of Natural History and the Art Institute of Chicago, with stops for lunch and dinner in between. But then, she did something outrageous.

Taking The Cake

Mrs. Miller was a retired college professor, but to her daughters, she was well-known for being severe, petty, and emotionally cold. But what she had done on this occasion had taken the cake.

Sophie kept reading the letter that had come home with her daughter, dumbstruck. She felt angry and betrayed. With nobody to turn to, she wrote the letter to an advice column that took the internet by storm.

Dear Amy…

Union Of Concerned Scientists

“Dear Amy,” her letter begins innocently enough. “My mother lives in a beautiful lake house that has been in our family for 50 years, and for the second summer in a row, she had my (now 14-year-old) daughter to stay for three weeks.”

But a granddaughter visiting her grandmother over summer vacation is common enough, right? Then, things took a strange turn.

Fun Outings

Greater Greater Washington

Grandma took her granddaughter on a trip to the city to see a museum. One of the items on the list were the train tickets, as well as the admission fee to enter the museum. Their day in the city was certainly a fun-filled occasion for the two because this bill wasn’t small.

What exactly did the bill add up to? This grandmother clearly turned this trip into a business transaction without informing her daughter.

Ruffling Feathers


It’s an incredibly bizarre story, or this is a weird family. She must have known that this would ruffle feathers. Grandparents are generally eager and excited to get to spend some time with their grandchildren.

Was this grandmother teaching her daughter some kind of lesson? Sophie’s face turned white when she saw the bill.

An Itemized Bill

Bournemouth Echo

Inside the envelope was an itemized bill. Every item granny purchased for her granddaughter was charged back to the mother.

“I sent a check for $300 to my mother to cover my daughter’s expenses during her visit. Upon my daughter’s return, my mother sent me an invoice for $475.50 for additional expenses, including the cost of gas to and from the airport to transport her (45 minutes away), train tickets to go to the city to a museum, and the cost of the museum admission. It was an itemized bill.”



“This is hurtful, as this past winter my mother came to live with us for four months and we paid for everything, including a nice vacation to an island over Christmas.

Neither of my siblings has a relationship with my mother because she is petty and doesn’t respect boundaries — like a $300 budget,” Sophie continued in her letter. Maybe Ask Amy could provide some advice.



“How do I address her behavior? I am hurt and angry by her decision to charge me for gas to pick up her granddaughter from the airport, as well as the other expenses,” Sophie explained.

“My mother is a single woman (a retired college professor), and we have never asked her to pay for anything. We even write her a check for groceries when she hosts Thanksgiving dinner,” she continued.

Taking Advantage


“Now I feel she has taken advantage of my generosity, and I don’t trust her to spend time with my daughter because it is just too costly for me (financially and emotionally).” The letter was signed off anonymously as ‘Burned by Grandma.’

But what could Sophie do about it?


Sunshine and Hurricanes

Either way, since the trip the mother really is considering whether grandma will be allowed to babysit again, harsh as it would seem.
But this was not exactly a request of some compensation for looking after the little girl, but a rather large itemized bill. Nobody ever said looking after children isn’t expensive, but this must have been a nightmare for Sophie.

This grandma could have easily spent the time with her grandchild at home, not turning the trip into a lavish see-all and do-all trip.


Youtube/Denver Post

Ask Amy had replied with the following advice: “You are going to have to express your concern directly to your mother. Your daughter’s trip to see Grammy has cost you (I’m estimating) around $1,000, with plane tickets, plus the invoiced expenses incurred while she was there.”

The columnist was clearly trying hard to see both sides of the story…



Better Living

“Is your mother financially insecure? Is she worried about maintaining her own lifestyle in retirement? These are legitimate concerns,” Ask Amy wrote. Then, she voiced another theory about grandma’s bizarre behavior.

Was granny really trying to prove a point with her itemized bill? Sophie took a deep breath and considered the other reason for her mother’s unexpected babysitting bill.

Sticking To The Budget


“But is there a legitimate reason she couldn’t stay within the reasonable $300 budget, spending over twice that amount? Is this itemized bill her passive-aggressive way of telling you that she doesn’t actually want to host your daughter for such a long visit?” Amy wrote.

“After you communicate your questions and concerns to your mother, you will have to make the tough decision about future visits.”




Will grandma ever be allowed to babysit again? Or is her point that she really doesn’t actually want to? A bit more communication would have prevented all this confusion and disappointment.
What is strange about granny’s behavior is that it’s almost as if she resents that her granddaughter comes to visit. But should Sophie pay for a bill she really wasn’t expecting?

Different Opinions


The internet is divided on this one. On one hand, Sophie did send Mrs. Miller $300 to cover Trish’s expenses during her stay, but did granny really need to spend all that extra money on expensive activities?

And is granny justified in sending her daughter the bill? After all, Sophie footed the bill for her mother’s rent-free four-month stay previously. If it’s some sort of tit-for-tat, Sophie’s in the clear. But should grandmas be paid to babysit their grandkids?

Online Poll

fat stacks

A recent survey on HuffPost polarized readers on the issue of whether grandparents should be paid to babysit. “Yes. They deserve something extra for helping out,” wrote Melissa McCloskey. “It doesn’t have to be huge, but it should be something…”

Another reader completely disagreed: “You are going to take money from your kids??” she wrote. “Not unless you really need the help financially, geez…”

What do you think? Was Sophie’s mother in the wrong here?