Mom-In-Law Demands Payment After Babysitting Grandchild


Things Were Improving

Amy felt quite pleased with how things were going with her mother-in-law. They quarreled while she was dating her son and for months after their wedding. However, things seemed to improve gradually.

That is, until that point. Amy didn’t know what to say when her mother-in-law came up with the proposal. She eventually discovered, however, that she had just one option.


The New Yorker

Tolstoy wrote that “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Almost everyone can think of ways to disagree with their family members; these differences may be mild or severe depending on the situation.

However, they can sometimes become too prominent or significant, to the point of becoming intolerable. When this occurs, some people cannot accept or tolerate their disagreements, and their behaviors might be aggressive.

Where It All Began

Youtube – Dr. Phil

Amy and her mother-in-law, Samatha, did not get along well at all. When Amy and John started dating, she had little to no interaction with Samatha.

Amy might have quit before Samantha had a chance to step in if she knew how things would develop throughout their relationship. Nevertheless, there is no way for Amy to have anticipated that.

Good First Impressions

Youtube – Karen Kelly

Amy’s first impression of Samatha was that she seemed kind. She was a widowed woman, and she came across as strong and independent despite her struggles.

She appeared to be very accepting of Amy initially. Amy did not have a good track record when it came to her partners’ mother, and she got excited that things were going to be different this time. But it wasn’t long before the situation changed.

Rising Tension

The Mirror

It started with small things. Samantha would strive to have a say in matters that Amy believed only for her and her husband’s consideration. She began by respectfully dismissing Samantha’s proposals.

She was surprised when John started agreeing with his mother on everything related to their relationship. She only witnessed the increased tension over time.


The Irish Times

After just a few months, Amanda pretty much took over the household, even though she didn’t live with Amy or John. However, she was always happy to visit them whenever she wished and had an opinion on how things should or should not be done.

John was constantly on her side. Amy began to feel suffocated by her mother-in-law after a while. It got to the stage where Amy’s opinions didn’t matter: Samantha was the one who had the last say on just about everything.

She Fell Pregnant


It would have never occurred to Amy that John might be a mama’s boy when they first started dating. However, it seems that she was mistaken. Still, she loved him deeply, and she hoped things would improve as time went by.

Amy became pregnant one day. Amy had a profound sense of happiness and exhilaration, as well as relief when it happened. Samantha, she thought, would accept their parental responsibility and authority and, at the very least, stop bothering them. Is it possible that things will turn out that way?

Things Were Improving


At the very least, Amy’s pregnancy went off without a hitch. Samantha was compassionate and calm. To be honest, she was a massive assistance to Amy during the most trying times of those nine months.

And when she eventually gave birth, everyone appeared to be overcome with delight. It appeared that everyone was on the same page for the first time. Maybe they’d all get along after that?

They Had Jobs

The Irish Sun

However, soon a problem arose. Both John and Amy work full-time, so taking care of a newborn would be challenging. Architect John often worked from home, but he could not do everything alone. Meanwhile, Amy worked as a teacher.

Samantha offered to take over childcare tasks for some time. At least, until the pair figured out how to juggle their employment and their new parental responsibilities. Amy was delighted to learn this and gratefully took Samantha’s advice. However, there was a snag.

A Baffling Suggestion


Samantha came up with an odd suggestion after a few months. She requested payment for caring for her grandchild! Even more shocking was the way she supported her position: she said that because she would not ask for too much money, the couple would save money anyhow!

Amy was at a loss for words when she first heard this. Was she really begging for money to look after her grandson? Isn’t that what family was supposed to be about? She spoke about it with her husband to get his take on it. And John’s response had rendered her dumbfounded.

What Did John Say?


Of course, John agreed with his mom. He even repeated the same argument Samantha had given, word by word: if they hired a babysitter, they would be paying even more. So overall, it was a good deal.

Amy felt powerless. She didn’t know what to think or what to do anymore. After reflecting on the problem for a while, she came to a decision. There was only one thing she could do.

Amy’s Decision


She decided to write to someone and ask for advice. She used to read a website about family and relationship advice, which had a dedicated section for the readers’ queries on their personal situations.

She had been reading that section for years and could even relate to some of the queries. But finally, it was time to make herself a question. She wrote an email recounting her situation and sent it to the magazine. After a few days, they published a response.

What Did They Say?

Adobe Stock

They advised Amy to be compassionate and understanding with her mother-in-law’s concerns, even if she disagreed with her stance. After all, she didn’t know what was really on Samantha’s mind or what were her own reasons to ask for money.

Maybe Samantha had her own worries. Perhaps these worries made it seem reasonable for her to expect to be paid for her caretaking labor. This is how the magazine expressed it:

They Recommended Compassion

The Independent

“Try to understand why your MIL might be asking for payment in exchange for caring for her grandchild. You said your MIL retired recently — according to experts, retirees worry about outliving their savings. This might be a reason for your mother-in-law’s suggestion. The only way to find out is to have an open discussion.”

They also gave her some advice on how to start and conduct that conversation so it could have a satisfactory outcome for all the parties involved:

Communication Is The Answer


“Schedule an open, honest meeting and, in a calm, grown-up way, tell her how you feel. The talk might derail and get off the right track, so we prepared a 3-step guide on how to avoid turning your discussion into a fight/argument.”

As far as we know, Amy didn’t reply to this piece of advice. And if she did, her response wasn’t published. What do you think about the advice and about Amy’s situation? Did she have reasons to be upset, or were Samantha’s demands reasonable?