Is It Wrong That I Expect My Mother-in-Law to Clean While Babysitting for Free?


Should my mother-in-law clean while she babysits?

We don’t pay her to babysit because my hubby believes she’s making up for what she missed out on. She missed out on their births, birthdays, and holidays cause she was on drugs and chose her abusive boyfriend and lived 6 hours away.

At one point, she did live down three houses from us but still didn’t make it to her granddaughter’s birth and rarely seen her as a baby. Now when we come home, I’m talking about bowls of cereal left on the table since the morning, crumbs all over the floor and all over the table, spilled milk everywhere, cups everywhere, trash thrown on the floor because she’s not telling the kids to throw it in the trash. Dishes in the sink are piled up, something sticky on our floor, and the kids’ toys are everywhere or crayons and markers everywhere.

My kids are old enough to know how to pick up after themselves; they just have to be told. She just lets my kids do whatever, and I don’t want to come home after a 12-hour shift to deep clean my home. I talked to my hubby, and he just rolls his eyes."

RELATED QUESTION: Should Family Be Paid to Babysit?


“I think it’s fair that everyone cleans up after themselves and not leave trash all around the house. So I understand why you’d want to say something about it. However, the attitude around making her babysit for free because of what she’s missed out on is actually really mean. Seems that she is getting punished for having a serious problem. You’re kinda taking advantage of her guilt and that’s not healthy.”

“I know for one thing, if I ain’t getting paid, I’m not cleaning. If your kids know how to do it, you need to get on their butts and tell them to pick up after they’re done. She doesn’t owe anybody anything. She’s human; she makes mistakes just like I’m pretty sure you did in life.”

“First of all, why would you think she’d be good to watch your kids if she wasn’t in her own kids’ lives? Second, why would you think it’s ok to guilt-trip anyone into watching your kids for free?? And third, you sound ungrateful as hell.”

“Wow. She may have made bad choices and missed out, but that doesn’t mean you get to decide that she should work for you for free. I don’t think there is much you can say to her. Address it with your children if they are old enough.”

“First of all why doesn’t she deserve to be paid because she made the decision to stay away from your children while she was using? I’m guessing she is in recovery trying to change her life correct And probably feels bad enough about missing what she missed out on You should at least offer her some money and ask her if she would kindly mind picking up after the kids or having them help her pick up or making them pick up that for themselves depending on their age. But I just don’t think it’s right that her past drug use should have anything to do with the situation right now because you obviously forgive her if you’re allowing her around your kids if you don’t forgive her then you shouldn’t be using her as a babysitter.”

“Gosh, I feel like there is so much wrong with this situation. First, you can’t make someone repay you in any way, shape, or form for mistakes they made in their past. I’d imagine she probably feels bad enough without someone feeling they are owed for it. If you want her to take care of the kids and clean the house and any other jobs that may go along with it you should pay her something or find an actual nanny and pay them. If your kids are old enough to do it then they should be cleaning up after themselves. You could maybe ask her to try to have the kids clean up after themselves so you’re not really asking her to do it but I wouldn’t expect much if you’re not paying her.”

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You had the child so look after your own child or pay for proper child care


Rude much she takes time out her day to watch um and you can’t even pay her I wouldn’t clean either why bother going the extra mile if they aren’t paid want help pay for it there your kids not hers hers are raised n gone she’s not obligated to do anything for yours just cuz she’s grandma


As a mother in love and a Nana that loves her grands …I have to say that I would feel used…


I mean, if she’s watching them she should at least tell them to clean up after themselves. That’s part of babysitting.


For fucks sake it’s the kids grandmother. My mom always watched my kids when I worked when they were young and never let them trash the house. Its a matter of respect and id say she has none for you. If your husband doesn’t want to do anything about it then tell him he can clean up after the mess she has allowed and go soak in a hot bath.

Certainly if you say that your kids are old enough to pick up after themselves then you need to set those rules in place but no you cannot expect to have your mother-in-law clean your house while you’re at work.

Pay her. Daycare is expensive.


Clean your own house. Watching kids ain’t easy.


Get a sitter and let her be the grandma. It sounds like you are punishing her


If she is watching them she should make them mind and pick up after themselves…Doesnt matter if getting paid or not that is normal…Idc what anyone says…


I feel like she should help the kids clean up the messes that happen on her watch but that’s about it. She is saving you money on childcare and obviously she has straightened up a bit or you probably wouldn’t let her watch your kids. Just because she did drugs and made mistakes in the past doesn’t mean she should be at your beck and call. How many more ways do you plan to punish her for her past? If you want her to clean, pay her!

Having them clean up after themselves is one thing. But if you want her to watch them and clean then pay the women.


Shes watching your kids for free, doesn’t matter about her past or if your husband thinks she needs to make up for something, shes doing yall a favor by watching them for free. If your kids are old enough to clean up after themselves maybe tell them to do it instead of your child care slave :woman_facepalming:

Here we have an other adult seeming to think they are entitled to free maid and daycare because its a grandparent. I worked full time and raised 6 kids and still busted my ass when i got home because kids are 24/7… grow up and pay a professional to watch your kids and clean your house.

This is wrong!!! Pay her!


I think it would be wrong to ask her to clean. She isn’t a nanny. She’s watching them for free. Maybe talk about paying her and add in tasks you’d need her to complete

Teach her with love.She may not know how.


You lost me at drugs. Why leave your kids with someone who did all that and expect them to provide GOOD childcare. Hire a real sitter.


Here’s my opinion.
She’s giving up having a real job to watch the children. She is a person with feelings and emotions and bills. I’m not saying you should pay her $500 a week but I do think anyone who takes time out of their own day to care for my kids deserves some cash and appreciation. Just my opinion