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?
TOP ANSWERS (AS SELECTED BY MODERATOR):
“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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