Don’t Assume Your Retired Parents Want To Be Free Daycare For Your Kids

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shutterstock_109339112__1407346624_142.196.167.223A post I saw on Reddit today made me really think about our parents and their roles in raising our children. A Reddit user is sorely disappointed that after years of caring for his children, his mother has decided to take on some part-time volunteering work outside the home. He and his wife are expecting a baby and he’s devastated. No matter how much time your parents spend caring for your kids – I think it’s wrong to assume they are going to take up the role of free daycare provider forever.

“For the last 8 years, my mother has always been there to watch the kids for us if we had to work, sleep (I work PM to AM), appointments, and the occasional date night. the kids love her to death as do we all…

My mother informed me (like she usually does) that she was taking a job at my kids school, in the after school program (2:30-530, three days a week). I thought nothing of it until I realized the ramifications. who’s going to watch the baby or the kids on the days I work 9-9 and my wife works 7-330 or 7-7 ?

I question in my head, why she would choose to take a job and monitor someone else’s kids, than stay at home and watch her son’s ?”

That is just a small excerpt so you can get where he’s coming from. He does admit that he is very happy for all his mom’s help and doesn’t want to come across as ungrateful. He also admits that they never asked his mom if she would be taking on caring for the infant daughter they’re expecting, they just assumed she would. That’s a mistake.

My mother watches my children for me daily while I write. My three-year-old is in daycare three times a week, but she watches my one-year-old daughter every day. It’s a lot. I often try to get her not to come every day, but she knows I need the help and also loves being with her grandchildren. But if she ever pitched the idea of doing volunteer work outside the home, it would be very obvious to me that she felt like she needed to get out and do something for herself. And I would totally understand that.

Those of us who have parents who are willing to help us out are incredibly lucky. But I don’t think it’s fair to assume that your parents want to take on raising a whole new set of children. If my mom decided tomorrow that she couldn’t handle it anymore, I’d have to figure something else out. It would be financially devastating, but they are my children and my responsibility.

“don’t mean to sound like an unforgiving child. they help so much. should I approach her about this or suck it up and find a daycare ? afraid I won’t be able to afford as I took a slight cut in pay for dayshift and my kids go to a catholic private school ($$$).”

Suck it up. Review your finances and your spending. It was probably hard for your mom to even broach the subject. Give her a break.

(photo: Ermolaev Alexander/ Shutterstock)