Working Dad Asks His Mom To Watch His Kid For Free — She Says 'No' Even Though He Pays Her Rent

It was only for six months, but for the entire work week.

working dad asks granma to watch kid for free Michael Morse / Pexels

Childcare is expensive but there is a good reason for that — caring for kids is hard work so not many people are willing to do it for free. One man discovered that the hard way when even his own mother chose to turn down a babysitting gig after hearing how much he was willing to pay — $0, that's how much.

Taking to Reddit, the disgruntled man shared his story to the site's “AITA” subreddit, a place where folks can get a second opinion on the conflicts in their lives.


He wanted to find out if he was wrong for asking his mother to babysit his kid full-time for 6 months.

The post began with the man revealing that he had bought his parents home a few years ago. He lived downstairs with his wife and 3-year-old, while his parents lived upstairs. “I don't charge them any rent, we just split the bills for the utilities,” he wrote.

His wife has been off work for 3 months and was due to finish with her current employer in December — so they haven't had a need for full-time childcare.

“However her employer just let her know that they are willing to extend her contract for 6 more months starting in January, and the extra salary and benefits would help a lot,” he continued.


His wife will be working full-time from Monday to Friday so their little one is going to need to be looked after — that's where his mom comes in. He asked his mother if she would babysit for the 6 months, his reasoning being that those 6 months of pay and benefits would help them all.

It was emphasized that his salary is higher than his wife’s, but she gets better benefits. “I was pretty taken aback when she said that she can't do it,” the father wrote.

“She said that she'd be able to do 3 days maximum, and she is worried that she will be too tired and have no life for herself if she watches the baby full time.”

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He was sympathetic to his mother's worries, but he thought she would comply since he was paying their rent.

“I do completely understand that it's a lot of work and commitment,” he wrote. "At the same time, we are paying the mortgage to keep the roof over our heads, and not charging any kind of rent either."

He says he never tried to hang this detail over his mom's head but was surprised at her rejecting his request. His parents don't have a lot of money either due to living off a pretty low pension. Preempting queries about his father's involvement, he says is dad is "not the most helpful guy in the world."

“This is why I understand that it's a lot of work for one person, but at the same time my wife and I are keeping a roof over the family's head,” he writes. He's also remarkably uncritical of his mother — instead, he's turning to others with a genuine and understandable question. “I'm just disappointed, but was wondering if my request is too much?”

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Folks in the comments made valid points on why he was wrong.

One user thought he was definitely wrong, and wrote: “Your agreement didn't hinge upon daycare. Occasional babysitting is one thing, daycare is another.”

“How old are the parents I wonder? It sounds like at least over 65,” they continued. “Babies are exhausting. One weekend is enough to exhaust a grandparent never mind a full-time schedule.

“You can feel disappointed, but don't tell your parents that you are because they don't owe you.”

“The agreement was a discounted rate in exchange for living there rent-free. So adding childcare is extra and you should at least offer to pay a little bit. But her agreeing to 3 days a week sounds like a good compromise!” wrote a second.


RELATED: Dad Refuses To Pay Daughter For Babysitting Her Younger Siblings Because She Lives In His House 'Rent Free'

Childcare is demanding and deserves compensation, despite family dynamics.

Childcare is no walk in the park, and not many are up for doing it without getting something in return, highlighting its real challenges. While money is a factor, the toll of caregiving is way more than just financial stress.

When it comes to family matters, talking it out and setting realistic expectations is key. This father assumed his mom would be cool with full-time childcare, but it didn't pan out that way, making them rethink their whole agreed-upon family dynamic. It's a reminder that clear communication and being on the same page within family units is crucial – assumptions can lead to unexpected issues and strained relationships.


Caregiving brings with it myriad responsibilities that need careful thought and mutual understanding. While money matters, recognizing the challenges and being open to finding middle ground can really strengthen those family bonds. Dealing with these situations calls for a mix of empathy and honest communication.

The story isn't just about this one scenario — it's a lesson in finding the right balance between family, work, and personal life — something that takes ongoing understanding and teamwork.

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Taylor Haynes is a freelance writer based in Chicago. She covers entertainment, news and human interest stories.