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Grandmother Begs Her Daughter Not To Have A Third Child — 'I Never Agreed To A Lifetime Of Raising Their Kids'

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As childcare costs continue to rise, with Care.com research suggesting that 47% of parents spend a minimum of $18,000 per year on childcare expenses such as daycare and babysitters, it's nothing short of a blessing to have family members and friends to offer to step in when needed.

However, one grandmother has refused to provide childcare for her daughter who is considering having a third child. After an argument with her daughter over the issue, the grandmother took to Reddit wondering whether or not she was in the wrong.

The grandmother has provided full-time childcare for her daughter's two children for five years.

In her Reddit post, the grandmother explained that for the last five years, she and her husband have been their daughter's unpaid "full-time childcare," to allow their daughter to continue working full-time "and afford their comfortable life."

"Our arrangement worked and we enjoyed having the kids," the grandmom admitted, but noted that she began feeling taken advantage of around the third year of their agreement when her daughter and son-in-law both began working from home during the coronavirus pandemic. "In 2020 during the lockdown, they were both working from home, they expected us to keep the kids all day, and we wanted to split time week since their preschool/daycare was closed," she wrote, adding that they eventually agreed to take the kids for three days a week while their parents got them for two days.

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However, the grandmother revealed that things only seemed to get more contentious as the parents initially wanted their kids to stay with the grandparents instead of going to school and then asked the grandparents to watch them for a week while the two parents went on vacation because taking the two kids would be too expensive.

According to the grandmother's post, it appears as though retaining financial stability is her daughter and son-in-law's first priority. Why is why, when her daughter revealed to her that she was planning on having another baby, she was shocked. 

The grandmother "begged her to reconsider" having a third child if she planned on them being free full-time childcare again.

"I asked her what her childcare plan was and she looked at me like I was crazy and said us!" the grandmother wrote about the moment she found out about the baby planning. "I then told her that we were not a viable childcare option for a new baby and begged her to reconsider."

Her daughter then accused her of "making her choose between her dream of 3 kids and financial stability."

The daughter's concern is valid, as Care.com CEO Brad Wilson has said that "Within the first five years of their child’s life, parents are being forced into a financial hole that is nearly impossible to climb out of.” However, as the grandmother told her daughter, they already have "two beautiful children and they are financially stable," and "shouldn't ruin that with another baby."

"We feel like we are getting our days back to some extent and refuse to start all over again with an infant," the grandmother wrote. "I never agreed to a lifetime of raising their kids."

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According to Fortune, over 40% of parents rely on their own parents to take care of their kids.

While those who can do so are fortunate and many grandparents love spending time with their kids, it's important for families to set — and abide by — boundaries to keep their own relationships and financial wellness intact, because as the Fortune article notes, it's more often than not at the expense of the grandparents' time and financial security.

People on Reddit agreed that the grandparents are justified in refusing to provide full-time childcare to another kid, especially without being asked first.

"Choosing to have a child means thinking about childcare," one person commented. "It’s insane that OP’s daughter and SIL decided unilaterally without asking if OP and spouse were open to childcare to watch another infant before actively trying for a new baby."

"If she can't afford childcare and be financially stable then she can't afford a third kid," another added. "You are not making her choose anything you are simply trying to enjoy your well earned retirement not a new career as a nanny."

The grandmother provided an update that suggests the family was able to work it out.

The grandmother explained that she expressed feeling blindsided by the announcement of another baby and feeling underappreciated given everything she’s done for her, while her daughter revealed that she’s been the one pushing for another child, while her husband is hesitant but not entirely against it.

After some more talking, her daughter agreed that she was right and planned to talk to her husband about having another baby with the caveat that the child would be in daycare full-time. She also agreed to speak with her husband about enrolling her kids in a before/aftercare program to alleviate her parents from the responsibility of taking care of the kids.

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Ashley Darkwa-Anto is a writer at YourTango who covers News & Entertainment.