What Should I do? (Pick as many as you think are good approaches.)
- Politely refuse to pay extra for help, but offer olive branches in the form of promised benefits like nice meals, movies, even trips?
- Claim it is too much of a stress on our budget for various tenable reasons we could point out.
- Mention moving out as an option if grandma childcare is so draining; we can remove the drain.
- Calmly but flat-out refuse to pay money for what we consider to be filial duties.
- Mention the option of moving back to America because my parents would be able to support us without so much trouble.
- Explain how much we appreciate any help they have given us in regards to the baby and that we understand taking care of a newborn and a new person is a big responsibility so we are happy to contribute to the family, but that we feel that is a little too much given our budget.
- Agree to pay a smaller amount of money just to appease them.
- Agree to pay as much money as we feel we can afford to pay them for it.
Hello all. My wife is Taiwanese, we’ve been married for 4.5 years the past two of which we’ve been living with her parents in 3-story house they built recently. We live on the third floor, where they mostly leave me to my own devices but are cordial and polite as they have always been. They make few requests of me though they do tend to nag my wife at times for things you would expect parents to nag their children about. For the most part, things are pretty good. I have remarked many times to my friends that my in-laws are pretty good, especially considering the crazy I hear other foreigners relate about their in-laws. That is until now.
My wife told me this evening that her mother “has a friend whose daughter gives her 20,000-30,000NT a month for the time she spends watching her grandson (she owns three cell phone shops). Isn’t that sweet?” yeah, well mom’s so generous she doesn’t expect more than 10,000 a month from us after our baby is born! Apparently she’s been asking the question to my wife repeatedly at intervals. This would be her first grandchild. I would have thought she would be excited to spend time with her soon-to-be-born grandson, not try a form a filial guilt extortion.
Mind you we give them 15,000NT every month already. 5,000 is for rent for living in their house (even though we are family), 5,000 is for utilities ( which is a very liberal amount for our usual bills), and 5,000 “respect” money to help them get by since both my father-in-law and mother-in-law have recently or semi-retired. I am simplifying the situation but i think you can get most of the idea. I am happy to help out, but I feel as though we’re putting in more than really needs to be put it.
Now I do have steady income. It is nothing to shout about (approx. 60,000NT/month) and my wife is working for now, but that will soon be changing running up to the delivery and certainly after it for a while. We will need to buy a car soon too which will stretch our budget especially given the price of baby gear these days. I don’t mind paying for a babysitting service. What really buggers my comfort zone is the expectation that payment is due for watching the baby. If my wife and I are both at work, grandmom and grandad are the perfect choice to hold the fort, right? I wonder if they gave their parents a grandparenting stipend for time spent with their grandchildren? Would we appreciate their help? Of course! Would we be happy to treat them to dinner and movies and what not? Of course. Would we cheerfully share the experience of the boy growing up with his Taiwanese family with them? OF course! Do they deserve money for doing something grandparents around the yarn-ball of the world’s history have done for millenium without cash incentive?
It comes off to me as being rather cold. Don’t they want to spend time with their first grandson? Wouldn’t the joy and beauty of that experience be enough payment anyone should expect? Is it cheap to draw the line and say, “No, paying a fee grandmom demands for watching the offspring of her own progeny is too much.” Is that cheap?” We’re not planning on leaving our newborn son at home and rolling off to vacation in the Caribbean or anything. We’re two responsible once-young adults. We do hope that mom can step in and give some advice when needed, maybe take a few feeding shifts if needed while we get our parenting feet under us. We still plan on being the primary care givers. If we need a break, we would certainly hope that she could give us a night or two off. Is that so much to ask that she requires a monetary compensation?
Should Taiwanese grandparents have a right to be paid for watching their grandkids? Personally I find it rather offensive considering the amount of money we pay into the family already for her to expect payment.
What do you all think? Do I sound like a hum-buggered cheapo? Is this something I should give in to? I really have no intention to, but I would like to get some outside perspectives/annectdotal advice/ or reactions from some out there. Thanks!
Most importantly is how to handle the situation without causing big problems, letting anyone lose face, and/or cause avoidable tension and strife.
Thanks a lot, all! I really want some response from this. Do my poll real quick. Check any and all that you think would be appropriate: