While swaying in side-by-side hammocks, my daughter paid me the ultimate compliment:

“It gives me enormous peace of mind while I’m working, to know you’re watching my son and that he’s in the most capable hands.”

Then 10 seconds later while I was still orbiting in happy mode, she insulted me by offering to PAY me for this glorious privilege.

We engaged in a little tit for tat tug of war with no clear winner.

And the debate rages on, at least in our household.

How about yours?

To pay or not to pay the loving grandparents who bless us with their babysitting services?

Here’s a recent sampling of our oftentimes heated conversations;

D=Daughter M=Mama (a.k.a. “Grandma”)

D- “You realize I would be paying thousands of dollars per year for daycare.”

M- “See, now you can save up that money and invest in something worthwhile.”

D- “I’m trying to. We want you to have pocket money.”

M- “I’m not a school kid on a cafeteria lunch line trying to buy an extra orange.”

D- “Mama, take the money. It’ll make me feel better that I’m not taking advantage of your generosity.”

M- “I’m not taking money for doing something that means the world to me. NO WAY!”

D- “Then I’ll ask Michael’s (son-in-law) mother to babysit.”

M- “Don’t you dare! That is not fair!”

D- “I don’t want to but you’re being unreasonable.”

M- “Really? Do you think my friend Marge takes money from HER daughter to watch the grandchildren?”

D- “Marge is a millionaire. She paid for her daughter’s house. That’s different.”

M- “This conversation is over. I don’t need your money. I don’t want your money.”

D- “Mama, there’s no amount of money in the world that could buy the happiness I feel when I see you with your grandson.”

M- “Good, then we’re on the same page.”

D- “We’re not even in the same chapter. Please stop making this so hard for me. How about we give you gas money?”

M- “My car uses $8.85 per week.”

D- “That’s impossible. What gas station do you go to because they should be reported to the state Attorney General’s Office for fraudulent practices. And by the way, minimum wage is over $15 per hour.”

M- “I’m not a worker; I’m a grandma who is starry-eyed in love with her new grandson and I’d rather be here than anywhere else on earth.”

D- (Heavy sigh) + (Heavy audible sigh accompanied by eye-roll)

M- “Don’t roll your eyes at me.”

D- (Head turns and is most likely accompanied by secondary eye-roll)

M- “You’ll understand when you’re a grandma. Truce?”

D- “We’re not fighting. You being with the baby means everything to us; EVERYTHING! Why are you being so stubborn?”

M- “Fine. You can pay me what you think is fair.”

D- (Astonished look appears on her face) “Was that so hard?”

M- (Who has devised a plan to collect all the money and put it into a college fund for her Grandson and some special gift cards at holiday time for her daughter). “Nope, easy-peasy come to think of it.”

D- “Love You Mama.”

M- “Love you more!”

Lisa Leshaw

Lisa Leshaw has worked as a mental health professional for the past 31 years. She currently conducts Parenting Skills Workshops, Group Counseling for Blended Families and Empowerment Circles for Women. As a consultant, Lisa travels throughout teaching Communication and Listening Skills, Behavioral Management Techniques and Motivational Strategies. To de-stress she performs in children's theatre and plays piano whenever requested. She is hoping to either write the next memorable musical composition or Great American Novel!