Post # 1
A few years ago my husband and I moved out of state because of our jobs. That was before we had kids and now we have a 5 month old. My husband works full time and I work about once a week. We don’t want to put our baby in daycare just yet so I stay at home with him and we have a babysitter who comes in for a few hours a few days a week so I can get errands done. We have been lucky and our finances are pretty good even with me working only once a week. The most significant drain has been the babysitter which costs us about $1000 per month. Husband’s idea is to move his parents down here to help with babysitting. We would buy them a house and pay their mortgage which would be the same as the $1000/month that we spend on the babysitter. His parents would babysit and we would build equity with the payments we make on the house instead of it just going to someone else. I would go back to work probably 3-4 days a week. Husband thinks this would really help us out if we ever have another baby too.
Pros- Baby gets to spend time with grandparents and we get pretty cheap and flexible babysitting from people we trust. We would make more money by me returning to work more. We would build equity with the money we would have spent on a regular babysitter.
Cons- I really like staying home with the baby and would miss him. The new mortgage would take a long time to pay off and our babysitting needs would decline once they start school. What if something happens with our employment and we are stuck with that second mortgage? What if something happens to his parents where they are unable to babysit (decline in health, etc.)? I also don’t want my parenting style criticized or not followed by someone who “knows better”. I have already heard criticism from both my mom and his mom for simple things like giving my child medication that the doctor prescribed. I am a first time mom and am open to advice, but I don’t like them making me feel like I’m doing everything wrong just because it is different from how they would do it. It has led to me “giving in” in the past and letting the grandmothers have their way while they were visiting but I don’t want to live my life like that permanently. We may also lose a little bit of our privacy with family being around.
I do feel bad about my husband bearing the brunt of our finances and would eventually like to return to work. I do feel bad about the babysitting money going down the drain. I am nervous about us paying another mortgage, but if it all goes well financially it does make better sense so we’re not losing the money. If there were parenting boundaries that were set and followed then I’d be more okay with it. I could definitely see the benefits if we end up having another baby. I’m still on the fence though. What do you think?
Post # 2
I think it sounds like a good situation overall, and even once the kids are in school someone will need to pick them up/drop them off and be with them until one of you is off work. I think your concerns are valid, do you have enough money saved in case he lost his job you could still afford both houses until he found something else? Is this something your in laws are even up for? I mean, I know my parents wouldn’t let us buy them a house, even if it is in exchange for babysitting. Also, the cost of your current babysitting for a couple hours a week seems really high to me…
Post # 3
I wouldn’t do it. My IL’s currently live in the town that we do, and they already babysit SIL’s kids as they can’t afford daycare. They could probably take our kids too when we have them, but DH and I have already decided that they are going daycare for many of the reasons you listed.
I don’t really see the pro of this. A babysitter who you pay will do what you say with your child. Grandparents will do what they want, even if you are paying them. DH’s parents drive us nuts with SIL’s kids, and they aren’t even our kids! We have seen them the moment they get away from SIL roll their eyes and mock some of the things that SIL told IL’s to do/not do with the kids. As much as I love nephew, he is spoiled by ILs. Also, his parents are getting older, and FIL has knee/hip problems and MIL has health issues as well. They aren’t going to be able to keep up with the kids for ever.
And while property sounds like a good investment, you are right, there are tons of situations where you will be stuck with two housing payments even if it isn’t affordable to you. If you loose your job and can no longer pay for a babysiter, well, you don’t really need the babysitter if you aren’t working. If you loose your job and can’t pay for the house that ILs are living in and the mortgage is in your name, your credit will go down the tubes.
Also, I see this situation in a couple years time turning the other way around. Since you will be closest to ILs and paying their housing already, when their health turns, I would bet you will be the primary care giver to them because you are now in closest proximity.
Post # 4
I think it will only lead to problems in the relationship between the two of you and your in-laws. Who will ultimately have rights to that house? Are your in-laws going to feel eternally obligated to watch the little one? Are you going to feel entitled to babysitting whenever you wish? What if you have a falling out?
It doesn’t matter what we think. It matters what your husband thinks. Is he completely set on this?
Post # 5
If my husband offered to do this with my IL’s I would jump on it. But my IL’s are great and would do whatever I wanted with the baby and they are young still since they had DH when they were 19 & 20. In your situation I don’t know if I would though…
By the way I think $1k a month for a few hours a week of baby sitting is pretty high. I live 45 minutes from Boston and $1k covers a full month of daycare at a good licensed facility for 40 hours a week.
Post # 6
I would advise against it. My FMIL was watching my FSIL’s DD when I first met him. She loved it because that was her first grandchild but said it was too much work and she never got anything done that she wanted to. Eventually, she told FSIL that she had to find daycare because FSIL was pregnant and she couldn’t handle both babies. That’s when FSIL decided to be a SAHM.
Post # 7
What do your in laws think of being uprooted from their lives and community and being transported to use as cheap babysitting labor? This is something I definately wouldn’t be comfortable even asking for for fear that they’d agree just to make me happy. I know grandparents dote on their grandchildren, but they might want to use their retirement years for relaxing travel and seeing their friends too. My aunts and uncles love their grandkids but they’ve also been traveling a bunch and going up to their mountain house and enjoying being selfish for the first time in 25+ years of raising their four kids. I’m pretty sure as much as they dote on my little cousins, they would not be too excited if their grown children announced that they were going to be moved down away from their community to work as free babysitters.
Edit: I also notice all of your pros and cons center around what will make you and your husband’s life easier and don’t seem to have much concern for the impact it’ll have on his parents. Pro: It’ll save US money Con: My in laws might butt in MY business and try to give ME unsolicited advice. This whole thing just sounds very, very selfish to me but maybe there’s more you’re not telling us
Post # 8
I wouldn’t do it. Seems like it could breed a ton of resentment…what happens when you in-laws want to go away, or can’t babysit…or just don’t want to one evening? I can just see the post in a few months “we’re paying all their bills, and now they have the nerve to not be available for babysitting!”
I would look into cheaper childcare options. Like perhaps a licensed daycare vs someone who comes to your house.
Post # 9
I also don’t understand how you are paying someone $250 for a few hours of care once a week. That is absurd. Find a new sitter.
Cost of living can’t be that high if you can pay a mortgage for 1k. Along with paying that mortgage comes maintenance, etc. Have you factored in all of those costs? I dont think this is a good idea at all.
Post # 10
I wouldn’t, having two mortgages would be stressful considering you don’t have to do it. Also, there’s a lot of potential for problems with the ILs.
$1,000 a month seems super high for babysitting. Since you work one day a week, why not cut down on the hours you have the babysitter there. You don’t have to have a babysitter so you can run errands. It’s not always easy (I’m a SAHM with a 9 month old) but it’s doable. That should save a lot of money.
Post # 11
Also I know when I have kids my parents are going to love seeing them as much as possible. But if I asked them to move up to be free babysitters whenever I wanted so I could save money, in a house I picked out and chose for them which would be in my name, they’d laugh and laugh as they drive away on their boat with their friends, margaritas in hand.
Post # 12
I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t want two mortgages just in case and to depend on them like that. Plus, like you said, the baby sitting is temporary, maybe 4 or 5 years until kids are in grade school, and a mortgage is 30 years?? I’d just stop getting the babysitter. What errands are needed once a week that you can’t just take the baby with you on?
Post # 13
This seems like a fairly risky step. If it doesn’t work out for some reason, what are you planning to do with your inlaws? Evict them? Continue paying the mortgage on top of babysitting costs? If they do have health issues, will you be paying for their care on top of everything else?
I am assuming that if your in-laws are at this stage of their lives and aren’t able to afford a house of their own, they aren’t the best with money. Will you also be responsible for household maintenance and other costs? What if they suddenly decide that they only want to take the kids for an hour or two on the weekend? Or they have a dodgy friend who keeps popping around and smoking over the baby? That is assuming that they even want to move in the first place.
I’m not saying it can’t work, but there are a lot of details to hammer out first.
Post # 14
cinderella3455: I obviously know nothing about your situation, but what about cutting down on those babysitting charges? You wrote the sitter comes a few day, have her come the only day you work, and then do your errands a bit at a time with baby, at 5mo unless he has some kind of health issue it should be doable I think.
Post # 15
We are actually considering something similar to your sitaution. We currently have a nanny that we love but we are movign 2.5 hours away in the next couple of months. We want her to come with us, but not to live with us, so I came up with the idea to purchase an income property (like a small 1 bedroom condo) that she could live in without signing a lease, but we would reduce her salary slightly to pay for the rent and of course like you pointed out we would be putting that $ towards equity instead of throwing it away.
Another upside to this scenario is that we could use this apartment as a daycare center, dropping DS off and picking him up every day, while we are in between residences (we think it will takea while for us to purchase our home so might live with my parents, etc.). And honestly while it is convenient to have a nanny come to us every day having someone in your house really complicates things. For example she always takes FOREVER to leave a tthe end of the day. I usually get home at 5:15pm and at the earliest she will finally leave at 5:30. She is chatting, cleaning, etc. meanwhile I am so stressed because I want her out of my kitchen so I can get in there and start dinner. Plus DS goes to bed so early I feel like she is stealing away precious minutes I could be spending alone with him. Back when we used a daycare this was never a problem because we just picked him up and left.
And to your point about carrying two mortgages being an issue, would they agree to pay the mortgage if one of you lost your jobs? For us, if something went south with our nanny we would just become “real” landlords and rent the place out to someone else. As far as having an issue with them nagging, etc. – honestly this is a problem with any form of childcare. Anyone watching your kids for an extended period of time is going to have their own opinions on hos to raise him and what is “best”. It will always be a struggle to exert yourself as the decision maker and they will have to understand that while you respect their opinions your say is final, even if they disagree. Honestly the best way to handle this is to change childcare providers regularly but this has it’s own issues as it is very stressful an dcomplicated.