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I have mixed emotions on this. In exchange for this I will tend to the children, light housekeeping, etc. I am looking for some insight on this, My income is limited to the disability I recieve 55 years of age.

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Bears, I'm glad you all had such a constructive discussion - and after all, nothing's forever, and now at least you know you can be open with them about what you really want. Look forward to long summer holidays in the years to come with your grandchild getting fresh air and learning where real food comes from! Best of luck.
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I'm so happy this worked out for you. I too live in the country and could never go back to city life.
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thank you all for the input. I visited for a week, and we discussed every possible situation, (the baby is not born yet). At 55 i am not ready or willing to move back to the City type of life or the fast pace of it. So, i am no longer even considering the move. I will visit once the child is born and stay for a week or two, then head back to my country life. I think i feared telling them No, but once i did, they understood perfectly and I am very grateful that my son and his wife took it so well. (pat on my back for raising a thoughtful son, that really would love for me to live closer)
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First of all, it would depend upon how much the apartment is per month...that's essentially your pay, and second, how old and how many children there are and what their ages are. I know that daycare is quite expensive, friends I work with with 3 children are paying $1800/mo for full time daycare, so if they are putting you up in a $650/mo apartment, they are definately saving lots of money, and it essentially seems to me like you may be taken advantage of. If it's just before and after school for older children, it may not be so bad, especially if you need to find another place to live or you can't afford your place with your income. Then you may be OK with rent paid and your disability payment to spend or save. I know they are your grandchildren and you love them, but you are right to have second thoughts, sometimes when your adult children ask for favors like watching them a little longer while they go to the store, it's hard to say no to them. Caring for children all day long is a big job, and if it's full time, even bigger. It's exhausting at your age. Are you able to drive to/from their house every day? If they are home for the summer, this could be a lot of work for you because all children will be home all day long (lunches, snacks, breakfast, and activities), AND housekeeping for them??? They are essentially getting very reasonable childcare on top of a housekeeper too! I can understand walking into a clean house and only cleaning up after a light breakfast and lunch for the kids, but not housekeeping duties without being paid. What happens if you don't do the chores effectively, or don't have time to do them? Also, if they are paying for your apartment, they will not be able to deduct the childcare on their taxes. If they do claim it on their taxes, you may be in jeopardy of losing some of your benefits if it's too much. Are they paying your utilities too? And, make sure before you accept this offer, everything is spelled out in writing about the amount of time you will spend providing childcare (will you also watch them if parents go out to dinner or will they pay you cash; what about summer care when they are out of school, etc), what all housekeeping you will be doing (cleaning after parents, or children or both), and what happens if they decide they no longer need you to care for their children, will you be expected to pay your own rent then, and will you have to move out on your own? Just food for thought...trust, but verify!! Good luck to you!
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Bears, I'm so excited for you about the baby. And it's so nice to be *asked* to be around! Enjoy the good bits, skate over the rest. Have a great visit :-)
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I wouldn't do it if I were you. You become hired help in a way and that changes the dynamics of the family. I am 62, walk 3 or 4 miles per day, lost a lot of weight(need to lose more) and feel as good as I did when I was 40,maybe better. BUT, I would not take care of my granddaughter. I would love to spend a few days with her a week, on my schedule and at my ability but no way I keep her.

I am sure, if this is the first child for your son, they are worried about a sitter or daycare. They would rather have you take care of the baby than a stranger. That said don't let them guilt you into doing something that could back fire later. I just would give this a lot of thought.

You should look forward to a child being born and being a grandmother.
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Another thing to think about, what if down the road you have a medical issue which doesn't allow you to care for an infant or do light housekeeping, yet your son is still paying on your apartment.

Would they still pay for the apartment or will you have to pay because the exchange is no longer valid? Not an easy item to bring up, but a necessary one. Chances are your son will continue to pay, but would there be resentment?
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You could have the best of both worlds---move by your family in assisted living. Not everyone likes to stay with older folks all the time in assisted living--in which case---if you wanted to take out a feather duster for the family on occassion--and feed the baby a bottle you could. Being 30 something though they have no clue as to what it feels to be your age and the aches and pains that go with aging. There are all kinds of differant packages for assisted living or places that are "50 and older " apts. Some even base on what you can pay. Do some investigating . For what you are going through now---you'll age -more-which sounds stupid I suppose but people feel they'll stay the same forever. (they know it's not really true but don't want to face the situation) I'm 63 and at your age start investigating now what your options are. My brother and I had to suddenly uproot my Mother from Cal. to Mn. in a matter of days and it was horrible but absolutly necessary. Start now to consider your options and what you want to do--being near family is best though---but maybe not ---beholdin' to them---Best to you and God be with you
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Gosh, you all have been great! I truly did not think I would get as much help as i have. Heading there this next week to seek out and discuss the situation. They are young 30 and mid 30's. The Child, will be born in August. I will update you when I return from the "visit". thank you
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I reread and saw I read wrong. They will pay for your apartment in exchange for child care and light housekeeping. I think very good points have been made.

A couple of years ago my daughter asked me if I would stay the weekend with the kids sometime - two very active (4 and 6 yr old) kids so she and her husband could have a break. I said no. I could handle a few hours here and there but not a whole weekend.

I have to laugh about the housekeeping. I agree there is no light housekeeping when you get to be a certain age. I am concerned that this will be too much for you. I see that moving close could be good for you, but not as a full time nanny and light housekeeper. Let us know how your stay with them goes.
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Sounds like they are looking for a live-in. If this is a mutually beneficial solution, it may be OK. If you need the income, but cannot be employed outside the home, because it would cut your Disability benefits, then maybe you need this. If they are looking for an economical trustworthy nanny, I would not accept. Will they continue paying when the kids are in school and after school activities?

If you do it be clear, toilets, floor and bathroom tile do not meet my definition of light housekeeping. I would limit it to kids meals and clean up after meals, maybe laundry.

Is this expected to be quid quo pro, care for children, they care for you as you age.

You are young, I do not know the extent of your disability, but if it is sufficient to have that as your income, then maybe it is too much to take on this job....it i s a job.
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freqflyer, I really laughed and have to agree with you about the "light housekeeping" -- when you are 22 most of the household chores are "light," when you are 59 very few of them are "light." At 68 the only housekeeping I do that is really "light" is making sure all the lights are off before I go to bed ... and some nights I don't even get that right.
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Just remember something else.... those grown children who are in their 30's and 40's have no clue how tired those of us in our 50's and 60's can get. They still think we have the same energy levels as they do.

I know my S/O's grown daughter complains that we don't do enough with the grand-daughters when we visit.... we can't and there is nothing we can do to change that.
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Curious, how old are the children? I know whenever my significant other and I [we both are 68] visit his grand-daughters [age 7 and 9] we are exhausted just spending any afternoon with them.

As for doing light housekeeping.... I have yet to find any type of housekeeping being *light*. It's a chore. Plus you go home to your apartment and what awaits you? More housework.
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Bears2, I think a visit for a week or two will help you see what you are getting into. My disabled brother is able to do light housework quite well. He is great with our mother. I think taking care of children more than an hour would do him in. In that regard a lot depends on the nature of your disability and your stamina levels.

It sounds like you are able to live on your income where you are. (Are you in subsidized housing? Are you on Medicaid?) Since you have no ties where you are, could you also support yourself in your son's community? What if you simply moved there, with no expectations of working for them? You live nearby, they have your over for dinner, you have them over for dinner, you all go out to celebrate birthdays together, and you all continue to lead your own life. They pay a regular babysitter. Once in a while you babysit while they have an evening off, but they don't depend on you to make their work schedule.

Living close to family sounds appealing, especially if you have no ties where you currently live. But maybe it would be better to do that without tangling your lives together. Your options really aren't staying where you are or babysitting for your grandkids. You could also move, continue to support yourself, and enjoy frequent contact with your family.

I look forward to following your experiences.
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Bears, how refreshing to hear from the potential "care-receiver" thinking things through so carefully beforehand - I congratulate you, you're right to be circumspect.

I agree with everyone above: this offer might not turn out to be what everyone is bargaining for. On the other hand, your son and DIL really do mean well. It sounds as if they're concerned for your wellbeing, and have come up with a way to make sure it happens without denting your pride - and, yes, they get babysitting thrown in, but you get to know your grandchildren, and vice versa. Win-win-win - in theory.

Or, as PS points out, you could hold tight to your freedom and not touch this apartment offer with a stick. I think she's right. You would be much better off standing on your own two feet, ideally somewhere close to your family so that you can still do the odd evening's babysitting and other grandmotherly things, but without anyone getting stuck with the ties that bind. Too often they bind too tightly, and nobody's happy.

Appreciate your son's loving offer - but run like the wind...
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I really do not have any roots where I am presently. We havent discussed much, and this is what I am really seeking. He lives about 3 hours from me. I am going to stay with them for a week or two in the near future and I hope to have more information after. Thanks to all that have responded and I do hope to hear more and give updates when able.
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While this may sound like win/win situation for all concerned, don't jump too soon. I'm a very young 59 yr old grandma and I just kept our 3 year old grandson while son and d in l were out of town. I'm still pooped. What happens if it doesn't work out? How far will you be moving? Will you be leaving your friends and social life? The kids and grandkids have their own life. When you aren't babysitting, what will you do? They can't be everything to you. This is a huge, life altering move. I'm not trying to sway you either way. Just go into it with both eyes open. And your son. Discuss every possibility.
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Hi bears - I think if you have mixed feelings about it, you need to look at it very carefully. Being disabled, looking after children and doing light housekeeping does not sound like a good idea to me.

What is the arrangement for the apartment? Will it be an addition to their house? I don't understand how paying for your apartment and looking after children and doing housekeeping is any kind of an exchange. Maybe there is something I am missing here, but it looks very one sided to me. A little more detail would help people iwith comments e.g. number of children, age of children, the apartment arrangement, and your disability.

A friend who is not disabled and is around your age is looking after her grandson who is about 2 and she is absolutely exhausted and is having to stop doing it.

What happens if this is too much for you? Is the arrangement beneficial to you? What happens in ten years when you are 65 and likely less able to do all of this?

I hope you will consider your own interests. ((((((hugs))))))
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You deserve to live in Assisted Living or Independent Living, not be a babysitter. You will be much happier with people your own age and you know and I know that tending to children is exhausting. Personally I would not do it because I have roots, friends and social connections where I am. I am 62 and retired and FREE! to do what I want.
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