Mum left in shock when she receives an itemised invoice from her own mother, after having her granddaughter to stay.

Unsure with how to deal with her “petty” mum, who is a single retired university professor, the woman sent her dilemma to the Ask Amy column in the Washington Post.

The mum explained that she had already sent her mum a cheque, to cover her daughter’s expenses during the trip to visit her gran who lives far away from her home.

But she was shocked when she was sent an invoice for additional expenses – including petrol for the journey to and from the airport, train tickets for a day out and the cost of museum entry.

She said: “It was an itemised bill. This is hurtful, as this past winter my mother came to live with us for four months and we paid for everything, including a nice vacation to an island over Christmas.

“Neither of my siblings have a relationship with my mother because she is petty and doesn’t respect boundaries — like a $300  budget.

“How do I address her behaviour? I am hurt and angry. We even write her a cheque for groceries when she hosts Thanksgiving dinner.

“Now I feel she has taken advantage of my generosity.”

Speak Out

Columnist Amy Dickinson advised her to bring her concerns up with her mum.

“Is this itemised bill her passive-aggressive way of telling you that she doesn’t actually want to host your daughter for such a long visit?” she added.

“After you communicate your questions and concerns to your mother, you will have to make the tough decision about future visits…

“You’ll simply have to decide whether this relationship between grandmother and granddaughter is one you can afford to foster.”

Would you be hurt if your mum sent you a bill for looking after the kids?

Share your comments below

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  • This is so rude. Maybe you should send her an invoice for her last trip to you and deduct the expenses she is charging you for her granddaughters visit. She may then realise just how much she has hurt you.


  • Rude! Send her an invoice back for the living expenses and the paid holiday!


  • That’s pretty rude, especially if she was given money to cover mst expenses.


  • Such a shame! The invoice would not hold up in any court as there was no contract or agreement for care. I would ignore it and wait for the grandmother to come to her senses! Seems such a shame to impact on the relationships of all of them. Relationships are far more important than money. It would bring me joy to help and assist and care for family and not want money for it in return!

    • The article states that boundaries are not respected and clearly this is the case!


  • Pay it and tell her next time she wants to spend time with her grandchild it’s free not a cost!


  • Oh no that is so rude and hurtful to the daughter.


  • I just wouldn’t pay it and Grandma doesn’t get to babysit again!


  • Very hurtful indeed !
    Personally I would go up to her and try to speak things out and show my amazement that you payed for her4 months stay past winter and paid for everything, including a nice vacation to an island over Christmas, while she dares to confront you with an invoice for the visit to her gran !! Not strange that neither of your siblings have a relationship with your mother because she is petty indeed and does not respect bounderies.
    Now one thing we know is changes don’t come easy when we become old and it’s the question if you/she can change her behavior. She also doesn’t have eternal life and it’s the question if you would feel happy if you would distance yourself from or go into fights (one day she will come to die and you would feel guilty about it).
    Personally I would reach out to her where I can and do the right thing, whilst in a gentle way expressing that she has hurt you and question her if she really wants to have contact with her grandchildren it has to come from her heart or otherwise you as a mum need to protect your children. She sure is to petty, but remember unkind people need our love the most !


  • this is very selfish behaviour! if she couldn’t afford to host the child, she could have voiced her concerns beforehand but to send a bill is lousy and petty. I actually know someone who is exactly like this grandmother and it makes me angry as they always take and never appreciate


  • I would not be letting my daughter go there again – just can imagine the sort of things possibly being said to your child.


  • That’s nasty taking advantage of your own kids. I’d definitely have it out person to person. She sent this after they left which I see as cowardly.


  • OMG you cannot be serious,how rude!!!


  • I have minded nieces, great nieces and great nephews quite a lot. Not once have I ever asked for anything apart from a can of formula at the beginning of formula being used. After that I bought cans of formula. My dinner is paid for if I go out for dinner with them, which isn’t very often and on one occasion the movies. ……..Did the Grandma ask to have the children to stay?and is she on a pension? You have already given her money for the food and other expenses for your daughter. I would be even less than impressed with being given an account. I would be tempted to ignore the bill and see if she sends you a reminder. You probably spent more just having her for the 4 months ….without the holiday. Maybe you should send your a bill for expenses, even if it’s for the difference in the food bill for the time she actually stayed in your house. Shew probably considers the holiday a gift.


  • I’d send her an itemised bill from her 4 month stay and deduct the daughters stay from that outstanding balance.

    • I agree! ! Send a likewise itemised bill for her stay


  • I would be very hurt. For me it would be enough reason to stop any further contact with her. Of course I would give some money myself, but receiving bill??? Who wants a mother like that??


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