We often hear about the value of a mother and how much unpaid mental and physical work she does for her family, but how often do we think about the value of our own mothers, the grandmothers to our children?
My own mother sent me a very heartwarming email letting me know how much she appreciates me and the woman I have become. In fact she even told me she was slightly envious of the mother I have become because she feels I am a better mother than she. I am not here to debate the merits of her letter, but to acknowledge the importance and value of her role and the other grandmas in our lives. So, I compiled a list of known “perks” that many families receives from the Grandmas in our lives along with their estimated monetary value per year. We know that their true value is priceless but the monetary value gives us a way to measure their immense contribution.
1. Babysitting ($1,000)
I am one of the lucky ones who lives near their parents and in-laws and can take advantage of this “free” service. Often we take for granted that we can call up Grammie for last minute babysitting or to schedule her time for the entire year in advance. Likewise, my in-laws will happily watch our kids for us to have a night out when we go to visit them. This year I have scheduled 24 babysitting dates for Grammie at approximately 3 hours each. That works out to roughly $720 a year or $30 per occasion on babysitting fees that I am saving since Grammie doesn’t charge us. Add in the additional, unscheduled babysitting and you can see the value climb to upwards of a thousand dollars a year or more.
2. Handmade Goods ($2,000)
In addition to having access to a free-to-me babysitter, my children’s Grammie is also very crafty and talented. She has made my eldest daughter her Halloween costume almost every year for the past 11 years putting in countless hours of labour and materials that we have yet to see a bill for. You can imagine that buying a store bought costume of around $30 a year is a savings to us, but add in the fact that you have a truly unique, one of a kind, handmade costume and that value skyrockets to more than $100 per year! And it doesn’t stop there, she makes baby blankets, booties, hats, scarves, sweaters, ear warmers, hand warmers, dresses, doll clothes and much more than you can imagine bringing this value to well over $500 per year per family member.
3. Meals ($500)
Another value add that Grandmas bring is home cooked meals. Whether we go to dinner at their house or they deliver a week’s worth of meals after a birth or a traumatic event, both the time and love that goes into preparing this food along with the cost is truly a valuable blessing that deserves to be acknowledged. For the sake of this post let’s estimate that a meal goes for $40 per family and that we can conservatively say that we receive the benefit of 12 meals a year including holidays, that’s approximately another $500 of value to us.
4. Gifts ($2,000)
We all know that Grandmas LOVE to spoil our children with gifts and treats. Some Grandmas give our children clothes throughout the year, some give monetary gifts towards an education fund or savings account, and some give the gift of a class, program or experience. Whether the Grandma in your life likes to give physical gifts or experience gifts, it’s the thought behind the value that counts. Since every Grandma will have a different budget or philosophy around gift giving, this is a bit more challenging to estimate. Based solely on the birthday and Christmas gifts that my family receives from the Grandmas in our lives I have estimated a value of approximately $2,000 a year.
5. Love & Support Value
Besides the monetary value that we receive from the Grandmas in our lives, there is also the simple value of the relationship, the emotional support and being a cheerleader. Whether Grammie is on the sidelines in the pouring rain at every soccer game, sitting through 3 hours of a dance recital, volunteering at the Spring Fair, taking great photos of the memories we are creating, or teaching a family recipe, the value of having her in the audience and by our sides is truly priceless. We could never put a price on how valuable having this support system in place for ourselves and our children is, but we are very grateful for every hour that Grandmas spend watching and participating in our kids’ lives.
To all of the Grandmas in our lives, we raise a glass in your honour and shower you with ten thousand thanks for all that you do for us! Your value doesn’t go unnoticed and we appreciate how much you contribute to our families!
Do you have a Grandma in your life that adds value with something not mentioned here? Share with us in thanks for all the Grammies out there!