My MIL never has never worked a traditional job and is very much ingrained into the belief that all moms should do the same. Thankfully my wife feels differently or we wouldn't be together.
We have a 3 year old and an 18 month old. There's a great daycare near our home that they both go to Monday-Friday. It costs about 3k a month total for the two of them and is honestly worth every penny to me.
Our 3 year old seems very advanced for his age, they are teaching him Spanish, writing and addition that to me seems very advanced for his age. The 18 month old isnt quite as vocal but she's at least counting to 10 in english and spanish and knows all the basic animals. The teachers have certifications and are very sweet with them and the kids love them. We love seeing the socialization.
My MIL and FIL recently downsized their home and to our chagrin moved to a condo very close to us, they were previously about 90 minutes away. Since moving, my MIL has been trying to convince us to let her watch the kids instead of sending them to daycare.
At first she said she'd happily do it for half the cost just to use it as fun money, and now she's offering to do it for free. Neither my wife or I are interested in this but my wife is worse at standing up to her and tries to avoid the conflict.
The other day she was going on about family values again and trying to say that Im throwing money away every month when that should be saved or put in a college fund.
My wife told her we dont want this discussion again and then MIL said something to the affect of "So you really think spending over 30 grand is worth your fancy daycare when you have family who will watch them." I responded and said "Yes its easily worth it, I can't think of a better investment to be honest."
MIL got pissy and left shortly after. I havent talked to her directly since but she's been complaining about me to my wife who is now saying I was being too harsh. Was I being an ahole there?
NTA. Your wife is somewhat failing in sitting her mother down and telling her firmly, NO. And to drop it, to not bring it up again.
Also, her behavior demonstrates that if you all were to allow her to care for the kiddos, she would REALLY start flexing her interfering ways and it would be even harder to create healthy boundaries with her.
You weren't too harsh. So far no one had been harsh enough which signaled to her it was OK to harp on this. Had she had any sense of boundaries she would have backed off the 1st time she offered and her offer was declined.
NTA. How y’all manage and allocate your money is none of her business. Her opinions and values are irrelevant to your (financial) decisions within your marriage. Your kids, your decisions.
NTA- but your wife needs to open her mouth and set boundaries/ speak up for herself like an adult.
NTA - Daughter offered to pay me for doing a day or 2 a week with her 2, but we live 90 mins away. I go once a week and pick them up from daycare and stay until bath time. We get to have fun, without me feeling obligated to be there.
NTA. The initial request to be paid to look after her grandchildren tells you all you need to know.