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Do you pay your family members to babysit? A FEW QUESTIONS ADDED, UPDATE ADDED

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I won an award and am going to the Gala on May 23rd. Our son will be 5 weeks on Sunday. I told my SO a couple days ago that I would get someone to watch our son. I called my cousin today and she said she would watch him for me. I asked how much would she need to watch him for me. She asked was $20 ok. I thought that was great for about 5 hours! The event is three hours plus traveling. I told my SO and he said "Really? Our family isn't like that. They watch the kids for free! You can pay her since you made the deal."

Ok, that's fine and I will. I feel if I am gone more than 30 minutes, I need to pay for my son to be watched, family or not. I do expect a steep family discount, lol, but I would actually feel bad for having anyone watch my son without getting paid. My cousin loves him and offered to watch him while I was still pregnant. Plus, I feel she is doing me a favor and as a single woman things are really tight for her right now. I feel we are helping each other.

So, do you pay family to babysit your kids? Why or why not?

ADDED QUESTIONS

I have read all the replies and thanks for responding. I do have a few questions though. I am in no way trying to be snarky or tell you you're wrong, I am just really trying to understand.

If you take your kids to a non relative, you would pay them, right? Why wouldn't you pay family? Also, for those saying I would only pay the younger family members, why? Young or old shouldn't they all be offered to be compensated for their time? If they refuse payment, that's cool, at least it was offered.

I don't charge to watch my nephews or any other small relative. I do offer payment to watch my son. I feel like it's not their job to take care of him for free just because they are family and should be compensated for their time. Even if it's only $20 for a few hours, I feel I should offer something, especially with the way the economy is these days. Family or not I feel they are doing a job and they should get paid for it.

UPDATE

Wow! I didn't expect this many replies, thanks for taking a moment to leave your answers. I do agree with not paying if they ask to spend time and see my son, but if I ask, I offer to pay. I also think the Barter System is a great idea! I will watch your kids then next time you can watch mine, take them out to lunch or something. I will even pay with cookies, lol. I just feel I need to give or do something since they are doing me a huge favor.

Oh, just so I don't confuse anyone, I offered to pay my cousin and asked her to name her price. I thought $20 for that night was awesome!
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by on May. 12, 2012 at 2:26 AM
Replies (241-250):
Jenn8604
by Gold Member on May. 12, 2012 at 8:19 PM
1 mom liked this
my mom and sisters and brother are the only ones who watch my son. and no i dont pay them. they wouldnt pay me to watch theirs. its family. u do favors for them knowing they will do the same for u later.
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juliethenurse
by on May. 12, 2012 at 8:23 PM
1 mom liked this

My Mom watches my kids while I sleep (I work nights). She would never ask for money. Sometimes I offer to give her gas money, but she never accepts. You ask why pay a stranger and not a relative? Well, because...they are family. THat is what being part of a family is all about. At least, my family. Helping each other when we need it. Sometimes I will buy my cousin a gift card to Starbucks ($10, maybe) if she watches them for a few days, but that is about it. I would do the same for them. Just as I would never expect payment for rendering any nursing advice (medical, not breastfeeding). But then again, I wouldn't expect my friends to pay me for babysitting their kids either. It is not my profession.

jordonlea
by on May. 12, 2012 at 8:25 PM
1 mom liked this

No, but the only people I let watch my son are my mom or my mother in law.... and they would probably pay me to let them watch him! lol

Mommyto20709
by on May. 12, 2012 at 8:26 PM
1 mom liked this
Family I refuse to pay. They don't like to watch the kids. So I pay a friend or a babysitter.
Renah
by on May. 12, 2012 at 8:26 PM
1 mom liked this
I don't pay my relatives to watch my kids and I don't charge them either. We have family friends and we offer them money but they always refuse it!
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mnmo3bb
by on May. 12, 2012 at 8:31 PM
1 mom liked this

For us it depends on the situation. I would pay someone even if it is family if I was working or if it was a regular basis or if they "needed" the money and this was a way to pay them. But usually we trade sitting with friends and don't pay or I will pay because they need to the money. My MIL watched the kids for two whole days (we were home in the evening/night) We helped pay for her gas to come up here (she is four hours away) But didn't pay her to "babysit" her grandchildren. I think it really depends on the family member, the situation, the time it is going to be, etc. I wouldn't expect anyone to be out any money because they chose to help us out which is why we paid for her gas... Some family just wants to spend time with the kids and they offer to babysit. My point is I don't think there is a one size fits all answer to this question. 

mellie25
by on May. 12, 2012 at 8:44 PM
1 mom liked this
It depends on a lot. One are they teenagers? Then yes, pay them. Two are they keeping them one time a month,or everyday? Do you babysit for them? Example, you and sis take turns on Friday date night, then no payment nec unless she pays you too. If they babysit daily or regularly, then yes, even if they dont accept payment, consider giving them a weekly stipend for food and other expenses for your kids. If they wont take money, do other things, for example, take over drinks like caprisuns if your kids are using the stash. Bring lunch so they dont have to cook. Give a gift certificate for a massage after so many visits. Its one thing for them to babysit datenight. Its another to babysit while you go make money. So supply where you can, even if it is something like buyingfrozen pizzas, so gma doesnt have to.
Mom2_Jimmy_Anka
by on May. 12, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Depends on who it is watching my kids. If it is my Aunt (like a mom to me) or my MIL, no I don't pay them. If it is my cousin's daughter or my younger BIL's, I will pay them.

SARAH576
by on May. 12, 2012 at 8:52 PM
1 mom liked this

I wouldnt pay a adult, But I would if its a teenager. They could be doing other things and they need a little cash anyways

raven1114
by on May. 12, 2012 at 8:52 PM
2 moms liked this

It depends on whose watching them the reason why and for how long. Emergency situations or for a short amount of time (say 2 hours or less) I don't think any of our family would request payment. Now something like a date or where I would be gone for several hours then I would offer payment. Family should step up and help and not expect payment when it's an emergency or when the person is in a bind and really needs to be at there (say an important dr apoint.) however they didn't have your kids therefore family or not they are not required to babysit for free just so mommy/daddy can have fun. Is it nice? Sure, but not required. A barter system can work nice for those that are low on cash.

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