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Babysitting etiquette - views please!

(15 Posts)
Wigeon Thu 22-Jan-09 13:15:10

I'd be interested in people's views on this issue.

I'm a first time mum (DD, 7 months). A friend I met through antenatal classes, who has become a good friend, is having problems with her husband and they went to see a counsellor last night. DH and I were more than happy to babysit her 6 month old DS for an hour or so (I offered before she asked) - glad to be able to help them. They might decide to go for regular (weekly) counselling sessions, and she's said that if they do, she would like to pay me for the weekly babysit.

I feel a bit awkward about this as she's a friend, and I'd really like to support her by looking after her DS, and being paid hadn't occured to me. On the other hand, I don't want her to feel really obliged to us and bad about asking us to babysit, and the payment might make her feel better about asking us to babysit every week.

She can easily afford the money, and we aren't particuarly hard up so don't need the payment.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation? Should I take the money or refuse it?

Coldtits Thu 22-Jan-09 13:18:37

Ask her if she's consider payment in kind, with her looking after your daughter for an hour or so a week,? YOu may find she is happy to do this and she won't feel so obliged to you then.

PuppyMonkey Thu 22-Jan-09 13:20:14

Yeah, make it a babysitting circle type thing!

dirtygertiefromnumber30 Thu 22-Jan-09 13:20:25

i would refuse it. They wont go to councelling forever. You may only have to do it half a dozen times. Much better to call in a favour from her in the future.

Personally i think she's offering because it seems the polite thing to do as it is going to be regular. I dont really think she expects you to say yes...

KingCanuteIAm Thu 22-Jan-09 13:21:36

Can you suggest something else like she buys you some nice fresh flowers or wine - or perhaps does a charity donation instead?

I would just explain that you feel uneasy taking the money but some flowers or wine once in a while would be very much appreciated. That way she can control what she spends without feeling difficult and you can take it without having that "hand out for cash" feeling that is so unpleasent!

Wigeon Thu 22-Jan-09 13:37:30

Good ideas so far - thanks! Just going out (rain's stopped and DD and I have been getting cabin fever this morning) but more views welcome.

AccidentalMum Thu 22-Jan-09 13:42:19

Definitely save the favour or arrange payment in kind now.

NewApprehensiveBeginning Thu 22-Jan-09 13:44:03

Say you are friends and it wouldn't feel right to take money but if it makes her feel better maybe she could have your baby for you sometime.

choosyfloosy Thu 22-Jan-09 13:46:30

definitely payment in time!

dilemma456 Thu 22-Jan-09 15:39:46

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milsna Thu 22-Jan-09 16:20:22

I agree with the majority, its only an hour or so (hopefully) so would refuse the money.

cat64 Thu 22-Jan-09 16:34:09

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Wigeon Thu 22-Jan-09 21:14:54

That sounds like a concensus to me! Thanks very much!

Spoke to the friend this evening and her husband is going away for the weekend to get his head a bit straight (he is in a real mess), and they are going to the counsellor again next week. The only good thing at the moment to come out of this is that we will be seeing lots of their lovely DS!

milsna Fri 23-Jan-09 10:03:50

aww well it sounds to me she is very lucky to have a good friend like you smile

BikeRunSki Fri 23-Jan-09 13:13:45

I had a similar post earlier in the week. In "paid" my grownup baby sitter with posh nibbles, chocolate cake and nice wine. She refused them all, saying it was a pleasure to look after DS (5 months).

I had the feeling that cash was probably inappropriate unless it was a teenage babysitter. If you are all comfortably off, then "favours" to return are probably more needed in the long run.

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