My mother has been visiting, and my husband and I have taken advantage of the free grandma babysitting. She lives far away, so these fiscally-friendly date nights are few and far between. However, I know people who regularly count on Grandma, or Auntie, on a regular basis and give them a little something for their trouble.
Taking advantage of this occasional free babysitting made me wonder: Should I be tipping mom when we return in the evening? Or just bring her a dessert?
One mom was shocked that her MIL asked her for money at mamapedia, and I'm kind of feeling that too. At the same token, time is money. And asking for someone's time on a regular basis should imply compensation -- monetary or otherwise.
As illustrated by this fed-up Grandma who feels taken advantage of by her daughter.
A really nice answer came from a grandmother who regularly babysits her grandson so his parents can work. Her advice was, if money isn't changing hands, a thoughtful gift every now and then truly shows you appreciate your family members pitching in regularly.
Of course if it's an infrequent treat for Grandma or Grandpa, paying gets weird. So what do you do about the funky middle ground when it's not weekly, but maybe monthly?
What would you do: Pay the family member for occasional date-night babysitting? Or tell them they're getting paid in baby kisses?
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