stay @ home moms, how do you deal w/free babysitting from family members or friends?

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Brittany - posted on 04/29/2010

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my two boys are 2 years old and 10 months. at least once a month, sometimes more, they will go stay the night with their grandparents (either my mom, my dad, or my hubbys parents). all 3 of them do things we would rather they didnt (give lots of chocolate milk, buy lots of toys, give sweets) but nothing that makes me worry about my kids safety. i gave up on trying to get grandmas and grandpas to follow my rules exactly. after all, its a grandparents job to spoil!!! : ) it is great for us as i love being able to spend time with my hubby alone (not exactly easy with 2 boys 15 months apart). so if you are lucky enough to have family or friends that you can trust with your kids, let them have them!!! it is a wonderful break for mommy and daddy as well as for baby!!!

Tanya - posted on 04/29/2010

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I let my parent watch my 3 month old long enough to go out to dinner or something like that. I find that if you are not sure they will follow your rule then you can ask them to came you your house. You know that at least in your house they will be using the thing you like plus you don't have to pack things up. I am still trying to work up the courage to let him spend the night.

Melissa - posted on 04/29/2010

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I do not like anyone to watch my lil man except my husband... he is 11mths old and has been left 2 times once with my husbands aunt and once with a friend(only 2 hrs). Both of our parents do things the we do not agree with and I do not trust them to watch our child like I would like it done. They think they know what is best for him and I don't like that!
As far as paying someone I have enrolled him in a Mother's Day Out program that I know several people that take their children to and love it! He has not started yet and will not start until he is 15mths. So I would definitely use someone that other use and know! Good Luck

Jamie - posted on 04/29/2010

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We trade off! Since I have 2 kids and most only have 1, We trade off I will watch there 1 child twice for every 1 time they watch my 2! Its free and fair to me!

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Arminda - posted on 05/06/2010

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HI RONA, I HAVE 2 GRANDKIDS AND I'M THEIR BABYSITTER COZ THEIR MOM IS A SINGLE MOM! MY OTHER CHILDREN HELPED ME TAKE CARE OF MY GRANDKIDS... WE DON'T EXPECT ANYTHING FROM MY DAUGHTER coz we love her and her kids!..besides they're our little angels! the happness that they give to us is priceless! so don't worry if ur relatives babysit for ur babies, they will take good care of them!...lol!...

Catherine - posted on 05/05/2010

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Hey, if they love your child...go for it! It's hard leaving your little one at first. I think we moms' get more anxious about it than they do! I guarantee NO ONE is gonna do things exactly like you do w/ your baby....but I'm gonna let you all in on a little secret....it's ok! If you are still unsure, try starting w/ 30mins, then the next time go away for and hour and so on until you can enjoy some time on your own. You will be doing you and your baby a huge favor in getting your 'you' time...don't feel guilty, you cannot be superwoman ALL the time and one more secret...no one has it all together ;). Hope I helped!!!

Sally - posted on 05/05/2010

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when my kids were younger i only had my parents & other family members watch them. but sometimes i did come across a few incidents where i had to do things on my own, because things weren't going ok. but i never needed to pay $ for them watching the kids. my parents were very gracious for the time they spent with thier grandkids, now they are in thier teens, 1 with her own child to take care of. so my advice would be to do your best & to know who you can really trust when it comes to your precious ones. :)

Breanne - posted on 05/05/2010

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well with friends i trade babysitting. like i will watch ur kids and then u can watch mine type of thing. with family, i think u should be greatfull for the help, if u want to pay them than do but i dont think that unless they need to money that they will ask for it. i have great family and i have only paid for babysitting once in 9 yrs. i have three kids and my mother in law watches them or i trade off with my friends who also have kids. if ur friends dont have kids than tell them it will be good free practice for them and maybe if they dont like it than cheap birthcontrol> hahaha. good luck

Leigh - posted on 05/05/2010

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i think as long as you trust the person with your child and you need someone to bbysit then go for it my mom and my boyfriends mom are the only 2 that keep my daughter over night but i also have friends and family members that come and pick her up so they can have there own personal time with her i dont think theres anything wrong with letting your child go. and if someone is going to bbysit for free and u trust them its just plus

Jen - posted on 05/05/2010

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I have a very close family and grandma is very involved with my son's life, she calls and asks to take him from time to time, as long as you can trust who you are leaving your kids with I don't see a problem with having a babysitter.

Sarah - posted on 05/04/2010

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As a stay at home mom, I think personally when other people offer to babysit say grandparents or such is their way of saying they want quality time with the child and that maybe your starting to look burnt out... sometimes moms need a brake too... the daily demands put on us can be over bearing at times, and if we start feeling burnt out then we cant truely give our child our best and thats what they truly deserve!

Sara - posted on 05/04/2010

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I guess I'm the lucky one that gets along with all my family and my in-laws. Mostly my mom or my MIL will sit with my kids if I or my husband is not available. We say lots of thanks, and give lots of pictures. I'm pretty sure both Grandmas are just happy to help (not to mention spend loads of time with their grand babies)!

[deleted account]

I also am fortunate to live near my family.
My sister & my SIL (hubby's sister) & I have older kids & younger kids, so we frequently host each other's older kids- this gives them time with their little ones as they're both single working moms.
M younger brother who still lives at home babysits for me- if he's got something going on, then my dad will watch them. In a pinch I get my in-laws who live in the next town. I do have friends that I love, but honestly really disagree with some of their parenting practices so they don't ever babysit for me, nor I for them.
When I had just one child, she went everywhere with us- I did work full time then, but she went everywhere except work with me. Now I have 2 kids, & I stay home, and there are days that I get my brother to babysit just so I can groceries in peace without having to pack them all up in the car, and drag them all out when I get there... If you have to oppurtunity, take it and do something that you can't really do with kids.

Nina - posted on 05/04/2010

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I wish I had free babysitting from family and friends. My mom babysits and then expects some kind of payment and my sister will not babysit unless I pay her. All my friends work and even when they dont they expect me to pay them everytime even though they dont always pay me

Ashley - posted on 05/04/2010

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I have a great support system with family. I trust many people with the care of my son and have since he was a few months old. My main go tos are my sister and her boyfriend, and my brother. My boyfriends brother and dad have started taking my son quite a bit too. And if my parents are in town then we always get a night to go out together while grampa and gramma watch him!
I say if you trust someone let them care for your child so you can get out once and a while.

Kristy - posted on 05/03/2010

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I went back to part time work (2-3 days a week) when my daughter was only 3 and 1/2 weeks old, I have now gone full time and my daughter is 13months old. I have never paid for baby sitting yet, my mum, mother-in-law, stepmum, sisters, girlfriends and of course my little girls Dad are the ones who watch her when I work. Evie absolutely adores all her family and it has made it alot easier on us, not only financially but it's also great because Evie is happy to go to others. I never wanted to be that mother that dropped my child off to day care for the first time when they were one, and the child is hanging onto my leg and screaming because they don't want me to leave! That would just be heart breaking! Our family loves her and she love them :) We're happy to let her be with any family who wants her :)

Sacha - posted on 05/03/2010

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I have a friends daughter come and babysit after school on nights I have to go to work, but really do not like her style or her attitude. She doesnt interact with the baby, but will just watch her. Want to get a new sitter but will upset my friends if I do. My mum babysits sometimes, but she works full time and has a busy life so I dont like to have her do it too much, although she says she doesnt mind and loves it.

Kim - posted on 05/03/2010

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Only mom & mother-in-law have watched my kids when needed. I feel more comfortable this way because they know what their grandchildrens schedules, likes and dislikes are.

Ashley - posted on 05/03/2010

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My kids are 2 and 6 months. I get at least one day every weekend for just me and my husband to do stuff together. Between my mom, my stepmom, my grandma, adn my husbands grandma, we have lots of babysitters and the grandparents are hurt if they dont get time with them. So i let them, they get to have fun with their grandparents and we get some time for ourselves to go on dates or go out with friends.

[deleted account]

my sister and I are both SAHMs and we both have 2 kids(hers are 9 and 12 they homeschool and mine are 3 and 1) We never make a deal out of watching each others kids because we have things we need to do by ourselves sometimes and it's nice to have someone watch your kids for you. As long as you and the people who you are leaving your kids with are comfortable with your arrangements you shouldn't worry about it (IMO, anyway) :)

Tracey - posted on 05/03/2010

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I'm lucky, my mum lives with us, she has helped us from day one.....also my husbands family is huge, so there is always plenty of auntys, etc...

Monica - posted on 05/03/2010

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I live with my parents(long story we just moved back from cali) and hubby's rents are literally 10 minutes away....however we hardly ever have anyone babysit. For one set of grandparents they just dont want to....the other set is too busy to watch...so we either take him with us or we just dont do stuff...

Lea - posted on 05/03/2010

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what are you talking about? my friends don't really babysit at all even if I tell them I will pay. >_

Joan - posted on 05/03/2010

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guess it depends on how old the girls are and if family memebers won't abuse them

Michele - posted on 05/03/2010

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It's not too often I get a break durning the week..Grandma on fathers side will give me a couple of hours break if I really have something that has to be done..And any friends that offer have to have a police check..safety concerns

Danielle - posted on 05/02/2010

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i am a single stay at home mum, i dont go out much but when i do my peronts usually babysit and on the nodd ocasion my sisters babysit i live close to my family which works out really well i am the babysitter n im fine with it most days i babysit my niece 2 sometimes 3 night a week and dont get paid sometimes i do but very rarely and thats ok my daughter is an only child and she loves the company its like having a part time sister to play with, family r usually happy and overjoyed to babysit your kid ( unless you family is 1 of those familys you have to book weeks or months in advance to visit or have dinner with.) but normal familys love to spend time with your kid/s especially if u drop them off at grandma and grandpas house along with pram bassinette and formula/bottles n every thing they need for 24hrs its sometimes great to send the kids to a family members house and have a care free weekend just to your self (and partner) mums need me time too, i have 2 nieces and a nephew and i babysit most days of the week which often leaves little time if any for myself but i am the family babysitter so its to be expected, i hope this helps in 1 way or another but bottom line is dont feel guilty for needing a babysitter family love having the kids over its quality time with grand peronts or aunties or if there uncles r matiure enough uncles too, they all love it

Bekka - posted on 05/02/2010

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My mother in law is the only person who babysits my son. I don't trust anyone else...I dont need one alot now because I don't work anymore...

Sabrina - posted on 05/02/2010

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all of our family does it for free we just make them lunch or dinner and such or we order in for them :) me and my boyfriend is young so we still like to go out once a week at lesat so our family dosent mind whatching our duaghter

Melissa - posted on 05/02/2010

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I have had the same issues going on in my head. I am OK with them coming over (babysitters) or me taking kids their and not having to pay. But, it did take a couple years to get the hang of it. Now that I have two kids I am all for anyone that doesn't want to get paid. At first, I always offered. Now--I don't if it is someone that hasn't taken anything.

Bethany - posted on 05/02/2010

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The only person other than my husband and I who has cared for Charlotte by her self is my Mum, and she loves her to death, and has alot of respect for the way I'm handling things, so follows my guidelines (which are quite similar to hers anyway)

She wouldn't think of us paying her, but we did look after her dog for 5 days the other week, and the day she brought the dog over, I nicked out and got my hair cut while she cared for Charlotte. Wasn't really a swap, but I felt good that I was doing something for her in return anyway.

We havn't really come up against much that we couldn't take Charlotte to yet.

Mary - posted on 05/02/2010

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The only people who watch my daughter are her grandmother on her father's side (dad's mom). She likes to have her over once a month and sometimes when I'm going someplace and can't take her along or just want some time alone with my husband she goes there too. Once and a while she also goes to visit with her other grandparents, my mother and father but not too often because they live further away and my father isn't in such good health. Other than that, I don't usually let anyone watch her. My sister did have her down her house in Del already a few times but I won't let her go there anymore cause there is too much bad stuff going on there that I'd rather she wasn't exposed to. I gladly accept the invitation to watch her for me.

Ruth - posted on 05/01/2010

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Well since I am home all the time I never really use a babysitter very often. My husband and I have only gone out together without the kids about 3 times and the kids are 9,7 and 6 now. I feel that it is important to get out and have a 'me' or 'we' moment! Free babysitting is ok as long as it's not all one sided. I get hit with that a lot..people feel like because I am home that I don't mind taking on their kids..and I'm not saying that it's not true sometimes but going overboard is too much. I already have 3 of my own! Geez! Ok..done venting!:)

Angela - posted on 05/01/2010

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I love it, its not very often that I get a sitter so its nice when I do get a little free time. Being pregnant with a 1 1/2 year old it gets hard sometimes to keep up with him.

Christi - posted on 05/01/2010

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i think we have had someone babysit our son three times in the year and a hal fhe has been alive. i don't understand your question though. i mean it is not something to abuse. we use it for special ocassions only and there is only one person i allow my son to be alone with. we did it twice for our anniversary and the once i was in the hospital and my husband had to work. but other than that i am always here and our son is always with us. no we don't go out alot by ourselves, but we love having our son with us, and he goes to bed early enough that we get about three hours of adult time before we go to sleep. plenty of time for cudding and a movie.

Donna - posted on 05/01/2010

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I'm a new mom, so its hard for me to allow it. I do however get her nana (Husbands' Mom) to watch her from time to time. I tell everyone else no though. lol. Ive been offered. Im just really cautious about anyone else. I may get over that eventually, but im sure no time soon! lol.

Brandi - posted on 05/01/2010

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I'm not sure if you mean you are looking for a way to get free babysitting from time to time OR if you mean that your friends/family EXPECT that since you are a stay at home mom that you MUST be available to babysit for free (after all what else do you have to do, right?)

In case 1 I would suggest that you do a trade off with some of your family or friends that have kids. They go out 1 or 2 times a month or whatever and you can go out 1 or 2 times a month. It's a win win.

In case 2 DON"T start a free babysitting service for family/friends.(unless you know it will be EVEN in both families) You are a busy woman and your time is just as valuable as anyone else's. (BELIEVE ME!!!) I started watching a second cousin of mine 5 afternoons a week (and ALL day thru the summer) for barely what it costs to feed him. He is a behavior problem, I am stuck at home any day he comes as his behavior is so unpredictable that I don't feel comfortable taking him anywhere. What I get paid certainly doesn't compensate for the aggravation some days and the feeling that I'm trapped at home until he goes home. ON THE OTHER HAND I will soon be starting to watch my 2 nephews (who are well behaved and I'm much closer to them and their mother) for the SAME amount of money that my cousin pays me to watch one child. THE DIFFERENCE??? my nephews are well behaved and predictable in their behavior. They don't cause any (or very little) aggravation. They BOTH get along well with BOTH of my kids and I would feel VERY comfortable taking them anyplace I would take my own kids. They help to maintain a peaceful environment for my home, so I don't ever mind them coming over. The agreement in this situation is that if their mom is at work, I get paid. If their mom is wanting a babysitter for a night out or whatever, I keep them in return for a night out for my hubby and I at another time. All 4 of our kids LOVE to play together and get along so well that really it doesn't feel like we have added any other kids.

Sorry so long. I guess I got a little long-winded :-)

Barbara - posted on 05/01/2010

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I'm very thankful that my father and sometimes my mother-in-law would volunteer to watch my daughter. For me, it means that my daughter is that special to them that I do not have to ask them when I have something important to do.

Lori - posted on 05/01/2010

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Free babysitting is nice as long as it's from someone you trust. Also, I think it should be reserved for when you really need it, not just because you've allowed your kids to become brats and you're trying to escape! :) If you have friends or family with kids, trading off is a great system. Otherwise, "free" babysitting should always be rewarded with something like flowers, cookies, a gift card for coffee or a thank you note. Our kids are our responsibility so we should always make sure we view free babysitting as a blessing, not a right.

Cindy - posted on 05/01/2010

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Accept offers and trust that if they didn't want to, they wouldn't offer, and remember to always show your appreciation and gratefulness. A thank you card will go a long way, and of course, not to take advantage.
After all that, go for it!

Dina - posted on 05/01/2010

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I think free babysitting is a great idea. Especially if you can return the favor to other family members. It also works out well with friends/neighbors that have kids. This way everyone involved can have a night out with spouse/partner and knowing that your child is well taken care of and not having to worry about child care costs

Holly - posted on 05/01/2010

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My mother watchs my boys when I need to go somewhere that I know that the boys wouldn't like Or I know they will drive me crazy. SO I think if your family is willing and you can leave them. Then its a good idea. You also have to have me time with other the kids. Or you will just go crazy. I know I do.

Kristin - posted on 05/01/2010

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We used to get offers from people all the time about this. I would say thank you and that I would let them know. At the moment we live far from family and I have never felt comfortable just asking friends or family to watch our kids. I tend to reserve it for emergencies only and then we treat them to a diner or bring them a special desert or bottle of wine the next time we see them.

Darci - posted on 04/30/2010

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We don't have biological family in our town, but have a church family here. We have been blessed with some great friends who help out with the kids regularly. We have 3 kids under 4. My husband has irregular hours, and I substitute teach occassionally for a mini-vacation for me as I really enjoy teaching and an opportunity for my kids to get to spend time with other people to help them grow-up as well-rounded individuals. I also teach pre-confirmation classes at our church one evening a week.

Some of our friends (who are like grandparents to the kids) will not take money from us and don't use gift certificates to restaurants (as I gave them a gift certificate for Christmas as a thank you one year, and they mentioned that they hadn't used it yet), so I usually thank them by baking them a pie when I bring the kids over to their house. These friends helped out a lot when we just had one kid, but they don't help too much now that we have 3 very active kids.

Other friends come to our house to watch the kids, and they accept payment for watching the kids. We usually contact the wife of the couple, but often times, her husband will join her in watching the kids. This couple babysits regularly for us, as my husband is most comfortable with them. As mentioned, we do get to pay them for their help, and we're happy to do so because they are available most days (she is also a SAHM to school-age kids) and they don't mind a phone call on short notice to cancel on days when my husband is home to watch the kids.

My daughter (oldest child) goes to preschool (at our church) with a girl who is one of 4 children, and we have traded babysitting with this family. We are more than happy to watch their chidlren (5th grade, 2nd grade, 4 years old and 2 years old), and they love to watch our kids... it's a little bit like a playdate for the younger kids when we trade. It is also a great situation. I often will do a little baking when I take my kids to their house, and she has been bringing a snack when her kids come over here.

These are some solutions we have found work for the child care situation; they are all a little bit different depending on the needs (and requests) of the babysitters.

*Lisa* - posted on 04/30/2010

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Sorry to hear that Alyssa :(
I would trust my mum and my husband's mum to babysit my 8 month old but we live in Hong Kong and they are in Australia. I haven't had anyone babysit my son except for when my dad came over to HK and my husband had to go to hospital so my son stayed with my dad for an hour. He was asleep anyway. I get scared when I think about leaving him with anyone! I have known people who I trusted completely and put on a good face but then learnt they had this whole other side to them. FREAKY! So for that reason I would only trust my immediate family (and even my mum in law I would think twice about before leaving him with her alone). I'm too cautious hehe. But as for friends (especially those with no kids or experience with kids) I would not feel comfortable letting them babysit.

Sandra - posted on 04/30/2010

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Hello Rona...

If you don't really have very urgent matter that you can take your child along, I think may be it's best that you don't ask ur family members or friends to baby-sitting.
BUT, if you really need it better you ask your own family (mother-father-brother-sister)

Gina - posted on 04/30/2010

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I trade off with my sister. she takes my girls over nite so i can have time with my hubby,and i take her boys when she needs a breather. I'm goin to her house this weekend to stay with her boys so her new man can take her out for her birthday.
I also have great sister-in-law that begs to take my girls sometimes.I actually got yelled at for comming to pick them up from her house too early one time! I think that's cuz all her kids are teens now and she misses having little ones. I just say thanks and let me know when she wants to take them again! I'm always willing to let someone sit the girls for me anytime,even if I have nothing to do while they're gone...

Amber - posted on 04/30/2010

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to katie how do you deal with inlaws you dont like; me and my spouse have run into issues, and they spread to the rest of the family what should i do?

Iliana - posted on 04/30/2010

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My parents have always been good at taking my kids. They always view it as another opportunity to spend time with their grandkids. I have never had a stranger or paid babysitter. I don't trust the situation.

Katharine - posted on 04/29/2010

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I agree with Kirsten Glinke. My future in-laws are here everyother day. I love the help and need it with month old twins...they have yet to babysit them but they have my other daughter and my fiancee's kids. My parents, sister and future sister-in-law have all babysat our older kids. Everyone needs a break at times and I am greatful that I have such wonderful family to help out!

Dina - posted on 04/29/2010

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I feel it allows me to have some time to myself while my kids spend time with their grandparents. I am blessed to have both sides close and my dad and mother-in-law are home during the day in the summer and my girls spend a lot of time with them. My girls have a great relationship with their grandparents and other immediate family that watches them or takes them for weekends. While relationships and my sanity are built being that it is no charge saves on the wallet too. But that is the less of the three. I find it a blessing.

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