Jessica - posted on 08/05/2010 ( 105 moms have responded )
I am the mother of a 4 year old and a 4 month old. A couple of weeks ago, I tried to get one of our normal baby sitters to watch my boys while I went to work a soccer camp (my husband works full time and I am a teacher and athletic trainer). One of our babysitters was going to the camp and the other was going to be at the cabin with her family. So I called my mother-in-law to see if my father-in-law would be able to watch them. She offered to have her oldest daughter (this is my husband's step mother) who is 11 watch them, being that my FIL would be home, but sleeping. Desperate, I agreed... also it would help us out because money is tight right now, as I have not received a paycheck from my teaching job since May, due to my being on maternity leave since March.
When I picked the boys up on the third day, my 6-year-old sister-in-law asked me if I was going to pay her sister. When I told her not to worry about it, she told me her mom was wanting to know. Personally, being that she is family, not to mention only 11, I don't feel that she should be paid. After all, my husband and I have never been paid for watching his three younger sisters.
Later that night, my MIL called and claimed that his sister was afraid to ask me if she was going to be paid... now let me set the stage for you... my MIL is known for saying someone else was afraid to ask, mad, etc. when it really is her that wants to know.
To make a long story short, my MIL (and his sister a bit too) seems to think we should pay her the same amount per hour as we do our normal sitters. I don't think I should, first because she is family, second because she is 11 and third because she wasn't babysitting alone (she had dad there to help, as well as 10 year old sister to help with my 4-year-old).
What are your thoughts?