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Should You Pay Friends For Babysitting?

Should You Pay Your Friends For Babysitting?

Recently, one of my friends wanted to take a Saturday night off to celebrate a birthday. When her regular sitter had to cancel, she reluctantly asked me if I could help out. Her daughter and I are very close. I watch her on a fairly regular and arranged basis, and we always have fun together, so I never think of it as "babysitting" or expect payment. This time, however, because of the circumstances — the sitter's last-minute cancel and the fact that it was a weekend night — my friend insisted on paying me money when she got home.

Granted, the amount she gave me was far less than if she had gone with her regular sitter, but I felt uncomfortable taking it. She assured me, however, that she needed to pay me as a token of her appreciation; after all, she said, she'd rather have me watch her tot than anyone else and she was grateful. I finally agreed, but I'm wondering, how would you handle the situation? If a friend helps you out with a sitting emergency, do you pay her, take her out to dinner, or does she flat out refuse to accept anything?

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Join The Conversation
MissSushi MissSushi 5 years
For close friends, I agree that a token of grattitude for this situation would be better then paying them. If it was any sort of regular occurance, then yes, payment should be expected.
amber512 amber512 5 years
Right now I watch my best friend's kids for free and it is usually when my husband and I want to hang out with them so I wouldn't even think to ask for money even if she could afford to pay! If it became a regular thing like in the Anon scenario above she would pay as we have talked about it before.
Deidre Deidre 5 years
I would do something to show my gratitude without using cash. With my friends, I think that they may also be a bit uncomfortable if I paid them. So I would take them out to dinner or drinks another time to say thank you, and pay for their way.
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