real life

Help! Is it normal that... my stepson wants to get paid for THIS?

Here’s a tough one for the iVillage brains trust

I love being part of a blended family. Once all the awkwardness of those early days was gone, I thoroughly enjoyed my role as a stepmum. My stepson was six when I him so we’ve had lots of time together. Fast-forward 19 years later and we get along really well.

One of my favourite parts of being a blended family is watching my stepson interact with his little brother and sister. I always wanted children of my own and my husband and I worked hard to make sure my stepson was just as excited as we were when we decided to have children. I’ll never forget coming home from the hospital holding my new son and my stepson walked past us. My new baby put his little hand up and my stepson just grabbed it, stopped in his tracks and crouched down for an extended coo-ing session.

I get tears in my eyes when I think of it.

Soon after we had a little girl. My stepson was very close to his little brother and my son just worshiped him. They would run around together, wrestling, tumbling and just having fun. My stepson was a little more hesitant with his sister. He had no idea how to play with girls but soon figured it out.

Now my stepson is 25 and my children are nine and five. My stepson has a great girlfriend who we love and the kids love.

My husband and I are always struggling to find babysitters to help us out once a month so we can go out and spend some husband and wife time together. Our mothers help us while we are at work so we can’t very well ask them to come back and help just so we can go on a date night.

I suggested asking my stepson and his girlfriend if they’d come over and babysit and they said they were more than happy to. Then, my stepson asked how much we’d pay him, and he was serious.

I fell silent and eventually stumbled out something along the lines of, “I don’t know I’ll ask your dad”, hung up and felt sad. He’s family. Family shouldn’t expect to be paid for babysitting their own siblings should they? Plus I offered to buy them takeaway and hire them a movie.

Should I pay my stepson for babysitting his brother and sister?

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