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Aunt is shocked to learn that some people charge their family members to babysit

How much work should someone do for a family member for free?

A babysitter plays with a young girl.

One of the great things about most healthy families is that people can give to one another without expecting much in return. But, of course, everyone has their limits. How much is asking for too much? Regarding loans, money is different in all families, but what about time? Is spending hours babysitting for a family member without receiving anything in return okay?

Kaitlyn Wilson, 27, recently answered this question on TikTok, and the video went viral, earning over 335,000 views.

“I was telling somebody the other day that I watch my nephew for my sister, once a week roughly or just whenever she needs, and they were so shocked that I did it for free,” she said in the viral video. “Like, are other people’s families out here charging them to watch their kids for a few hours? That’s absolutely absurd if they are.”


She then described why she babysits her nephew for free. “I get the opportunity to create a relationship with my nephew by babysitting him and being around him,” Wilson said. “The fact that other people feel like they would need to be paid to hang out with their nieces, nephews, grandkids is so messed up.”

Warning: Strong language.

I was not even aware that someone would think of charging their family member for babysitting their kid(s) occasionally.

@kaitlynnnwils

TikTok · Kaitlyn w

Wilson speculates that people who don’t want to babysit their younger family members are missing out on building a relationship with them.

“And I swear, it will be those same adults at family parties being like, 'Oh my god, why doesn't so-and-so want to hug me or talk to me?' They don't f***ing know you, dude,” she continued. “I feel like it's not that hard to show up for and support people in your family, especially if you live near them."

The vast majority of people who commented on the post supported Wilson. However, some thought that realistic boundaries for how often one is expected to watch a family member’s kids should exist.

“Is it really babysitting? Or is it just spending time with family? It’s just spending time for me," Joey wrote. "I feel if you're an adult, do it for free, but if it's a teen relative, give them some money my uncle used to pay me. Now I do it for free cuz I have a job now," Ashleyemmell added.

Some believed that having to do it every day meant that it went from being a favor to becoming a job. "Yep. If it’s consistent, I’m not doing a full-time job without pay. If it’s a date night, it's free. But Monday through Friday? That’s a job," J wrote.

For Wilson, watching her nephew is all about building a relationship that lasts a lifetime.

"It's the responsibility of adults to foster relationships with children — I'm a firm believer of that," she told Today.com. "When kids grow up and they are not close to older relatives, it's not the fault of the adult child."

"You can foster [relationships] by just showing up for them," she added. "Going to [sporting] events ... [going] to the park, reading books, baking ... and always be the one reaching out."