No matter how much your family loves your children, taking on the responsibility of caring for your kids elevates them to superhero status. Therefore, you’re going to want to treat them accordingly. Think about it: having someone you trust enough to care for your babies is huge! Not everyone has that kind of support. Expressing gratitude is a surefire way to let your family know you don’t take them for granted, and you’ll also show them how much you appreciate these much-needed recharging breaks.
Obviously, if you can take care of yourself once in a while, you’ll be a happier, more relaxed, and better parent. Also, if you’re sincerely grateful, then that superhero person might be up for lending a hand again in the future.
Before deciding on an appropriate gesture, consider the time involved. Did your superhero watch the children for an hour so you could go out to lunch with friends? Then a nicely penned thank you note and maybe a dessert you ordered to go from the restaurant is enough.
Did they keep the kids overnight? Then maybe you should treat them to a nice dinner or a basket with baked goods from their favorite bakery. Did you go on a vacation for a week or more? That’s worthy of a spa day or hiring a cleaner to get their house back into shape. Of course, all this depends on your budget and on their personality.
Also, make sure to bring plenty of your kids’ favorite food and snacks so your family member isn’t put out trying to feed them. Be especially mindful of this if your children have a special diet or are ultra-picky.
In addition, make sure to bring your kids’ must-haves, such as a favorite blanket, stuffed animal, and the shopping cart hammock to make errands easier.
Money can be problematic. If it’s their grandchildren, maybe they’ll be offended if you offer them cash. But you probably know them well enough to guess. If they’re on a fixed income, they might appreciate a monetary show of appreciation they can use to treat their grandchildren without breaking the bank. If the family member is a niece or a cousin, you might want to consider offering to pay them for their time, especially if they’re younger than you.
Gift cards are thoughtful and don’t have any of the stigmas that are attached to cash. Make sure you choose a restaurant or store that the recipient actually enjoys. Some people aren’t gift card people, so you might want to check with another family member to see if they think the babysitter will use the card or if it will rattle around at the bottom of their purse for eternity.
If you’re going on a trip, consider a souvenir from the destination, but stay away from T-shirts and plastic paraphernalia printed with advertisements for the resort, Think less touristy and more personal. For instance, if they collect salt and pepper shakers, see if you can find a set that reflects the local artists’ work. Look for something lovely that reflects the taste of your superhero.
Concert tickets, flowers, fruit baskets, gift baskets, stationery, or a bag full of books are all great ideas, depending on your loved one. Cater your gift to their interests.
Sometimes an action on your part might be more appreciated than something tangible. For instance, you might consider weeding their garden or another task that would be a lifesaver. If you’re handy, you can fix something for them. These are particularly useful for you as well, if your budget is limited.
However you choose to thank your superhero, a sincere act of gratitude will likely be well received and promote good family relationships. And it’s just a nice thing to do.
Now go and enjoy your much-needed YOU time!