I have a friend moving this coming month, and I offered to help anyway I can. She’s asked if I can come in, after the old house has been emptied and do a thorough clean through. I gladly agreed. The issue now, is that she is insisting on paying my $12 an hour for the work. She’s insisted multiple times after I’ve tried to refuse. To be honest, I’m really not comfortable with this. I’d love to be able to just help out my friend, you know? I know it won’t be a financial burden for them, so it’s not that. What would you ladies do in this scenario? We’re lower income and my husband was just recently out of work for almost two months because of an injury, so I know she’s just being really thoughtful. Am I being ungracious?
I just went through a similar thing with another friend recently too. I’m going to be watching one of her daughters on Thursday mornings for the next school year. Same thing, she was insisting on paying, and I was refusing. Finally, we discovered that Costco has a great price on coconut sugar and I don’t have a membership, so she’s going to trade me coconut sugar for child care.
I’m always willing to help out, and I don’t want my friends to think they have to pay me because of it. I know part of it is that if I ever needed help, I wouldn’t be able to afford to pay a friend. I’ve always tried to do something nice, like bake a loaf of bread or a treat for the person, but beyond that, I’ve always just assumed that friends jump in and help, wherever they can. Any insight?
I can understand your concern and I don’t think you’re being ungracious, but I would accept the money. It sounds like they want to bless your family because they see a need and have identified a way to provide an opportunity for you to earn a little extra income.
Perhaps they are trying to be your friends without offending you, either, by blessing you with opportunities to get some extra income to help your family. =)
I hear where you’re coming from, Rachel and I don’t think I would take the money.
Explain to your friends that you appreciate what they are trying to do (seriously, what a blessing to have such insightful friends) but that you and your husband would feel uncomfortable introducing that aspect into your friendships. I’d emphasize that you value their friendship WAY more than the money and just don’t want anything to come in the way of that.
If you can figure out a way to barter and trade the goods/services, like what you’re doing with the Costco sugar, that would certainly be easier. But I would personally be a little iffy about bringing a wage or employee/boss considerations into a friendship.
I had this kind of thing in my extended family and my hubby’s as well. We have relatives come visit often and they want to pay us for letting them stay here. Well, I LOVE to be the hostess. I love it! It’s one of the best things about living somewhere that people like to visit. I like setting out the towels, making the beds just so, making room in the bathroom for someone else toiletries, cleaning and organizing our ‘guest room’ (really dd9’s room, that we kick her out of for the duration – she sleeps in the bunk bed with dd6). But when family then tries to pay us for what we feel is a gift we are freely, gladly giving them, it kind of takes the wind out of my sails, like it’s not the special, wonderful gesture I intended it to be and just another thing you can pay anyone to do. Y’know?
So, there’s something so impersonal about paying loved ones for anything. I mean, unless you are outright buying something big, like a car or house. Otherwise, there’s that gray area that can be problematic.
Not sure I got that across well, but I hope you can glean something from it. :)
Tough call. I think I would say “It is not necessary, I really enjoy being able to help” but if they insist than accept the money.
My very good friend’s son is starting up with chemo and I have been watching her 2 other children pretty often and many times last minute. Insurance is not covering as much as they had hopped, they have some big bills coming, but she recently blessed us with a gift card to a favorite restaurant. I told her “It really is not necessary” and she said “WE really want to say Thank You” so I accepted.
Some people enjoy trading and others just want to show their thanks with a gift card or cash.
And I have blessed friends with gift cards as thank you’s for things they have done, when they are more involved and I don’t have the chance to do something else in return. Other times it is more of a “trade” where I help with something and they help me with something else.
We had this exact scenerio with my stepmom recently! BUT she had thrown out her back, so I absolutely insisted that she not pay my daughter and I. Since my dd was involved, I was able to say, “Hey, this is what honoring your parents is about. What are we teaching her by paying her for that?”.
This week she wants dd to help her again, and she absolutely insists on paying. IMHO this shouldn’t be. Family and friends help each other – it is reciprical. And Godly! To put a dollar figure on that seems crass, to me.
BUT – if someone insists there is really no way to stop them without being equally rude. It is too bad that our culture is at the point where we think we have to buy every little service that is offered in love :(. Gives me something else to incorporate into the kids’ discipleship – the idea of serving for love alone.
Money in friendship changes it, but I could see where she dooesn’t want you cleaning after her without some compensation, so if she insists, then take the money and go by her a new house warming present. This way you still get to do your good deed. 8-P
My friends always tell me I’m a toot when I do this kind of thing, but I like to give, not to recieve, but I know that it is selfish not to let them give some too. LOL
Actually, guys, it’s very possible that this woman feels called upon to try to bless you a little bit. It can be a great lesson in life to learn how to gratefully and gracefully receive help, as well as to generously give it. I have a friend who, if I quibble when she does something for me, she says “Would you deny me the blessing?” Well. No, I don’t want to deny her the blessing. Maybe you don’t really want to do that, either.Consider it from her angle, perhaps.
I think it can go both ways. I would in a heartbeat clean my friend’s house for free! But, my friend of many yrs has also paid me for things too. Such as, I always pass our clothes, toys, and books down to her. And have given her lots of things over the years. I LOVE to give, and we have been blessed by others too. While I have felt uneasy about this, she assures me that if I did not give her these things that I would have sold them for a profit. It has only been a couple of times w/ her doing this. And once it was a gift card to Chickfila! Also, she has taken me out to lunch as a thank you.
If you are very close, like my friend, then it makes her heart happy to be able to repay you for your kindness. True, we shouldn’t “take” payments for being kind. But look at it from her perspective too. She sees that you have been lacking in the financial dept.,so this is her way of “giving” to you! You will be blessed and she will be blessed by your help and by blessing you!
This may be a blessing from God to you and your family.
Agree with bookworm, just said better than I could have.
I think it’s ok to let your friends help you out if you need it…. and it’s also ok when it’s more than just a favor – like for the friend you’re watching the child for once a week – that’s MORE than just a favor and that’s why she wants to pay you. She wants to make sure that you’re going to be reliable and not back out mid-way through the year. And that’s OK!!! Accept the money graciously. The friend you’re cleaning the house for once… well, that IS a favor, but it is also something that maybe she was planning on paying someone else MORE to do, so you’re STILL doing her a favor by doing it for $12 an hour – it’s HARD to find cleaning help for that. We like to help people out and we’re blessed to be in the position to do so right now, but there have also been times when people have helped us out BY babysitting for free – when we were a new married couple or our next door neighbor who just cut some wood for me for a closet shelf that we didn’t have the saw to cut. I didn’t offer to pay them because I don’t want them to feel obligated to pay me if they ever need a favor, but again, watching a child once a week is NOT a favor – that’s a parttime job – whatever she’s giving you is probably much less than what she would have to pay if she were putting her child in daycare and her child is in MUCH better hands. Let people bless you! Especially if you NEED it!
Thanks for the advice, everyone. In the end, I did accept the money. More because she was really insisting, and it had gotten to the point that I think I was just being rude by refusing. In the end, I can come to terms with this. For me though, I have personally been convicted by God to not accept money for child care, since I was put into many unsafe child care situations when I was younger where I had to pay the price dearly. So for me, that would be something I would be unable to budge on, but I decided in the end, that house cleaning just wasn’t one of those issues for me. I’d love to help for free, but can definitely see how she’s wanting to bless me too by paying.
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