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amother




OP


Post  Wed, Jun 19 2019, 3:15 pm
I have a couple of bedrooms in my basement and often host guests for peoples’ Simchas.
While for the most part it was always our pleasure, we have had our share of mishaps (ie guest opening basement window - which has a well- during a hurricane, neglecting to tell us or close it, and flooding the room, ruining the carpet, guests’ children hanging out all day, playing TAG throughout our whole home, etc.)
So when I got this phone call last night I became a bit wary.
A woman (whom I don’t know and isn’t from my neighborhood) is hosting a Simcha at our local Shul. She wanted to know if a family with several (very young) children could stay here, and if we’d mind babysitting the children ‘who will be asleep’ while the couple goes out to the night meal.
My husband thought that was a strange request, and was inappropriate. We’ve never gotten that before (at least not from perfect strangers).
Also, if the kids wake up, it’s a 15 minute walk each way to the Shul, so we’d have to spend minimum a half hour during our own seudah going to fetch the parents.

Wanted to know what you all think...
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nchr




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jun 19 2019, 3:17 pm
I would do it, but you have to know yourself. I would not disrupt my seuda though to go get the parents.
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shabbatiscoming




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jun 19 2019, 3:18 pm
Sleeping id say sure. The babysitting, no way. The kids dont know you, you dont know the kids. Its a bit rude for someone who doesnt even know you to ask that of you. Id say no way to that bit.
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amother




Seagreen


Post  Wed, Jun 19 2019, 3:19 pm
I've heard of people asking their hosts to babysit.
I would not babysit strangers kids.
You're nice enough to give out the rooms, free babysitting service is not included.
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mommyhood




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jun 19 2019, 3:23 pm
I have done this but only for people I know when the parents were close by. Shabbos is so late nowadays you have to be prepared to stay up until the parents come back. Simchos are usually quite shleppy.
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thunderstorm




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jun 19 2019, 3:24 pm
If it was someone I knew , I would do it gladly. I would feel pressure doing it for strangers . Friends and family are understanding and I can set rules and boundaries. It's difficult to do with a stranger. Who knows what else they will expect?
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bargainlover




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jun 19 2019, 3:25 pm
I wouldn’t do it
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amother




Olive


Post  Wed, Jun 19 2019, 3:28 pm
The woman asking is nervy. There is no way I would do it.
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amother




Plum


Post  Wed, Jun 19 2019, 3:35 pm
I too am blessed with space and host often. Twice I have been asked if my teenage daughter could babysit the sleeping children. One was my Rabbi's SIL (my ste babysits for the Rabbi) and the other was my around the corner neighbor's son and DIL-who had been my daughter's teacher 2 years prior. Both brought my daughter very generous gift cards as a thank you.

It is very wrong of this woman to ask, unless there is some bazaar/rachmanus extenuating circumstance.
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amother




Navy


Post  Wed, Jun 19 2019, 3:36 pm
It’s very hard to go away for a simcha with little kids. I used to do it and eventually put my foot down and told people that it was too hard for us to go away. I felt that it was unfair to my kids, our hosts and myself. I even missed a siblings shabbos Sheva brochos once I stopped going away and I was okay with it.
When I did go away I remember that we were once placed in someone’s basement for a simcha. The person who was making the simcha assured me that I can put my kids to sleep at night and join. I was told that the family upstairs would listen in. I was so embarrassed when we came back late and the woman upstairs was falling asleep on her couch waiting for us. Her family had already all gone to sleep. I’m not sure why I didn’t think to come back earlier. Op, I think you should tell them that if the kids are sleeping it’s okay for them to leave but let them know by when they need to be back. It’s fine to tell them that you are going to sleep at 10pm.
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Metukah




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jun 19 2019, 3:38 pm
I would and have done it. I would however warn the parents that if the children cry I will not go to call them.
Its not an easy thing to do and if it would greatly inconvenience me I would say no. But, going out of my way, once in a while, is not the worst thing.
Avraham Avinu hosted 3 strange men, 3 days after surgery.
We don't all have to do that, but hachnosas orchim is a mitzva, not because of its convenience.
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amother




Seagreen


Post  Wed, Jun 19 2019, 3:40 pm
If you can't find placement for your kids when you go to a simcha, stay home!!! I've missed some close simchas because we couldn't find where to leave our kids, such is the life of parents.
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amother




Indigo


Post  Wed, Jun 19 2019, 3:41 pm
Would it be you babysitting? Or do you have children who would be the actual people babysitting? I personally would not do it, however I once was hosted by somebody for a Simcha and there was no Eruv. the person making the simcha told me that the host children would babysit my baby. I obviously, confirmed that they would babysit her before I went.
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BetsyTacy




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jun 19 2019, 3:43 pm
Avraham hosted guests at a time when travelling was dangerous, and there were no convenient hotels. Even Avraham did not babysit strangers' children, as far as I know.
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amother




OP


Post  Wed, Jun 19 2019, 3:44 pm
OP here

My bigger boys are age 15 and 13, but I don’t quite think they would babysit. My other children are younger and wouldn’t either be babysitting.
So it’d be my husband and me...
She was really asking assuming the children would be sleeping.
But I know my children don’t sleep very well in strange places. Can’t imagine 4 or 5 young kids would sleep well in our home either.
Someone’s bound to wake up.
And if we say we won’t call the parents, that means we’ll be stuck babysitting.
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hello 1




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jun 19 2019, 4:01 pm
I would tell them I’d Be happy to watch them once their sleeping, but would ask them to come back once or twice during the meal and oncheck if they woke up since I won’t be able to babysit (even though it’s a 15 minute walk). That will be their choice to make then to leave sleeping children or not.
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nchr




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jun 19 2019, 4:06 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
OP here

My bigger boys are age 15 and 13, but I don’t quite think they would babysit. My other children are younger and wouldn’t either be babysitting.
So it’d be my husband and me...
She was really asking assuming the children would be sleeping.
But I know my children don’t sleep very well in strange places. Can’t imagine 4 or 5 young kids would sleep well in our home either.
Someone’s bound to wake up.
And if we say we won’t call the parents, that means we’ll be stuck babysitting.


Some kids definitely sleep through the night, even while on vacation. Also, at night? Babysitting? Even if they cry they'll probably go back to bed, but I would potentially bring them up to my seuda.


Last edited by nchr on Wed, Jun 19 2019, 4:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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amother




Babyblue


Post  Wed, Jun 19 2019, 4:07 pm
My mother has an empty basement and she host guests on a weekly basis for peoples simchos however she has a policy that she does not babysit. I think it's super unfair to expect the host to stay up Friday night watching your kids. Especially if it's a 15 minute walk that is an absolutely ridiculous request.
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cm




 
 
 


Post  Wed, Jun 19 2019, 4:14 pm
I have hosted and have been hosted by strangers many times. Babysitting is not included.
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amother




Olive


Post  Wed, Jun 19 2019, 4:16 pm
amother [ Babyblue ] wrote:
My mother has an empty basement and she host guests on a weekly basis for peoples simchos however she has a policy that she does not babysit. I think it's super unfair to expect the host to stay up Friday night watching your kids. Especially if it's a 15 minute walk that is an absolutely ridiculous request.


It is super unfair to push the babysitting off on the host's teens also. I wouldn't ask it off my kids.

My kids also resent when there is company at my house, and the moms don't watch their own kids. My poor teens have to run after these kids who are not trained to sit at the table.
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