Quoting Mama*AtoZ:"If someone is trying to have another child i would guess they probably could afford a sitter and they could prioritize that. Does that mean the family member shouldn't help them out with childcare when they can, because it's possible/easier for them to just have a sitter do it? Is looking after someones kids an obligation though, or shouldn't they want to spend time with them?
What about the person who can't pay for a sitter? (or in my case, can't walk either ) should someone help out then, or it that expecting too much?
Thanks for teaching me about acceptable social behaviour ;)"
IF the family CHOOSES to, they should watch him if they want. In my situation, my family OFFERED to watch him. And even if you do want to spend time with the child, its still a bit of a burden to feed them, entertain them, clean up after them, and take time out of your own schedule (especially for those who work or have other kids) to watch someone else's child. My FIL LOVES spending time with my son, but when its time for me to come back, he is ready to hand him back over to me and let me be in charge so he can go back to 100% fun-mode and just play! He loves to take him fishing when I'm at a doctor's appointment, but watching a kid is WORK too, not just all fun and games! There's discipline, potty training, etc too!
And if someone can't afford a sitter, why do they need one? To go out drinking with their friends? To go to work? To take a nap? Can they offer other non-monetary compensation (like trading babysitting?). I don't mind watching somoene's kid every once in a while without compensation, but if its not an emergency situation, some form of compensation is only fair whether its trading sitting, picking up my drycleaning (that I pay for, of course), or dropping something at the post office, etc. The split doesn't have to be equal, of course, just more of a "I appreciate you helping me, so I want to help you or make it easier for you"
But like I said, there should never be an OBLIGATION to help someone. If I had a friend who was a single mom and she was disabled with a high-needs child, I'd try to help her when and how I could with babysitting, dinners for the family, taking the kids to practices for her, running errands for her while I was out doing my own, etc---but not if she doesn't help me back every once in a while. Its a trade off, even when one friend needs a different kind of help or more help than the other! That's what friendship is, give AND take in a balance that works for the two particular people in that relationship. It can't only be one-sided! Just because one person's situation is seemingly more difficult than mine doesn't mean I HAVE to help them or that I "SHOULD" help them---just that they might need help if I am able to give it.