Hi Amy,

I have a five month old and have devoured your previous advice columns (happily cloth diapering with GMD prefolds and flip covers, thanks!). I read the columns about crazy in-laws with amusement and sympathy, but find myself with somewhat of the opposite problem. Maybe answering a question about a great in-law relationship will be something different to think about?

My mother-in-law takes care of my son once a week, driving an hour each way to our house. The arrangement lets my husband be a stay at home dad four days a week while still working part time as I work full time at a job I love. It’s a perfect setup for my husband and me both personally and professionally, and I have no idea how we would be able to replicate it without her. I worried that we would have problems with parenting preferences but she has been incredibly respectful of our wishes and (not surprisingly) fantastic with our son.

So what can I do to thank her for being so great and make her time taking care of my son easier? Her birthday is coming up and I’m trying to figure out what we can do to show our appreciation and also anything we could do to make taking care of the baby more fun. When he gets older we look forward to getting tickets for them to museums or the zoo or other fun trips, but he’s 5 months old. We’ve offered to buy any food/snacks she wants and the only thing she’s asked for in the house is diet soda. Somehow supplying two cans of diet soda per week doesn’t seem adequate… So do you or the other readers have any tips for what would make a care-givers day?

Thanks! Read More