Hi, I was wondering what kind of relationships you guys have with your charges/their families after you stop working with them? I have been babysitting N since she was 5 and I was 17. When i was in high school and in college i would pick her up a few times a week after school, and also babysit as needed in the evenings when her mom went out. Now I am 23 and she is 11. I am graduating from college, and will be looking for a full time job in my chosen field (not childcare, babysitting was just a good way for me to make some extra money) so I won't be babysitting N anymore, plus she is getting a little bit old to need a babysitter.
I really love N and her mom, and we have always had a nice relationship. They are considerate and kind, and we have literally never had any conflicts in the six years that I have been working with them. I know that I am for sure invited to N's bat mitzvah, and also N's mom recently took a new job that will involve some traveling, and before she took the job she asked me if I would be able to stay overnight if a business trip comes up, even if I am employed full time somewhere else. I said that that would not be a problem.
But the business trips and stuff would probably be once every six months or so, and I really love N! she is like a miniature friend, we go get manicures and frozen yogurt together and now that shes 11 she often confides in me about all of her preteen angst. I told her she can call me whenever she needs to talk to me. But i was wondering if, given my previous relationship with this family, would it be weird if every so often i had lunch with N, either alone or with her mom too? I wouldn't want to be paid or anything, but you know, after six years of spending time with her, its gonna be really strange not seeing her regularly. So any ideas about maintaining a relationship with a family after you move on professionally would be welcome!