« Last post by TootsNYC on Yesterday at 05:50:26 PM »
I totally get why you think each household (and not individual) should pay the same amount for the cleaning lady.
Because cleaning the bathroom of two people's accumulated "grime" is really no more work than cleaning it from one person. It doesn't take longer to wipe down the sink when 2 people have been using it than when only 1 has. Maybe when you get up to 4...
And one of the reasons you get married is to combine expenses.
(it reminds me of the laundry frustration I have in my co-op. All expenses are covered on a per-load basis. But the rental of the machine isn't charged per load, the way electricity is. That cost will be the same whether I do laundry or not--and when other people do less laundry, they want to charge me more. I truly believe it would be fairer to split the rental between evenly between households.)
I guess the big problem is, are you thinking of SIL as "part of MIL's household," or "her own household." She doesn't live downstairs w/ MIL. So she's in your household, and she's thinking of herself as a roommate to 2 other people.
I don't know if you'll ever get her to see it that way--a couple of people here don't see it that way. But I can see why you do.
perhaps your only argument is: Because this involves money, it's a business matter. You and your DH are legally a single business entity--it's a matter, actually of contract law. And so you pay from your household.
When you were splitting it with MIL, you didn't pay per-person; you paid per-household, and that's the way it should continue. Since she is not in your household (not being married to either of your, nor your dependent child), and she is not in MIL's household (not living downstairs with her), she is her own business entity.
Now--if the price went up because the third person joined, then your supplier is essentially charging you a per-person rate, and I would say it should be divided on that basis.
But what we all think (which, as I noted, is not all the same anyway) doesn't matter; you can know that some people agree with you, but that's not going to help you.
CAME BACK TO SAY: I see that she uses the bathroom upstairs--not the master bath (which you and DH use), but the main one. Which normally you and DH don't use. You certainly don't shower there. Your guests may use it, but hers would too.
That might be one way to frame the cleaning fees as 1/3 hers. She uses 1/3 of the bathrooms in the house. MIL & caregiver use the downstairs bath; you and DH use the master bath, and SIL uses the upstairs main bathroom. That's an indicator of the fact that you and DH are a unit (you share a bathroom, which is the same to clean w/ 2 people as with 1).
AND MORE TO ADD: Here's how the kitchen ends up being household and not individual: If you cook a meal for you and DH, you dirty one pan for two meals. Sure, two place settings--but only one frying pan, only one saucepan. Leftovers go in one container, not two.
To me that's proof that a household ought to be able to count as a single expense. Inside that household unit, who contributes what is a private matter.