I'm looking for some thoughtful advice.
I've been babysitting for my neighbor's kids for about two years now. It's not much money but its my only personal income source since I'm a SAHM. My son loves playing with her kids when they come over and they are great kids and so easy to hang out with, and I make a little extra cash in the process! Their mom and I have become pretty good friends over the two years, often chatting when she comes to pick them up etc.
Our usual protocol is that she pays me for my time when she picks up the kids, either cash or check. Sometimes if I'm babysitting for her the very next day as well, we'll just group the two days together and she'll pay me on the second day.
Lately at the time she picks up her kids she has been asking if it is ok to pay me the next week, drop the check by later, and on several occasions she asks me to wait 3-5 days to cash her check. She never defaults, though. Usually I say sure no problem because I would feel rude saying anything else (how could I say "No, i'm cashing it today"??), because I know her and her husband are working hard and I don't need the money that bad.
However recently she asked to pay me next week (I agreed), then when next week came she gave me a temporary check and asked me to wait 4 days to cash it but said she would text me if it was sooner. I told her "OK, but I was planning on putting the money in my account today, so please let me know."
OK - so I really want to keep this relationship good, I like her and her kids a lot, but at the same time I don't like that I'm constantly wondering how/when I will be paid -- if she will give me cash/a check/a check that can't be cashed/asks me to wait. I'm thinking of telling her that I prefer cash from now on but I really don't like the idea of putting any sort of wedge in our relationship.....how can I communicate my dissatisfaction with this payment arrangement appropriately/considerately?