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$85 a week for 40 hours of babysitting?

April 4th, 2009 at 08:01 pm

Helping others has always been in my nature, but now, I'm wishing I never agreed to help out.

My neighbor asked me if I could start babysitting her daughter since her and her boyfriend split and their original babysitter no longer wanted to sit. I agreed because I was told that I would only watch her when she had the kid, and other days, the boyfriend will have her.

Well, little did I know that I have her everyday except Sunday and Monday with 40 hours of babysitting a week, and was originally going to get paid $50 a week, but fought for $85 with the excuse of buying food and drinks for her. The mom fought me for awhile about $85 a week because she didn't find that necessary, but she agreed. I've never really babysat anyone's child before, but I feel that $85 is not enough for what I'm sacrificing from my daily routine. Plus, I don't even know why I have to watch the kid on her mother's day off from 5am-7pm? Why can't the boyfriend take the kid? Not to mention, the kid is eating me out of my house!

I need some serious advice on what to do. I don't want to be a prude and say that i'm going to do it and then later on back out of it, you know?

21 Responses to “$85 a week for 40 hours of babysitting?”

  1. anonymouse Says:

    That's just ridiculous. This woman is taking advantage of you. My mom was paid $50/50hrs of babysitting back in 1978. Look on craigslist to see what other people are offering. That pay is totally below minimum wage. I would have no problems ditching that woman.

  2. dmontngrey Says:

    It does sound like she's taking advantage of you being a SAHM - figuring "what's another kid, right?"
    She may see this as since you don't work, you should welcome that money! I do agree it does sound rather low for you watching her child full time hours. Full time daycare would cost much much more than that!

  3. momcents Says:


    I'm in suburban Chicagoland and the cheapest I've seen is $135 a week. I'm a SAHM and babysat a friend's little guy 3 days a week (nine years ago) for $40 a day. I think you need to charge more. She's taking advantage of you.

  4. lizajane Says:

    No wonder their original babysitter no longer wanted to sit! You might just tell her it's not working out as well as you thought it might, because of xyz. Some reason, any reason.

  5. mom-from-missouri Says:

    Is she perhaps on state childcare aid? In our area, if you are on state aid they will reimburse you for a set amount of hours--if you don't use your hours, you can get dropped. Students who have a day off of school or semester break have to bring their kids or risk loosing their aid. DUMB. The state determines the amount of hours. If they ok'd 40 hours, they are maybe hoping she will actually work 40 hours.

    Or, she could be wanting some time to herself, or maybe be one of those parents who don't spend time with their kids and that is sad.

  6. SnoopyCool Says:

    I babysit full-time and I charge $125 a week. You are totally being taken advantage of.

  7. boomeyers Says:

    My girlfriend just offered $320 a week for two kids.

    Perhaps you can tell her that instead of a flat $85 a week, you need to charge by the hour. Then perhaps she wouldn't take advantage of your weekly agreement. Realistically you are only making $2.12 per hour. Tell her you are charging $3 per hour and see how it goes. And if she agrees, make sure you write down the time when she drops the child off (let her see you do it!!) and write down the time she is picked up, so there is no squabbling at the end of the week.

    Also, buy a bunch of fresh fruit and tell the child that this is your meal (whatever it may be), fruit for snack and THAT is it!! Give her peanut butter and celery or something. Maybe that will help control her appetite.

    You can't help but feel sorry for the kid who is getting dumped. It happened with a neighbor child when my kids were small and if you can, embrace the child into the fold and show them a loving stable environment they may never otherwise see. Just a thought, good luck!! Smile

  8. momsfirststep Says:

    I'd tell her things are not working out. Your time (away from your routine and spending time with your own kids) is worth much more than $85/wk. I wouldn't even think of offering less than $200/wk for one child. Good luck!

  9. monkeymama Says:

    I couldn't find someone to babysit 5 hours a week for less than $10 per hour (minimum wage here). Anyway, full-time you can sometimes get a little break on the hourly price. But yeesh. I'd quit. Not someone worth working for, someone who would treat you like that.

    The child is obviously under 5? I'd also look around at what others are charging (look at Craigslist, for example). I know regions can vary much. But usually people are willing to take low babysitting jobs because they care for other children at the same time or because they want to stay home with their kids. I see the latter is your case, but I think even $3/hour is reasonable, no matter where you live. If you don't need the money to stay home with your kids, well... Then it's obviously not worth it in your current arrangement.

  10. princessperky Says:

    For a friend the price is no big deal, but she doesn't sound like a close friend.

    I am a bit of a wuss, I would prolly wait a week or two then institute some changes in cost (hourly or only X days for same price)

    Though in the meantime I would really focus on the act of service this is..cause you don't want your resentment of the mother to carry over to the child.

    Oh on food, what sort of food is she eating? if healthy she prolly really needs it, if junk food, tell her no. I agree some healthy fat at each meal will help her fill up, but avoid simple sugars.

  11. swanson719 Says:

    I babysat a 3 yr old and a 5 yr old 2 years ago, for 20 hours a week, at their house, with their food, and was paid $100 a week. 40 hours, at your house, your food, I'd be charging at least $175, more like $200. You're definitely being taken advantage of. Get some listings of what this woman would be paying for a daycare in your area for the amount of time you sit, and charge about 70% of that. You mentioned you're an army wife - so why can't your neighbor put her daughter in daycare on post? I'm army as well, and my soldiers always try to use their kids as excuses to get out of work because their spouses work. We just make them take them to the daycare on post.

  12. whitestripe Says:

    you could ask the mum to pack lunch for her child.

  13. Wonderlake653 Says:

    You do not owe her anything. Give her a two-week notice that you cannot babysit anymore, you have other commitments to take care of. Then fill your calendar with things you want to do. If you need to earn that $85 then get a job at Wendy's or McDonalds or the school for one day per week where you can earn $85.
    If she's mad at you that is her problem, why do you worry about what she thinks? Make new friend who respect you at your new job. Good Luck.

  14. debtfreeme Says:

    I don't have time to read the comments but my sister runs a home based day care and she charges 125 and 145 (145 for babies under 2)

    yes you are being ripped off.

  15. debtfreeme Says:

    I don't have time to read the comments but my sister runs a home based day care and she charges 125 and 145 (145 for babies under 2)

    yes you are being ripped off.

    would you do any other job for $2.70 an hour?

  16. SicilyYoder Says:

    I can't really remember how much exactly I paid in daycare when we had the foster kids, but I remember if you were late it was $6.00 per every thirty minutes you were late. My sister had the state day care program for awhile, and I think they paid $15.00 a day per child, and that was around 1990 and 1991.

  17. Liz Says:

    I had the same situation. I was getting paid $150 a week for 40 hours a week--I quit today. $150 a week is severely underpaid---so $85 is just terrible. The woman had me doing laundry, mopping, driving her kids everywhere (no gas reimbursement), had me working extra hours with no pay, called me on my days off at 830am, etc. I tried to quit and she wouldn't let me so I just emailed her... I don't know if she's gotten it or not, but hopefully she'll get the point when I dont show up tomorrow. You need to tell the woman you cant do it anymore... plain and simple! You should be getting paid ATLEAST $300 a week. There is an actual minimum wage for nannies/babysitters...

  18. mom-from-missouri Says:

    I did some checking. In my area, on craigslist, $75-$125 a week is the norm, with the $125 for infants and the $75 for those toilet trained and up.

    DFS childcare assistance pays a flat $15 a day regardless of age.

    So, if you lived where I lived, this is the going rate.

    However I know it varies widely and widly across the country, as does the price for a gallon of milk or a gallon of fuel.

  19. terri77 Says:

    Girl, get out now! That woman is unbelievable! $85 for 40 hours of babysitting?! No way in the world. Maybe if you were a daycare and had several children, but for one? Nope.

  20. Lis Says:

    Wow, I have the same situation. It started at the beginning of this school year. A lady, I barely knew, asked me to babysit her 2 kids, The current babysitter dropped them suddenly.
    A boy 3 and a little girl 6. Trying to be nice and helpful, I said yes.
    The little girl goes to school with my son. So it was agreed that I would take the little boy from the school. Well 'mom' does not have to go to work until 10am. Why do I get you kid at 8am? And most days, I drop my kid off at the school at 8 and they get there about 8:15. I have a newborn, I don't like waiting for them.
    (and something they told me after I agreed to watch the kids, the little boy is prone to seizures)

    When I pick up my son, I also pick up the little girl. So for a few hours, I have both of them. 'Dad' gets off work at 4pm. But usually picks up the kids around 5:30.
    I have asked them to provide all the food, snacks and drink for their kids, The kid shows up with a apple once in awhile, or a fruit cup. They gave me a jar of peanut butter (it was WAY past the experation date) and a jar of jelly.
    I get paid $100 per week and average 45+ hours a week. Some days, 'mom' has to go into work early, And I get the kids at 6am. Which makes for a really long day, because they are still with me till 5:30 sometimes 6pm.
    Both parents work GOOD full time jobs. I just feel I am getting taken advatage of. I really like the kids! But I just want somethings to change. And I don't know how to go about it. I like what one person above said, about charging a hourly rate. Maybe $3.00 per hour for one of the kids, $5.00/hour for both.
    'mom' told me today, I will have the kids at 6:00am everyday in the month of May, that is what started the frustration for this letter.
    I am suppose to have the kids all summer.
    Any comments or advice would be appreciated.

  21. noxqsez Says:

    Lis,

    I would tell her that it's too much responsibility to take care of her kids. I mean, her son is prone to having seizures, and that's alot of responsibility right there. What if something happens? What if the mom blames you for not treating him in time or something? It's mostly just to cover your butt because you're not certified for that type stuff. I also don't understand why parents who leave their kids with sitters feel that they have the right to pick them up an hour and half later after getting home just because they're paying you. It's not right. It's their kid, not yours.

    Just let the woman know that you don't feel comfortable taking care of her children, and she'd understand. If not, it doesn't matter right? You don't really know her.

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