Mom's Suggestion for Babysitter to Work for $8 an Hour to Watch 3 Toddlers Doesn't Go As She Hoped

Pro tip: this is not the best strategy to get a sitter.

mom paying babysitter
Photo: Getty Images

Choosing the right babysitter is tough, right? After all, you're entrusting your baby's care to someone who's not you and you want to make sure you get the best person you can find.

But on the flip side, babysitting is hard too. You come into someone's space to take care of kids you may not have ever met before. You have no idea what you're getting into, the kids might be nervous or act up, and in some cases, babysitters are just kids themselves.

Many parents recognize the value and worth of a good babysitter and are willing to pay them a fair wage (as much as possible, because having access to good childcare and the means to afford it is definitely a privilege!), but as one babysitter shared, that's not how it always goes. The Reddit user shared their encounter with a parent who did not want to pay and she was not having it.

When asked by a stranger if she could babysit that night, our Redditor replied, "Ok this is kind of short notice but I should be able to tonight." So far so good. She asks for details, any details at all, because the parent had not yet told her anything about the kids. Turns out, she has two 3.5-year-old twins and a 2-year-old. OK, so that might be tough, right? I mean, those aren't exactly the most easy-going ages.

But wait, there's more: Not a single one of the kids was potty-trained. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that because every child potty trains at different times and some may need bathroom assistance for life, but most parents would recognize that three not-yet potty-trained toddlers might make for a busy night for the babysitter.

From there, the potential sitter then stated her rate: A very reasonable $15 an hour. The parent, however, had other ideas. "In no way will we be paying 15," she wrote. "We've had several sitters in the past and never paid more than 8. I can do 60 for the night."

Wait, now, what? Yes. She offered $60 for at least 5 hours (maybe more, she was very uncertain of when she'd actually be returning from her spur of the moment night out) caring for three kids in diapers.

The babysitter was not down with that and let the parent know in no uncertain terms. "I don't want to waste any more of your time. So that's it. 15 or nothing."

Way to stand up for yourself!

The mom doubled down: "Our kids are very well-behaved and will be sleeping most of the time anyway. You'll barely have to do anything. I used to babysit for $10." She even had the nerve to end with "Be grateful" but luckily her message cut off before she finished that amazing sentiment.

Needless to say, our babysitter took neither the job nor the shaming and told the mom exactly what she thought of her proposition: "Barely have to do anything? They're not even potty trained lol. Good luck! Maybe you can sucker some poor teenager to babysit."

Look, this situation is tough, because the truth is, not all parents can afford the going rate for a good babysitter (a price that keeps climbing!) and finding safe and quality childcare is an ongoing problem for many families. But the lesson of the story here may just be not about the rate itself, but about how not to treat a potential sitter: shame is definitely not the name of the game. If you have a set budget for childcare, be open and honest about the rate, the work expected, and maybe sweeten the deal with some snacks.

And if you're the one offering the babysitting, know that it's perfectly okay to set your own price—and stick to it. Taking care of kids is hard work and it definitely deserves to be compensated accordingly.

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