Parents are choosy about hiring a babysitter, but babysitters are choosy too. Parents take note, this is not how you hire a sitter.

By Kristi Pahr
October 11, 2019
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Credit: 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. 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, but you have to pay the bills, right? And babysitting has always been a pretty good way to make some extra cash...unless the parents try to rip you off. One Reddit user shared their latest encounter with a stingy parent who did not want to pay and she was not having it.

When asked on 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: Not a single one of them was potty-trained. It's not a huge deal, every kid potty trains at different times, but most parents would recognize that three not yet potty-trained toddlers might make for a busy night for the babysitter.

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 hero took neither the job nor the shaming and told this stingy mom exactly what we're all thinking. "Barely have to do anything? They're not even potty trained lol. Good luck! Maybe you can sucker some poor teenager to babysit."

Take heed parents⁠: Babysitters provide a valuable service and should be paid accordingly. Don't try to haggle with them or shame them into taking an abysmally low rate. Be grateful they're there when you need a night out and budget for a good rate.

Comments (4)

Anonymous
October 13, 2020
As a parent of a toddler and an infant the babysitter was spot on to pass on the “opportunity” to babysit children from families who do not value their time and effort. Understandably, not all families can support a certain rate and there are other factors to consider such as location (e.g cost of living in your area) however, if you reside in or near a major city $8 for 3 very young children is insulting! You are not providing an annual salary to this person and it is unfair to make that comparison. Why wouldn’t parents want to properly compensate the human who will be minding essentially YOUR most precious humans is mind bending! As a society we will happily pay $5-6 for a latte so why wouldn’t you spend $15/hr for 3 children? Honestly, the sitter should have been compensated atleast $8 per child considering it was also such short notice according to the article.
Anonymous
October 13, 2020
As a parent of a toddler and an infant the babysitter was spot on to pass on the “opportunity” to babysit children from families who do not value their time and effort. Understandably, not all families can support a certain rate and there are other factors to consider such as location (e.g cost of living in your area) however, if you reside in or near a major city $8 for 3 very young children is insulting! You are not providing an annual salary to this person and it is unfair to make that comparison. Why wouldn’t parents want to properly compensate the human who will be minding essentially YOUR most precious humans is mind bending! As a society we will happily pay $5-6 for a latte so why wouldn’t you spend $15/hr for 3 children? Honestly, the sitter should have been compensated atleast $8 per child considering it was also such short notice according to the article.
Anonymous
October 12, 2020
I agree, nothing wrong with paying $8-10 an hour especially if majority of the time kids will be sleeping.
Anonymous
October 12, 2019
There is absolutely nothing wrong with $8-10/hr for 3 toddlers. Americans have forgotten the concept that you have to work hard for money. They want easy money fast. Babysitting is unskilled labor that requires no degree or certificates. The average unskilled laborer gets $7.25/hr. $15/hr is a salary of $25,000/yr. There are teachers with Master's Degrees that hardly earn that! Parents work hard for their money and don't have to toss it to the wind for GenX values who think an hourly wage should be easy to come by. I make my children know the value of a dollar and what it is to really earn a dollar.