19 answers

Babysitting My Neighbors Kids

Here is my problem. I have lived next to my neighbor for over 3 years now. Ill call her Sara. She has 3 kids ages 2, 5, and 6. I have one 20 month old son. We get along good and are good friends, but lately Im getting annoyed and Ill explain why. When she had days off and I worked, I would pay her $20 to watch my son for me and it was usually only 5-7 hours a day and only 2 days a week. As of last week, I don't have a job anymore, I went on maternity leave. Anyways, she has been asking to babysit her kids for the past couple of days since I dont work. SHe only pays $20 a day for watching all 3 kids, for 8 hours! Usually its only 2 kids since her oldest is in 1st grade but I still have to wake up extremely early to put her on the bus. I have watched them a everyday this week and have not gotten a single penny for watching her kids. The 2 year old is a brat and throws fits non stop and fights with my 20 month old. The 5 year old boy doesnt listen and whines that he is hungry or thirsty every 5 seconds, and complains when I offer him water because he wants soda or something else to drink. SO what should I do? Quit babysitting til I get paid or wait it out? SHe is a waitress and comes home with money everyday. She always has money for cigarettes and beer though but not enough to pay me?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Settle the bill, then tell her how much it would cost for you to continue. If you don't want to continue, then tell her that you just can't anymore as you are too tired with the pregnancy - good excuse. Keeping perfect relations isn't worth getting stepped on.

3 moms found this helpful

I would ask her to please take care of the amount that she owes you. Be firm and don't accept excuses. If she doesn't pay then tell her you can't watch the kids anymore starting today. If she does pay I would tell her that it is more work then you thought it would be to have so many kids in the house and you don't think you can handle it. If you are trying to maintain the friendship you could go so far as to give her a week free so she can find someone else and then after that stop watching the kids. I wouldn't be watching 3 kids for 20 bucks especially if she isn't feeding/sending food because you aren't going to cover that food bill on $20. If you are ok with watching them tell her after looking at the cost of food and drinks 20 isn't enough for all 3 and you want to renegotiate the amount you will take. If she balks at that then go back to not watching them. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

You have an easy out for the next 2 years:

"Honey, I'm sorry... but I can't watch your kids anymore. What with the pregnancy watching extra children on top of my own is just impossible."

DO make sure to say "extra" kids instead of "all 4 kids" unless you want to be put in the position of watching some but not all of her children. Then, after the birth it's "I can't watch extra children with a newborn."

If she's rude enough to say that SHE had no problem watching 4 kids... you can ignore it or say that "You know how it is, watching other people's children is just different from watching your own." You don't even have to bring up the 3 vs 1. If she can't figure that out on her own, she has a brain problem.

You may be out $100, or you can ask "If she has the money from last week?"

4 moms found this helpful

Settle the bill, then tell her how much it would cost for you to continue. If you don't want to continue, then tell her that you just can't anymore as you are too tired with the pregnancy - good excuse. Keeping perfect relations isn't worth getting stepped on.

3 moms found this helpful

As a licensed home daycare provider I will tell you a rule of mine (and many providers I know) that I learned to always follow after an uncomfortable and stressful first few years doing childcare (13 years now). NEVER do childcare on a regular basis for friends, neighbors or relatives.

The occasional "help a relative out while they are on vaca or their provider is", or assist a neighbor in the same way deal is do-able...but I will never again enter into an arrangement with anyone I see outside of daycare prior to the daycare arrangement...nor if I can see their house/yard from mine.

As far as getting paid and continuing the arrangement? Well...you need to decide if its worth it to you to wonder whether you will actually get paid....and $20 for 2/3 kids all day is silly for you to agree to (I get $35 a day per child...but as I said I am licensed, degreed in Child Development, etc).

If you can financially afford to end the arrangement..tell her its just not working for you to do so many hours. If you are feeding 2 kids of hers in a full day (likely breakfast, lunch and maybe 2 snacks...????) you probably are making almost no money each day anyways. Maybe washing an additional load of dishes each day as a result (water, soap and time)...or paying for paper plates instead...more napkins/paper towels for hand washing or clean up of spills..running your vacuum and extra time each day perhaps...using a bit more toilet paper, etc.

I know it may sound nit-picky..but this is what I do for a living..and it DOES add up. The difference just in my electric and gas bill from the extra bodies in my house and laundry I do to wash bedding and bibs each week is huge..more TP, paper towels, laundry soap, hand soap, hand sanitizer..the water bill to clean everything... Consider that it all comes out of the $20 a day you are supposed to be getting.

Just my opinion.

3 moms found this helpful

Quit while your ahead. You will only grow more resentful and if she doesn't pay up you will even be more angry. Nicely bow out. It totally isn't worth it.

2 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't watch the kids anymore. It's not enough money to make it worth your while.

1 mom found this helpful

First decide if you still want to watch them. Then if you do, tell her that you need more money for the two kids. I wouldn't count the third since he's not there that much. I was going to pay a friend $40 for one day a week for 9 hours. I would ask for that much at least!! If it's every day, I'd ask for a weekly rate instead!

1 mom found this helpful

Can you just tell her "I need to settle the babysitting bill because I have bills to pay"? I'm all for helping out neighbors, but you need to determine whether she is taking advantage (and it sounds like she is!). Hopefully, when your new one arrives, you can just tell her she'll have to find other arrangements now that you have an infant.

1 mom found this helpful

I would ask her to please take care of the amount that she owes you. Be firm and don't accept excuses. If she doesn't pay then tell her you can't watch the kids anymore starting today. If she does pay I would tell her that it is more work then you thought it would be to have so many kids in the house and you don't think you can handle it. If you are trying to maintain the friendship you could go so far as to give her a week free so she can find someone else and then after that stop watching the kids. I wouldn't be watching 3 kids for 20 bucks especially if she isn't feeding/sending food because you aren't going to cover that food bill on $20. If you are ok with watching them tell her after looking at the cost of food and drinks 20 isn't enough for all 3 and you want to renegotiate the amount you will take. If she balks at that then go back to not watching them. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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