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To think it's unreasonable to charge family for one off babysitting

(288 Posts)
Partytrain Tue 26-Nov-19 18:52:30

My sister and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things so wanted opinions on this. We've just moved house and my niece (sister's daughter) has been talking about sleepover at ours with our two young DC. DH & I have been invited out and I asked sister if niece wants to babysit our DC (basically watch a film until we get back) and sleep over that night. Sister said yes but asked how much she will be paid! As she is family I was never intending on paying her as I certainly wouldn't be charging. I said well I'll be giving her dinner and she'll be sleeping over and can join us next day at christmas fair. Just received message asking if I'll also be paying her bus fair. I think it's about £3 and my sister earns about 5 times more than I do! This isnt about paying money, more about the constant focus on money and tone from sister like she'll be doing me massive favour (lots of other recent things). I thought it would be fun for cousins but the questions about money make me uncomfortable. Aibu? Wwyd?

fedup21 Tue 26-Nov-19 18:54:06

Just cancel.

GettingABitDesperateNow Tue 26-Nov-19 18:55:06

Have you said you'll pay her by returning the favour sometime?

Sparklybanana Tue 26-Nov-19 18:56:04

Bit mean. I assume niece is a kid still? Then it means a lot to her to earn something and you’d be paying a lot more otherwise so it’s not like you’re doing her a favour by letting her look after your kids!. Grinch is next month!

dontalltalkatonce Tue 26-Nov-19 18:56:55

Cancel. Just text her, 'Never mind, we've made other arrangements.'

Wheresthesandman Tue 26-Nov-19 18:59:54

Unless I’m completely misunderstanding then of course you should pay her? Coming over for a sleepover and spending time with you as a family is completely different to sitting there on her own watching a film while you and your husband are out and your children are asleep!
It sounds like you’re getting a free babysitter but you’re dressing it up as answering your niece’s request for a sleepover.

Partytrain Tue 26-Nov-19 19:00:00

@Sparklybanana think you misread my post. I didn't say I was doing her a favour.

MoveOnTheCards Tue 26-Nov-19 19:00:50

Actually I think it’s fair to pay her. If she’s old enough to be responsible for them while you’re out, then surely she’s old enough not to be hugely excited by the prospect of a sleepover being suitable recompense?

If you’re not happy paying her then cancel and pay a regular sitter.

I’d be more than happy to have a niece who was available and prepared to babysit (and be paid for her time)!

MsJaneAusten Tue 26-Nov-19 19:03:01

I don’t pay friends to babysit in a reciprocal agreement, and wouldn’t charge my brother if he had kids. But if friends’ teens babysit then I’d definitely pay, there’s no reciprocal arrangement to be made.

thewinkingprawn Tue 26-Nov-19 19:03:04

You definitely need to pay her - she is doing you a favour regardless of whether she then sleeps over and has lunch the next day. How much is it going to cost you for goodness sake - £10?!

Redcliff Tue 26-Nov-19 19:03:16

I would pay and provide pizza money. I don't understand why you wouldn't.

TheTruthAboutLove Tue 26-Nov-19 19:03:21

* Coming over for a sleepover and spending time with you as a family is completely different to sitting there on her own watching a film while you and your husband are out and your children are asleep!
It sounds like you’re getting a free babysitter but you’re dressing it up as answering your niece’s request for a sleepover.*

This is exactly it.

Soontobe60 Tue 26-Nov-19 19:03:47

You should pay her. You've not invited her for a nice family night and sleepover. You want her to babysit. That deserves payment.

riotlady Tue 26-Nov-19 19:04:47

Is niece a teen? I do think you should pay her, even if it’s not as much as you would pay an adult babysitter. When I was a teenager I used to get a ten or twenty for watching my sister or cousins for a night.

Partytrain Tue 26-Nov-19 19:04:56

@Wheresthesandman yes you have misunderstood. She'll be having dinner with all of us. DH and I are going out for 2-3 hours and she can watch film with DC. Will put them to bed when I am back. Plan was to all go to Christmas fair the next day. Niece is teenager, my DC are younger.

73Sunglasslover Tue 26-Nov-19 19:05:01

I think it's reasonable to pay a child to babysit. We paid our niece when she babysat a couple of years ago. £10 for the evening plus some sweets we got in for her. I think it is normal to pay kids to babysit and your sister's earning as not relevant here, it's about what your niece earns.

HollyGoLoudly1 Tue 26-Nov-19 19:05:22

Yeah another vote for paying her. Coming over for dinner and hanging out with family watching a movie is very different than babysitting young kids and then sitting watching a film on your own. YABU.

Ellisandra Tue 26-Nov-19 19:06:04

What niece’s mum earns is irrelevant to what she should be paid, or whether she should be paid!

I think that just helping out between families is lovely, but it should be part of all supporting each other. How do you support niece in return? Taking her to a Xmas fair is a bit shit for someone old enough to babysit! I mean, it’s a fun trip out and as she’s with family she’ll enjoy it - but it’s not a treat.

She’s your babysitter - pay her!

I pay my adult stepdaughters when they babysit my younger child. They always say there’s no need, and I appreciate that. But I still think it’s right to pay. (They don’t live with me, so they are using their time)

MoveOnTheCards Tue 26-Nov-19 19:06:36

Yeah, I still think you should pay her.

WishThisWasGin Tue 26-Nov-19 19:06:43

Hmm. if it was an adult I would agree, but by the sounds of she's a teenager so I would expect to pay, especially as I had asked her to babysit, not just her volunteering to help you out of an unexpected tight spot.

HollyGoLoudly1 Tue 26-Nov-19 19:07:19

Oh just saw your update. Less bad but I'd still lean towards paying her.

TheRightHonerable Tue 26-Nov-19 19:07:32

I think it’s an issue of responsibility.

When your DH and you are in the house she’s simply a cousin visiting but when you leave her with your children you’re expecting her to take responsibility and be the adult in charge- this deserves paying.

It’s totally different if it were you/your sis/mother/SIL or another adult family member then it would BU to pay or them to expect payment but for a teenager yes she should be paid, family or not!

Ellisandra Tue 26-Nov-19 19:07:40

And even if - ESPECIALLY IF! - she’s doing it for free, yes of course you should pay for her bloody bus fare!

notforonesecond Tue 26-Nov-19 19:07:47

Yeah I think you should pay her too.

RandomMess Tue 26-Nov-19 19:08:03

If your niece is under 16 I wouldn't be getting her to babysit as she is legally under the age of responsibility.

I think your sister has been angling for you to provide a regular babysitting job for DN!

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