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To pay for babysitting rather than rely on favours?

(19 Posts)
cornflakegirl Wed 10-Sep-08 13:10:28

Okay, this isn't really AIBU territory, but I wasn't sure where else to put it...

DH and I want to start going out to a church evening group on a weekly basis. We will need a babysitter to enable us to do this (we've been asked to help lead the group, so it's preferable that we're both there each week). We don't have any family nearby, so our babysitting options are either a) ask one or more (church) friends (either childless or with grown-up children) or b) pay a (church) teenager.

Initially, we asked a friend, who comes round to see DH most weeks on the afternoon of the day we want to go out. He said yes, but now can't do the first week. Which is fair enough - he's doing us a favour. But now I'm wondering whether we should just pay a teenager, because then they'd be less likely to miss weeks, and we could keep our "favour" sitters as reserves. However, part of the reason that I'm thinking this is that I don't like asking favours from people that I have no obvious way of returning - even though it's not a big inconvenience (usually) and they have previously offered to babysit if we need it.

So - is paying the sensible option. Or am I being overly independent?

Sparkletastic Wed 10-Sep-08 13:13:00

I'd prefer to pay and not feel guilt-wracked about unpaid favours BUT depends on age of your DCs. If they are tiny I wouldn't necessarily trust a teenager.

Twims Wed 10-Sep-08 13:14:49

Pay a teenager

bigTillyMint Wed 10-Sep-08 13:17:20

Organise a babysitting circle with other interested parents - you have a points system so people don't end up asking "favours" and it's all fair.

It works really well, and you have babysitters who are experienced parents minding your childrengrin

OrmIrian Wed 10-Sep-08 13:17:33

I agree with you. I have had to ask for so many favours recently with regard to child car, school run etc I feel incredibly guilty. Favours are fine for the odd occasion, regular occurence, no.

TheNaughtiestGirlIsaMonitor Wed 10-Sep-08 13:20:33

I agree, either my Mum does it for free, or if she's not available, I ask my Mum's friend's 20 yr old dd.

Babysitting circles never really work all that well. You always feel either you're pushing your luck, or you're being taken advantage of. One or the other.

cornflakegirl Wed 10-Sep-08 13:21:16

Excellent - glad it's not just my warped thinking!

bigTillyMint - actually, we might be able to swap favours with another couple doing a similar group on another night. Hadn't thought of that - thanks!

hanaflower Wed 10-Sep-08 13:23:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cornflakegirl Wed 10-Sep-08 13:23:46

Oh, and DS is 3 and sleeps well, so we really just need someone to be in the house.

cornflakegirl Wed 10-Sep-08 13:25:11

Assuming we go for paying a teenager - how much would you offer? We'd probably be out from about 7.30 - 10.30.

NoblesseOblige Wed 10-Sep-08 13:26:49

somewhere between £15 - £20?

and how do you FIND a babysitter? do you advertise or just ask around?

cornflakegirl Wed 10-Sep-08 13:30:58

There's quite a big youth group at the church, so I'll probably just ask a few who live nearby. Although the evening is the same as one of the main youth activities, which could be a pain.

cornflakegirl Wed 10-Sep-08 13:33:40

NoblesseOblige - was hoping for a somewhat lower amount! Is that really the going rate? (We're in East Anglia.)

shergar Wed 10-Sep-08 13:36:08

I'd pay a teenager. We are in this situation to an extent - we have one neighbour with similarly aged children who has said we must swap babysitting. Except that I've sat for her several times, and every time I've asked she's always agreed and then let me down at the last minute as she's 'a bit tired/forgot/just remembered something'. We are now going to pay our childminder's daughter to babysit (safe in the knowledge that our childminder will also be just a few doors away if there is any problem!). Unless you have a proper babysitting circle with points for sitting so it's all fair it really doesn't work, IMHO.

lilolilmanchester Wed 10-Sep-08 13:42:07

pay a reliable teenager. As your LO is in bed, then a teenager can do their homework/watch tv so no more than £10 for 3 hours.

cornflakegirl Wed 10-Sep-08 16:31:46

I was thinking £10 - but I don't want to underpay if the going rate really is higher?

NoblesseOblige Wed 10-Sep-08 16:38:40

i actually don't know what the gong rate is, but when i used to do babysitting 10+ years ago a 7-11 type stint used to earn me at least a tenner (that was from a number of different people who did used to ask me what they should pay me - me being shy and honestly having no idea just used to say "whatever you think is fair!")

MatBackFeck Wed 10-Sep-08 16:42:33

bloody hell we pay £30 for a night!!!

May have to revise.

We mix and match - family at weekends, take turns with a friend and pay girls from nursery (£7 per hour) if those not doable. TBH, paying is generally less hassle, as you just text them time, they turn up, can get straight out, they know childrens routines from nursery, they go home when you get back. Makes it an expensive evening but def less hassle. Friend takes lots of texts and phonecalls and are you sures? to confirm and family are inevitably late, forget, want to stay over etc etc

ethanchristopher Wed 10-Sep-08 18:48:55

pay a teenager

because in all honesty we need the money. and you can be dam sure that they wont miss a week because... well because they need the money

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