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Client assumes I will clean if I have down time. How do I handle this?

(119 Posts)
someonestolemynick Wed 13-Apr-16 21:22:03

I've NC'd for this and will keep things as vague as possible.

Basically I'm a tutor who occasionally does childcare/babysitting. As a favour to an excisting client I took on a new client for a regular after school babysitting gig. The dc are around 10 years old so won't require constant supervision.

I have to say as babysitting goes, my rates aren't cheap. But as i don't need to prepare for babysitting, they are cheaper than my tuition fees. So I get that hiring me to sit in your house while the dc get on with stuff. I pointed that out to get, but she was happy with the fee.

I want to an initial meeting with her. All really great until the mother said: and when c happens, they'll probably just be upstairs playing, so you can do some cleaning. I didn't react at all. I think I probably looked quite put out. She proceeds to show me where she keeps different things including showing me subtly where the cleaning products are.

I know I should have said something at the time but I was incredibly stunned. I have been in this job for almost 10 years and I've never been asked to clean someone's house. Of course I tidy up (with the kids) after a session and will clean any mess when It comes up, but I am not a cleaner.

You can probably tell, that i am not happy with this. I'm actually quite offended that she would simply assume I would because
1. I'm doing her and an excisting client a favour.
2. I am shot at cleaning and hate it. For that reason I employ a cleaner in my own home.

So how do I deal with this?
1. Have a conversation with her stating firmly and politely that she needs to hire a cleaner, if she wants someone else to clean her house.
2. Get on with my job and wait for her to comment.
3. Tell her that my commitements have changed and I won't be able to babysit for her again.

Or am I being previous and should just clean.

someonestolemynick Wed 13-Apr-16 21:23:21

Oh, nd fail. Never mind....

Arfarfanarf Wed 13-Apr-16 21:24:42

I think you should be honest with her. You do not do cleaning and if that is what she wants, she should hire someone else.

Roonerspism Wed 13-Apr-16 21:27:25

I think you need to reset her expectations completely that you are there to supervise kids and aren't a nanny who mucks in as required.

I guess she will wonder what you do when the kids are playing. But if she wants a nanny/housekeeper she should have said!

AddToBasket Wed 13-Apr-16 21:27:30

I would message her. Compose an email or text that you are happy with explaining that you are happy to babysit and looking forward to spending time with [X] and [X] but that you felt uneasy that she was expecting you to clean. While you are happy to tidy after any child-related activity, you are not any good at cleaning (and in fact employ your own cleaner) so would feel uneasy at any expectation of this.

StealthPolarBear Wed 13-Apr-16 21:27:45

You should not just clean, it's not the job you're doing!

Lweji Wed 13-Apr-16 21:27:53

Keep doing what you have been doing and if she ever mentions cleaning again, give her the contact of your cleaner.
You will need to be very clear if she ever mentions it again, anyway.

someonestolemynick Wed 13-Apr-16 21:29:34

I was afraid, you were going to say that. Time to put on my big girl pants grin

StealthPolarBear Wed 13-Apr-16 21:30:23

And don't even iron them first

HopelesslydevotedtoGu Wed 13-Apr-16 21:31:42

That's odd, I have never heard of babysitters doing cleaning if the children are occupying themselves, it's odd that she has this idea. Is she new to the UK? I could imagine this situation in some other countries.

If you don't need this job, I would get in touch and say that you are no longer available, it sounds like it may be awkward and she may have some other bizarre ideas.

If you do want/ need this job, I would contact her asap and say politely that you don't clean during babysitting jobs (other than cleaning up after yourself), and that if the children are occupied you wouldn't do extra duties, that is how you have always worked when babysitting. Put the ball in her court as to whether she wants to hire you on those terms.

Definitely don't do Her cleaning! And don't not say anything- it would reflect badly on you if you seemingly agree to this set up and then watch tv all evening smile

alicemalice Wed 13-Apr-16 21:31:44

Just say 'I do babysitting but I don't do cleaning. Sorry if you understood otherwise.'

MeMySonAndl Wed 13-Apr-16 21:33:04

1 Better for her to know from the beginning. I have had a couple of babysitting people who cleaned the house while DS was asleep and were bored. I was beyond surprised (and grateful) even when I first met them in a cleaners role.

There si no point in waiting for her to get annoyed because you are not cleaning, while you are being offended because you are not a cleaner.

A nanny could do some house chores (some) but I would expect the babysitter to tidy up with the children whatever mess they have done together and sit and read/watch TV when the children do not need entertaining.

someonestolemynick Wed 13-Apr-16 21:40:10

The thing is, if I was any good at cleaning, i might do it during downtime but hiring me as a cleaner is a road to disapointment (as would be asking me to iron).

She is not from the UK. Her nanny is returning to get home country so she might be used to nanny services. I'm mostly doing this job as a favour for original client who has been incredibly supportive over the years.

Well, I'll have a chat with her tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Realitybitesyourbum Wed 13-Apr-16 21:41:45

I wouldn't hire you at all. You say you get paid to "sit in your house while the dd get on with stuff" and they "don't need constant supervision". What kind of child carer are you?
Are you not paid to interact with them, chat with them, help them with their homework, play with them, cook with them, and generally interact and have positive interactions with them? You sound like you sit playing on your phone looking at Facebook while the kids play on their own. Perhaps she saw that in you!

DoreenLethal Wed 13-Apr-16 21:42:45

'I'm just emailing to confirm something. When you said 'cleanng', did you actually mean 'your house'? Because i am a babysitter and tutor, i employ my own cleaner at home and i assumed you meant if the kids had dribbled on a toy under my watch, of course i would clean it, however it occurred to me you might have meant 'clean' your house. If so, i just need to let you know that 'cleaning' and 'babysitting' are completely different skill sets and 'cleaning' is not one that i possess. If you need a 'cleaner' then you really so need to hire one. Apologies if i have misunderstood'.

someonestolemynick Wed 13-Apr-16 21:45:05

Reality, i will do all these things, but they are older children and will very often want to do their own thing. But thanks for the compliment... hmm

notapizzaeater Wed 13-Apr-16 21:46:29

I'd never expect a babysitter/tutor to clean - I think doreenlethal email is good.

someonestolemynick Wed 13-Apr-16 21:46:50

Doreen, i love your response and will use a variation of that.

KimmySchmidtsSmile Wed 13-Apr-16 21:49:44

At that age reality I would not expect her to be doing much else than being the responsible adult in the house. Preparing a snack or popping a pizza in the oven. Board game at a push but generally I'd be leaving them all a movie and popcorn. But I would be paying normal babysitting rates. Hit nail on head re exp with nanny, this and your rate per hour is why they have asked for cleaning...but it does not mean you should.

Realitybitesyourbum Wed 13-Apr-16 22:07:00

The op said a regular after school childcare gig. This isn't a Saturday night movie night. It's presumably a 3-4 hour period of looking after the kids when they have homework to do and other stuff, not just chilling out in front of the to every day after school. I wouldn't expect a child carer to do that day after day, but be more interactive. Op, you didn't say you do these things, you said, "you sit" so that's what I responded to.

someonestolemynick Wed 13-Apr-16 22:59:50

O.k. just to clarify. I will be picking up from school, supervising home work and instrument practise, providing snacks and occasionally dinner. After homework add is done dc will be playing either with me or by themselve, if they choose.
If they play by themselves, I will have down time which client assumes I would fill with cleaning.

Only joking I'll lock myself in to play candy crush halo

LadyWithLapdog Wed 13-Apr-16 23:08:16

I'd get out of this situation asap. I can't see any good coming out of it. The expectations are too different.

HSMMaCM Thu 14-Apr-16 13:16:45

Reality - OP never said she was going to sit around doing nothing. She is not a nanny, but a responsible supervising adult in the house.

OP - I agree you should make it clear that you will supervise and clean up after activities/snacks, but you are not a cleaner.

DD does evening babysitting and once the children are in bed, she doesn't set about the housework, she chats to her friends does her college work.

jannier Thu 14-Apr-16 14:30:16

Id set out my terms for working list the activities I will do with the children and any tidying up that those activities make then let her accept on your terms or look elsewhere.
Of course you will do activities and play but if they have enough and want to chill that's up to them.
If you intend to go to parks etc get written permission and include one for emergency first aid.
Don't for get you can not use your car unless you have taxi insurance or get insurance to use it as a self employed nanny.

Cuttheraisins Thu 14-Apr-16 14:36:47

I was hired once to babysit two children for a day, and it turned out that I did a huge pile of ironing whilst the mum was having full beauty treatment in the front room and the kids watched movies and played on Xbox. Never went there again. At least she told you beforehand and you have the option of choosing. Some people see childcare as the bottom of the pile and have us do all sorts of things. Happy I am not childminding and babysitting anymore.

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