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Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive October 2006: Babysitting
By Juli4 on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 08:24 pm:

Ok I have an annoyance that I am not sure what to do about. I have 3 girls with one on the way and am in school all day Fridays. My dh works m-th with an occassional overtime on Friday. I have a sister that is 18 and a senior in school and decided that when dh has to work then I will pay her to babysit. I did that once and was not satisfied at all with how things were done. So I haven't asked her to babysit on Fridays anymore and have my older sister who has a family watch them. My older sister is of no relation to my 18 year old. It is two different families. I haven't said anything to her about anything because I am close to my family and do not want to make anyone feel bad or upset. Well she is wanting some money and have asked if I need any babysitting and I just say no. Well 2 weeks ago she calls and asks if she can come over and spend the night on Tuesday because she needs help with a paper and some assignments and I tell her sure that I have a test to take on Tuesday and asks if she can just watch the kids while I take the test and then I will come home and help her. I didn't think I needed to pay her for it since she was spending the night and I was helping her. So I was gone for an hour in a half so she wasn't here long at all and paying her didn't cross my mind. Further more she spent the entire time on myspace, didn't change my 2 year olds dirty diaper, and everything that was eaten or gotten into was just left on the counters and where it fell.
In the past before we had any agreement for her to be paid to babysit I would always pay her when I asked her to watch the kids, but sometimes she would offer to watch them on Sunday nights so that after church my dh and I could socialize. She went home, put the kids to bed, ate our food, used the internet and watched whatever movies she wanted with the house to herself. Well now she calls and asks if I can pay her for babysitting 2 weeks ago that she spent the night. I was really annoyed that she asked considering the situation and feel like now they can't walk into my house without wanting to get paid. I am fixing to have a baby in a few weeks and have been wanting to rely on at least the first few days help from my mom and my sister. I think she expects to be paid for any help I ask of her now. I mean I know she wants money, but I almost regret ever offering to pay for anything now. She used to come over and just hang out or something and now she only comes over to babysit or when she is getting paid. Is it too much to expect that maybe ocassionally I can ask her to help me with something without paying her? I mean I give her rides to places and let her and her friends have her birthday party here and all kinds of stuff. I just feel like sisters just do those things. What do you all think?

By Tink on Thursday, October 5, 2006 - 08:38 pm:

I agree with you and I'd say something along those lines to her. "I enjoy having you over and hosting your birthday parties. I don't mind driving you places because you've always been helpful about watching the girls occasionally but our arrangements seem to be changing. If you don't want to come over here unless you're being paid to babysit, I'm afraid I'm going to be too busy to drive you anywhere. I really miss hanging out around here and the girls enjoy spending time with you since you're such close family. I thought what we were doing was working well for both of us. Do you really want to change that by only spending time together if you're being paid for it?"

My sister and I are pretty close and we have similarly done mutual favors for each other. She watches my dks when I need someone for an hour or so and I'm happy to pick her up or drop her off somewhere or pick up something for her at the store while I'm there. I agree that it's just something family does. With that said, I think many young adults (18-25, especially unmarried or non-parents) go through a selfish phase where it's all about what they get out of a situation. My brother did that (still does to some extent; he's 25yo) and my sister seems to be outgrowing it now (she's almost 21) so it may be that your sister just isn't in a place where she realizes that it's a give and take situation and you'll just have to do without her help right now. I really hope that isn't the case with your new little one on the way. {{{Julie}}}

By Mrsheidi on Saturday, October 7, 2006 - 01:04 pm:

I think that, if you haven't asked her for gas money in the past, I would start doing that first. Then, if the babysitting comes into play, you can do a trade off. You can just chalk it up to higher gas prices.

If you've always paid her to watch your kids, she's always going to expect $. Kids think nothing of spending the night and needing help on a paper...almost like it's expected from an adult.

I would talk about how your other sister helps so much and there are "trade offs", etc. She might get the hint...

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