A mom writes in asking for advice about her situation watching her relatives’ kids. She says she currently watches her relatives’ two kids and that they have a third on the way. This mom estimates she works about 30 hours in her role as a childcare provider, and she says she does a lot: cooking, cleaning, etc. Mathematically, she has worked out that she is making about $4/hour caring for her relatives’ kids. She has had to turn down other work because of her schedule with the kids. With the third on the way, this mom knows things are only going to get harder. What should she do?
A member of the community asks:
“I watch my relatives’ kids and feel like I am being taken advantage of: Advice?”
“I need advice!! I currently watch my relatives’ two children. (They have another on the way!) I love them dearly, but I’m starting to feel like I’m being taken advantage of. I work about 30 hours a week, sometimes more. I clean the house, feed them, etc. I receive $400 a month, and when you break it down, it’s less than $4 an hour.
I’ve had to turn down job offers because the schedule conflicts with watching the kids. I intend to get an evening job, but they aren’t always home by five, making things very difficult to do so. My question is, what would y’all do? Would you ask for more money or let them know you can no longer do it? Once the third baby gets here, the workload will double, and the pay is already not worth it. Help me, lol.“
Community Advice for This Mom Who Feels She Is Being Taken Advantage of By Relatives Who Pay Her Very Little to Watch Their Kids
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this mom in need, read the comments of the post embedded below.
The community offered this mom in need a lot of great advice. Read some of their responses below.
“I was watching my niece 4 days a week from 8 am till 5 pm and got $260 a month… They took advantage of me and complained about making it $300 a month so I stopped watching her. They both work and make good money so I figured they can afford a little more. But they complained so bye.”
“Sorry but that’s a joke. At the end of the day, they aren’t your children or responsibility. The parents are the ones who should be working their lives and jobs around THEIR kids. Not you! If they were to pay a ‘non-relative’ do you think that they would get away paying so little!? Definitely up your price and if you want to get a job then get one! The parents will just have to deal with it. You have to put yourself first.”
“I would sit them down and let them know you are going to find a new job. With that, you still help when and where you can but they need to find a new sitter. If they offer more, great. If they don’t, tell them to consider it your notice!”
“You need to be honest with them and tell them they have to pay you more or you’re applying for another job they will fit your needs better. Things will never change otherwise.”
“It’s so hard with relatives and I’m not sure how old you are. Let me just say I pay almost $400 for two kids every week. I live in TX. I think you need to tell them you aren’t making ends meet and you either need more money or need to find another job. They should offer more and I know daycare can be expensive but maybe look around and see how much they cost for one kid for the age group. The kids cost more the younger they are, especially if they are not potty trained. Then ask for that. Or look elsewhere.”
“You should be getting paid WAY more. It should be more like $400 a week easily. Most babysitters or nannies charge like 10$hr PER kid. You said they are relatives, which I understand wanting to help and be there for, but they aren’t doing what’s best for YOU at the end of the day and unless they are paying your bills for you on top of that $400 a month, you need to speak up. They know what they SHOULD be paying, believe me. I’m sure they looked into daycare before you started doing that. You are getting taken advantage of hardcore.”
“I think you know your answer. You just need to stick up for yourself and say I’m sorry I need more money or just be done!”
“It’s your choice: you either ask for a living wage or you give them notice that you can’t keep watching the kids. Additionally, you need to set some ground rules if you are going to continue watching. Set hours and ask for overtime when they don’t get home on time.”
“Ask for more, because you are being taken advantage of. I was a personal nanny for over a decade, and in 2008 the lowest price I took was $250 a week for 2 children. It broke down to $50 a day, and they got the friend/family discount. Now 12 years later I would never go below $300 a week for two children. If they argue, tell them that they are welcome to compare your price with that of a daycare, and see which is more affordable for them.”
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