Dear High School Babysitter - Page 4 - Mothering Forums
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Parenting > Dear High School Babysitter
OakBerry's Avatar OakBerry 12:26 PM 06-11-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
I was with you until this quote. I was a nurse. If something needed cleaning, we cleaned. If someone needing moving, we moved them. If someone was hungry, we heated up food and fed them. I mopped floors, changed sheets, cleaned bathrooms, and birth tubs for patients all. the. time. (I worked for a while in a hospital with one birth tub and no housekeeper after 11 pm; if a mama wanted a water birth, and it was dirty, it wasn't fair to not let her have that birth).

Part of learning to work is learning that there are lots of pieces of your job that aren't spelled out. When I was WOH, the people I worked with that had the attitude "it's not in my job description" drove me flippin' insane.

I agree with you Betsy, I am a nurse and I did pretty much everything when I worked, and the "it's not in my job description" attitude drove me nuts as well.

But I think with a teen babysitter, they may not even be aware that things need doing. They need a bit of "on the job training" and a clear description of expectations. I was pretty clueless at that age myself, although a good decade in the working world changed that.

mtiger's Avatar mtiger 02:34 PM 06-11-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
mitger...tell me you live near here.
Where's here? But I suspect not.
mtiger's Avatar mtiger 02:36 PM 06-11-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
Why would one assume it was ok to sit around justr because the kids were in bed? I have a job that pays less than what a lot of you are paying for babysitting. i take care of customers. it is hard, exhausting, physical labor. far mroe draining than taking care a few kids. about 3/4 of the way in to my shift it slows down a lot. That doesn't mean I can head up to the break room and collapse until the end of my shift. They are paying me to work. and if expect to get paid I better find some work to do. And if I am done with my primary responsibility work means cleaning (regardless of employer this has always been the case) until my shift it over. Why would less be expected of a babysitter? especially one making such good money! Part of taking care of kids is taking care of their home.


Sorry, but part of taking care of the kids is NOT taking care of their home unless it's specified. We're talking about teens, not grown adults.
lilyka's Avatar lilyka 05:12 PM 06-11-2007
a tidy sanitary house is part of keeping them safe. but i do think that people ned to be very clear about what they expect of their employees. sitters or otherwise.
Adamsmama's Avatar Adamsmama 07:34 PM 06-11-2007
I think if you expect them to clean or do laundry/dishes you should state that in the beginning. For me--I'm just glad to be able to get a way for a few hours but it certainly is nice and an added bonus to come home to a clean living room or kitchen. That being said, when I was a teen I babysat from ages 12-16 and always enjoyed tidying any mess, putting dishes in the dishwasher and just making sure things looked nice when the parents came home. (I never did their laundry or started their dishwasher, though, until later when I was hired by someone to do just that).
nicole lisa's Avatar nicole lisa 09:16 PM 06-11-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
They are paying me to work. and if expect to get paid I better find some work to do. And if I am done with my primary responsibility work means cleaning (regardless of employer this has always been the case) until my shift it over. Why would less be expected of a babysitter? especially one making such good money! Part of taking care of kids is taking care of their home.
I am paying my sitter to take care of problems if they arise. If there are no problems then there's no work for her. I don't expect my sitter to do busy work - when I was in the workforce there was nothing more insulting.

Before having DS I worked full time in homeless shelters. When I worked overnights my job was to be there for the clients if they needed anything. If they slept I had no work other than making sure the house was secure and answering the crisis line. Often I slept on the couch in the common room.

I don't see my sitter's job as different than the one I had. She's there to interact with DS while he's awake and then to be on hand if he wakes and needs anything or to handle anything that comes up while BF and I are out of the house.

If I need my house cleaned by anyone other than me I'll hire someone to do that job. House cleaners here get paid more than sitters so I wouldn't take advantage of my sitter that way.
dubfam's Avatar dubfam 09:47 PM 06-11-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicole lisa View Post
I am paying my sitter to take care of problems if they arise. If there are no problems then there's no work for her. I don't expect my sitter to do busy work - when I was in the workforce there was nothing more insulting.

Before having DS I worked full time in homeless shelters. When I worked overnights my job was to be there for the clients if they needed anything. If they slept I had no work other than making sure the house was secure and answering the crisis line. Often I slept on the couch in the common room.

I don't see my sitter's job as different than the one I had. She's there to interact with DS while he's awake and then to be on hand if he wakes and needs anything or to handle anything that comes up while BF and I are out of the house.

If I need my house cleaned by anyone other than me I'll hire someone to do that job. House cleaners here get paid more than sitters so I wouldn't take advantage of my sitter that way.
I totally agree with this.
Daniel's Kitty's Avatar Daniel's Kitty 03:40 PM 06-12-2007
I was usually so busy playing with the kids that I didn't do much cleaning. I only called a parent once other than when a blizzard started while I was baby sitting and I was wondering if they were going to make it home. That one time was when I couldn't make the can opener work. I would do bath time, but that didn't happen often.

Usually after bed time, I would pick up the mess in the kitchen and then study. Most families I baby sat for many times. I wish I could still take care of some of those kids, but a lot of them don't need muck or any help.
mamawanabe's Avatar mamawanabe 07:28 PM 06-12-2007
My mom was a pretty messy housekeeper. I rememeber a babysiter once doing the dishes. It embarassed the hell out of my mom. I never would clean someone elses house unless I was close enough to them that I know they wouldn't mind. People get embarassed and defensive about that kinda thing.

Yes, babysitters should leave the house as they found it (and dishes they used should at least be in least in the sink if not washed), but if more is wanted, it needs to be spelled out. It never would have occured to me to do laundry when I babysat . . .
wwisdomskr's Avatar wwisdomskr 12:30 AM 06-13-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
I have poignant memories of babysitting for a particular family where the boy (age 8 or 9) chased me around with a knife, and the 18 mo. baby WOULD. NOT. STOP. CRYING!

Babysitting is harder than it looks.
OMG! Did we babysit for the same friggin' family?!? I was chased out of the house by the boy (8 or 9) with a HUGE kitchen knife. It was so scary and I really had no idea what to do... It wasn't my town or anything and this was way before cell phones. Yikes! He finally calmed down, went back into the house and started playing with something else...and I hid all of the knives. At 13 yo, I was not equipped to talk or wrestle a knife out of the hands of a psycho kid! Even after the Red Cross certification course...

When the parents got home...boy started crying and told them I had tripped him and tried to hit him. The mom screamed at me, saying that no one was allowed to hit her kids except her. OMG. I was never so relieved to get home to my own wacky parents...
mommyddeville's Avatar mommyddeville 03:20 AM 06-14-2007
In high school, I babysat, and after college, I was a nanny. The jobs are very different.

When I babysat, I'd take care of the kids. Play with them, sometimes give baths, make meals, and have fun. I always cleaned up our messes and the kids went to bed clean, but I didn't touch the dishwasher until I'd babysat quite a few times and knew where stuff went. And that I wouldn't upset the parents by doing that. I never did laundry. And I was a very popular babysitter. I made about $5/hr caring for 3 kids in 1998.

In 2001, I became a nanny. It's a different world than babysitting. For nannying, I had a background check and was on a temporary hire basis for the first month until we knew everything would work out. I loved the job. But it was much harder than babysitting. I still played with the kids, gave baths, made meals, and had fun. But I also took care to make sure we varied our outings, that the kids had all sorts of different fun and educational experiences, and that they became well rounded people. For that job, I did about 95% of the family's laundry, 95% of the dishes, as well as cleaned up toys, swept floors, vacuumed, etc. I wasn't a housekeeper, because I didn't deep clean. But I worked every single minute I was there, except when I stopped for a quick meal.

I think by paying $9/hr, the OP is almost looking for a nanny, but on a very part time basis.
nicole lisa's Avatar nicole lisa 11:27 AM 06-14-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyddeville View Post
I think by paying $9/hr, the OP is almost looking for a nanny, but on a very part time basis.
It depends on where you live. Where I live $10/hr is for a teen aged sitter and nannies make more like $15-20/hr if part-time and are salaried if full-time.

Our guideline for teen sitters is never below the minimum wage.
bugmenot's Avatar bugmenot 11:43 PM 06-15-2007
mommyddeville, I agree with your post #101.

If I was watching someone's kids, here's what I'd probably do: Watch the kids, give them any meals (if necessary), supervise their shower/bath time (if necessary), put them to bed (if necessary.)

I'd probably put any dirty dishes into the dish washer. I may or may not run it, because each one is different. Likewise, I probably wouldn't put anything away. One thing I don't like is to spend 20 minutes finding something because it was put away in the wrong place -- I like to know where something is and get it out instantly.

If the dish soap could be found, I may wash them by hand and put them in the drainer.

The same would apply towards any toys or games. Sure, any babysitter would be expected to put things back in their boxes, and where they came from, but what if they were out at the start? Obviously, you wouldn't put away a 5,000 piece puzzle when it's still being worked out (or even when it was finished... i'd leave that out for a few days), but the kids could spend 15-20 minutes putting things away before bed.

But, unless the parents left a checklist detailing what I'm supposed to do, my main focus would be on the kids.

It also does sound like the original poster needs a housesitter/nanny to do more than the average babysitter.
CrunchyParent's Avatar CrunchyParent 01:52 AM 06-18-2007
My friend recently told me that their babysitter charged a different rate if the children were awake vs. if they were asleep; $11/hr or $10/hr. I was floored. It's as if she is blatantly saying that it's $11/hr to actually interact with and care for the children in some manner and $10/hr to make sure that the house doesn't spontaneously burst into flames and the children don't die in their sleep. My only thought was how many people work very very hard laboring to make far less than she makes to sit on her behind in someone's house and not stealing their belongings while their children sleep.
Nicole77's Avatar Nicole77 02:53 PM 06-18-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicole lisa View Post
It depends on where you live. Where I live $10/hr is for a teen aged sitter and nannies make more like $15-20/hr if part-time and are salaried if full-time.

Our guideline for teen sitters is never below the minimum wage.
That is pretty similar to around here. We pay $8-10 an hour for nighttime teenage/young adult babysitting. Basically feed the kids, play a bit, get them into bed, keep them alive until we are back. A nanny job would start at at least $13 an hour, probably more like $15 and would include housework and likely errands.
Aliviasmom's Avatar Aliviasmom 03:54 PM 06-18-2007
I have a babysitter that doesn't pick up too. It's not terrible, as it generally only takes me about 5 minutes. But on the nights when she watches her and Alivia has been in bed for 2 hours, it annoys me to come home to clutter.

When *I* babysat, I would clean up our dinner dishes, and all the other dishes that were in the sink as well. I would make sure the house was as tidy (if not more so) then when I walked in. I did this on my own. One family that I babysat for (even though they were VERY neat) always noticed and said I didn't need to do it, but it was fine with me, and if the kids have already been in bed for some time, why not?

As far as bedtime, I have babysat kids that just won't go to bed for me. And I know Alivia has a hard time some nights too. But if said babysitter is a regular, then it shouldn't be a problem.

And as far as laundry goes, I would be uncomfortable doing someone else's laundry (as far as folding and such) and I would be uncomfortable with someone else doing mine. It's a privacy issue. But if the child spilled something on themselves or had an explosive diaper or something, it would be nice if they at least got the clothes soaking. And if they called me to ask exactly how we do it, I'd be fine with that too.



One time, we had a regular babysitter over and Alivia had been sick the night before (in the ER) and had thrown up that morning (it wasn't contagious). My mom and I were also very sick (I had also been in the ER the night before) and told her that we would be upstairs trying to sleep it off. She was perfectly fine with it. When it was time for her to go and we had woke up, she had cleaned up EVERYTHING and even done all of our dishes from the night before, scrubbed the counters, everything! We told her that that was above and beyond and she told us that she did it to help us out since we were so sick! I sure do miss her....

<end of ramble unless I think of more!>
GuildJenn's Avatar GuildJenn 04:06 PM 06-18-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrunchyParent View Post
My friend recently told me that their babysitter charged a different rate if the children were awake vs. if they were asleep; $11/hr or $10/hr. I was floored. It's as if she is blatantly saying that it's $11/hr to actually interact with and care for the children in some manner and $10/hr to make sure that the house doesn't spontaneously burst into flames and the children don't die in their sleep. My only thought was how many people work very very hard laboring to make far less than she makes to sit on her behind in someone's house and not stealing their belongings while their children sleep.
Gee my thought was that she's nice to cut them a break on the rate when the kids are sleeping.

I pay my nanny for naps, because her job is not to be The Most Productive Worker Ever, but to be there in case of an emergency, take care of my son's needs, etc. If she reads during that time and it refreshes her, GOOD.

I don't get your argument that people work harder; yes in many countries people work in hard, unsafe conditions for 35 cents a day. But that doesn't impact on what I pay my nanny - I pay her both according to market conditions and because what she does has value to me.
CrunchyParent's Avatar CrunchyParent 06:52 PM 06-18-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
Gee my thought was that she's nice to cut them a break on the rate when the kids are sleeping.

I pay my nanny for naps, because her job is not to be The Most Productive Worker Ever, but to be there in case of an emergency, take care of my son's needs, etc. If she reads during that time and it refreshes her, GOOD.

I don't get your argument that people work harder; yes in many countries people work in hard, unsafe conditions for 35 cents a day. But that doesn't impact on what I pay my nanny - I pay her both according to market conditions and because what she does has value to me.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify. Of course I believe that a child care provider should be paid for the entire time that s/he is on the job regardless of the child's wake/sleep status. My point was that by having what I perceived to be an "extra" charge for actually caring for conscoius children it was basically acknowledging that she gets paid $10/hour to do very little, and it's $11/hour to actually have to interact with the child(ren). I was speaking to the lack of perspective perhaps given that many many many people in this very country work rather hard and do not get paid $11/hour or $10/hour for that matter.

I am sure that you hold your nanny in very high esteem and I applaud you for paying a rate that you believe to be fair without any reservation. The OP however was speaking (IMO) to perceived value and contrasting what her highschool babysitters do today to EARN their compensation vs. what she herself once did. I shpould also add that I think thre is a difference between a nanny for ehom childcare is generally a FT job, and a highschool babysitter for whom it is a PT gig.

I was a babysitter for many years throughout middle school & high school (I babysat for the same family almost every Sat. night for 7 years). I also worked retail jobs, and foodservice jobs in high school as well. Generally I got a 15 min. break on a 4 hour shift or the option of a 30 min. unpaid break on a 8 hour shift for other jobs. Babysitting was awesome. I could watch tv, gab on the phone, write letters, snack, etc. after the kids were in bed and I'd cleaned up, but. I was not paid anywhere near $10 or $11/hour, which was just fine. These days, I can't afford to go see a movie with DH because I can't shell out $100 for a (highschool) babysitter, 2 tickets, and popcorn.
moondiapers's Avatar moondiapers 07:15 PM 06-18-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrunchyParent View Post
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify. Of course I believe that a child care provider should be paid for the entire time that s/he is on the job regardless of the child's wake/sleep status. My point was that by having what I perceived to be an "extra" charge for actually caring for conscoius children it was basically acknowledging that she gets paid $10/hour to do very little, and it's $11/hour to actually have to interact with the child(ren). I was speaking to the lack of perspective perhaps given that many many many people in this very country work rather hard and do not get paid $11/hour or $10/hour for that matter.
.
See, think this is a glass half empty versus glass half full situation. What I see is that she is not charging MORE for awake children, but giving a DISCOUNT for asleep children.
GuildJenn's Avatar GuildJenn 08:42 PM 06-18-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrunchyParent View Post
I am sure that you hold your nanny in very high esteem and I applaud you for paying a rate that you believe to be fair without any reservation. The OP however was speaking (IMO) to perceived value and contrasting what her highschool babysitters do today to EARN their compensation vs. what she herself once did. I shpould also add that I think thre is a difference between a nanny for ehom childcare is generally a FT job, and a highschool babysitter for whom it is a PT gig.

I was a babysitter for many years throughout middle school & high school (I babysat for the same family almost every Sat. night for 7 years). I also worked retail jobs, and foodservice jobs in high school as well. Generally I got a 15 min. break on a 4 hour shift or the option of a 30 min. unpaid break on a 8 hour shift for other jobs. Babysitting was awesome. I could watch tv, gab on the phone, write letters, snack, etc. after the kids were in bed and I'd cleaned up, but. I was not paid anywhere near $10 or $11/hour, which was just fine. These days, I can't afford to go see a movie with DH because I can't shell out $100 for a (highschool) babysitter, 2 tickets, and popcorn.
I was a babysitter too, didn't make a lot of money either but enjoyed it, and I did the dishes...

... and occasionally a father hit on me, there was porn around, and people came home stoned & drunk now and then. And then there were wonderful people.

BUT it's the first group of people that pretty much explains why babysitting rates have gone up, in my area (Toronto) anyway.

People don't want their kids babysitting for people they don't know well, and kids are working differently to get into college/scholarships, and the world is a different place.

Hence there are fewer sitters, and they tend to be older. If the rate in your area is $11/hr (not saying it is, but it is in mine - if you're lucky) then that's the rate. Here actually it is easier to get a full time nanny at a cheaper rate, due to people here on domestic visas, than it is to get a part-time nanny, which is why I pay mine a fair amount and don't ask her to clean. She does anyway, sometimes, but I leave it up to her to manage her workload and stress.

If the OP thinks the price is exorbitant then she can try to find another sitter and she might find one, or she can talk to her current sitter, who might not mind at all. And I have a lot of sympathy; I can't afford to go out either and I have a nanny for about half of the hours I actually work and do the rest on weekends.

BUT the fact is that babysitting can be a hard job, and it's taking care of our kids, and I sort of hate to see people setting rules on how much work you should "get out of a person" given that the price seems high compared to the 80s or whenever you were sitting. God knows the real world of jobs doesn't work that way and I, for one, am glad to see some of the traditional, feminine jobs getting some credit and better wages...

... not that I still don't want to be able to go out cheaply.
Kirsten's Avatar Kirsten 08:47 PM 07-24-2007
I'm back with a happy update!!!

I met a woman (girl - I'm 38 and still say girl about anyone younger than my gramma) at work one day. She was sitting for the friend of a friend of mine - picking up the little boy from the school where I work. We chatted for a minute and I asked her if she sat for them full time or just occassionally. It wasn't full time so I got her number.

Called her last week to see if she could sit for us Monday (last night). On the phone she tells me she charges $12 an hour with a four hour minimum. I usually pay $9 and told her so (when she asked me if that was ok) but I said $12 was fine (all the while thinking I may not use her as much with a higher price). We agreed that she would come Monday.

Dp and I go out to dinner and to Costco (yes, romantic date). We come home to:

Kids bathed/read to/asleep in beds - and she cooked them a "real" dinner (not just frozen pizza or M & C from a box)!

Toys in family room all put away (this one I expect but not everyone does)

Kitchen sinks empty - dishes in dishwasher, pots hand washed, counters wiped down!

Kitchen and powder room garbages emptied into our big can!

Everything tidied up all of the downstairs!

SHE DID ALL DD2's and DD3's laundry from the hampers in their rooms!!!!!! And folded it! WOW!!!!

The kids loved her. She didn't let the cats out, and were great with them (they are also our babies, and only a year old, and inside only cats so I always worry they'll get out) as she has a beloved dog.

And she called me the day before to confirm that she was coming and the time to arrive.

Oh, and she lit the candle I keep in the kitchen so when we walked in, it smelled great!

Ding, ding, ding - we have a winner! SO worth $12 per hour!!! I may never call another sitter again! No wonder my two friends who use her hadn't handed out her number!

Above and beyond. She rocks. I told her so. Many times.
Demeter9's Avatar Demeter9 09:23 PM 07-24-2007
If you had expected that out of me as a babysitter, I'd probably not babysat for you again.

And I was the babysitter that everyone wanted.
m9m9m9's Avatar m9m9m9 09:44 PM 07-24-2007
n/t
Synchro246's Avatar Synchro246 10:06 PM 07-24-2007
NAK.
Man I was ripped off. I got $2 an hour. I was decent too. No parties, I cleaned toys when they went to bed. . .
sorry, this has nothing to do with the op.
PrennaMama's Avatar PrennaMama 10:42 PM 07-24-2007
I think your expectations came from the fact that you know what good care-giving looks like. It prly is what makes you a good parent, too!

Glad you found such a gem!

I was that sitter, too... the one all theparents wanted, because I took care of the house when the kids had been tended to (asleep).

I haven't used a sitter, yet, cuz I'm afraid of that scenario. We still just have fam take care of dd in a pinch... we don't get out much.
RachelGS's Avatar RachelGS 12:04 AM 07-25-2007
I babysat ALL THE TIME for years and was very good at it. I followed the parents' instructions to the best of my ability, and gave the kids 100% of my attention and energy while they were awake. When they slept, I cleaned up from their playtime, did the dishes we'd used, and just generally straightened up.

I never did laundry or changed the dog's water; that's not babysitting. But I do think it's reasonable to think that things related to the kids and their activities are dealt with as part of babysitting.
amydawnsmommy's Avatar amydawnsmommy 11:52 PM 07-25-2007
The cell phone calls from the kids debating on rules would bother me too.
It would also make me wonder if the babysitter had any common sense.

Maybe it's time to look for a new babysitter?
I think sitting down with them and going over what you expect from them would be a good start.

Also, I'd get some references.
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