My Sister Asked Me to Babysit Her Kids So I Told Her My Hourly Rates Were 25$

Friends and family make up a large majority of babysitters, and 51% of the people who watch children don’t get paid for their work. Taking care of children is a huge responsibility and finding a good and reliable sitter can prove difficult, so it makes sense that parents turn to people they trust the most.

One Bright Side reader, Anne, experienced some friction when her sister asked her to babysit last minute. We received this letter from her and decided to help her with some advice.

We at Bright Side got together to help Anne ease the tension she’s experiencing with her sister, and here’s what we came up with.

  • Allow things to cool off a bit. Before having an honest conversation with Emma, wait for a few days so the two of you have enough time to think things through before. Rushing a conversation after an argument can make things even more heated and difficult.
  • Once you have both had enough time to process things, call Emma to schedule a meeting with her. A face-to-face conversation can be much more effective than a phone call, as it is more direct and open. During virtual interactions there’s also a much higher chance of misunderstandings and some sort of miscommunication is much more likely to happen.
  • Help your sister understand your situation better. Explain to Emma that while you can understand that being a mom is difficult, you also have many things to take care of in your day-to-day life, including your work.
  • Explain to Emma that babysitting is a stressful job that also needs to be compensated. Friends and relatives often help out with childcare for free, but it’s not something that should be expected. By taking care of her children, you are spending time and energy that you planned to use on something different, to earn your living. And while one child is already a huge responsibility, 3 are even more demanding, so it’s fair to expect higher pay.
  • Spend some one-on-one time with Emma. You said in your message that you haven’t been able to plan any activities together like you used to. Try to plan something fun just for the two of you, like going to the movies or even just grabbing coffee together and chatting.

We hope that this advice can help you and your sister solve your disagreements and understand each other better.

Have you been asked to babysit for your friends or relatives? What would you do in Anne’s situation?

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Here’s some things to consider that were in the article :
. Last weekend I was planning
on finishing up some of my work tasks.

. On Friday, I got a call from my sister
Emma who I haven't seen that often
recently. She asked me if I was willing
to babysit her 3 small kids over the
weekend because she and her husband
wanted to go on a spontaneous trip.

. I told
her I was quite busy and had other plans

. I explained to her
that I planned on working so if I have to
watch her children I'll no longer be able
to do that.

. After calling me selfish,
Emma hung up on me, and later I also
got a message from her husband telling
me that they had to cancel their trip
because of me.


So, her sister Emma had just assumed that Anne would watch her and her husband’s 3 kids. Even though she hadn’t seen or spoken to her that often. Anne works full time, and just because she may have some down time, doesn’t mean she is obligated to babysit 3 children because her sister and husband decided to take a “spontaneous trip”. Why would anyone plan a trip without having a definite arrangement for someone to watch their kids”? That right there is irresponsible. Emma and her husband didn’t even take into consideration that maybe Anne had plans, or just wanted some time to herself. For Emma to blame Anne for having to cancel their trip and then hang up on Anne is just selfish. If you’re just going to be that family member that comes around when you want something, don’t expect to be treated like family. Emma seems like a selfish, self centered, entitled brat.


I think the main problem is that it wasn't a refuse after money were involved...
Why would Anne accept doing the job for money? Is she free or not?
Her sister might be in the wrong of not having planned everything accordingly, but if you're in such a situation you expect your relatives to either help you or not...asking money on her situation is actually bitter. I would start with an apology even if Anne is not necessarily wrong. She could've asked for an IOU instead, much useful


They’re th AH here not you. You don’t plan a vacation without your kids without having care already solidified. You are not required to change your life to fit her plans. Especially at the last minute. That’s a them problem not a You problem.


Having had children myself I am aware what its like looking after two small ones, but first it wasn't you fault you didn't plan a holiday knowing that at the time they had no babysitter.
You could of been away yourself or had plans as it working from home.
I think your sister could be the selfish one expecting you to become the babysitter at such short notice, and having no thought that her children was her choice, children have feeling too and you are not her babysitter.
Think a face to face is something that needs to be done, maybe ask them to reverse the situation and see what they say, personally I would have asked for more.


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