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Parents Thought It Was Unnecessary to Pay the Babysitter When the Baby Was Napping

Good babysitters are like a lifeline for parents — they help around the house and allow moms and dads to go on date nights and enjoy quality time without the kids. And a fair salary for a babysitter may vary depending on the location, responsibilities, and number of children being cared for. But one point of contention that usually arises is whether or not sitters should be paid while the baby is sleeping. One of our readers found herself in this predicament and sought our help through an e-mail.

Hi Rose, thank you for sharing your story with us. We understand that you are in a tough situation, and we hope that the information from the experts below can help you.

  • Initiate a conversation with the kid’s parents, but try to schedule it at the best time. Avoid speaking with them while emotions are high because, according to research, staff members who speak with their bosses about salaries receive a better outcome when negative feelings have been neutralized.
  • Come up with good arguments, but do not argue with them. The difference between the 2 is by making arguments, you are coming up with concrete and logical points as to why you need to be paid. Arguing with them means attacking their views or picking a fight, which you should not do.
  • Explain why your time is worth their money. One expert defended why all the hours need to be paid for. She emphasized that nannies still look after the child while they are napping, and it’s not as if the sitters take a break or go out during snooze time. What if the child wakes up or there’s a sudden emergency?
    The security and peace of mind that parents have because the nanny is there while the kid dozes off should be worth something.The expert also suggests flipping the situation and using their jobs as an example. Sometimes things slow down at work too, so would they agree to a reduced rate or unpaid hours even if they are not allowed to leave the office? You can also justify that you are still working and doing other stuff around the house during the baby’s downtime.
  • Prove your value to your employer by enumerating your skills and responsibilities. One way to erase any doubts about salary issues is to let your “boss” (a.k.a. the child’s parents) know your capacities and contributions. For example, you have proven to be a trustworthy sitter, and you help keep the house in order. Or maybe you have developed a great connection with the kid, and you are helping teach them some things as well.
  • Go for a solution or a compromise at the very least. If they want you to continue babysitting for them, all of you should be able to settle on the rules.
    Do they want you to work fewer hours? Are they willing to pay during nap time since you help anyway? If they refuse to pay, does that mean you’re free to go out as soon as the kid hits the hay? The level of time and commitment involved should match your rates.
  • If you can’t resolve the problem, and you’re firm on quitting, leave on good terms. It can be a challenge for parents to find a decent babysitter, so it’s best not to abandon them abruptly and give them at least 2 weeks’ notice. You may also want to say goodbye to the child, since you mentioned that you’ve bonded with her. But ask the parents’ permission first, and if they allow it, use simple messages that will be easy for the child to understand.

Rose, we hope that you figure things out soon and that everything works out.

What is your take on the issue of paying the babysitter while the kid is sleeping? As a parent, what would you do if you were in the same situation?

Preview photo credit Karolina Grabowska / Pexels
Bright Side/Family & kids/Parents Thought It Was Unnecessary to Pay the Babysitter When the Baby Was Napping
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