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Woman asks if she's wrong to ask cousin to pay $35/hour for babysitting.

Woman asks if she's wrong to ask cousin to pay $35/hour for babysitting.


Babysitting is an incredibly hard job constantly undermined by the greater workforce, as well as some of the parents that hire babysitters.

If you're a friend or extended family member, there is often an expectation that you'll babysit for free or very cheap. Obviously, if you're super close and want to do the favor, these arrangements can be lovely for all parties.

But there are times when parents try to wrangle a friend or family member into free or underpaid work simply because they cannot afford, or don't want to shell out a professional fee. In these cases, being ask for a full professional rate can send families into a spiral.

In a recent post on the Am I The A*shole subreddit, a 24-year-old woman asked if she was wrong for requesting $35 an hour to babysit her cousin's three children.

AITA for saying my babysitting rates are $35 an hour?

OP started the post by sharing that she's a software engineer with a freelance side hustle who makes $40 an hour at her regular job, and $60 an hour for freelance.

I'm a software engineer, with a full time job and a side hustle of doing freelance coding work in my own time. I've always been the type to have a side hustle I put a lot of my free time into; I get really bored sitting idle.

My freelance hourly rates are $60 an hour, and at my full time job, my hourly pay works out to about $40 an hour. So that's how I value my time.

OP stayed with her parents over Christmas break, and during that time her cousin and three young kids also visited.

Anyway, over Christmas vacation, I was staying at my parents house. My cousin was also staying over with her three young kids from Christmas to new year's.

Originally, OP had planned on doing some freelance work during the break to fill time in the mornings and make extra cash.

I'd been planning on doing some work on my freelance projects when I had free time; in the mornings when my family had no plans. I wasn't in any rush; I was already ahead of schedule on them all, but I didn't really have anything else to do. It was in a really rural area and it's like an hour drive to the nearest anything

So, when OP's cousin asked if she could watch the kids for three full days during an adult getaway, OP requested payment to make up for the lost freelance work.

Then my cousin and her husband asked if I could babysit all day for three days, so they could visit some friends in the area and hang out with just adults. I said I had planned on doing freelance work at the library, and she offered to pay me to babysit.

When OP's cousin asked for an hourly rate, OP settled on $35 - which is far less than she makes doing regular freelance work, and the least she can accept for time spent working hard.

I said I could if they got close to my freelance rates. She wanted a number, and although my freelance rates are $60 I didn't feel like that was right, it was high. But I didn't want to go too low; honestly babysitting 3 kids would be harder for me than the routine coding work I had for my freelance project. I don't know a lot about kids and I've never babysat for long, and I had a feeling it would be stressful and difficult.

So I said $35, which is below what I make hourly at work, and what is the bare minimum I'd value my time for, if that time is spent doing difficult work.

Unfortunately, OP's cousin immediately got angry at the suggested rate, claiming it was ludicrous and that OP was taking advantage of the situation.

And she went crazy at me, saying that's a ridiculous rate for babysitting, that I was entitled and being selfish, that I'm trying to take advantage of how she didn't have other options, etc. I said that's way below what I'd be making if I had the time to do my own work, and I'd be putting off my own work to babysit.

The situation escalated even more when the husband of OP's husband started yelling about how OP is too young to make that much money, and her time isn't worth that much.

Her husband then got mad at me saying that I was a 24 year old girl, that I'm damn near a child myself, that my time is not worth that much and it's childish to say that it was. And that I was a stupid girl for not knowing that babysitting costs like 15 an hour, when I grew up and have kids of my own I will see how stupid I was being.

OP tapped out of the situation after the name calling, and wished them luck on finding someone else.

I was kind of done with being called stupid so I just told them I hoped they could find someone else.

OP's mom sided with her cousins, but OP still believes she was correct for holding her ground when it comes to valuing her own time.

My mom thinks that I asked for something offensive, and my cousin and her husband obviously did too.

AITA for giving that number?

Phy44 thinks that OP was completely within her rights, and it seems clear her cousin expected a favor.

NTA. 3 kids all day, for 3 straight days? Even real babysitters would charge more than 15 for 3 kids. Obviously they wanted you to do it as a favor, and got upset that you treated it as an actual job.

runthereszombies thinks OP's cousin's husband is incredibly sexist for how he talked to her.

NTA. If they really wanted to go away for three days they should have arranged a sitter in advance. The husband saying you're a 24 year old girl (btw, you're a woman at 24...) and your time isn't worth anything is ridiculous considering you'd get paid $60 an hour if you don't babysit their kids. The husband sounds like a sexist dick.

Plus you told them you wouldn't babysit if they couldn't approach your rate. You probably should have just said no from the start but you did inform them that it would be expensive. Don't worry about it too much.

IndianaRedneck said that as a parent, they wish they could find someone with rates as low as OP's.

$35 an hour for watching the 3 kids? Where were you when my three kids needed babysitting? My wife and I hardly went out and never for very long because we were being charged $20 per hour per kid.

NTA, OP. It's your time and you charge what you think your time is worth. It's up to the customer to decide if they agree or if they think they can get the same service for less somewhere else.

Superbia18 thinks OP's cousin should have arranged a babysitter far ahead if they really wanted one.


A. If they need a babysitter that badly they should've arranged for one in advance.

B. You're being asked to baby sit three kids. Three kids is a lot of work, $15 sounds kinda absurd to me.

C. You have your own life and an actual job that you would be neglecting (or free lance at least) that is worth almost double that amount.

D. The only offensive ones are your cousin and husband who started calling you names when you didn't bend to their will.

The internet unanimously agrees: OP's cousin's were the entitled folks in this situation, and if they really wanted child care they should have arranged it much earlier.

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