going rate babysitting
Source: istock

This Mom Refused to Pay Her Babysitter by Pulling the Deleted Message Card

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Jan. 3 2019, Published 12:28 p.m. ET

It's 2019 now, so it's starting to feel like we've all been around the block a few times. We know how things are supposed to work and we realize when things are completely devolving into insanity. Example: People who do work expect to get paid, and that's low-key the foundation our country is built on. Bootstrapping and the American Dream and working yourself to greatness, and whatnot.

But even adults (mostly adults, TBQH) have these occasional lapses of judgment in which they forget the structure of the world around them and think... I don't know, that food and rent and, umm, surviving is something others obtain for free. Or at least, that's what I have to tell myself to justify the kind of exchange that just happened between this woman and the mother he babysat for. 

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A concerned brother posted screenshots of the exchange his sister had with the mother of her recent charges, and it was so infuriating, you just have to read it for yourself. 

It all begins after the babysitter has left the house. She checks in with the mom to say she had a great time watching her kids, and asks if she can swing by the next day to pick up her payment. She sounds sweet and perhaps trusting, judging from the fact she didn't just ask for cash before the left.

going rate babysitting
Source: Reddit
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The mother responds promptly, to say she "wasn't aware payment was involved." Involved? On what planet does someone willingly put themselves through hanging out with small children they're not related to for anything other than some crisp bills? It's not even like you can get "exposure" from sitting around doing crafts and getting thrown up on, which is what people who want freebies from artists often claim.

Then she implies the babysitter got sufficient payment via "free ice cream and a day of fun." Time for a double-take. A day of fun?! Lady, even if hanging out with your kids and eating ice cream with them was fun, that doesn't make it not work for which a babysitter should get paid! 

Then she goes for the disingenuous apology and claims she's "sorry" for the "misinterpretation." We hate her already. But it gets worse, or better, depending on whether this kind of thing is your jam.

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going rate babysitting
Source: Reddit

The babysitter isn't having any of this "fun day" and "free ice cream" nonsense — and why should she? She's put in a day of labor and has the receipts to prove they agreed on her rate of $16 per hour. 

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But because this mother sounds like a bonafide piece of work, she wants to see the proof of their exchange so she can try and pull a fast one.

Unfazed, the babysitter relents and graciously sends over the conversation in which they'd settled on $16/hour. Is this making anyone else feel insane? Or is it just me?

going rate babysitting
Source: Reddit
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Eagle-eyed readers will notice the mom came up with the rate, not the other way around. What in the world is going on here? And who is the babysitter talking to?

The lady in the prior exchange sounded lovely, warm, and caring. First, she asked if $16 an hour sounded "fair," implying she would have been open to paying even more. Then the mother complimented our babysitter's approachability and her kindness with one of the kids, saying that her son "seems to have a knack" for her.

Then she even sweetly and lovingly mentions the babysitter should "go easy on him" and is willing to field any calls or texts if any questions or concerns arise. Super kind, super unlike the woman we're dealing with now. 

If this was some sort of mental health situation, I'd go easier on her. But it sounds like it's just a classic case of an entitled person playing their cards right in the beginning so they can act like "who, me?" when they let their true colors shine later on.

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going rate babysitting
Source: Reddit

Up next: the true piece of gold in this whole exchange, where the mother claims to have amnesia and zero knowledge of that previous conversation. But instead of saying as much, that she hit her head and has no memory of the day before yesterday, she decides to go the "I delete my texts often" route.

Probably thinking, erroneously, that if you delete a text on your screen, it also deletes on the recipients' phone. This isn't true and don't try it, it'll just make you look like an absolute moron, much in the fashion of this mother.

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At a total loss for words, our beloved babysitter tries to bring the conversation back to the issue at hand. "I'm sorry, but as much as I love seeing your kids, I am doing this for payment" she writes. "Exclusively." Props on using "exclusively" as a standalone sentence here. I think it was more than called for. 

But instead of walking it back with her tail between her legs, apologizing profusely and offering to pay extra for the "misunderstanding," i.e., the EXTRA labor she created for the babysitter with this back-and-forth conversation, she goes for the personal attack and calls her "stuck up," then tries to "compromise." Nope. 

If you're new to this genre, this is a classic strategy of choosy jerks — even when they're being offered FREE things, believe it or not.

going rate babysitting
Source: Reddit
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Her "compromise" is so laughable, the babysitter understandably explodes. The mom is offering to throw her a $20 for the day and call it even, when she's the one who'd initially offered to pay almost that much for just an hour of the babysitter's work. 

At the end of the day, $20 is almost a hundred bucks short of what they'd agreed on for eight hours of, honestly, hard labor. She was keeping her children safe and entertained, not sitting at a computer screen chatting with friends or playing Solitaire.

The mother, at this point, completely loses her mind. She refuses to pay $128 "for a single day" and makes her point clear by sprinkling exclamation points everywhere. Her reasoning behind not wanting to shell out? It's a priceless one: her kids are "easy."

Oh, and don't forget that ice cream that was so generously offered to the babysitter. You have got to be kidding me. Just picture your boss coming up to you on Friday with ten percent of your paycheck because you had an easy week and he bought the team lunch one day. Who wouldn't go off?!

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going rate babysitting
Source: Reddit

As the babysitter clearly states, it's not about the fact her kids are easy, or whether she's stuck up, or even whether she enjoyed a scoop of ice cream on the job. It's about the principle.

When you agree to something, you stick to it — it's a really basic concept of functioning as a human being. The mom's gaslighting is what's so crazy-making here, she is truly making the babysitter question her sanity, which is evidenced by the fact that the babysitter tries to plead with her.

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The babysitter has textbooks to buy, which is probably why she took on this extra work in the first place, and she needs the money so badly, she's willing to take less they agreed upon prior. Don't compromise, girl! Man, this kind of thing really boils my blood.

The mother not only refuses and resorts to name-calling (classy move, by the way), she also straight-up blocks the babysitter! Not for being a bad babysitter or neglecting her kids, but for asserting her rights to be paid for her work.

going rate for babysitting
Source: Reddit
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Over on reddit, where this thread was originally posted, people were just as furious as I am (and you are, probably). They recommended posting "babysitter warnings" to let others in the community know not to work with this family, and sent over some legal recourses, including taking the mom to small claims courts. 

In the end, the obviously cheap family wisely decided it would be more cost-effective to pay the babysitter the full amount she was owed rather than pay a lawyer to represent them on the matter. Phew! Luckily her grief paid off, but I really hope she never has to deal with another client like this again.

And if you're totally dumbfounded by this story, don't miss the others we've covered below.

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