March 2013 Moms


Some of you btdt moms may be able to answer my question.  We are going on a date (oh my gosh!  First date in almost 3 years!!!) and we're going to have a friend's friend's teenage daughters watch our kids.  We have 4 kids, 18mo-8yo.  We're going to order pizza, it'll be daytime, so no bedtime/bath business or anything, just hanging out.  I'm hoping my 18mo will be sleeping when I leave, but no promises on that, and if she isn't, she'll probably end up grumpy before we get back.  We've never left her before, but I think she'll be pretty ok since she'll have her brothers and sister here.  How on earth do we figure out how to pay them?  I found some babysitter calculators online, and for our area, it said $9-$9.75/hour, but do we increase that since we have two babysitters? It's going to be about 4 hours total.  We definitely don't want to under-pay them.  We've never used babysitters before, and it's been more than 10 years since the last time I babysat.
Momma to 4 here and 4 in Heaven, cautiously expecting #5!
Ds1-9yo, Dd1-6yo, Ds2-3 1/2yo, Dd2-1 1/2yo.


Re: Babysitters

  • I ahve one child but we pay ours 7 per hour she is 14.  It was a price we agreed on prior to ehr sitting. 
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  • We just went through this - I looked on craigslist to see what other sitters were charging in my area and then offered our new sitter the high-average price ($10 for one kid! yikes!). Good luck and enjoy your date!!
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  • Have fun on your date! When I was babysitting I never gave people amounts they would always just hand me money and it was always more than I expected to be paid. I cannot believe they are making more than minimum wage at their ages for babysitting. Sounds crazy. I would just ask them what they charge. Usually it is a flat rate and than $1 more per each additional kid (per hour I mean).
  • I would say that it would be fair to double it since you have 2.  Stick with the low end of average and pay them each that amount.  


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  • Thanks everyone!  That's what dh said, we'd just pay them each $9/hour.  Yikes this is going to be an expensive date!  I remember when I babysat (similar area), I just took what people gave me too.  I babysat two little boys 4-5 evenings a week between when the mom left for work and the dad got home and I think I got like $10/day for like 2-3h.  Then I babysat two little girls and got paid a ton (they were rich and their older girl was constantly destroying things and giving me a heart attack).  One time the girl poured out an entire container of formula while I was cleaning the poop out of the bathroom sink (YAY!) and she destroyed her parents' bedroom while I was cleaning up the formula.  They gave me $20 extra that day.  lol  I can totally see my 3 1/2yo pulling something too, I better have extra money on hand.

    We have a small dog too-JackChi, but I'm going to put him in the kennel and leave him there.  No need for them to try to keep an eye on him too, and try to keep my 18mo from hurting him.  She's still working on "gentle".

    Momma to 4 here and 4 in Heaven, cautiously expecting #5!
    Ds1-9yo, Dd1-6yo, Ds2-3 1/2yo, Dd2-1 1/2yo.

  • I would pay 12-15/hr for 4 kids
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  • We've never left DS with a babysitter, so I have no idea. BUT the last time I babysat, the mom left me a basket with some snacks, emergency info for the kids and parents (including their address which I never think about but in case they need to call 911). It was nice to have some snacks that they were ok that I ate. I think I ate one thing out of the basket, but I thought it was a cute idea. If you want them to babysit again, it would definately be remembered. As an added bonus, they aren't going through your cabinets trying to find chips or something.
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  • That's a good idea.  I'm going to make cookies and we're going to order a pizza because it'll be lunch time. 

    I have to get all the Legos into the big kids' room.  We keep a close eye on our 18mo around them and she can't usually get to them, but she's just mastered the kitchen chairs, so I need to get all that stuff put away so the girls don't have to worry about that.  I'm trying to think of everything that needs to be done so it's easy for them and pleasureable.  I'm also going to put the kitchen chairs outside on the porch so they don't have a heart attack when she decides to crawl across the table!  Oh my, she gives me heart attacks.

    Momma to 4 here and 4 in Heaven, cautiously expecting #5!
    Ds1-9yo, Dd1-6yo, Ds2-3 1/2yo, Dd2-1 1/2yo.

  • For 2 kids, I used to get paid $12 per hour.  Since you have 4 kids, 2 babysitters, I would pay them each between $10-$12 per hour.

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  • I would ask them what they charge. Our rule of thumb for babysitters is $5/hr if they are younger (like if they are doing more of a mothers helper type thing while I am home), $8/hr for high school kids and $10/hr for college kids. That being said, when I used to babysit in high school and college there were a few times that I babysat with a friend (for a group of kids) and I never expected to get paid my normal rate (like $5/hr in high school). I wouldnt expect for the parents to pay us only $2.50/hr each but I wouldnt expect to get a full $5 myself. I would think they would round up and do like $8/hr for 2 teenagers for an hour and my friend and I would split the total. Honestly having 2 babysitters is a lot for only 4 kids unless these girls are really inexperienced with kids. I would pay between $12-15/hr total and the girls can split it. Its only a few hours and really they will only have 2 kids per girl to be watching which is not that hard, esp. if you have an older 8 year old...8 year olds can keep themselves pretty occupied...even toddlers can play with siblings, kwim? Especially if you are providing the food already prepared and not asking them to do any naps or bedtime it will be easy money for them...just my 2 cents but I'm sure this varies per area.

    ETA: We also factor in transportation (hence paying the older kids more). If we are picking the sitter up and dropping her off we pay less since we are using our gas and time to do that- if she drives herself here and home we factor that in (esp. with gas prices being so high) and usually just tip a little extra vs. adding more $ per hour. 

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