Babysitting is a legitimate job that deserves to be compensated fairly. However, many people do not seem to agree with this statement.

A netizen recently asked, Am I a jerk for saying my babysitting rates are $35 an hour? Read on to find out what exactly the matter is. 


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OP is a software engineer with a full-time job and the side hustle of doing freelance coding work in his own time. He’s always been the type to have a side hustle he puts a lot of his free time into; He gets bored sitting idly.

OP says, “My freelance hourly rates are $60 an hour, and at my full-time job, my hourly pay is about $40 an hour. So that’s how I value my time.”


What Happened Over Christmas?

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Over Christmas vacation, OP stayed at her parents’ house. Her cousin was also staying over with her three young kids from Christmas to new year’s.


What Was OP Planning

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OP had been planning on doing some work on her freelance projects when she had free time; in the mornings when her family had no plans. OP wasn’t in any rush; She was already ahead of schedule on them all, but she didn’t really have anything else to do. 

“It was in a really rural area, and it’s like an hour’s drive to the nearest anything.”, says OP. 


The Offer To Babysit 

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

OP said she could if they got close to her freelance rates. Her cousin wanted a number, and although OP’s freelance rates are $60, she didn’t feel like that was right; it was high. But she didn’t want to go too low;


What Does OP Say

angry kid
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OP says, “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.”


When OP Gave The ‘Number’

screaming with hands up in the air, feeling furious, frustrated, stressed and upset
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So OP said $35, which is below what she makes hourly at work, and what is the bare minimum she’d value her time for if that time is spent doing difficult work? 

And her cousin went crazy at OP, saying that’s a ridiculous rate for babysitting, that OP was entitled and being selfish, that OP is trying to take advantage of how her cousin didn’t have other options, etc.

OP said that’s way below what she’d be making if she had the time to do her own work, and OP would be putting off her own work to babysit. 


The Dramatic Ending 

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Her husband then got mad at OP, saying that she was a 24-year-old girl, that she was damn near a child herself, that her time is not worth that much, and it was childish to say that it was. And that she was a stupid girl for not knowing that babysitting costs like $15 an hour; when OP grew up and have kids of her own she will see how stupid she was being.

OP says, “I was kind of done with being called stupid, so I just told them I hoped they could find someone else. My mom thinks that I asked for something offensive, and my cousin and her husband did too. Am I the jerk for giving that number?”


They Wanted A Favor 

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

“I was a nanny in college (~12 years ago) and made $14/hour for one kid.  $15 for 3 kids is a definite favor.” Another added. 


They’re Ridiculous, Not You

Close up portrait of shocked weird hairdo person fists up yell open mouth isolated on turquoise color background.
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“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 jerk.

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.” 


SO Many Reasons Why You Ain’t The Jerk

young pretty woman looking unpleasantly shocked, scared or worried, mouth wide open and covering both ears with hands against white background
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“Not the jerk.

  1. If they need a babysitter that badly they should’ve arranged for one in advance.
  2. You’re being asked to babysit three kids. Three kids is a lot of work, $15 sounds kinda absurd to me.
  3. You have your own life and an actual job that you would be neglecting (or freelance at least) that is worth almost double that amount.
  4. The only offensive ones are your cousin and husband who started calling you names when you didn’t bend to their will.”


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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku tudio.

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