View Full Version : Awkward situation with neighbor girl/baby
07-26-2005, 07:40 AM
There's a 12 year old girl next door who is really sweet. When we had the baby her mom came over with food and she watched our cat (we paid her) while we were gone last week. The 12 year old has been coming over asking if she can play with the baby. No problem. It's good for Maxwell to have a playmate, and I suspect that the girl is lonely. It's a little awkward when she comes over multiple times a day, especially when my DH gets home from work because I like to have some family time, but that's still o.k. Here's where I have a question: we move next week and the 12 year old came over the other day and said, "Do you need some help watching the baby while you pack?" I didn't really, but since she enjoys playing with Maxwell I said, "Sure! That would be great!" Well, now she's been hinting that she would like to be PAID! I really don't need a babysitter and truthfully, it's more work for me when she's here because I'm not 100% comfortable leaving the girl alone with Maxwell since she doesn't know how to handle babies. I certainly don't have money in my budget to hire a babysitter right now--I'm a SAHM until I go back to teaching.
What do I do? I have to admit I thought I was doing her a favor by letting her play with the baby. Do I just say, "I don't need help today!" or should I just pay her a bit?
07-26-2005, 07:47 AM
Hmmm -- I would probably just let her know that you don't need her babysitting help today, but if she wanted to come in for a few minutes to say 'hi' to Maxwell that would be great.
Honestly, I would only pay her if I were truly going to be using her for babysitting services..
07-26-2005, 07:54 AM
Hey there :) I personally dont think you should pay her unless it was babysitting services you were using. As it is now she is just dropping by to visit. I think the pp had aa good suggestion about telling her she could come say hi, but you dont need aa sitter. I am kinda weird myself about letting the neighborhood girls come in and play with Zoey. Like you said, it is more work. Now I just tell them when we may be outside and they could come see her. Good luck :D
07-26-2005, 08:06 AM
It's a gray area, but the "do you need help . . ." sounded to me like she was looking for money. ("Do you need help?" sounds different to me than "Can I play with the baby?") I would not pay a neighbor kid who just stops by casually to play with the baby, but I would pay for a 12-year-old to play with the baby while I got a few things done around the house.
Since you've already agreed for her to come help, I would pay her. As a mother's helper, not as a babysitter. The going rate in my neighborhood for a 12-year-old mother's helper is $1.50 or $2 an hour. I would set up a specific time, maybe 2 hours one morning or afternoon, and pay her $3 or $4. That takes care of any misunderstanding that might have occurred and gives you a chance to get some packing done, while you keep checking on them, of course. I would err of the side of being considerate, since it sounds like her mom has been really nice in bringing over food, etc.
In the future, I would be specific with her about when she can come over and I would not hesitate to (nicely) send her home if she comes over more than once a day. And, if she offers to "help" again, be specific up front about whether it's OK and whether or not you will agree to pay her for her time.
07-26-2005, 08:07 AM
Thanks Ann and Tracy! That's a good idea.
I am kinda weird myself about letting the neighborhood girls come in and play with Zoey. Like you said, it is more work. Definitely more work! Plus, I actually have to get dressed instead of lounging around in my T-shirt all day!
Leigh you snuck in on me! Thanks for the info/pricing about a mother's helper. On moving day, I think I will consider that! Thanks! I definitely needed to be more clear. When she said, "do you need help?" I should have said what Ann and Tracy recommended.
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