I came across an article posted in a parent group on Facebook the other day and I have been thinking about it ever since. It was mainly focused around what is the fair rate to give to a babysitter. Now I myself babysat on occasion, and you never made much doing it but it was all extra money for you, I remember if you got $5 plus it was awesome and New Year's Eves were the time to babysit because you got bank for sitting there watching the ball drop and other random crap on tv. So having been a babysitter myself I know what babysitters do, not a whole lot. Especially if your child is asleep, or if they put them to bed. Not a lot of work there. As a single mom I don't have a ton of expendable income to throw at a babysitter, but I also want them to feel like the times that I do need them is worth it for them. I feel like the fair rate is $6 an hour if my son is asleep and $7 an hour if he is awake and requires more attention and thus more work on your part. But overall they are mostly sitting there watching tv or sleeping on the couch if it is an evening endeavor. I don't usually ever ask a babysitter to feed my child, I NEVER ask them to bathe or clothe him, unless he needed to be changed in an accident emergency of some sort. At his age there are no diapers involved, and he is generally pretty good for other people, so it's not a lot of work.
This article explores the view that by overpaying babysitters it is hindering their ability to go out and work minimum wage jobs because they think it is beneath them and should make more money and end up refusing to get menial jobs and thus would rather live on easier handouts, the same goes for mowing lawns. I remember when you could find a high school kid that wanted some extra cash to mow your lawn for cheap... Now they want an arm and a leg and I wait until it's getting pretty bad before I think anyone is worth the $50+ that they are asking to mow my not very large yard.
The article also states that families are getting babysitters less because they cannot afford it. I know I myself have opted to stay in rather than go to dinner and a movie which would cost me $20-30 just for the babysitter not to mention another $20 for 2 people to go to a movie with the rates these days and then dinner is what let's say about $40. You just just spent almost $100 on an average meal and a movie when you could have stayed home cooked and watched something on netflix for free. Or even redboxed or rented something for about $5 or less. Also I have had the misfortune of many cancellations of babysitters at the last minute that have made me plan and plan and then I get let down at the last minute and end up out of luck and home anyway.
Babysitters and lawn mowers have found themselves to be incredibly valuable, and we need to stop running the price up as families and find a more even ground. This is beneficial across the board for everyone and teaches the value of hard work. If you want to make more money than that, then go and learn some job skills and get an actual job. I know in the town I live on the services jobs are ALWAYS in need to people that think those kinds of jobs are beneath them. My greatest babysitter used to call in sick to her actual job because she would make so much more money babysitting. I welcome any and all views on this.
Please read the original article, it was a great take on this topic and well written.
What to pay the Babysitter