I feel like a guinea pig

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
I feel like a guinea pig
Sat, 05-31-2003 - 8:35pm
I babysit my brother and sister-in-laws two girls which is fine, but I feel like a guinea pig for several reasons. One, is that I am the only babysitter they have..they can't go find another one. Another reason is that I don't get to spend enough time with my fiance Robert anymore. My typical work day..I go at 3-4 PM, get home about 12-1 AM. I sleep in the mornings because I am very tired. Monday and Tuesdays I get off, but I sleep most of it and I don't want to go out on Tuesdays because I am so tired. Robert and I have been fighting alot lately because he gets to go out and have fun and go be with friends when I am stuck working. I want to email my brother so badly and tell him I quit, but they love my fiance and if I quit, I am afraid they are going to take it out on Robert. What can I do? They both work nights and my sis-n-law is a manager. They work at KFC.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Sun, 06-01-2003 - 12:11am
Is the job you are describing the babysitting? Or is is another job you do? Do you get paid for this?
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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2003
Sun, 06-01-2003 - 12:24am
The babysitting is my job. I do get paid, but I should be getting paid alot more. I get paid through the welfare and according to my statements, I should be getting about 135-150 dollars a month. My pay? 50.00 to 80.00. I need a heck of alot more than that for the hours I work. I work from 7-8 hours a night except on Sundays..and Mondays and Tuesdays, I have off.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 2:42am
If you want to quit, then make sure the reasons you give are not because of your fiance. This way, they have no reason to take it out on him. IMHO, you have plenty of other reasons to quit... the biggest one being the one you didn't mention in your original post: your pay.

I don't quite understand your pay arrangement, or what babysitters in your area can expect to be paid, but $50-80 seems like what you should be getting per WEEK for ONE child, not two children for a month. You're working 7-8 hours a day, five days a week, that's 35-40 hours a week. Babysitters in my area get paid about $2-3 an hour, depending on the number of children and their ages. For the hours you put in, that would be $75-125 a week. Ten years ago, I paid $55 a week to put my son in day care, in one of the least expensive areas of the country. I understand that licensed day care in my area now costs from $85 to $150 a week, depending on the age of the child.

If you quit babysitting and got a job at Wal-Mart or wherever, earning minimum wage, you would be taking home about $150-200 a week, or $600-800 a month, working the same number of hours you are now.

The only downside I see is the impact on your brother and SIL, as evening babysitting is very hard to find, and even more expensive when you can find it. Your quitting would be very hard on them if they couldn't find another responsible, trustworthy babysitter.They might even have to find different jobs, or work different shifts.

Now I'm not trying to start an argument between you and your family about this, and I understand that a person shouldn't expect to be paid the same when helping family as you would working for a stranger. Only you can decide what's fair in this situation. Do a little research of your own, then talk to your brother and SIL about it.

Another reason to quit is one you don't mention at all: your own future. Unless you plan to enter childcare as a career, the babysitting is getting you nowhere and it definitely isn't helping you to be able to support yourself. What do you want to do and where do you want to be in a few years, besides somebody's wife? Do you want to buy a house with your husband? Go to college? Start your own family, if your husband-to-be can support you on his income alone?

You don't say what it is that makes you so tired - are you in school or working another job in addition to the babysitting? If you are not, and babysitting is your only job, then what the heck are you doing for the other 16-17 hours every day that makes you so tired? Most people who work full-time jobs put in 8 hours or more a day, five days a week, just like your babysitting. This is normal. If working these hours is too hard on you, then you should look seriously at what else you are doing that makes you so tired, or talk to your doctor to rule out any medical problems. Perhaps you have a sleep disorder that prevents you from getting restful sleep.

As for not spending enough time with your fiance, I can understand. It's very difficult for anyone to maintain a relationship when the couple are working different shifts. Many marriages fail for this very reason. If this issue is a problem in your relationship and your fiance can't be more understanding of your work hours, then you have only two choices: One of you needs to find a different job so you can work similar hours, or end the relationship.

My temptation here is to step up on my soapbox and scold you for complaining about what appears to be a normal work schedule for an easy job. However, there could be more going on in your story than you've related in your post, so I won't. I do strongly suggest that you: 1) Talk to your brother and SIL about the pay issue and/or the possibility of them finding another babysitter; 2) Look closely at what EXACTLY is making you so tired, and see your doctor if you think you should; and 3) Talk to your fiance about what your future plans should be concerning careers, rent or mortgage, college, family, etc. and how your current job and schedule fits (or doesn't fit) into those goals. Once you have answers to these three issues, then you should be able to make a more informed decision about the babysitting and your own future.

I wish you the best of luck.



iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 9:43am
You don't have to work for them, they should be able to find another babysitter if it's that bad on you! Maybe you can find a day job so you and Robert will work the same hours and then be free to go out together at night? I think it would look really bad though to quit in email. I would do it face to face, or call at least. And give them notice. Shouldn't be too bad if you do that! Good luck, Rhiannon