SAHM becoming DC for WOHM

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-15-2003
SAHM becoming DC for WOHM
Sat, 07-26-2003 - 2:19pm
This is something that really irritates me, and I would like to get everyone else's thougths on it as well. I have a few friends who are WOHM, and they are forever asking me to keep their children for them, "Since I'm at home all day." And they always throw in, "Since you're not working, I thought you could use the money."

I have no problem with someone asking a question, or asking for a favor. But I do have a problem with someone just assuming that because I don't have a "job", I have plenty of free time (not to mention the desire) to keep their children for them. I have three children under the age of 5, so I think it would be rather obvious that I have my hands more than full. Plus, there is the fact that I just don't *like* babysitting. I stay home with my children because I love them and want to be with them, and it works best for my family. But that doesn't automatialy mean that I am a "built-in babysitter", or that I necessarily want to care for anyone else's children.

Have any of the other SAHM's ran into this problem? Or does it bother you at all to be asked repeatedly? And for WOHM's, do any of you feel that this should be expected by SAHM's? TIA for any input. --->Dawn


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 07-26-2003 - 3:32pm
I have never had anyone ask me to babysit their children regularly. I did, however, have one of my friends give MY name to an aquaintance of ours who was looking for a sitter for her infant. My son was an infant also at the time, and for some reason my friend thought I wouldnt mind babysitting and that I could *use the money*. When she told me that she recommended me to this person, I literally laughed out loud! I told her that there was NO WAY I planned to do childcare services. Luckily the woman never did call, but I was rather amazed at the audacity of my friend!!

Now, my friends and I do sometimes watch each others children, but we dont take advantage of each other EVER and dont ask often. I also am of the mindset that no one takes advantage of you unless you let them. If people are asking you to babysit, you just keep saying no and eventually they will stop asking.



"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 07-26-2003 - 10:27pm
I never had that problem when I was home. The reason why is that all my friends know that I have a personal rule that I don't watch other people's children. I just do not, I have my hands full with my own responsibilities. If there was an emergency, I would help but having your babysitter cancel last minute and you have tickets to a play, is not an emergency. Having a death in your family or something like that would be. Next time someone asks you that question just point blank tell them that you have your hands full and are no longer going to care for other children. You can't get mad at someone when you are agreeing to it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 07-26-2003 - 10:35pm
Oh this irritates the out of me! My neighbor has said the same thing about "since you're home all day" and "thought you could use the money." Totally not realizing that between my dh's salary and my occasional freelance income we make more money than her and her dh do...... I'm sure she doesn't know that, but the assumption is annoying. (She has told me how much their combined income is, but I'm not comfortable sharing ours and kept my mouth shut.)

I'm with you - I only have one, but I SAH because I want to be with her - I HATE babysitting.

Besides that, I've got the bigger problem that I don't even know HOW to take care of a toddler anyway. This is my first baby, and my only baby experience. And did I mention her kid is a little maniac?

Sigh. I guess I needed to vent on this one.



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 07-27-2003 - 1:33am
No I've never had this problem & I've been a sahm for almost 7 years! One friend did ask if I knew anyone who could do dc for 1 day a week & it was something I could do so I said I could & did that for almost a year. It wouldn't irritate me to be asked, but if I was asked repeatedly, yes it would bug me. It would bug me if people prefaced it with "since you are home all day". It would not bug me if they prefaced it with "I thoguht you could use the money" I'd just say no we are doing fine & don't need any extra money.


VickiSiggy.jpg picture by mamalahk

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 07-27-2003 - 7:29am
Why the heartache? I work night shift and find people are constantly pointing me towards available day shift jobs, as if the only reason I work nights is because I haven't found any day shift work. Should I be offended that they 1) consider my job menial drudgery that I can't wait to replace with a "real job" (a comment used frequently) or 2) they think I'm a moron working at drudgery when there's better jobs to be had? Or should I be complimented that they care enough about me to want to help in whatever way they have the means to help, even if they have no real understanding of my needs?

If someone asks you to be a provider, simply tell them, "No thanks; I don't have the aptitude for caring for children other than my own. I'm not qualified, because I don't have a license or the appropriate training to care for kids other than mine, or the resources to deal with the additional issues." when they say they thought you might need the money, thank them for caring enough about you to try and find a solution.

and just for the record, I *do* happen to act as a backup provider for my ex and his wife; others know this and have asked me to help them out as well. I usually refuse because it's difficult, at best and while I know my ex and his wife are very thoughtful about ensuring they relieve me early enough that I can still sleep before work, I'm not so sure about others. Even tho I work full-time, so I'm not unaware of the fact that people ask non day-shift workers to help out during the day. I just don't find it all that difficult to say "no" when I don't want to do it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2003
Sun, 07-27-2003 - 8:33am
I don't think that it should be expected. But I am dealing with my neighbor who won't watch my son for 20 minutes when he gets off the bus. It would only be once in awhile and a rare occasion when I can't make it home from work in time. And it is notlike she doesn't already have to be there. Our son's are in the same class and he will be riding the bus. Oh and we live right next door to eachother.

I woul dpay her for her time.....and it wouldn't be all year. Just till I get married, sell my house and move.

But it is her life and while I don't understand it, nor agree with it....what can I do? I still love her anyway.



DH: Jay (34)  DS: Mason (5)


Avatar for lola356
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 07-27-2003 - 9:15am
It's the sort of attitude that the OP is complaining about. Why should your neighbour watch your child because she's there? It's your child and she doesn't have to do anything she doesn't want to do.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Sun, 07-27-2003 - 10:17am
I never understand this attitude either. I tried to sell Mary Kay once upon a time and one lesson I learned is you have to give everyone the opportunity to say no. That's all these SAHMs have to say, they don't need to be offended.

What are people who need childcare help supposed to do? Wait around until someone offers? No one knows you need help until you ask. So you ask and then you get accused of making assumptions about the person you ask. No....You're just asking.

Sounds to me like the SAHM has a chip on her shoulder. Talk about passive-aggressive behavior.

If the WOHM was just dropping the kid on the doorstep and saying "I hope you don't mind", there would be cause to complain. But otherwise, no.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 07-27-2003 - 10:53am
i would think that she probably doesnt want to watch your kids because of your attitude about things that 'arent that big a deal' since 'she has to be there anyway'. let face it Marcie, she DOES have to be there regardless, but not for YOUR son. Maybe you should talk to your 'boss' about a different shift if you cant take care of your kid after school :)

Edited 7/27/2003 12:56:06 PM ET by tashimarie
Avatar for laurenmom2boys
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 07-27-2003 - 11:10am
<> Absolutely not. And if you don't want to do it, just say "no" or "I'm sorry, I have plans." Those plans can be just hanging with your own kids at home. "No" is not that hard to say, but it takes time to get used to saying it.

As a WOHM, I have a couple friends help me out in the summertime, however, I watch other kids during the school year and I watch the kids of SAHMs when they need a hand. We all do for each other. Work status doesn't matter.

Edited 7/28/2003 12:15:30 PM ET by laurenmom2boys