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Software Engineer Called ‘Stupid Girl’ For Charging Half Her Hourly Rate To Babysit Cousin’s Kids

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Among the biggest ongoing battles in the United States is the fight to raise the minimum wage.

While more and more states require a $15 an hour minimum wage, the federal minimum wage for non-exempt employees is currently $7.25 an hour.

Which, in addition to not being nearly enough for the average American to live off of, is also not at all reflective of the hard work employees put into it.

Through hard work and dedication, Redditor HENNYDEFN came to a point in her professional life where she was making an enviable hourly wage.

And well aware of what it took to get there, the original poster (OP) was unwilling to make considerable compromises when it came to her pay.

Even when babysitting her cousin’s children.

Worried that she might have been unreasonable, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**Hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for saying my babysitting rates are $35 an hour?”

The OP Explained how when her cousin asked if she could babysit her three children, she had a going rate which her cousin and her husband found to be utterly outrageous.

“I’m a software engineer, with a full time job and a side hustle of doing freelance coding work in my own time.”

“I’ve always been the type to have a side hustle I put a lot of my free time into.”

“I get really bored sitting idle.”

“My freelance hourly rates are $60 an hour, and at my full time job, my hourly pay works out to about $40 an hour.”

“So that’s how I value my time.”

“Anyway, over Christmas vacation, I was staying at my parents house.”

“My cousin was also staying over with her three young kids from Christmas to new year’s.”

“I’d been planning on doing some work on my freelance projects when I had free time, in the mornings when my family had no plans.”

“I wasn’t in any rush.”

“I was already ahead of schedule on them all, but I didn’t really have anything else to do.”

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

“Then my cousin and her husband asked if I could babysit all day for three days, so they could visit some friends in the area and hang out with just adults.”

“I said I had planned on doing freelance work at the library, and she offered to pay me to babysit.”

“I said I could if they got close to my freelance rates.”

“She wanted a number, and although my freelance rates are $60 I didn’t feel like that was right, it was high.”

“But I didn’t want to go too low.”

“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.”

“So I said $35, which is below what I make hourly at work, and what is the bare minimum I’d value my time for, if that time is spent doing difficult work.”

“And she went crazy at me, saying that’s a ridiculous rate for babysitting, that I was entitled and being selfish, that I’m trying to take advantage of how she didn’t have other options, etc.”

“I said that’s way below what I’d be making if I had the time to do my own work, and I’d be putting off my own work to babysit.”

“Her husband then got mad at me saying that I was a 24 year old girl, that I’m damn near a child myself, that my time is not worth that much and it’s childish to say that it was.”

“And that I was a stupid girl for not knowing that babysitting costs like 15 an hour, when I grew up and have kids of my own I will see how stupid I was being.”

“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 obviously did too.”

“AITA for giving that number?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community wholeheartedly agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for charging her cousin’s $35 an hour to babysit her children.

Everyone applauded the OP for knowing her self-worth and not settling for anything else, and agreed that her cousin’s were being extremely childish, with many pointing out how not everyone would even consider $35 an hour to be that extreme a rate for babysitting.


“I would have bowed out immediately and told her to have fun dealing with NO options.”

“Yes, what a stupid girl you are for knowing what your time is worth.”- Wikidess


“If they need a babysitter that badly they should’ve arranged for one in advance.”

“You’re being asked to baby sit three kids.”

“Three kids is a lot of work, $15 sounds kinda absurd to me.”

“You have your own life and an actual job that you would be neglecting, or free lance at least, that is worth almost double that amount.”

“The only offensive ones are your cousin and husband who started calling you names when you didn’t bend to their will.”- Superbia18


“You’re a ‘stupid little girl’ who pulls $60/hour freelancing.”

“I just started salesforce training and I’d be happy to make half that freelancing.”

“Good for you!”

“To everyone saying ‘she should’ve said no’ she did she explicitly told them she was going to the library to do some coding work.”

“That’s when they offered to pay her.”– Lyn1987


“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 d*ck.”

“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.”- runthereszombies


“3 kids all day, for 3 straight days?”

“Even real babysitters would charge more than 15 for 3 kids.”

“Obviously they wanted you to do it as a favor, and got upset that you treated it as an actual job.”-Phy44


“Because asking someone who is also on vacation to watch your kids for 3 days is kind of sh*tty.”

“An evening, sure, but 3 whole days is crazy.”- akiomaster


“You are the only one who can put a price on your time, because it’s coming from your own life.”-hunkydory45


“If your mom and husband are so bothered by it, why aren’t they babysitting?”-someoneelsesusername


“Your time, your rates.”

“To anyone saying ‘it’s not fair to charge that much’, the price is the price, nobody OWES you cheap child care.”

“Especially during the holidays at the last minute for several days, honestly $60 seems reasonable to me, $20 per brat per hour.”

“Don’t like it?”

“Find someone else or maybe spend your holidays with your own damn kids instead of foisting them off on others.”- a_canadian_cannibal


“Your cousin and her husband are ridiculously entitled and selfish.”

“If they’re THAT desperate for a babysitter, they can either pay it or find someone else.”

“They clearly don’t respect you or the work you do.”- andromache97


“It’s too bad for your cousin that she sucks at planning.”

“And it’s too bad for her kids that she thinks that the point of a family vacation is to ditch her family for three days.”

“You said that you’d do it if she approached your normal pay rate, then quoted her a nearly 50% discounted rate.”

“And she reacted by attacking your professional qualifications.”

“Out of curiosity, what do she and her husband do for a living?”- MasterOfKittens3K

“I thought it was childish to be recklessly popping out kids when you make so little money that you’ll act jealous of your ‘damn near a child’ cousin who clearly makes more money and better life decisions than you do!”


“And, if I were you OP, I’d put my foot down with anyone, even mom, who’s even entertaining the notion of supporting that sexist a**hole.”- FakeGamerDoggo

“NTA, but you would have been better off just saying no.”- GlorySBitch

While no one should pay anyone beyond what they can afford, parents should always be mindful of the fact that babysitters are responsible for the safety and well being of their children.

And thus, should be paid enough to be reminded of the responsibility they are undertaking.

It’s good to know that the OP was well aware of how much her time was worth.

Hopefully her cousins will take the value of the time and effort of their next babysitter into more careful consideration.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.