Doing favors for your family can be a nice way to bond, or help them in a tricky spot. But at what point does it go from a favor to someone taking advantage of you?
Redditor Maleficent-Goat-197 has made her family upset, after she refused to babysit her aunt and uncle’s children. The original poster (OP) isn’t sure if she made the right call, and decided to ask the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit about it.
OP put her foot down and demanded payment.
“AITA for charging my Aunt and Uncle to babysit my little cousins?”
Is she asking too much, or not enough?
“So I (18F[emale]) routinely babysit for my Aunt and Uncle as they both work a lot, I currently babysit their children: (1M[ale] and 1F) and (8M) five days a week from 8am till 8pm, the older cousin is in school for most of those hours so he’s not so much trouble I just need to pick him up and ensure he has dinner and does his homework etc but it’s the twins that i’m primarily taking care of.”
“I recently told my Aunt and Uncle that as this is severely cutting into my ability to look for a job and start making my own money that I could only continue if they paid me and threw out a ballpark figure of £80 a week which is far less than i’d make in a fulltime job and much cheaper than paying a stranger to take care of the kids we’re family after all I didn’t want to overcharge.”
“They also make good money so this would in no way hurt them.”
“It seems however this was a mistake as my Aunt blew up about how entitled I am and how you don’t charge family to babysit and began to rattle off how I have free access to their wifi and their food etc, I pointed out that taking care of two one year olds I have basically no time to go on the wifi and that I can’t eat their food and have to bring my own as i’m vegan and 90% of their stuff isn’t compatible with that which led to a huge argument I was eventually told to get out.”
“My Aunt has now taken to Social Media to rant about how spoiled and entitled I am and how she’s not going to pay someone for the easy job of taking care of two babies who are basically no work which is hilarious as I can assure you two 1 year olds is not easy.”
“My parents are now up in arms over this defending me and my Mum is not talking to her sister. I just feel awful for causing this family drama, should I have just continued to do it for free?”
OP is being asked to do a lot of work for no pay, but it’s for family, right? Her parents are defending her, but it’s led to a bigger argument.
Is OP wrong?
On Reddit, the users of the board judged her by including one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
There was an immediate agreement that OP was not wrong. Her aunt and uncle have been effectively taking advantage of her for free labor.
Watching children is difficult, and often expensive. If OP’s aunt and uncle disagree, they can find someone else.
Not only was OP not wrong, she should be asking for more money.
“NTA. Childcare is expensive and they are taking advantage.”
“I never charged my sister but she also usually gave me pizza money booze and I did it like 3x a year. An occasional babysit might be different but full time childcare hell to the no.” – BessertQween725
“Agree occasionally babysitting for date night or movie is one thing.”
“If you are babysitting so someone else can make money you should be given some of that money.”
“If I need to take a taxi to get to work, I have to pay them. If I have a house cleaner so I can work more and not clean I also have to pay them. You should be getting paid. NTA” – incompetentsidekick
“Nta – 12 hours a day 5 days a week is insane. That’s way over a full time job for nothing. Instead of paying you 80$ a week let her pay thousands.”
“Absolutely never watch her kids again.”
“Edit: OP I promise she’s gonna fold and offer up the 80$ and I strongly advise you decline. What is a 18 year old gonna do with 80$ a week that’s 320$ for a whole MONTH” – redditisthebest710
Commenters were insistent that OP should not accept £80 for her work.
The job she’s doing is worth way more than that.
“NTA. I looked up babysitting rates in the UK (guessing that’s where you are). The rates run from £8-£15 per hour.”
“For twin babies, that would probably be at the higher end. So they should be paying someone about £900 per week. Don’t accept any less, or better yet, don’t work for them.” – Reenvisage
“Yeah i’m from the UK, holy sh** really? I hadn’t even looked into it as I had no intention of charging them near the going rate since we’re family but my god and they were pissed at my £80…” – Maleficent-Goat-197 (OP)
“Babysitting for family for free as the occasional one off is lovely and supportive. As a full time job for no pay it is exploitative in the extreme.”
“YWBTA to yourself if you kept doing this. The opportunity cost for you working for your Aunt is HUGE. Don’t do this to yourself.”
“(And obviously NTA but your aunt is an enormous AH and I am really wondering what is going on that anyone in your family thought this was OK)” – Jaded-Chip343
“I did overnight babysitting (6pm to 8am) with a toddler, kindergarten, and elementary schooler once a week/two weeks for $100 a night, and even then compared to hours for a normal job, that would’ve been approx. $7.14/hr.”
“I was fine with that because it was every once in a while and loved the family I sat for (used to sit me as a kid), but compared to your situation, £80 a week is WAY WAY WAY too little, especially when the OP is trying to find a job themself.”
“It’d literally be .60¢ equivalent an hour, less than what an hourly waged waiters/waitress make in the US. I really hope the OP will stand up for themself, and that if they choose to continue providing care for their aunt and uncle, then they’ll fight for a worthy pay.” – OliverEnby
OP is very lucky her parents are so supportive, or this would be even more difficult. But she should absolutely be refusing to do more than full time work for nothing.