General Question

lisaj89's avatar

Fathers, would you pay a sitter $10 an hour to watch your kids while you're THERE!

Asked by lisaj89 (720points) April 29th, 2009

I currently babysit for these kids whose mom attends class one night a week. Her husband is away about two weeks out of the month working. However, when he is home, I still go over there. Although I’m there, he feeds the kids and plays with them, and I get paid to basically just watch cartoons. The thing is, I feel kind of creeped out by the tone in his voice sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, he’s never said anything inappropriate, it’s just odd to me. I’m wondering if any other dads would even think about paying somebody just to hang around with him and the kids.

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50 Answers

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

I get paid to do the same thing. I think for the parents it’s just nice to have someone else around, especially when they’re alone with multiple kids, just in case they can’t deal with all of them at once.

cookieman's avatar

No I wouldn’t.

And while we’re at it, any father who says they’re “baby sitting” when referring to their own kid needs a smack in the head. It’s your kid too!

Now in your particular case, there may be more to it. Can you describe the tone of voice?

rooeytoo's avatar

Isn’t that what a nanny does? You are basically a part time nanny. Sounds like a good gig, I wouldn’t mind getting paid to watch television.

casheroo's avatar

I’ve had to watch kids when their father was present, because some men just can’t handle it just as some mothers… I guess it can be more awkward, but it’s a job…I doubt he thinks anything of it.
What kind of tone of voice? Maybe it’s just weird for him…

Likeradar's avatar

@rooeytoo most nannies aren’t paid to sit around while a parent is with the children.

eponymoushipster's avatar

that’s just creepy. like, SVU creepy.

lisaj89's avatar

I can’t really describe it. It’s just different from when his wife is around. That’s the only reason it creeps me out. By the way it’s only two kids, one is eight and the other is three.

Likeradar's avatar

I’m wondering if he’s waiting for you to step up and take the kids off his hands, and he’s too non-confrontational to say anything. Could that be why his tone is weird?

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I would see it as maintaining consistency for the kids since he’s only home a few weeks a month and might not be able or want to deal with the kids taking up more than his peripheral attention. One of my siblings nannies for about $20. hr and is often home with one or both parents, even going on weekend trips and outings with the family.

casheroo's avatar

@lisaj89 Hmm. I’ve been a nanny, and was home alone with the father pretty often. I even slept over some nights, when the mother would go away on trips. He’d shower with the kids and plop them outside the door for me to take care of lol. It’s difficult taking care of children, and they are paying you to help. It might be awkward because he’s usually parenting with his wife…it’s hard to put another female into that role. (this is just an assumption, since I imagine if I had a man helping me with my children, it’d be weird..but only because it wasn’t my husband) I’m not sure if what I’m saying will make sense to you.

cookieman's avatar

@casheroo: Perhaps I’m odd, but I say if you can’t “handle” your own kids, don’t have kids.

casheroo's avatar

@cprevite Nah, you’re just judgemental. I found it nice to have someone like my young cousin, come over so I could shower without a screaming baby, or actually get laundry done, or you know…eat something. Guess you have perfect children, perfect time management..but some people need a break, and need a hand.

Likeradar's avatar

@casheroo I just love parents like you who admit they can’t do it all and maintain their sanity and see the value in help!

lisaj89's avatar

Likeradar, I try helping with the three year old, but when his dad is at the house he screams if I try to do anything with him. It’s much easier on everybody if the dad does it. The eight year old is basically self sufficient. Therefore, I am left twiddling my thumbs waiting for the mom to get home.

cookieman's avatar

@casheroo: I understand what you’re describing. Help is a good thing.

I’m talking about fathers who are in the room but feel the need to hand their kid off to the nanny/grandmother/etc. every chance they get.

I know at least three guys like this. I don’t understand it.

casheroo's avatar

@cprevite Sorry, I thought you meant any form of a babysitter/mother’s helper.
I don’t understand it either, but I’ve been a nanny and a mother’s helper…all I know is it pays pretty well, so it’s hard for me to judge lol.
And I agree with your first comment, when people call it “babysitting” when they’re watching their own children drive me crazy!

Likeradar's avatar

@lisaj89 Hummm… Have you talked to the mom about if you really need to be there those nights? I don’t know what your arrangement is with these people, but maybe she feels like she can’t tell you not to come because she thinks you’re relying on the $. If you can, maybe ask her if on the weeks he’s home you can switch to a different night so they can go to dinner alone or something. No need to mention creepy dad. Also, I suggest turning off the cartoons and finding something to do- kids’ laundry, making lunches for the next day, organizing the craft closet, something. I think @casheroo is right, though. He might just feel awkward having another woman in his wife’s role.
I’m a nanny, btw, and the few times I’ve felt useless suck. I know where you’re coming from.

cookieman's avatar

@casheroo: S’okay. Sorry if I wasn’t clear.

and yes, I can be judgemental ;^)

SeventhSense's avatar

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Just make yourself useful and take the cash. :P

cak's avatar

No, my husband wouldn’t pay someone to be there while he was there, just to help out or to keep him or the kids, company. Nope, not a chance!

He hired a “helper” for me, when I first came home from the hospital and I felt odd. I am so hands on, it was hard to have a someone doing things, right under my nose! Especially when my son would do something wrong. I didn’t like her tone. She was a bit harsh, for my taste. It didn’t last long and it was because of me. I just couldn’t take it. Now, I had a friend step up and ask me to do something (work-wise) for her and she would help with my son. That went better…she took him out of the house, often. I didn’t feel like I wasn’t being a mom.

@lisaj89 – why not approach the dad and see if there is anything more you can do to help him out in the evening. What about art projects? Books – games? Or, can you help get dinner together? Maybe that would alleviate some of the awkward feelings.

lisaj89's avatar

It’s difficult because I don’t want to overstep my boundary or make it seem that he is unable to handle his own children. I really feel bad about taking the money at the end of the night cause I feel like I didn’t provide them any relief.

Likeradar's avatar

@lisaj89 He might be thrilled to see you spontaneously start doing some child-related task or to hear you say “How can I help? Anything you guys need done?” That would also give him the chance to say no thanks, and send you home. :)

lisaj89's avatar

Likeradar, that’s a great idea! I’ll have to try that next time. I really don’t need the money but it’s a friend of mines mom, so I just do it to help them out. That would be an awesome way to make it not so strange to ask to leave.

augustlan's avatar

When I had a 15 month old and a newborn on my hands, I hired a neighborhood girl to come over for a few hours a week as a mother’s helper. I was in the house the whole time, but she played with and cared for the children while I caught a nap or read a book for a while. It was a huge help in keeping me sane.

My guess is that the father is just unsure of how to interact with you. It can be awkward for a grown man to interact with a teenage girl, and they must be very careful not to cross any boundaries themselves. I think I’d try to clarify with the mother what exactly she’d like you to be doing on those nights when Dad is in the house, or whether they really need you there on those nights at all. If she does have things in mind for you to do, just let the father know when you get there what you’ll be doing… and to holler if he needs a hand.

knitfroggy's avatar

I was a summer nanny two summers in high school. The mom was a big wig at a bank and I can’t remember what the dad did but he worked nights and slept most of the day. He would get up and eat and watch TV and then go play golf. I usually tried to be gone with the girls when I thought he was going to be up because it made me feel so awkward when he was around. He never said anything to me and not much to the girls. He wasn’t mean or anything, just quiet and it made me feel creepy. They paid me damned good money. I always thought he could have been with his own kids after he got up instead of playing golf every flippin’ day! But like I said, they paid good money, so I wasn’t bitching too much!

On a side note-my husband paid a sitter $40 to watch our kids from like 9:30pm til 1am while we went out and I about crapped! I thought that was pretty good money for her to sit in my house and watch TV while my kids slept!!! I NEVER made that kinda money sitting! I was pretty drunk when we got home so I didn’t know what he paid her.

augustlan's avatar

@knitfroggy Back when I was a babysitter, I made about $2/hour – no matter how many children I was watching. My fourteen year old daughter now makes $5/hour per kid. She made $60 the other day for watching 2 children! I couldn’t believe that was the going rate these days!

Jack79's avatar

Obviously no.

I think the only reason they keep you when he’s there is that they feel bad about you losing the money. And maybe he doesn’t know whether he’ll have the energy to play with them, so he pay the babysitter anyway, but sticks around and does whatever he feels like.

It’s obvious they can afford it.

Likeradar's avatar

@knitfroggy and @augustlan You’re talking about children. If you’re not willing to pay good money to have someone responsible watch your kids…$40 might seem like a lot, but she spent 3.5 hours of her life making sure your children are ok while you went out drinking. Isn’t $40 worth the peace of mind?
edited: this is one of my major soap-box issues, so I’m sorry if I’m being offensive

knitfroggy's avatar

@Likeradar Obviously I was glad she was with my kids and they were safe. I guess I just didn’t realize that rates were so high! I usually have a family member watch them for free! lol

augustlan's avatar

@Likeradar Oh, no… I’m not saying it’s not worth it. It was just a shock, that’s all.

Likeradar's avatar

@augustlan and @knitfroggy Ok :) Childcare what I do for a living, and I’m hyper-sensitive about people devaluing it. Thanks for clearing it up.

jrpowell's avatar

I would bet that they like you and want you to have a steady schedule. If you know you have to be there every Tuesday night you are less likely to make plans for a Tuesday night.

knitfroggy's avatar

@Likeradar I in no way devaule child care workers-There is no way I could ever do it! I used to love to babysit but now that I’m older, there is no way! I’d go nuts! Lurve to you for watching the babies! :)

BBSDTfamily's avatar

No, that is a normal rate to pay babysitters, and no matter what you are doing, you are giving of your time to be there. Take the money and find a cartoon you enjoy! :)

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

God Bless respite care…. but no.. I wouldn’t pay someone in that situation.

Triiiple's avatar

@eponymoushipster i lol’d at 5:32am at your response why didnt anyone else!

Lupin's avatar

Maybe he figures since you set up a regular schedule and planned to be there those nights, he should not call you last minute and tell you to skip it.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

If she can get my wife to pipe down too, I’ll hand over my paycheck…

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

^I’m not even married… dont know where that came from

cookieman's avatar

^^ Channeling Ralph Kramden ^^

lisaj89's avatar

Likeradar, you’re exactly right. Many of the people I sit for, I have known for years. They all tell me that it’s worth the money for them to be able to go out and not have to worry about what will happen to their kids while they’re away.

elijah's avatar

I think it’s sad that some parents won’t take care of their own children. When your job or social life takes up more time than your own kids, there’s a problem. I’m thankful there are people like @Likeradar who care about the kids and do a great job raising them, but I wish parents would raise their own kids. We all need help now and then, a few hours of peace and quiet, or a night out. That’s when you hire a babysitter. Honestly, taking care of kids isn’t that hard. Sometimes it’s stressful and tiring, but it’s not hard.

SeventhSense's avatar

Never too soon to practice

cookieman's avatar

@elijah: This was my point exactly.

Some examples:
• I know a guy who has Mondays off from work and has his MIL come over so he can relax and play video games.

• I’ll call my nephew on a Sunday to see what he’s doing. He’ll say, “I’m fucking stuck baby sitting”.

• I have a friend who has four kids, three nannies and a cook. I have never seen her or her husband alone with their children in six years. Nanny takes them to school, to activities, to the park, feeds them, bathes them, puts them to bed, reads them stories. The mother plays with them once in a while and the father barely acknowledges them.

• Another friend was a daycare director. She had this one mother who paid them (a lot) extra to drop off her son when the office (not the daycare) opened at 5AM and picked him up when they went home at 8PM six-days-a-week.

• Woman I used to work with: Her kid was in school from 8AM-2PM, after school program kept him until 5PM, nanny picked him up and stayed with him until 10PM when the mother got home from work (kid was asleep by then) – five-days-a-week. I have no idea why the husband couldn’t help out.

Mind you, I’m not discussing single parents or folks on a tight income. These are middle-class to very-well-off folk who simply choose not to be with their kids or are annoyed when they are.

Why the heck did they have children in the first place?

OK, I’m ranting. Sorry.

<< counting to ten >> breathe, breathe

SeventhSense's avatar

“I’m fucking stuck baby sitting”.
A little Freudian slip and that could be a whole different activity. :0)

Likeradar's avatar

@elijah and @cprevite Yeah, I’m not sure what those people are thinking either… I don’t get people who have children then do all they can not to care for and enjoy them. The vast majority of people I know who have nannies (and I know a lot of them, obviously) love, love, love spending time with their kids but need to work outside the home or have a PT nanny/helper so they can maintain some level of sanity/social life/sense of self aside from “parent”.

essieness's avatar

Um, that’s ridiculous. Sounds like he either doesn’t want to be completely responsible for the kids, or he isn’t a confident father, or his wife doesn’t trust him. Either way, stupid.

rooeytoo's avatar

Perhaps this man doesn’t feel confident enough in his own ability to deal with these kids alone so he wants someone there to help just in case?

What I always wonder about is why people have kids and then put them in day care as soon as they are 3 months old. It is like someone else raising your children totally for you. They do not have your values because they are not around you enough to know what they are.

I am aware that sometimes this is inevitable, if a marriage breaks up, etc. but a lot of women have children knowing that they can’t stay home to raise them, just puzzles me.

essieness's avatar

@cprevite All of those people fall into the ridiculous category. Wow…

eponymoushipster's avatar

@cprevite some of those examples really piss me off too. especially people who can’t acknowledge their own children, and put their upbringing on others. that really rubs my rhubarb.

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