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Would you pay a babysitter less if ...

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Does it make sense to pay a babysitter less if you're going to be home while the sitter is at the house?


Someone has asked my dd to babysit her 3 kids while she works to get her house ready to put on the market. The mom essentially wants someone to keep the kids occupied while she gets something done -- I think we can all relate, right?


Dd has never babysat for these people before; she's also ever done a "keep kids occupied while Mom gets something done" for someone who's paying for the service. I suppose it's possible that she will be asked to babysit for them in the future, both with and without Mom being home. They (dd and Mom) haven't yet had the "how much do you charge" discussion.


To me it makes sense for dd to have a lower rate for sitting for these kids while Mom is in the house than if dd went over on, say, a Saturday night and was solely responsible for the kiddos. But, hey, I'm prone to live in my own little bubble with little connection to logic, etc.


What do you think -- charge less when Mom's there? Charge the same?

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It should be the same price, but dd should also 'work' as though mom isn't there. Which might be hard, because the kids might still try to go to mom for things.


Hmmm. Not sure how to avoid that. I guess it would depend on the ages of the kids, but maybe mom could explain to all of them when your dd gets there that they are to act like mom isn't even home. Mom needs to work, so dd is there to care for them. And then mom should pay your dd the same rate as if she wasn't there.

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I would charge the same. She may not have as much responsibility as if she were alone (without parents), but she is also going to have more hassel keeping them out of mom's way. In other words, if the parents aren't there, the kids won't try to go "ask mom" something, but with mom there, I'd bet they will want to be with her.

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She should charge the same.


When I was a nanny I had a mom do that sometimes. We'd say goodbye and mom would go out the back door. We'd go down to the basement. Mom would come back in the front door and head upstairs to the third floor to get some work done. Kid had no idea she was there and was perfectly happy with her being gone. If she knew she was there, I'd be running interferance the whole time trying to get her to not bother her mother. Of course there were other times I was also there when teh mother was home, and the mother wasn't trying to get work done. Those times the kid could care less about talking to here mom, only the times when mom needed alone time!


So depending on the age of the kids, if they are younger, they may want to do something like that. It's hard for kids get why they can't see mom then, and then they sort of focus on it.


It's sort of like no one wants anything to do with you for an hour till you sit down to talk on the phone, read your book, watch your show, take a bath or just plain go to the bathroom. Suddenly you are the most popular person in the house!

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