Received Sunday, April 19, 2009
I have a bit of a predicament that I wanted to run by some objective listeners. I have been babysitting for a family for around 5 years, since the kids were 1 and 3. The kids are now 8 and 6. When I started babysitting for them, I was 16, and had minimal experience babysitting outside of my family. At the time, I agreed to a wage of $5 an hour. To me, this was fair since at my minimum wage job I was only getting $5.15 an hour, factor in taxes and it was about equal.
My issue is that my pay has never been raised. I am a college student now and I only babysit when I am home on breaks. I love the mom (P) and the kids, and I can bring my little sister (who is 7)with me all the time. I've broached the topic before, and usually P has laughed it off and said we'll talk later. But now, I am nannying this summer for another family who is paying me $15 an hour and I am also sitting occasionally now for a family who pays me $12 an hour. As you can see $5/hr doesn't really cut it.
I've made it clear to P that these other jobs are paying more, but she still hasn't increased what she pays me.
Now, I want to throw a few things in here: my sister comes with me almost every time I go over there and any time we go somewhere, P includes money for me and my sister, which I am aware she doesn't need to do. She always remembers my birthday and Christmas and gives me small gifts. And I really do love her and her kids.
Okay, my point to this rambling is that P wants me to come by on regularly set days this summer and I can only assume she wants me to accept the low hourly wage that I am aware has gone on for too long. How do I broach this subject with her so that I don't scare her off or offend her? She is a single mother and works from home and I have no clue what her income is like, but it's not great. I am aware that times are tough, but if I am getting twice as much (or three times as much) elsewhere, I feel less inclined to fit her in and I want to be able to without sacrificing wages. How do I handle this?