$5.00 an hour....

Received Sunday, April 19, 2009
Perspective and Opinion on ISYN 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?


Lisa said...

I think you have one of two choices:
1. Accept the job at your customary $5 rate and then be OK with it.


2. Let her know that your rates have changed with your experience and with the times and that your time is now worth $___ - the lowest you feel comfortable accepting. Be firm with this. Your time is valuable and by taking this commitment, you make yourself unavailable for jobs that will pay you your new, more reasonable rate.

This is how anybody in any other profession would operate. I'm sure that her own pay has increased during the past five years, so this concept shoudln't be foreign to her.

I understand that because she's a friend, the boundary is somewhat blurred, but your responsibilities and the pay you recieve should be handled like professional business.

SD said...

First of all you seem really nice. However it's time to think about yourself and not her budget. It's also nice of her to include money for your little sister to come on outings, but it is normal and expected for her to include money for you. So if you are taking her kids to the zoo... it's her responsibility to pay for you, her kids but not your sister. Christmas/birthday gifts are nice too, but pretty standard and should not be factored into pay.

I have dealt with this same issue. I do occasional babysitting for a family who I have known for years and they started out paying me $10 an hour. However at my full time jobs I now make $15-17 and hour so $10 isn't worth it to me anymore.

You just have to let her know that your summer is going to be really busy, and that you love to work with her and her kids but if you are going to carve out time for this position, the pay needs to AT LEAST double. Especially since it's been 5 years. If she values you, she will give you the raise. If not, she might not find someone as giving as you are. When I had to do this with that family, she willingly obliged and raised my hourly from $10 to $15 an hour.

Kim said...

I would be honest with her. Tell her that $5 worked for you back then, but things are different now. You could still cut her a deal, maybe accept $9 or $10 an hour?

I would also acknowledge all she does for you and tell her you are grateful. Is bringing your sister for you or just as an extra playmate. You should probably tell her you no longer expect her to pay for your sister.

Lauren's mommy said...

I think $5 an hour is way too low. I would never dream of paying anyone that...if you value your services (and yourself!), please have an honest talk with P..if you feel you have to give her a competitive rate based on your relationship over the years, i suggest $10 per hour (nothing below that, set a psychological limit that you are worth at least 2 digits per hour)...really this is for long term benefit of you and her..

chick said...

Well, I assume you are not just spending your earnings on frivolities, but using the money to pay for school or something, right?

So, you say something like, "P. I really enjoy working for you, and you know I have gotten a great deal of pleasure from watching your kids grow up. The issue I have now is that I am working to accomplish XYZ, and for this summer I have 2 families paying me $15 and $12 per hour to work for them. Because I am trying to earn money for XYZ, I need to devote the majority of my time to those employers. We have talked in the past about raising my rates, and now if I am going to work for you this summer I must be paid more. I understand if you can't do that, and I would still like to work a few hours a month for you when my other jobs permit."

She may get mad, she may be hurt, she may feel obligated to raise your rates and then use you less and less often, but the fact is that you want and need to work for higher wages. If she wants to keep you, she has to meet that desire. If she can't or won't, she will not have the chance to use your services.

Maybe if P has to try to find a new sitter, she will realize that $5/hour is not going to get her the quality she wants. Then she may be willing to change her mind and raise your pay, unless she actually can't afford to do so.

Tough situation said...

Based on how she otherwise treats you, it doesn't sound as if the mom doesn't respect, but she probably feels she cannot afford more. However, that doesn't mean you should slave away all summer just because you don't want to hurt her feelings.
You were making $5/hr to start. Add a $1 raise for each year you've worked for her, that comes to $10. If that is acceptable to you (or whatever # is), lay it out for her- say something like, "I'm in college now, and I need to save money to buy books. So my rates for this summer are going up to $10." She can take it or leave it, but if she sees you have the justification for raising your rates, she at least won't be upset (hopefully).

kc said...

Tough situation, but you have to do exactly what you've outlined here. Let her know that while you love her kids and appreciate everything she does for you and your sister, you simply can't accept a permanent job (no matter how part-time or temporary) for that rate. All you can really do is be polite and hope she understands.

Also, does she really expect that five dollars an hour is an acceptable rate for someone who has remained pretty loyal to the family and has years of experience? She needs to open her eyes.

M said...

Just let her know your new set rate and stick with it. She should pay for you if you take the kids anywhere. If you bring your sister then you should pay for her.

DowntoEarth said...

You need to be honest and tell her you cannot afford to work for her. The going rate is 12 to 15 per hour. You are a college student now and you need the money. Plain and simple.

SAHM said...

I think you are being totally reasonable in your desire for more money. I would let her know that you love her family-especially her children, but you can't babysit anymore for $5/hr. I would let her know that you have families that will pay you $15/hr and you can't work for 1/3 of what you are worth. I would put it back on her by saying something like "I'm sure you are making more now than you were at 16 and you would accept a job paying $15/hr over one that pays $5/hr". Then you could let her know that you would love to babysit anytime you are free for the higher wage because you really do enjoy her children.

Don't feel bad. It sounds as if she is still seeing you as a child-not as a grown woman who wants to make a decent wage.

cali mom said...

What everyone else said. Nobody should be getting the same rate as they were 5 years ago. You now have 5 years more of experience than you did back then, and that needs to be taken into account. Just explain to her that while you greatly enjoy spending the time with her kids, you have other professional commitments now and can no longer turn away market rate business in order to help a friend for less than half the going rate. If she is willing to pay you your new rate for your time, you can commit to some regular schedule with her, but otherwise, she will have to see who else she can hire for $5/hr. I shudder to think!

Green said...

You say, "You know how much I love you guys, but I really can't afford to babysit for Johnny and Susie anymore since I only get $5 an hour and if I am sitting for them then I'm NOT babysitting for the families who are more than happy to pay me $15 an hour. I'm sure you understand."

And then you walk away. She will NEVER find someone else who she can get away with paying $5 an hour! Of COURSE she is going to try to guilt you into staying. Take this as a lesson - people will always try to make you feel guilty for putting yourself first. If you say what I suggested you are being nice yet professional and reasonable.

If you REALLY love the family, I'd let her talk you down to $12, so she's at the VERY LEAST matching the lowest paying family.

world's best nanny said...

What they said.

Anonymous said...
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Nanny in San Diego said...

In 5 yrs, you have shown her that you are not only trustworthy and reliable, but you have used those years to also gain valuable childcare experience. I think you should get a raise, at least $10/hr since you do bring along your sister.
I do not know what her income is like, but if she can't afford to pay you more than $5/hr (which she may not), then just let her know that you enjoyed working for her and love her children, however due to your own financial circumstances, you need to make more money to survive. Keep things friendly and even wish her luck in her search for a new babysitter. Tell her you are grateful for her thoughful gifts and all as well. If she is really a good friend, then she will understand. If she gets mad, she is not a good friend at all if she is going to put her needs in front of yours. Basically, you cannot afford her and she cannot afford you.
Good Luck OP. You sound like a great person and I hope this situation works out for the best for everyone involved.

mom said...

I like what many people said. I think I would say it the way chick suggested.
However, the fact that she "laughed it off" and said you'd talk about it later, but never quite got around to having that discussion with you after all these years, gives me the distinct impression she knows she's TAKING ADVANTAGE of you. That's not much of a friend, if you ask me.

Tell her that you simply cannot afford to babysit for that amount anymore because you need to maximize yur earning potential throughout the entire summer in order to make ends meet during the school year. Tell her that you'll understand if she cannot afford that and that you're really sorry because they are your favorite family to babysit for. Then you might want to take the kids and your sister to the park together from time to time, at your convenience, over the summer so that you can visit with the kids. But make it clear that your work hours must be reserved for people who can pay you ate least $10.00 an hour. She'll get a one-toothed wino, bottle in hand, for five dollars an hour...and don't think she doesn't know it.

You know, this is the opposite of my experience when working with good friends. When I was a youngster babysitting, the family I enjoyed most (and, thankfully, the one who wanted me to be their primary babysitter and available to them at certain designated times) not only paid me MORE than anybody else to insure my happiness with the job (and, therefore, availability to them), but periodically increased my pay without my asking for it. When I was at the stage of hiring babysitters for my own kids, I treated my best babysitters the exact same way...and they, in turn, became very loyal employees...and eventually friends.

Friends don't take advantage of friends. Don't forget that.

mom said...

PS the time I was paying top dollar to my trusted sitters, I could scarcely afford to do so myself. (In other words...that's hardly a good excuse.) But you know what? You make choices in life about what is REALLY important to you. For me, it was worth going out a little bit less, or having a few less dresses and less jewelery to know that 1) my kids were in the best possible care in my absence, and 2) that the person who was taking care of my most precious thing in life was treated in a way that conveyed my appreciation and respect.

You deserve that too. Just because somebody may be adept at manipulating their "friends" does not in any way obligate you to be taken advantage of. You should feel ZERO guilt about not letting yourself be one of her victims. If you were my underage daughter, I would actually forbid you from working for her at that price....even if she was my good friend. (Which she would not be if she tried to use my child in such a way.) I know you're an adult and can do what you want...but this situation really reeks of manipulation to me and I want you to recognize that that's probably what's going on here. She's out buying the luxuries you can't afford with the money she should be paying you for babysitting.

Nanny and Mother said...

Wow mom, you seem a little bit harsher than what I think is necessary.
In any case, I do think you should talk to her. Maybe give her a good deal still, but definitely up your price. Good luck and let us know what happens!

Brett Trout said...

With any negotiation, you have to decide what you Best Alternative to a Negotiated Settlement (BATNA) is. If you propose a larger fee and she declines, will you walk away? If you do, will you be happy with that decision? I would, but you may not.

You have to look at the options BEFORE you negotiate. That way, regardless of how the negotiation goes, whether you stay or go, you will feel comfortable with your decision.

mom said...

Nanny and Mother. Maybe I'm a littl ebit older. A lot of stuff I excused when I was younger for the same reasons OP is doing so. But as I have gotten older I realize that some people try to be fair with others and some people seem to always be looking out for themselves first. The "looking out for themselves" people are often very "Nice" and charming, etc., which actually they need to be to get away with taking advantage of people and having them somehow think its OK...but they're not really such good friends in the end...9 times out of 10...and it's better to just realize up front that people who respect you will treat you with respect. Paying somebdy...particularly somebody who is supposed to be a "friend" less than HALF what the going rate is is not respectful.

I might feel differently if when OP had taken the very awkward and embarrassing action of actually asking for a much deserved raise the lady had bothered to take the time to sit down with her and discuss the subject like an adult instead of ducking the subject and leaving her hanging, for years, without an answer. Nice gift at Christmas INSTEAD of the hundreds of extra dollars she might have paid OP at the true going rate for her services...not cool. If you respect your friend and employee, you remember their birthday AND pay them a decent wage. Don't think for a second that OPs employer doesn't remember every time she's counting out that five dollars an hour to pay her that she doesn't remember that she successfully skirted a conversation about a raise.

Maybe I've gotten a little jaded with age...or maybe it's just a little wiser about people in general. But it seems to play out the same way time after time...nice people bend over backwards to make sure others around them are treated fairly feel valued...not so nice people always find ways to serve themselves and leave those they use to do it feeling like they somehow "owe" it to them to let them do it. This sounds SOOO Much like the latter circumstance to me.

Emily said...

You could simply say that you are excited for the offer and would love to come back, but for a raise of (whatever amount).

Village said...

I would tell P that you now charge $12-$15 an hour, and as an old friend, you will offer her your lower rate of $12 an hour.

If she laughs, laugh right along with her, but do not sit for her for less than your going rate.

It might be necessary to tell her nicely that you have outgrown her, and maybe she needs to look for another babysitter in the 15 year old range who will sit for $5 an hour. (BYW, good luck with that, but I wouldn't say that out loud.)

Nanny in San Diego said...

Mom, I am an older person too....and have a different train of thought than when I was younger, say in my early 20's. It's sad that we get more jaded as we get older, but let's put a different spin on the term and use wisdom instead. LOL. Seriously, I agree w/you. People do take advantage of people and I also have learned that over the years. It is not pretty, but it is reality and reality is not always pretty. I think the "friend" should not have laughed it off and ignored the request, she should have just addressed the issue instead of putting OP in the position she is in now. OP, she is not a very good friend to have you work for her at such a low rate. She probably hoped that you would just "forget" about the raise since obviously she has not addressed it since. She is going to stay on easy street w/you for as long as she can...and it's time for you to move on.

needamoniker said...

What the OP needs to decide is whether she/he would rather have the work for $5 an hour or potentially risk losing the work altogether. It is certainly possible that the family may agree to a raise. However, in asking for a raise (expecially a 100% or more raise), you will rise losing the work completely. Will these other families who pay you more have you work more at the higher rate to make up for the lost work with the first family? If so, than from the OP's financial perspective, the conversation and the risk of losing the first family is a bit easier.

The OP needs to assume that she/he will lose the first family by asking for a large raise.

oh well said...

Well, I have to say that I agree with the "older" ones here (yes, I too am one of them!). I would go with what Chick said. Good luck and keep us posted

One more idea said...

I faced similar issues. When I babysat in high school for people in my home town, I made change (like $2-4 per hour at the time). In college, in more suburban area, I was making between $8 and $12, and post-college, $12-15.
I had close relationships with some families from my hometown, and when I went back to visit, I would still want to see them, but it was no longer worth it to babysit at that rate (I knew they couldn't afford more, given the area). So I would just visit them instead, or offer to stay with the kids for an hour or two for free (as a "gift" to the parents).
Also, throughout college as I raised my rates every year, some families were "grandfathered" in at my old rates- they had begun at a certain rate (e.g $9) when I was less experienced, and so when I began charging $12, I didn't push it with them (I figured they were already paying what they could afford).
I share this only to offer you some other perspectives or options. However, I by no means think you should continue working for $5 per hour, especially for any set # of hours per week. You will likely end up resentful and hating the job by the end of the summer.

OP said...

Thank you for all of your advice. Keep it coming! Kim asked the question about my sister coming with and to answer, she comes as a playmate for the kids. She's about their age and they love her coming with me. If I go over there without her now they are really disappointed.

mom, I don't think she's openly trying to take advantage of me. I am not naively saying this either. While I love P, she is somewhat of a scatter-brained person. She also has never used any babysitter but me. I get the feeling she's kind of behind on everything. She also had her children later in life and I kind of think she lives in the past sometimes. Like, maybe she doesn't realize that what she pays me is so low. Her ex-husband though, has paid me on occasion (when he is picking up the kids from my care) and he actually pays me better than her.

Someone suggested that if she does raise my rate that she will use me less frequently, and I think that is probably the most likely course of action she would take, but I hate to think that I would lose them altogether. I don't know. Any of you gone through a situation like this where it was successful?

Night Nanny said...

As a nanny/babysitter, we become very attached to the children. BUT, as you become more experienced and more sought after, you have to make a choice that you can live with. Personally, I would be resentful on the days that I had to work for SO much less & wouldn't be able to do it. It got to a point where I couldn't justify setting aside clips of time for someone who doesn't value me the same as other clients. I just became less and less available to those that didn't pay as well. And no, it's not all about $$, BUT when I was being pd $12/hr from one family and offered $20 from another and the higher paying family actually treated me better and appreciated me was a no brainer. It all boils down to what YOU are willing to put up with.

mom said...

WEll OP, if she's truly that scatterbrained, then you definitely owe her the conversation so many have suggested here where you tell her straight out that those rates are from the 1980s and it's time to step into the 21st century. Be very kind, but still make it clear that you will accept a DISCOUNTED rate of $10.00 per hour from her because she is your friend and because you love the kids, but that you simply cannot go lower because you have the opportunity to earn $12.00-$15.00 per hour elsewhere during those same hours.

So what if she uses you less? You'll make the same money and have a lot more free time.

If she passes on oyu as a sitter, then be very kind, tell her oyu understand completely, and ask her about takling the kids for ice cream or to th epark occasionally because you love them so much. Then oyu will remain good friends with no hard feelings, and she can hire a child to babysit for her kids.

I was paying $8.00 per hour for a babysitter in the early 1990s...and Dallas is one of the cheaper places in the country to live. Even little girls in high school are making $8.00- $10.00 per hour here now. A college student or adult would be making more.

I had a family quit using me when I raised my rates in college. I was fine with that because it wasn't worth it to me to babysit for less than I was charging. No hard feelings on either side. It just didn't work for us. When they needed an overnight babysitter they still called me a couple of times...and then we had a bit of a disagreement over whether they should pay me when I was sleeping. I held firm that unless they wanted me to sleep at my own house, which was far more comfortable to me, then, yes, they needed to pay me. I was nice about it, but firm, and they were nice about it, and paid.

Kim said...

I had this happen to me. The family I babysat for when I was in high school continued to use me through college and after. I liked the occasional extra money, but they were paying me about $6 an hour. I eventually told them I needed to make more in order for me to continue watching their kids.

Sadly, they found a 14 year old babysitter (the same age as their oldest at that time, but they couldn't trust her) and payed her the $6 (I assume). I still keep in touch with the family, but now I'm the 'backup' babysitter, not the regular one. Which is fine with me.

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fox in socks said...

I strongly disagree with most of the posters here, and I do agree with chick and needsamoniker.

I think that P can't afford to pay you much money. That seems very clear to me. It may also be the case that she's a bit out to lunch as you say. But she wouldn't have laughed off previous discussions about raises if it were easy for her to pay more money.

This person is more of a friend than an employer. A lot of the success that you have today is due to her, meaning she fostered your becoming the expert sitter that you are today because of all the years that she employed you. I also think that the fact that you bring your sister changes things a lot. I'm not saying don't bring her; do bring her. But know that the whole tone of it changes because you've brought your sister in the past. The whole tone is more like friends or neighbors or relatives, and her paying you for this type of visit where all the parties involved have fun, and she pays for your sister, just reeks of more of a friendly relationship rather than employer/employee.

Of course you need more money and you need to support yourself.

Here is what I think you should do.

Explain to her that you really need to make a certain amount of money this summer (or whatever the case may be, per week, whatever). Tell her how much you enjoy working for her. Tell her you really want to continue working for her as you always have. Ask her, is there any way she can increase the rate that she's paying, and simultaneously also assure her that you'll still babysit even if she can't pay you more.

Explain to her very gently that the going rate nowadays is actually quite a lot higher. You do not need to say numbers; it may alienate her because she can't afford it and she may be too ashamed to admit this. Explain to her that you've go to get in so many hours, X many hours per week, in order to meet your expenses, and after you've got those kinds of hours on your schedule with the other people, you're free to work at her house (for the lower rate).

This way, you will not lose her and the kids, which would seemingly be very difficult. And, you will still be able to make your money that you need to make.

Be careful with how you phrase things because you don't want her to lose face and be embarassed.

She does need to know that you can't commit, let's say, 2 days per week during prime babysitting hours to her (at $5 per hour) because it will mean that you won't make enough money to cover your expenses. You will still babysit for her, but perhaps on the weekends or whatever, during off hours, or whenever it works.

Think of her as your grandmother or your aunt, because it really sounds more like this.

I think you can work something out where you do not cut her out of your life, and are gracious with her.

Do know that if you are firm with her, as so many posters have recommended that you be firm and demand $12-15 per hour, you are definitely going to lose her and her family as a friend. That method will leave a very bad taste in everyone's mouth, I think.

If you are more gentle with her, you will end up sitting for her less often but will retain her as a friend, and you will also make the money you need to make, by working for the other people for more hours.

Good luck and let us know what happens!

mom said...

I have to disagree with you here. I think OP would realize if her employer was very poor and could not afford more...and I suspect she might have mentioned that as a potential factor in her original post.

And if her employer refuses to be her friend, or her family's friend anymore because OP asks for a fair wage, she's not really a friend at all. What friend would ever hate a friend for not being able to afford working for them at a substandard wage? Only one who feels entitled. Ands if OP offers to take the kids to the park or for ice cream from time to time, that will keep their relationship alive just fine.

OP is a business woman trying to make a living and get through school. She has a right to do that to the best of her ability. Her friend should understand that very well. What if one of my best friends owned a BMW dealership and I wanted a BMW really badly but was pretty short of cash? Would it be right for me to go in and tell my friend, "I only have money for a BMW at the price they cost in 1968, so I'll take that fancy little convertible over in the corner for $15,000.00 please?" No. That would cost my friend a lot of money, and that's not fair. I think we so often look at services differently than we do tangible goods...but we shouldn't. People who sell tangibles make a living that way, and people who sell services make a living like that. Just because you can't hold it in your hand doesn't make the services of a service provider any less valuable. If OP sells her time to her friend at less than half the going rate, and is unable to work elsewhere during those hours, it is COSTING OP money to do this favor...just as it would my BMW dealership owning friend.

Friends are considerate of friends...and that goes both ways.

fox in socks said...

I am not saying P would never speak to her again.

I think you're mistaken about the OP knowing confidently what P can afford. No one can know confidently and to me it seems there are markers there indicating P can't afford much.

mom said...

I guess I inferred that from when you mentioned tension between the families as a result.

I still think if the employer can't afford ten dollars an hour for all the times she wants to go out, she should go out half as much and pay OP what she deserves. A lot of us want a lot of things...but lack of funds is the big preventer in so many things. We get over it and buy what we CAN afford. OPs employer ought to be considerate of OPs need to earn a living and not try to monopolize a bunch of her good summertime working hours, in advance, at such a low rate. If she were truly her "friend" I think she might do some of the compromising herself (as in going out less) instead of expecting OP to do ALL of the compromising. She earns three times that amount with one of her other families! If OP takes $10.00 per hour, she will already be compromising by offering a significant discount. That's her compromise. Now her "friend" can meet her halfway and either ante up or stay home more. That seems far more reasonable to me that OP being guilted into practically being a servant for this woman. Good grief, she could earn more at McDonalds!

And I don't think the debt of gratitude OP owes this woman for molding her into a good sitter is as deep as you think. She was underpaying her way back then too, so the employer was still getting the better end of the deal. Experienced or not, little girls here make more than that to start...and did 6 years ago when OP was 16.

need a moniker #1 said...

If you really want to make more an hour, let her know about the other families and that you have new expenses now and that's how much you are charging. If she doesn't like it, too bad.
You shouldn't care if is a tough situation for her to pay more, because she doesn't care that you are at collegenow and have more bills to pay. Bosses rarely care about their employees' bills.

Ps: don't bring your sister. That could be one of the reasons why she doesn't increase your rate.
And where do you live anyway to get paid so little??

need a moniker #2 said...

By the way, I raised once my wage to a family and she stopped using me. But I haven't worked for them for that long.
If she agrees to pay more, she will probably use you less, which is fine, because you have a lot of experience and other families whom will pay you what you want and deserve. Don't let your feelings mix with your interest. Your feelings will win and you'll get paid $5 an hour.

need a moniker #3 said...

Really, $5/hr after working 5 yrs for the family? Time to move on.

I raise my rates every year and either families pay them or I don't work for them. I would argue inflation, but everyone will blame how the economy is now.

Rates as you know come with location, age of sitter, experience and education in the child care field. You are what someone is willing to pay you or you are willing to accept.

fox in socks said...

Mom, from the OP's post, I have the impression that the OP is going to P's house to work not when P wants to go out to socialize and spend money, but when P is working (working from home). So, I did not think it's obvious that she has more money to spend.

I also do not think the OP owes P, and is so indebted to her as to practically be her servant, as you stated. As I mentioned, it seems to me a relationship like one might have with their grandmother, or an aunt, or something like that. What I suggested was that if P can't pay more, that was IF in case you missed it, that perhaps OP can just work for her every now and then to still see the kids, bring her sister, have fun, etc., without it infringing upon her "real" work time. At no point did I say that OP should go on working the same amount of hours for P and do this indefinitely, to her own detriment where she would not be able to make the money she earns. (In fact I said that OP should talk with P to try to get her wages up.)

I think you're going overboard here, mom.

mom said...

OK fox, I get your point. I'm not trying to fight with you.
I just want OP to feel strengthened in her resolve/entitlement to be paid fairly despite what guilt she may have over charging this friend more money.

She sounds a lot like me in my younger years...always fighting that guilt about standing up for herself when somebody else is a little more forceful in their resolve to have their own way...and maybe subtly guilting me into believing that I was the bad guy if I stood up for myself...even knowing I was in theight. And my meekeness (which I thought was kindness at the time) was taken advantage of several times, looking back. (Oh to have the looks I had then and the mind I have now!)

I could be wrong, but the way OP wrote her post it just rang a couple of bells for me. She knows this isn't quite right, has talked to her employer and was blown off (for whatever reason, blowing her off was unfair and unkind), and is now struggling with her "duty" to this woman because she is a family friend and has been kind to her...guilt. If that's the case for OP, I want to bolster her resolve to stick up for herself...not add to the niggl;ing reasons in the back of her mind that make her think she somehow owes it to this woman.

You and I just came out on opposite sides of the opinion here. I have no problem with your opinion at all...I just want to be very strong in my opinion because I think it will serve OP well to stick up for herself in this instance.