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Old 10-16-2011, 11:57 AM   #1
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Question Frustrated, little venting here about unpaid childcare

I have been caring for my great nephew, full tme mostly seven days a week, odd hours. When I first agreed to care for him, I knew my niece was going thru financial troubles so I told her the first few weeks would be on me. We started keeping him at four weeks old. It was an intense few weeks, things are normalizing now as far as his care.

He will be three months old in the 29th of this month. My niece is going thru a divorce and struggles with her moods, so I do not want to add to that struggle. However, I am becomming frustrated with the fact that she has not even thrown a bone my way. I realize she struggles, she told me she barely made rent this month and has not begun, nor does she think she will get child support. This is the part that bugs me though, she has a smart phone, I do not, she has cable too.

I cloth diaper, saving her $ every single day. Can she not just send the sposie money she saved?

I do not want to hurt the relationship and am even just a little afraid she would take him away from me and find other free childcare. (unrealistic fear) I had baby fever before he came along and I am past the point of having babies. I know there is something to be said for being paid in hugs and kisses, but I had to pay my way, and I feel I was already being generous giving away a few weeks of care, which I was happy to do.

I used to pay $580 a month for regular daycare, no odd hours or overtme. So, I know how valuable the service is I am giving.

How would you politely say, I am saving you $ by cd'ing, can't you at least send that savings my way? Also, why on earth do you still have cable and a smart phone when you cannot pay your sitter? I write notes to put in his take home bag every day. I feel like just writing her a little note saying that she should at least send the savings on sposies my way. Would you do that? Is it that simple?

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Old 10-16-2011, 12:02 PM   #2
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Re: Frustrated, little venting here about unpaid childcare

I would only do it if it was a situation where I didn't care if she took the baby somewhere else. She very well could decide to pay someone else feeling as though you are family and you should understand. Maybe she is under contract for her phone or cable meaning she would have to pay more to just get out of it. BTDT You should be paid don't get me wrong but you just have to ask yourself what is it worth to you? Only you can decide that. Maybe she will take it well and not mind at all but if you thought that was the case you prob wouldn't be worried about asking. Its so hard when its family!
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:29 PM   #3
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Re: Frustrated, little venting here about unpaid childcare

No I don't think she is in contract in either situation. For the phone, the contact is just for the service for phone calls, not the internet service and the cable she is not under contract at all.

I feel better, I put a little note, saying if she had noticed a savings by us using cd, to send it our way please.

The last thing I want is to get stressed out myself over something like this. I would never ever take free childcare, not even from my mother. So, we may well be beating to a different drum here and she just doesn't feel like I do about those things.
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:33 PM   #4
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Re: Frustrated, little venting here about unpaid childcare

Well, for the services, she might already be in contract for them & she just has to ride them out to completion(same thing happened to us & I counted down the days to expiration!) Long story, but my hubby's company had them as "perks", we signed for 2 years and then 6 mos in, they took away his reimbursement. Ugh! Not falling for that again!!!
It might be something she & her hubby got into, then he left her high & dry to continue paying them. You just never know.

Sometimes what we THINK we know we don't. So here is the core issue(stick to it):

You want remimbursed for your effort. Money? Acknowledgment? Appreciation? Free stuff(like food, coupons, reciprocated babysitting of your child, etc).
You need to decide what seems fair as reimbursement & talk it over with her.

What she has/doesn't have is none of your business nor do you have any right to judge/evaluate her ability to have them. So let it go.

Tell her what you need & why you think you deserve it(not why she can afford it).
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:36 PM   #5
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Re: Frustrated, little venting here about unpaid childcare

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Originally Posted by mmbreb View Post
I would only do it if it was a situation where I didn't care if she took the baby somewhere else. She very well could decide to pay someone else feeling as though you are family and you should understand. Maybe she is under contract for her phone or cable meaning she would have to pay more to just get out of it. BTDT You should be paid don't get me wrong but you just have to ask yourself what is it worth to you? Only you can decide that. Maybe she will take it well and not mind at all but if you though that was the case you prob wouldn't we worried about asking. Its so hard when its family!

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Old 10-16-2011, 12:42 PM   #6
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Re: Frustrated, little venting here about unpaid childcare

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Originally Posted by nakedbabytoes View Post
What she has/doesn't have is none of your business nor do you have any right to judge/evaluate her ability to have them. So let it go.

Tell her what you need & why you think you deserve it(not why she can afford it).

That really helped put things in perpective for me. I am going to take out the note about the cd savings and just have a chat with her sometime. Probably not up for it today, but I will do it sometime.
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:49 PM   #7
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Re: Frustrated, little venting here about unpaid childcare

I think that at this point you did offer to watch him for free for an unspecified period of time and amount. If you feel it's time she started paying, don't just expect her to figure it out, let her know!!! She probably has tons on her mind and either hasn't thought of it or figured you would say something when you wanted to be paid. I do think she should pay you, and it's super helpful for you to have watched him for free and be willing to continue for cheap. Sit down and have a talk with her to get your expectations out there. You can always negotiate from there. Maybe she can't pay now, but will be able to start in "x" period of time. At least you'd both know what the expectation was and eliminate that frusteration for you
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Old 10-16-2011, 12:59 PM   #8
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Re: Frustrated, little venting here about unpaid childcare

I agree with nakedbabytoes. It isn't your job or business to decide where they money should come from, but you do deserve to be compensated. Is there anything she could do for you that would not cost her money? It sounds like she really cannot afford to pay you so I think you either have to be willing for her to take the baby somewhere else or provide a service for you. Cleaning your house (of course, you'd probably have to watch the baby while she did so), swapping childcare, running errands, etc.

Also, I will say that you offered to do it at no charge for the "the first few weeks". Unless you specifically said that on xx date you would start charging xx amount per week, things are still kind of up in the air and she may just be waiting for (and secretly hoping you don't) mention how much and when.
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Old 10-16-2011, 01:00 PM   #9
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Re: Frustrated, little venting here about unpaid childcare

To me, she sounds like a young mother going through hard times, financially stressed and looking for a break. If you offered to keep him for free in the beginning and you haven't talked to her about that since, she is probably just assuming your offer for free care still stands. I've never known anyone super stressed and tight on cash to refuse help in such a way, or even think about the "clock ticking" on that kind of help. To me that just seems really characteristic of the young people I know.
If the relationship is the most important thing to you then IMO you have to decide 1. not to feel guilty or unjustified asking for a little pay, 2. decide not to give thought to the way she spends her money outside of your deal with her, 3. be really honest with her.
I would talk to her and say; I really want to help you out, be there for you, take care of the little guy, but I need a little $ to cover to the cost of food and some of the time I put into this.
Work out a fair number before hand $40/50 a week, or whatever you feel you need, and tell her that's what you think is fair for you. Ask her when she can begin paying you, set a definite date, and then count on it. If she forgets or something, remind her and don't feel bad about it. Tell her if she can't pay one week to let you know. Don't accept a situation where the two of you never talk about $$ and you never know when or what you're going to get paid.
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Old 10-16-2011, 01:02 PM   #10
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Re: Frustrated, little venting here about unpaid childcare

I would have the conversation about it with her - explain that you feel you need some sort of payment but be open with about what she can afford - let her know that you don't want ot make her struggle any further but she IS saving on dipes. I would be clear that you don't want her to further by paying you but that there should be something she can contribute.

Good Luck
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