I’m a 15 year-old girl from Crown Heights and, like many, I babysit quite often. Sometimes it will be scheduled in advance, and other times parents will call at the last minute with “emergencies” and I’ll generally run over to watch the kids.
I and my friends try to do the best job we can. As every parent knows, kids are not always easy to deal with – especially when they need to go to bed and sleep.
So why is it that when it comes time to pay me, parents will say “We’ll send money over” or “We’ll pay next time,” but very often I won’t be seeing a penny.
Yes, I understand that in today’s economy not everyone can afford to go wild with their cash. But this is a job for me and I deserve to get paid just like you get paid for doing your job. And you just came back from some nice restaurant driving your nice car!
I have a friend who recently went through a hard time. Her father lost his job and was barely putting food on the table. My friend, during this time, was buying her own clothes and basic necessities from the babysitting work. And you know how difficult it was for her when people weren’t paying?
I don’t mind doing Chesed from time to time, but these people show no appreciation for what we’re doing. If you can’t pay now or even next time, give us a token of gratitude, a small gift, that will show that you care – until you get the money.
My friends and I began sharing names of people don’t pay and just shrug us off. We might not answer the phone or we might make up an excuse because we will not be babysitting for them ever again.
Babysitting is not costly, but it’s also not slave labor.