Nightmare Nannies: People Share Their Worst Childcare Experiences

40. Overworked and Underpaid

When I was much younger and more spineless, I made the grave mistake of agreeing to do a weekend (three days two overnights) with a 3M without discussing payment first. I wasn’t too worried about it because I’d babysat and dogsat for these people before and they always paid generously. They were also clearly very wealthy. Even though I knew 3M was a handful I was still excited to do it because I was sure I’d make bank.

Ok so first of all, I had babysat this kid for a few hours at a time before but never for a full day. He was always high energy and sometimes defiant but nothing I couldn’t handle. However, the combination of his parents being out of town (they also took his baby sister with them so I’m sure jealousy was a factor) and him having more time to get comfortable with me awakened the demon within him. I was hit, spit on, scratched, and screamed at countless times. He woke up multiple times per night and always eventually ended up in my bed (parents said this would probably happen and was ok). He woke up at 5 am every morning, took no naps, and was a destructive, manic mess 99% of the time. I also didn’t drive at the time so we were stuck within walking distance.

The whole time I am like omg, I’m never ever doing this again. BUT, I’m gonna get paid so much money and it’s all gonna be worth it. They get home and are like “how did it go?” I totally sugarcoat it but tell them honestly that he really missed them and was definitely acting out a bit. They’re so so so thankful, spicytoasty you’re the best, we are going to have you do this all the time, 3M loves you, we love you, etc etc etc. They ask me what I think is fair for payment.

Here is where I go wrong. I go so so so wrong. I say “Oh, I trust you guys! I’ve never done an overnight before so I’m not sure what’s standard. Whatever YOU think is fair” Guys, who says that??? WHO SAYS THAT? This moment haunted me for so long. I was young, I was inexperienced, and I wasn’t aware of this amazing subreddit yet. I didn’t know my worth!

Anyways, this b**** writes me a check for $125. That’s literally less than she would pay me for a weekend of DOG SITTING. I was so stunned that all I could do was say thank you, take the check, and get out of that godforsaken house as quickly as possible. I never babysat for them ever again, even though I ran into them for years afterwards at the daycare I worked at the time. MB would always wrangle me into an awkward hug and a conversation about how much they missed me.