Tuesday 15 December 2009

Is it really just me!?

So thanks for all the comments on my last post, it is good to get other perspectives on the whole babysitting issue. However...

I have to say I disagree with most of them. If my sister had a part-time job and I wasn't working and she asked me to look after her baby, (my niece/nephew) I would never take money. I would think she would offer and I would refuse. I think she would also be very grateful and do me little favours in return, or return the favour when I needed it. Am I seriously the only one who thinks it's weird taking money when it's family??

Now if it was 9-5, and everyday then that's different, but I teach private English lessons so I usually leave the house at 9:30 and am back by 11:30. 2 hours, maybe 2 or 3 days a week. I also feel weird now because I would usually go to the bank or the supermarket on my way home and use my bicycle to save petrol money, but now I'm on the babysitting clock I ride back as fast I can to avoid another hour. Cheap?? Really?

If I was going out drinknig or with friends I'm more than happy to pay, but I'm doing a job, 1 hour lesson for 3000 yen, but with babysitting costs it's down to 2000 yen. I'm inclined to leave Ash with the toothfairy as she's offered to take him any time for free but that would rock many family boats and I'm not up for that kind of drama just yet.
I should also mention I usually give Ash brekky before I leave so there's usually no feeding involved and unless he shits himself no nappy changes even. Really, I should pay???
I also leave her at my house where I would expect a paid babysitter to stay (with cable TV, full fridge and kotatsu) but like most Japanese kids she still relies on her mummy and grandmummy and I come back to find grandma playing with Ash most of the time. Really????

When we were growing up my Dad always said "God helps those who help themselves!!" Man I can just hear his voice.... And by God he meant Mum and Dad, for example, when I turned 15 and was old enough to get a job he said for every interview I did he'd give me $20 and if I got a job he'd give me $100. It wasn't a fortune but it was definitely inscentive enough to get off my arse and get a job, which incidentally I kept for 6 years through school and university. I really want to follow through with this with Ash, I think it's good for kids to learn that if they're doing their best andgiving it a go then they'll be helped out. My family is also about looking after your own, so maybe that's why I'm weird about paying a family member when I'm ganbatte-ing it, not just bludging.

Maybe I am just being cheap, but SIL is in Hong Kong this week and I have offered to take over dog walking duties for her. Should I charge her for it?? It's the same shit right?? Of course I would never think of asking but if it's going to be petty then I don't know...

Anyway.... In other news. Ash took his first steps the other night and I had a cry while all the in-laws looked at me like I was an alien and then took the piss out of me for crying. He looked so damn proud of himself bless him.
I saw an awesome fight on the train yesterday, Obachan got pissed at two young para-para girls who were talking too loudly on the train and started bitching at them, was very loud and un-Japanese to have a full-on screaming match on the train instead of ignoring, loved it!!!
I mentioned a while ago we were looking to rent a space so I could teach private lessons there, well, we may have found the perfect and not too expensive space and I think we're going to go for it! May crash and burn but it's not that big of an investment to start so I figure even if we fail at least we tried and didn't just pussyfoot around.

Think that's it... Going to my old company's Bonenkai tonight, love that I don't work there anymore but still got an invite, if we don't start a school I definitely want to work there again, if only for the drinking parties...


  1. I guess every family is different. My family has the same philosophy about helping each other out. But I get paid to baby-sit my sister's kids basically because she would pay someone anyway if I couldn't do it so it may as well be me getting the money. I also baby-sit for them quite often and they felt bad because I don't ask any favours of them. Besides BIL is a doctor so they can afford it. I do agree with you though, since your SIL doesn't work she should be offering to help you out for free and if she doesn't like that well she should get a job herself!

  2. Hello, first time to comment here. But I agree with you 100%!!!!!!!!
    Definitely charge for the dog walking!!!!! You go girl!

  3. i ALSO agree with you - charge her 500円 per walk and take him out like 6 times a day!!!
    You will make a fortune!!!!!

    To be honest with my MIL i pay her on the full days that she has her (like if im helping hubby in the restaurant, we spilt my tiny salary 2-ways) but we go there EVERY day and i plonk down Emi in the little back room for an hour or two while i help hubby, and i dont pay her for that.

    The only reason im working there in the first place is because shes struggling a bit as shes getting on a bit now, so many thats why she accepts such measly pay for looking after kiddo, and looking after for free the rest of the time... at least i hope so, if at the end of the year she presents me with a massive bill i would be screwed!!!

    It really sucks that you cant enjoy your tiny bit of adult time alone without having to worry about minute counting, she sounds like an arse who deserves a pay cut - blame the economy :)

    Also good to hear about your english teaching space, that sounds awesome! :D

  4. I agree with you - I would never take money off my sister or another family member if I was babysitting their kids. I know they would probably offer but I would always decline. It just doesn't feel right to me...

  5. First time commenter here:

    I agree with you on the babysitting issue. For the little amount of time that he is over there, I don't think you should have to pay her for that-- especially since she apparently isn't always the one looking after him when you get back. That's not exactly fair.

    Now, if it were an all-day kind of thing, I think you should. But since it's not, you shouldn't have to literally pay her. Maybe repay her in favors, but not cash.

    And, I would totally charge for looking after the dogs, since the situation is kind of weird anyway.

  6. nay used to look after my 2 kids 2 or maybe 3 afternoons a week to help me save on child care fee's .... man ...wot is this world coming to when family can't help each other out without expecting monies :(