What would you do?

So this past weekend I babysat for a family that I met on care.com. I'm not happy when things aren't communicated to me, and she neglected to tell me that her kid will make himself throw up for attention...frequently! Needless to say the night was gross and just a nightmare for me. I felt like cleaning up all the vomit justified some sort of extra appreciation...even a thank you would be nice.

I wasn't happy so I decided that night that I didn't want to babysit for them again. Then she asked me to babysit again this weekend, with an extra kid, who is also "easy"...she said her son was easy too. I said that I wasn't available and I think she got the hint because she didn't react too nicely.

All that being said, I'm happy with my decision...but for some reason I just feel bad about the straight up "no" that I gave her. So, for future reference, how would you all have handled that situation?


I think "no" is the right answer. "No" is a complete sentence as the saying goes. Their offer was incomplete. Or they neglected to share relevant info. It makes perfect sense that you don't want to deal with that. I wouldnt

I personally wouldn't have been so vague. I'd have been specific. "Given the experience your child and I had before, I wouldn't feel comfortable coming back. I hope you find a good fitting sitter, sorry it didn't work out"

Ive done the "sorry I'm not available!" thing for too long, it gets old lying when you're only protecting their feelings knowing full well they don't much care about yours. I have one family about on the edge there for me, known them a while but last visit their 5yo son was completely out of control to the point that I had to have parents come home. I've never, in 15 years of sitting, had to have parents come home. They apologized profusely paid me the full amount and I got an apology letter from the boy via a photograph the next morning. I still may not return. Might give it one more go but with the full understanding that if I can't keep things peaceful and keep myself sane there's no $$ in the world for me to give up my weekend with my husband to deal with even a child disrespecting me. Sorry not super relevant to your story, but I will be absolutely honest with this family going forward. I'm tired of being saddled with poorly behaved children when I have zero authority (as a side sitter I don't expect to be bale to discipline much but I should still hold wight and my words should be respected)

That's so crazy, yeah I have never had to tell a parent to come home either, but maybe I should have in this situation. I usually go for the "I'm unavailable, I'm sorry" approach as well but I've been burned before doing that and I thought the same thing would happen...so if I say I'm unavailable she just comes back at me with a different time or day, you know?

The straight up "NO" is exactly the right thing ... I think other things would want to be flying out of my mouth ... just be glad you got out in one piece!

Wait - did you tell her when she got home the kid was sick and she said oh that happens all the time?? Or was he actually sick?
So weird.

Either way I wouldn't feel bad. No is a fine thing that say.

I actually texted her right when I discovered that he threw up, and she said essentially that this wasn't okay (obviously), and then she told me that he SOMETIMES does this. Here I was thinking that sometimes meant a few times a year (maybe that's why she forgot to tell me)...and then when she came home and we talked about it more I found out he did it that same morning!! So it's not uncommon apparently.