Its complicated by so many things. The first is that I'm friends with the family. The next is that they're neighbors of mine. I tried to be fair. I know better than to ask for too little, because then I will resent the time I'm spending watching the children. I can't ask for too much, because then the family will go somewhere else. The other complication is that I know that I could easily get another child (or two) and make twice what I make. The reason I keep this family is because they are flexible. Every now and then I can just ask for a day off, or an early pick up, or even an alternate pick up location. It's nice to have that flexibility, and that's worth a few hundred dollars a year. Not only that, but the baby is much easier than the last baby I had. One of the babies I watched in the last few years cried from the moment they arrived until the moment mommy came to pick up. I know I have a good thing.
Anyway, after I spoke with the mother tonight about the new financials for the year, I got a little nervous that they think I'm trying to rip them off or something. I know I'm fair. I know I'm actually worth more than I'm charging. I've checked on Craigslist and the want ads, as well as with other mothers who watch kids in their homes. I've even heard of one woman who pays twice what I charge for the "same" service I provide.
I hate how powerless money talks make me feel. HATE IT. Sorry, just needed to vent. I will spend the night worrying, and probably part of tomorrow while I wait for the family to get back to me and either accept my offer or counter it. ~ uhg.