Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Babysitting: then and now.

Babysitters sure get paid a lot more today than I ever did. I did a quick facebook survey and discovered that anywhere from $7-$12/hour is a pretty common babysitting wage. I vividly remember one hellion of a family I used to babysit for when I was in junior high. They had two boys under the age of seven. One, for sure, must have had some sort of hyperactivity disorder. There’s no other way to explain his extreme NAUGHTINESS. I would have to sit outside his bedroom door to keep him from running out constantly. He never listened and he was always yelling/throwing/hitting/not doing anything I asked. It was not enjoyable. They lived in the same housing development and I remember one night at like 10:30 PM I had to WALK home in the snow because neither of them offered to give me a ride. I also remember my socks being filthy after babysitting there because their house was always dirty. But most of all: I remember being paid $2/hour to babysit there. And being okay with it. That family must have burned through their babysitters quickly because I remember being a junior in high school and having the dad call me up unexpectedly to ask if I wanted to babysit. At that point I was working at a restaurant and getting paid considerably more. I got off the phone with the dad and just laughed. There was no way I was going to babysit for that awful family. I should also note that both of these boys are in COLLEGE now. Gads, I feel old. That was then.   

This is now. Last night we just hired our first ever babysitter. We asked a church friend’s daughter, who had previously watched Lucan in nursery and at a couple of church parties where a babysitter was hired for the group of kids. She has always commented how cute Lucan is and how they have fun together. So I figured she’d be a good candidate for our first official “babysitter” experience.  She drove herself over to the house, finished feeding Lucan supper (and popsicles), built block towers and put him to bed. Pretty low-key. And she didn’t seem at all frazzled or overwhelmed by naughty kids when we returned home. 

Mostly we swap babysitting with one of my friends about once a quarter. She has two kids who are well-behaved and lots of fun. She is in a similar situation where they have no family in town to volunteer to babysit and after a while, paying for a babysitter can get expensive. It’s a nice setup where both families get babysitting without the expense or guilt of feeling like you are infringing on your family or friends goodwill. I highly suggest finding another family to do babysitting swaps with!

1 comment:

*carrie* said...

I assume the rate you mentioned is per kid? Yikes! I think we can get by paying less in our small town, but sometimes it is hard to know what to pay.

In HS, I babysat for a family with 5 kids, and they paid me $2.50/hour!

I'm amazed you just hired your first sitter--thankfully we don't need them often, but the expense definitely adds up.