Since when did babysitters become an endangered species? I mean, is it just me or is finding a babysitter not as easy as it once was?
Perhaps that’s because I was always the babysitter, and was available to help several of my neighbors, family and friends. Now that I have kids of my own, sitters seem to be few and far between.
Maybe it’s because I’m the oldest child and I was basically bred to babysit… The moment I was old enough to get paid to do it, I made fliers using PowerPoint, and passed them out around my neighborhood. I remember it had a huge trophy on the front: “Award Winning Babysitting” I touted.
Where I got such an exaggeration, I’m not sure. Maybe I considered praises from my mom some kind of gold-star award.
I watched kids in my neighborhood starting when I was about 11 or 12 years old. I remember one time I watched some kids overnight and was so excited when I earned my first one hundred dollar bill.
Minimum wage back then I believe was like 5-something. Not that I paid attention. I was stoked to be making any money. And man, I took that job so seriously. Those kids were my responsibility, and I had to do exactly as their parents asked.
I was really proud of that gig. I think it was the first real glimpse of my entrepreneurial spirit.
Fast-forward nearly two decades… Where’s the new me? There’s gotta be some little teeny bopper dying to make a few extra bucks. Where they at?
Let me rewind a little bit.
I mentioned before how scheduling is everything, and finally I’m getting a schedule down so I can get work done, and have fun with the kids, and it’s one happy little dance I’m trying to keep up with. Well, it was all fine and dandy except my daughter’s new preschool A. Has been a bit of an adjustment for her, and after addressing a few concerns, I think we’re getting settled and enjoying the place, but still, I’ve got my ear to the ground for other options because B. I need two full-days to work. This part-time 8am-3pm, or 9am-1pm mother’s day out program stuff just aint cutting it for this mama. I need a window from 9am-5pm to get the big chunk knocked out (with my husband helping til noon), then I can work the rest of the week after bedtime.
So, I’ve been searching to see if I can find a mother’s helper to entertain the kids while I lock myself in a room to work. This brings me back to my problem… These said helpers aren’t knocking down my door with homemade fliers.
I gave in and re-signed up for Care.com for a month, hoping it’ll be enough time to compile a new little black book of babysitters that fall within my time frame and price range.
Speaking of price range… Since when did babysitters join the 1%ers in income?
Ok, I kid… Sorta. But I didn’t realize the going rate these days is anywhere from $10/hr to $40/hr. Granted, maybe these people are nanny’s and I know they’re trying to make a living but daaang… I might just hafta put both my kids in daycare and be a full-time mommy to someone else’s kids for what they’re charging. I could afford to drive those kids around in a real nice car and everything.
One of my friends said her sitters from church only charge $5/hr, for date nights, etc. Which I find to be a little low, even for me. But If I’m going to be home and accessible for emergencies, I’d think the minimum wage range of $7-12/hr is totally acceptable. Or am I being stingy? It sucks not having family nearby, and you only want to depend on friends so much before you start to become annoying (at least that’s my fear).
The applicants are starting to roll in (ok, so there’s just two so far, but I have hope there will be more) and I’m crossing my fingers the interviews go well.
I’ve been bugging my friend Emily about this process because she’s been here several times. She recently found a marvelous babysitter and is now swatting off other moms who are checking her out.
A word of advice for moms new to this rodeo… Never steal another mom’s babysitter unless you want war. I just learned this from the master.
If you’ve used Care.com or anything like that to find help with your kiddos let me know! I’m not sure if it’s polite to also email prospects I’m interested in after noting their profile or if I just wait for them. What’s the going rate in your area? Hook a mama up with your knowledge, and I’ll be sure to return the favor once I figure all this out.