Thursday, August 2, 2012

Babysitting is WORK!!

There isn't much more that irks me than when my husband comes home from work, sits on the couch and proclaims, "Why are you so tired? I work all day." Though I know he is kidding, it still makes my blood pressure rise a little, and that is why he says it.
I made the decision one and a half years ago to quit my full-time job as a graphic designer to stay home with my son. However, the only way that would be made possible was if I started babysitting. Easy-peasy, right? No. It didn't take long for me to pick up 4-5 kids, some part time and some full-time. And didn't take long to realize how UNDERPAID babysitters are! We make an average of $2.50/hr per hour! I don't expect to get each parents income or anything. However, it is one of the most rewarding, yet under-appreciated jobs. We are not lazy. This is something we CHOOSE.
Babysitters don't just sit there and watch kids play, we cover many jobs: teacher, nurse, speech therapist, chef, nutritionist, time manager, referee... We teach your kids to share. We change their poopy diapers. Assist them to the potty. Help them learn responsibilities. We get pulled on. Spit up on. Tackled. We listen to whining, crying, complaining. Kiss boo-boos. And it's worth it when you get rewarded with snuggles, kisses and hugs. We organized strict routines, with strict nap-times. Once we get time to breathe, the UPS man bangs on the door, waking up 2 or 3 kids. (Nap time is VERY sacred in this house!!)
There are times when we have to, very awkwardly, remind a parent to pay us. That is our income, just like you have your income. At the end of the week we have bills to pay just like anyone else. I've had many weeks where I had to skimp on groceries because I didn't make enough that week to pay my bill and groceries. And I have a family of 5!! Don't complain about how much you have to pay your babysitter because you could have to send your child to a day care. Instead, show your babysitter how much they are appreciated for their service. And if any of my parents are reading this, I'm not talking directly to any of you!! As with any workplace, when you show your employee's appreciation, you will get better results and hard work because they feel as though they are worth it!

My 'babies'
All the kiddos after nap time!
My Summer kiddos!
This is just my statement, my opinion. I love the kids I keep, and I will miss them when I have to start back to school full-time. Just think before you make a negative comment about babysitters. If it's so easy, then why doesn't everyone do it? It requires so much more patience than anyone could ever realize. So my challenge... hug a babysitter today, let them know how much they mean!

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