Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Advice, please

I have been asked if I would be interested in a babysitting job. Like, a full-time babysitting job. Or possibly just a couple days a week. Do I want to do this? Watching someone else's kids is not the same as just being with my own. But there would be money involved. And, I might have my choice of opportunities. What's happening is that one very well-loved, very qualified caregiver in town is going back to her job as a nurse. I have been asked by one family about their children, and I am also friends with some of the other families who go to this sitter. Also, another caregiver in town doesn't take care of newborns, and I've also been sort-of asked about a baby coming in July to one of her families.

I am a person who likes my space. I can get a little weird about people who are not my family being in my space. Maybe this is because I was an only child for 9 years. I don't know. Starting my own daycare is totally not my dream, and I do get a little crotchety at the whole "since you're home anyway" attitude, even though I shouldn't. I have a friend who watches other children, but adding 2 children to her six for 2 1/2 hours a day doesn't seem to phase her. We don't own a vehicle large enough for me to tote 4 children around ("Maybe we could get one with the money you'd be paid," says the voice in my head.) Would my kids hate it? Would I hate it? Am I dumb to just pass up the opportunity to make money without having to pay for childcare myself? Have any of you done this? Help!


  1. Hey, I think we have the same vintage kitchen counter. Gold flecks, right? Our house was owned previously by an elderly man who apparently didn't understand cutting boards, so the counter has the additional charm of many, many, many vintage knife-cuts.

    I have considered babysitting, too, since I'm here at home taking care of children anyway. I always come down on the side of not wanting to be trapped into something that would be difficult to give up. I have one friend who takes care of someone else's child, and she's been doing it for 2 years and now she's sick of it, but she doesn't know how to say she doesn't want to do it anymore.

    Also, um. I don't usually like other people's children, unless they're sweet little babies, and I don't like trying to control children who haven't been reared by my way of doing things. This would make me more likely to take on a newborn--but newborns are so much more work.

    On the other hand, if the child is the same age as your own children, the child might be fairly easy to incorporate into your routines, and might make a nice playmate for your kids. Good social-skills practice, and the possibility that they'll all go off to play together and leave you in (paid!) peace.

  2. Gold and black flecks, actually. So it always looks like it's covered in crumbs. Which it probably is, but we don't need to advertise it.

    "...and I don't like trying to control children who haven't been reared to my way of doing things." That is totally it! I think I'm leaning toward No, but I guess I'll let it simmer awhile longer. Thank you for your input.

    Also, sadly I have never had a cleaning person, but oh, how I dream of one.

  3. I have had two experiences with short-term babysitting for other people's children. The first was a stressful, difficult experience. I watched a 3 month old baby and she was a difficult one. She was soo hard and cried all the time. Her mother was not a CIO person, so I respected that and held the baby all. the. day. long. My son was still under a year and it was too much for me. Luckily (well, not for them, but for me) the dad lost his job and the baby stayed home with him.
    My second experience was with a good friend's boy who was about 2 and my son was just under a year. It was a wonderful experience. My friend need me for about six weeks since her regular babysitter had just had a baby and was taking time off from sitting. The boy was wonderful and fun and well behaved and got along with my son very well. I would watch him again in a heartbeat.
    I would have to be very upfront with the other mom about behavior and routines. My philosophy is: my house, my rules. When they are here, they will follow the rules and have the same consequences as my own children would: time outs, or whatever. I used to be a teacher, so I am comfortable treating a child with my own set of rules. Like when they go to school, they follow the school rules.
    Good luck to you. I would sooo do it if it was a couple days a week. I would probably hesitate if it was every day. Maybe you could offer a trial period and then both you and the mom could see how you felt after 2 weeks or a month.

  4. Bunny: I like the trial idea. I think this particular family is looking for someone for a year or longer. I'm planning to do that ask-someone-else-who-knows-them thing to get some more info and see if we would gel. Or jive. Or whatever.
    Thank you so much for your time and input!

  5. Linked here from another blog. Thought I'd put in my 2 cents. DON'T DO IT! If you think it would limit your freedom or inhibit your current living situation in any way. DON'T DO IT! I work, so I guess my perspective is different, but don't let someone guilt you into watching a baby. My sister stays home and she bluntly says, "I stay home for my kids. Since I don't have to work, I don't." It may sound rude, but it's honest and seems to get people off of her back. She does take drop-ins for people who are up a creek without a paddle, but no regular daycare. And it is hard taking care of other people's children. It's hard even to take care of our own! Unless you really need the money - DON'T DO IT!

  6. Thanks, Melanie. I have decided to turn down this offer. I think I was momentarily blinded by the thought of having a steady income again, but if I don't have to, why do something I wouldn't like?
    Glad you stopped by!