I know that a lot of people look forward to New Year’s Eve and love to celebrate. I’m not against being festive. I just think it’s the worst possible holiday to be amongst the public. Well, maybe a close second to St. Patrick’s Day. I am so glad my child gives me an excuse to stay home, put on my pajamas, and watch the ball drop from the peace and comfort of my living room.
Apparently, many parents don’t feel the same. Today Moms has a feature today about the lengths parents are willing to go to secure a sitter for NYE.
Desperate parents offered Philadelphia babysitter Jami Stilson all kinds of perks. One stay-at-home mom and her construction worker husband offered to pay her $25 an hour — more than double her normal rate of $10 an hour — plus a $100 bonus to watch their two children. When Stilson declined, the mom said she’d pay Stilson that rate just to recruit a friend to do the sitting.
Another couple with a 5-year-old son gave Stilson a free week’s vacation at a timeshare in Rehoboth Beach. When she’s working with children, complete strangers sometimes approach her, ask her to babysit their kids and frantically scribble down her phone number.
I wish I had a timeshare to offer up. I also wish babysitters were $10 an hour in Brooklyn. I’ve never paid less than $15, and I’m pretty sure $20 is the going rate. At any rate, it doesn’t matter – because I will not be paying some exorbitant price to dine at a restaurant charging twice what they normally do or praying that I will have luck securing a cab back over the bridge.
I know, I know – Bah, Humbug. I don’t mean to be so negative about it, but being in the service industry for years will ruin just about every “adult” holiday out there. Having worked every New Year’s Eve for the last 15 years, I am genuinely looking forward to relaxing at home under a blanket. Having been in the industry for years, I’m going to give those of you parents that are going to brave the public and pay through the teeth for a babysitter some tips:
Have a hole-in-the wall you’ve been dying to try? Plan a night there, instead of booking at the fanciest spots in town that will undoubtedly be charging ridiculous prices. Getting dressed up and going to a discreet spot is fun. Even better if it’s BYOB and you can spend the money on a fantastic bottle of champagne to bring with you.
If you live outside of Manhattan and will be venturing into the city, resolve to take the subway home. Finding a cab on NYE in Manhattan is not only impossible, it will take hours, frustrate the hell out of you, and ruin your night. Wear a heavy coat and brave the subway system. Trust me.
Do you know another couple with kids? Pitch a sleep-over, and share a sitter. Most sitters charge a little more for more than one child, but it’s definitely not double.
Whatever you do, have fun. I’ll be thinking of all of you festive souls as I’m sipping hot cocoa on the couch.