Teens these days, amirite? Before I start on a raging rant about how the world is going down the toilet with each passing generation, I have to say that I have nothing against America’s youth. I just have something against people of any age that are flaky and will cancel on you at the last minute.
We hired our first babysitter outside of the family once my son started going to Mother’s Day Out at a local church when he turned one. The teacher of his “class” was a young twenty-something and a total sweetheart. As random luck would have it, she also happened to be a midwifery student that witnessed the birth of my second son at home, but that’s another story altogether.
So, we were happy to hire her for once a month babysitting, and she did a wonderful job. But… Since babysitting wasn’t her primary source of income, there were a few times that she tried to pull the old bait and switch on us at the last minute. She forgot about other plans, or had issues with work come up, or one time flaked out on us completely because she was helping attend a birth (which is a good-ish excuse, I’ll give her that). But it left my husband and I literally all dressed up with no place to go, like the unpopular kid in class that got stood up by their prom date.
We just wanted to get out of the house and eat dinner in public! Is that too much to ask? We set our sights on another trusted babysitter. This time it was the teenage daughter of my midwife. She was one of nine children, so it was pretty obvious that she had experience with babies—especially since her mom was my midwife. She did a great job babysitting for us… once. The second and third times, typical teen crap came up, like her part-time job and volleyball. Also, she flaked on a friend of mine that I referred her to in the same timeframe.
We pay what I think is a pretty decent hourly rate for babysitting, $10 an hour. Even better, most of our babysitters come over just a few hours before the kids go to bed and get to sit and watch TV, making $10 an hour, for the rest of the night. I remember when I used to babysit as young as 13 for $4 an hour, and I thought I was freaking rich.
It honestly never crossed my mind how much of an issue babysitting would be now that I’m a full-time grownup. We’ve started a relationship with a new babysitter, a college student looking for extra part-time cash, and she’s totally amazing. Cross your fingers that she doesn’t flake out on us because we have a date night coming up in a few weeks! I just want to get out of the house.
(photo: Getty Images)