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Still wants to be a babysitter

November 11th, 2010

Every weekend I do something wonderful. I come home late and I’m a little tired, but I have earned a fistful of cash that will get me through the week. Sometimes I work twice in one weekend.

I am a babysitter. 

It is a great job. From my estimations, babysitters in University Heights make between $8 to $14 an hour. That is more than minimum wage and if you’re fortunate enough to babysit at night, the kids will be asleep by 9 p.m., so you’re getting paid to watch TV or do homework.

I am an excellent tent builder, hair stylist, and treasure hunt maker. I’ve also hosted dance parties and battled in Nerf gun wars. Those are skills that just aren’t appreciated on your resume, unless you write it in brightly colored marker and give it to the kids you’re babysitting. 

The problem is that I graduate in May, so my resume includes things like The Carroll News and internships. My ability to dominate at Simon Says won’t be appreciated and it will no longer be socially acceptable for me to babysit. Society seems to think there is something weird about a person working full-time and babysitting. 

Please notice that I said work full-time and babysit. It seems to be OK if you are attending graduate school or only working part-time. It is as if the families assume that you aren’t pursuing your real career yet, so it is OK for you to watch their kids and make some extra money.

After you graduate if you have to babysit you are probably working for free and watching kids somehow related to you. An alternative option is to redefine the responsibility under the title as nanny or better yet, au pair.  

There is however, a difference between babysitting and being a nanny. I think of a nanny as full-time position that involves cooking, cleaning and occasionally laundry. It isn’t usually something you can do just on Saturday night. Sadly dictionary.com defines “nanny” as “a person, usually with special training, employed to care for children in a household.” So education majors, you’re probably in the clear, but unless my time teaching a Sunday school class to preschoolers counts, I lack the special training.

An au pair is even more extreme. Remember the 1999 made-for-TV movie “Au Pair”? She had to live with the family full-time and they spent most of their time in another country. That is actually kind of appealing, but again, not the weekend gig I have going now.

So, I was wondering if we could start reconsidering this societal decision that rules out babysitting after graduation. If I’m still in the area I’d like to continue to babysit for my favorite families. It is fun to have a kickball tournament or to play TV tag and call out shows they’ve never heard of. 

Last week, the kids were perplexed by “Doug” and “Hey Arnold!” 

I will most likely never be a nanny or an au pair, but if possible, I hope to continue to be a babysitter.