Missed Adventures in Babysitting

Missed Adventures in Babysitting

Adrienne BoettingerFriday,10 April 2015

I started babysitting when I was 12 years old. This was before the age of the Internet, when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, so parents that hired me had only my word that I wouldn’t give their kids bowls of sugar to keep them occupied while I shot heroin into my eyeballs and had oodles of sex with my 35 year old boyfriend in the kids’ bunk beds. Did parents not care about stuff like that back in olden times? Or did they just look in my earnest, chubby face and say to themselves, “Puh-lease. Our kids would be safe as houses with this one. She wears a tapestry vest for crap’s sake and writes poetry about woodland creatures.”

It seems like no one hires babysitters anymore. I’m not sure why. As I don’t have children of my own, I’m usually prohibited by law from having an opinion on the topic but I’m feeling rebellious these days, so I have to say, what the hell is wrong with you people? Are pre-teens and teens that much more evil than they were 25 years ago? And if so, parents, why are you raising children to be so evil when they hit their prime babysitting age? You’re just screwing yourselves and your fellow parents.

Perusing the Internet, I’d actually think people still hired babysitters. There are quite a few online services that will interview and certify that your babysitters are the purest of the pure. In most states, the average pay for babysitters is higher than the minimum wage so kids and adults have got to be signing up for these jobs. Hell, this one teen in New York, came up with some babysitting business model and makes more money than I ever have as a mostly functioning adult.

But the majority of parents I know don’t hire babysitters. They bring their kids to everything, never leave the house, or will only go out if they can convince the other parent or a relative to stay home with the kids. When my friends first started pairing up and procreating my very wise sister told me most of them would find new friends that came ready made with kids and that maybe if I was lucky, we could reconnect as friends when the kids left for college. Until of course, their kids started having kids because then my friends would be too busy watching their grandkids.

So what is it about modern-day parents that make them less likely to hire babysitters than their own parents were? Is it the cost? Fear of leaving their kids with someone else? Do they have trust issues? Are modern-day preteens and teens really so much more untrustworthy than were the teens of a decade or two ago?


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Hat Tips:

Fast CompanyJezebelCare.comHuffington Post, Image Credit: Flickr

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