By in Parenting

My first baby-sitting job in almost 15 years

When I was in college, I was offered a job as a nanny for British diplomats. I have been working at a bookstore for most of my college years, but the pay was pretty low and I ended up spending all of my checks on books, so I never really came out ahead.

My nanny job was awesome. I had no childcare experience, but the family liked me and I got along very well with the two-year-old daughter. Best of all, they paid me $11 an hour, which was a lot more than what I would get it any retail or food service job as a college student back in those days in Washington, DC.

Last night, however, my neighbors called me and asked me if I would be willing to come over and babysit their two granddaughters for a few hours, until their daughter got home from work. We are all good friends, so I didn't really do it for the money, but quite honestly, I felt a little out of my element babysitting and worked for every cent I got. (As in, I was proud that the children were unharmed, fed, and in one piece when their mama got home.) This is odd, since I actually run a child and adolescent counseling practice.

I'm good at assessing children and doing therapeutic play with children, but when it comes to managing a screaming baby and energetic preschooler while cooking supper -- that's tough.

I brought husband for back up since he has almost 13 years of daddy experience and knows a lot more about small children than I do. (He's always been the primary caregiver for my stepdaughter, even when he was married to his ex-wife.)

When the two sisters I was watching, ages four and one, started fighting over a game, everything I did led to tears, while he was able to put an end to it in a matter of seconds, without even being harsh or upsetting. I guess you really do have to learn parenting from experience. It was pretty humbling, and makes me glad that we're pursuing adoption of a teenager because, in some ways, they're actually easier than toddlers. Still, there's something about little kids that makes it hard to NOT be happy.

God willing, if I get pregnant, I'm going to need all the help I can get. emoticon :winking: My hat goes off to all the mothers (and fathers) of infants and small children out there.


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j2jworkz wrote on February 19, 2015, 11:44 AM

The little ones are busy busy indeed. Glad you survived.

lookatdesktop wrote on February 19, 2015, 11:53 AM

Remember we were once little babies. What goes around comes around. LOL.

MsBiz wrote on February 19, 2015, 11:57 AM

I think of that daily when I deal with the moody teen girl stuff. I went so far as to apologize to my mom, LOL!

MsBiz wrote on February 19, 2015, 11:58 AM

It was kind of fun, but I sure slept well last night!

lookatdesktop wrote on February 19, 2015, 12:00 PM

Moody teen girls are not as bad as rowdy teen boys! LOL.

MsBiz wrote on February 19, 2015, 12:05 PM

That's a tough call, but I think you might be right. I'd rather have tears and door-slamming over, say, getting my car wrecked, lol!

wolfgirl569 wrote on February 19, 2015, 1:08 PM

If you get a little one of your own it will all just come to you usually. But they will know you better and that helps a lot also. Good luck and I am glad you are willing to take an older child as they need homes badly.

MsBiz wrote on February 19, 2015, 1:20 PM

Thanks for the encouragement! I'm nervous about adopting a 15-year-old, but it just feels right to make her a part of her family. We're still trying to have a baby biologically, though, even though I'm turning 34 this year. (I know I'm not too old, but almost everyone I know is done having children already.)

Colibry21 wrote on February 19, 2015, 4:14 PM

I have three kids under three and a half, and it is true it is not always easy. But you do get used to it.

wolfgirl569 wrote on February 19, 2015, 7:02 PM

Many people are waiting until late 2os at least anymore to have a baby. Many of my high school friends still have kids at home while mine have been out of the house for years. Just remember you can try to hard to get pregnant also.

cheri wrote on February 20, 2015, 9:03 PM

I remember baby sitting for my nephews and nieces without getting paid!