Maybe I’m not the only one, but I think a lot about how things were different when I was a kid. It might because I’m in the midst of raising my own children. It might be because I miss simpler times. It might be that the world has just drastically changed. Whatever the reason, one thing I reflect on often is the difference in babysitting now and twenty years ago.
When I was in seventh and eighth grade, I babysat as much as I could on the weekends. In fact, I had a standing babysitting gig every Saturday night. The couple I sat for had a cute little two year old boy and they were in a bowling league every Saturday. Then they adopted another beautiful infant boy. And I still babysat every single Saturday night. As a young teenager, I played with, and put a toddler and baby to bed every Saturday night for months.
Granted I was very mature and responsible, but still. As a mom, I just cannot imagine doing this now! I cannot imagine leaving an infant and toddler in a young teenager’s hands that many times, if at all. My parents have only been the ones to watch our kids or else we just skipped our event. I know how hard bedtime can be, and I’m the mom who does it every night (let alone a thirteen year old!).
Now I should mention, that the few times we have had outside sitters – they were wonderful. I trusted them and knew they could take care of my kids. But yet, we never let younger sitters have our kids until they were about 2 years old and up.
It’s not the teenagers who were hesitant, it was ME!
I really thought it was just me being a control freak, but almost every friend I talked to does the same thing. They only ask family as well! In fact, I probably use our middle and high school sitters more than most of my friends do or would. We really are blessed to have nice kids available now that my kids are older.
I know many don’t have the luxury of having family nearby. I’d love to hear what you do! Or if you have this “can’t leave my infant at home with a teenager” complex like I do!