I’ve been a babysitter on and off throughout my teenage years, and because it was my first “job,” I kind of love it. There is a lot more to babysitting than meets the eye, so let me let you in on a few of the secrets that your babysitter is probably keeping from you (or maybe you have the best and most straightforward babysitter ever…). Here are 10 things that most babysitters won’t admit.
1. We eat a ton of your food. And if you’ve just gone grocery shopping, it’s even better! We scout out all the best snacks and drinks and chow down. And then we feed your kids so that we don’t feel like we’re taking all the good food and neglecting what we’re supposed to be doing.
2. We’ve checked out your house. I mean, we haven’t looked in your underwear drawer or anything, but we’ve looked around. We’ve probably peeked at stuff in your kitchen and living room. It makes us feel super guilty, but we’re also really curious about our surroundings and where we’ll be spending the majority of our day.
3. We pretty much live in fear. Of breaking something. Hurting your kid. Losing your kid. A temper tantrum. Because if any of that stuff happens, it’s so hard to handle. We’re not sure how you parents do it on a regular basis.
4. There’s a ton of guilt. Should we be feeding your kid a kale salad instead of ramen noodles for lunch? Should we chase him/her outside to play in the fresh air rather than sitting in front of the TV for hours on end? Yes, probably, but it’s so hard to convince kids that those things are going to be fun/worth it.
5. There is a lot of uncertainty. Should we check out that thumping noise coming from the bathroom? Should we investigate the whining sound we hear every time we pass by the living room? Again, yes, we should. But we’re a little terrified of what we may find.
6. We’re seriously confused by some of the things your kids do. There is so much burping! And so many other strange bodily sounds. Where did they learn it?! We’re assuming they learned it from you, so we’ll probably never mention it to you.
7. We totally let your kid do stuff that we would never tell you about. Yes, your son did stand on the counter eating sprinkles straight from the container for a good five minutes. But you’ll never know that (unless, of course, he tells you. But we probably bribed him to keep quiet).
8. We really hate it sometimes. Either it’s boring or it’s traumatic. There really isn’t an in between. And we’re not sure which end of the spectrum is less painful! (Also, the pay isn’t great, which is a little offensive seeing as we’re only taking care of your children.)
9. We’re 98% sure that they hate it sometimes. Maybe we’re being paranoid and maybe we’re overthinking it (I mean, they can barely even use the toilet by themselves yet), but sometimes, your kids won’t give us the time of day and it stings a little bit.
10. We almost feel like the mom sometimes. And we get a little bit attached to your kids. We want to hang out with them and make them laugh and be their superheroes. It’s incredibly fulfilling and warming when your kid lets us know that he/she actually really likes us and enjoys our company.
Maybe I just got every babysitter in the world in big trouble, or fired, or worse, but the most important thing parents should remember is that most of us take our job fairly seriously. You’re entrusting us with your kids, and you’re also kind of scary, so we’re on our best behavior. Sometimes, there are just a few bumps in the road that we may or may not tell you about …