Monday, November 26, 2007

Testing.....Testing....I'm still here...

No, I didn't run away (yet), I'm still here. Sorry it's been so long since I last updated. I think you all probably guessed I've been extra busy with the kids. It's really hard managing them at this age because they're old enough to voice their opinions and fight with each other, but not old enough to go to school for a full-day. I actually did start a search over the summer for a part-time babysitter to help me out a few times a week, but I stopped after I realized everyone was charging the same exorbitant rate: $25 an hour to watch three potty-trained, self-feeding toddlers. Umm yeah, that's so not gonna happen. I'd rather put on a Disney movie on the tv and go hide in my closet for a while to get some "me-time" than pay someone $25 an hour to watch them. [In fact, that's what I'm doing right now ;)] I went through pre-screened, reputable nanny agencies to save myself the trouble of doing the background checks myself, so I'm wondering if that's why the rates were so high. I didn't expect to pay more than $10 an hour, because after all, the job I need the sitter to do only entails watching a movie with the kids, playing with them, serving them dinner, and making sure they brush their teeth and go to the bathroom before tucking them into bed. I don't believe it should cost more than $10 to do that, and if it does... hey, I should start working as a babysitter myself and start making some money. What's a few more kids, if I'm getting paid money like that to watch them?

My friends keep telling me to put up an ad in the local high school for a babysitter, so I'm going to check there next. I just have to get over my trepidation about hiring a high schooler to watch my kids. My parents did that when we were young, and the babysitter ended up having a schnapps party with her friends after my parents left. Even her boyfriend came over. My parents were so furious when they found out, they refused to leave us alone with a sitter until I turned 15, when I became the official babysitter for my little brother and sister. I think they gave me $5 for the whole time they were out for the night, child labor was cheap back then.

Other than that, we had a pretty low-key Thanksgiving. My parents are touring the world these days and were out of town, so we ended up going to Philly to show the kids historical landmarks and such. They didn't really care about Independence Hall or the Liberty Bell, but they sure did enjoy the Please Touch Museum. The museum was hands down their favorite part of the whole trip, I don't know why we wasted our time at the other stops. For once, they could touch everything, and it felt good not to have to tell them "No... don't touch" or "You can't......" Plus, there's a pizza place that serves authentic Philly cheesesteaks right across the street when it's time for lunch, so it was an ideal place to take the family.

I want to write more, but my time is running out, I hear a fight breaking out downstairs, but before I go, I have to tell you I met THE Clinton Kelly, of "What Not to Wear" at Macy's. I didn't get to speak to him or ask him my fashion disaster question, mainly because I looked like a totally grungy "Before" when I went to the mall that day, but I did get to hear him speak. The focus of his workshop was style tips for Petites and Moms, both of which applied to me, I'll let you know more about it in my next post.

Hope ya'll had a Happy Thanksgiving!


En said...

LOL! Funny, how I just talked about parenting in my!

P.S. How are you doing?

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

$25 an hour is INSANE. I know it was almost ten years ago now but the MOST any of us got was FIVE an hour and free pizza/chinese takeout. And that was "money" clients. Most kids were only getting slightly below minimum wage ($4 an hour).

Stick to nerdy young teenage girls-this was my parents' biggest fear when my sis and I were young and it's totally don't want someone inviting their boyfriends over. Also make sure your tots understand the concept of tattling. But most teenagers are not so awful (I never had anyone over, laws) and you CAN get a responsible one. Public libraries tend to have info, or sometimes kids who graduated from the summer "babysitting class" program and stuff.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Sorry, OVER ten years ago, lol

But I was from the metro-Boston area, not B.F.E. either. And $5 was a well-paying client.

Neena said...

Check out this webiste for current rates in your area.

Unknown said...

Hey there,

sounds like a fun trip and will definitely try and remember that place if we ever venture to Philly. After our last round of travelling disaster, it may be awhile before we venture forth again.

Great post. Speaking from the trenches, as you do, there's little I can add.

Except for the childcare thing. Yes, the rate is insane. Of course it is. But you just have to stop thinking of it in terms of sheer dollars and start doing some dollar cost averaging with your sanity and self preservation as legitimate variables in the equation.

I know our parents purchased labor at cheaper rated way back when, and I still remember our share of teenage babysitters who ran amok in our house too. But your kids can speak up, and in this day and age, the nannycam technology has come a long way too..assuming you need the backup protection.

You deserve it. Pay for the help. Once you get someone regularly in there to relieve you for a few hours a week, you can return to the madness recharged and ready to do battle. It is worth EVERY penny.


Saby said...

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Plz check out my blog Hope you will enjoy it.

Aisha said...

That's very expensive. I was offered this ten years ago to watch two 2 year olds but it was for a very wealthy family... so it made sense. These days I'mnot surprised it woudl cost that much, I think even my teenage cousin charges $15/hr.

Chic Mommy said...

$25 an hour is insane isn't it? I did the math, if I were getting anything close to that for even 8 hours day, I'd be earning almost as much as I made at my old job.

But, the good news is I did manage to find a babysitter, finally. And it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I put up an ad on describing what I was looking for and how much I wanted to pay, and the babysitters just came to me. I did have to bite the bullet and agree to a rate of $15 an hour, but like Sadaf mentioned, it's worth it, and I am getting what I'm paying for. She's not a teenager, she's a college student in her mid-20's with five years of nanny experience, I couldn't ask for a more qualified sitter. She's responsible, she's smart, she can cook, and she's taken care of up to six children at a time. Plus, since she's married I don't have to worry about the boyfriend or party factor. Sweet deal.

Now I can go see the Golden Compass this weekend. I can't wait!

Saby, thanks so much for visiting, I'm sorry about the slow updates, my schedule is rather hectic lately, but I'll be sure to visit your blog too!

ZenDenizen said...

Looking forward to your Clinton Kelly recap!