Babysitting: Is it a Real Job?
Oftentimes when people make the choice to become a babysitter or nanny, their friends will prompt them to get a "real" job. However, babysitting and nannying are real jobs with a real paycheck. In fact, a person can make decent money in this position if they know what they are doing. As a mother with experience in babysitting, nannying, and many other jobs, I can tell you firsthand that watching children is indeed a job, and a hard one at that.
Babysitting Isn’t a Real Job?
While browsing internet forums, I was surprised to see how many people think that caring for children is not a real
job. In one babysitting forum, a babysitter was frustrated, due to friends nagging her to get a "real" job. Her friends portrayed her as someone who just plopped the kids in front of the television and called it a day, which was not what she did at all. She didn't feel she should have to explain herself, as she knew that is not what she did. Other babysitters began to agree and posted about similar experiences.
Babysitters Shouldn’t Get Paid Much?
In another online forum, there were people discussing why they thought babysitters shouldn't get paid very much. I was appalled to see that there were parents posting about babysitters not being worth much. In my mind, I tried to rationalize how a parent could believe this. If anyone should understand the value of a sitter, surely it would be the parents of the children. Unfortunately, there were only a couple parents in this forum who valued a babysitter. Most of the posters were parents, which saddened me.
Appreciate the Job of a Babysitter
A person who cares for children that are not their own should be appreciated, if not honored. This person is doing duties that the parent would normally be responsible for doing. Many sitters go above and beyond what they are requested to do, simply because they gain love for the children over time and enjoy doing things for them, as well as spending time with them. Sitters are required to change diapers, prepare meals, clean up messes, organize activities, entertain the children, prepare the children for naptime or bedtime, and much more. No, a parent would not be paid to do these duties, but that's because they are the parent. They chose to have and raise this child. The sitter did not make your child, so these are duties that will need to be paid for and appreciated.
Double Standards About Babysitting Jobs
Parents should automatically know how hard it is to do these duties. So, how fair is it to pay someone else to do duties that you know are hard and then look down on them and not appreciate them because they are doing something you cannot be there to do at the time? That seems like a double standard to me. If you trusted this person enough to watch your children, you must have seen something special about the person. Otherwise, why would you hire them to watch your children?
Babysitting is Definitely a Real Job
Babysitting and nannying are jobs. They are hard jobs. Take that from a person who has slaved away in retail for a minuscule check, as well as done other jobs requiring vigorous labor and hard work. I've also been a nanny or babysitter in the past. Watching children is still harder than any "real" job I've ever had. Appreciate your babysitter, if you don't already.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
As infants, when an adult would chime in with these "words" or sound effects, my children would simply give them a confused look as if to say "What is wrong with that person?" I'm glad most of them didn't notice as many feelings could have been hurt. Most people I was close with knew my rule, but I generally didn't say anything to people who would only see the baby every once in a while, so as not to hurt feelings or turn it into a controversy or heated discussion.
Yes, children need to be children, but they also need to learn. As parents, it is our job to teach them everything they need to know to succeed in the world. Could this baby talk be a reason for some children taking speech classes? It is likely not a cause for every case, but surely it could be a cause for some of them. If babies hear words incorrectly, they will inevitably speak them wrong as well. After all, if they don't hear the correct word often enough, what else would they think? They will, of course, go with the option spoken to and around them the most often.
Cut the baby talk already! Your child’s intellect is suffering.
*I originally published this in 2007 via Yahoo Contributor Network
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