Wednesday, June 16, 2010

closure

Have you been worried about me and my $92 library fine? Well, worry no more! I walked into the library with a kid on each hip and was calm and nice and just asked what my options were, and EIGHT DOLLARS LATER, all is well and my fury has dissipated considerably. Thanks for your commiseration and guidance.

Thanks to a generous relative or two, I've been able to line up a few of the local (hilarious) beehives to play with my kids a couple of mornings a week while I study for the bar. It's ideal because part of the day, I can actually focus, and yet I still get to spend a good chunk of the day hanging out with our kiddos who delight me. And since I'm just in another room, I don't hyperventilate wondering about if the house has burned down or if my baby's flipping out or what have you. Also, I've started talking aloud about law stuff while we play and I mentally review things, and it's leading my two-year-old to do awesome things, e.g., the following exchange which takes place daily:
Me: So, will you tell me about [the exclusionary rule/free exercise clause/procedural due process/whatever], sweetie?

Kid, very thoughtfully: Ummm...zinga, zinga, shrumpha shoobie, blerghy blargy, trickazoom...that's right?
It's especially great because a) she can talk using real words so the nonsense is on purpose, and the "that's right?" at the end is heartbreakingly eager and b) the REAL answers I'm reviewing sound just as nonsensical so it's a sweet form of therapy.

Anyway, the other day was the first day of this babysitting set-up and I feel like a new woman. THREE (almost)uninterrupted hours of study time felt like an absolute luxury and my stress level has decreased three zillion. Yes, I also have chunks of study time when my husband is home, but DAYTIME study time is a great bonus, and it feels so good to realize at 12:30 that the bulk of what was hanging over my head for the day is complete so I can enjoy the fam without one eye on the clock. So this leads me to ask:

1. Did you ever babysit when you were younger? If so, what did they pay you?

2. Where you live, what's the going rate for a 12- or 13-year-old babysitter? (I am asking out of curiosity. In our little town and neighborhood, according to the girls who babysit, they generally get $5ish an hour...is that more or less than other places?)

Additionally, last night I had fried pickles. I'd say about 60/40 delicious and gross.

16 comments:

~j. said...

I babysat...and took whatever payment they gave me. Which was awesome that one time I babysat 3 kids for 7 hours on New Year's Eve and made $10. Yeeeaaaaah.

As for what to pay...I rarely have to anymore, as my oldest (11) is my main sitter these days. But when I did pay, it was, for 5 kids: $10/first hour, $5/each additional hour, and I'd add a dollar here or there for certain things: had to change multiple gross diapers, I asked them at the last minute, etc., and I took money off the total if, when I arrived home, the sitter had a friend over and hadn't approved it with me first. (That only happened once -- it made me so mad. I don't mind if they ask first, but I don't like the sneaking around.)

It can be tricky: You don't want to be the cheap-o babysitting lady, yet it's completely feasible that the cost of childcare could far exceed the cost of, say, the dinner & movie for which time you needed the sitter.

I've never had a fried pickle.

AlliSMiles said...

That's a great setup! $5 is CHEAP. Growing up in Utah I always nannied and I know by the time I was 15 I was making at least $6, but that was almost 10 years ago. :)

AlliSMiles said...

That's a great setup! $5 is CHEAP. Growing up in Utah I always nannied and I know by the time I was 15 I was making at least $6, but that was almost 10 years ago. :)

Tarra said...

I'm feeling like a not very good Mormon, because when I first read it I assumed that "beehive" was some euphemism for group playdate or something, I got it now.

I think $5 is reasonable, especially since you are in the other room. Good luck with your studies!

Ru said...

Sooooo jealous! Partly of your adorable babies, but mostly your ability to study for hour-long chunks of time at all. I'm averaging 15-20 minutes a night and getting a wee bit concerned ...

I didn't babysit for pay until the 15-16-17 range; I think my neighborhood was paranoid about letting kids who couldn't drive to the emergency room babysit. I don't really remember what I earned, but it was probably around $10 an hour. (I already had a couple jobs at that age, so I don't think I would have done it for less than minimum wage.) But if I had gotten paid for all the babysitting I did as a 12-13-14 year old? (It was for my parents, no one else could make me do it for free.) I would have been DELIGHTED with $5 an hour. That's a lot of money to someone in junior high.

PS - Congrats on your library fine! Woot!

lifeofdi said...

Not sure what the rate is these days, but when I was babysitting (10 years ago in a small town) it was between $3-5 depending on the parent.

Mhana said...

I babysat for one specific family I liked for free (well cookies and occasionally a pizza) because I knew they couldn't afford payment. I'd also watch the kids when the mom was doing something like canning which involves hot dangerous liquids. 12 years later the dad, who is an amazing pastry chef, made me the world's most amazing wedding cake for free as a present. I mean that cake way way outshone the bride, everyone kept telling me how beautiful IT was. Kind of put me out actually. So I guess you can get paid in karma?

La Yen said...

I pay about $5 an hour, because my kid is pretty easy and, let's be honest, they are just watching a Tween show with her that she is not allowed to watch anyway, and not putting her to bed when I ask.

I need new Beehives.

Jordanlz said...

Growing up in Omaha, close to you, the midwest, (too many commas? I guess I don't care about grammar right now) I got paid about 2 dollars an hour. Once when I baby-sat a bunch of terrorist kids, 5 under 10, I asked 5 an hour. But that was approx. 10 years ago. Maybe inflation went up.

Paul W. Nash said...

Here in our ward the going rate is $10 per hour. Pretty ridiculous if you ask me.

Liz said...

I'd babysit your kids for free! They are so stinkin cute!! Actually you don't want to ask me what people pay me. I don't know how I land these gigs but when I was in San Antonio, I babysat for one of the VP's of the company I worked for. He and his wife had two kids and they had to attend a black tie event at a hotel so I just watched the kids in the hotel room they got for the night. They ordered room service (a big steak) for me and the kids and on top of that, paid me $80 for three hours. haha...best babysitting ever! I think for 12 - 13 years olds, $5 an hour is just fine. They might demand more when they get older and when they have to babysit on New Years.

Oh, and one time, I had to pay $80 freaking dollars to the video store because the VHS I rented, back in the early 90s, melted in my car!

Deanna said...

Yay for the 91% reduction in your library fine!

I agree about the pickles... and your ratio applies to the timing. While you are eating them, delicious. Later, when the interesting twanginess is gone and you are left breaded greasy residue in your gut, gross. But, it is definitely more delicious than gross.

Birdy said...

I pay big ($10+ per hour) because 1) I rarely need a babysitter and 2) I want the babysitters to always say yes to me when I call. If your gal is getting a regular gig from you, $15 per day, 5 times per week makes for a good weekly earning for her. If you need, you can prearrange the weekly amount. Negotiate a $50 payment for the 3 hours per day 5 days per week. So many options.

Nice librarian!

Anonymous said...

When I was 11 (fifteen years ago) (15?!!?), I babysat for three kids under 5. I got paid at least $3 per child per hour. Often the family was much more generous than that. I babysat those children for about 6 years. If I had saved all of that money, I wouldn't have student loans to pay off...

More recently, I babysat for one of my former professors. I picked up her son from daycare and watched him for a couple of hours, sometimes at my house, sometimes at his. She paid me $8/hour plus one gallon of gas (for the driving) and supplied a car seat. When the daycare was closed for a week last summer, I watched her son and two other children that went to that daycare. I got the $8/hour from the professor and $9/hour from the other family.

teachergirl said...

i babysat starting when i was 11. as far as i remember, i always just told them to pay me whatever was fair. that was probably really annoying for some families, but i was always okay with what i got, which i think varied from 3 to 5 an hour.

my husband babysat for a 3 and a 9 year old and got $7/hour--years after me.

yep, i'm a cougar. :)

KT said...

All right, so after reading your post and all the comments I have realized two things: 1. I was RIPPED OFF as a teenage babysitter. For a typical job, I was paid $1/hr. ONE DOLLAR PER HOUR. This was...um, something like 18-20 years ago. (and realizing that I'm old enough to say things like, "20 years ago" makes me want to cry myself to sleep). and 2. I over-pay my sitters ($10/hr. for one kid) and I'm initiating a pay cut immediately.