Thursday, February 7, 2008

Babysitter blues

With Valentine's Day only a week away, my thoughts turn to baby sitting. I recently recruited one of Sophia and Ryan's part-time daycare teachers to baby sit for me. I last spoke with her in January before she went back to college. During that phone call we chatted about her work at the daycare, how she loves kids and wants to be a teacher and … how much she charges to baby sit: $10 an hour.

Like many girls, I did a lot baby sitting during college. It was a good way to make a couple extra bucks, and in some cases, a lot of extra money. I enjoyed the extra money, but now that I'm looking for my own baby sitter, I'm having trouble wrapping my head around $10 an hour.

Not that my kids aren't worth it, but the thought of paying someone $10 an hour to sit in my house while my kids are sleeping is a bit hard to swallow. I think if my kids were older and she had to give them dinner and get them to bed, the responsibilities would be greater and I would feel better about them cost.

So, here's what I've been thinking. I could ask the girl to come to my house during the day so my husband and I could have a midday date. This way the kids would be awake and she would have more responsibilities and I would feel better about parting with $10 an hour. We could go to a nice place for lunch, but somehow ordering a bottle of wine and having a romantic LUNCH doesn't exactly sound, well, romantic.

We could just bite the bullet and pay the girl to sit at our house, but most likely we will put the kids to bed early, open a nice bottle of wine and cook dinner for ourselves. Our kitchen table may not be the most romantic setting, but we'll make due.