Story by Emma Coleman
Babysitting is one of the most popular jobs for teens. Whether it be looking after younger siblings or the little kid down the street, babysitting requires responsibility, patience, and a sense of humor.
Many teens look for ways to have a little extra cash, “I used to work at the car wash but I quit for babysitting, I work at a fireworks stand in the summer, I work at my neighborhood pool in the summer, and I’m a hostess/waitress at a restaurant,” said Senior Madeline Cosgrove.
Parents are also happy when their kids make their own money. “[My parents] thought it was great. They were excited that way I was earning my own money,” said Freshman Jessie Sheehan.
Babysitters are in a league all their own, dealing with messes, complaints and even the occasional meltdown. “I was babysitting with my sister one time. Sam Smith’s parents were fostering kids and one threw up all over my sister panicked and ran out of the room so I had to clean it up myself,” said Cosgrove.
Cosgrove said she had a similar incident while babysitting a baby girl, “I was changing her diaper and she literally picked up her diaper and threw it smack on my shirt, so I was changing my clothes but she was just laughing. She thought it was so funny.”
Many business have found a way to integrate into the online world and babysitting is no exception. Care.com is a website that allows parents who want a babysitter to connect with babysitters looking for jobs. Potential sitters can look for jobs convenient for them and, “the people with the kids pay money to be on there every month and you just apply. You have to get background checks through… Facebook and Twitter and everything and get your phone number verified,” said Cosgrove.
Sitters are never lacking when it comes to funny stories. “Last week when I was babysitting,” said Sheehan, “we were playing outside and the four year old stopped and we were all running around and he puts his hand on his heart and he goes its beeping why is it beeping?”
“One time I lost the kid,” said Freshman Anna Austell.“We were playing hide-and-seek and I lost the kid for like twenty minutes and I kept yelling ‘come out come out’ and it was really nerve wracking, but I found him eventually.”
While babysitting can be a challenge, the relationship between babysitters and their kids is a unique and rewarding one. “It’s like I’m an older sister,” said Sheehan.
“I think it’s rewarding, said Cosgrove, “I would probably do it for free sometimes. I think I get more out of it sometimes than they do. Being able to give parents a break and having someone look up to you and having someone that likes to be with you.”