Kids – taking the good with the bad
I have babysat ever since I was 16. My parents told me when I learned to drive in high school that I need to look for a job, so they did not have to cart me around anymore. That being said, I actually was terrified of driving and did not get my license till I was 18. Regardless, I began babysitting for my family members that had little kids or for family friends. At the time I saw it nothing more than just a job and it did not mean anything to me. I was just a high schooler trying to make some money for myself. When I moved out for college my parents then told me they would give me the semester to settle in living in Austin and get adjusted, but come January I would need a job to help pay for tuition. I tell people I have not ever had a “real job” because I do not count babysitting as one. Mainly because when I tell people that is what I do they tell me it is not a real job. I have never worked a retail job, so I did not have any experience with that. When I moved back to Houston mid semester of my Sophomore year I lived with some family members. They had some pretty strict rules in place, one being I needed to get a “real job”. Babysitting was honestly something that was flexible with my school schedule. I could give parents my schedule and we could work something out together. Since I took 16-17 hrs every semester, working shifts was something that would not work for me. However, since I was living in someone else’s household for free, I said I would get a “real job”. I was 20 at the time and still had no experience doing anything else. I got a job at The Little Gym. It is a gymnastics place for kids 12 and under. I know nothing about gymnastics, other than when I was 7 and did it and quit because it was scary. However, you did not have to be great at it to teach it because they were learning easy skills, such as keeping balance, doing somersaults and things of that matter. Overall, I did not like it and was barely making any money considering the long hours I put in there. I could only work from 4-8 on weekdays because of school and it was draining me. I ended up quitting only after 6 months. I decided to try babysitting again. Fast forward to now, I have a good set of around 10-12 families I sit for, one being a family that I watch for regularly M-F. The others are on evenings or weekends. Circling back around to calling babysitting a “real job” or not, I believe it is. Being a parent is a full time job, and while I am not their parent, I step in and take over that role for a few hours every day. It is not your typical job, I do not have to pay taxes or clock in, but I have learned a great deal from doing this job. People look at me funny when I say, I do not like kids. At the end of the day it is nice to get to go home and relax by myself without them. However, I have grown to appreciate them as kids. What I mean by that is, I have to remind myself I am talking and playing with someone way younger than me. I watch kids from the ages 2-12. They are not in college like me, they have not learned and seen as much as I have, but I should not expect them to. Whenever I feel myself getting irritated with them, I have to stop and think, they are not me. Once I learned that, it became easier to see them as their own person and not hold these expectations above them. Kids view the world differently and that applies to any age in general. That is how our world works, with people who come from different backgrounds and have their own opinions and thoughts. No matter how different I am from the kids, it’s not a bad thing. It’s what has made us grow closer, by understanding each other in a new way. That is how we grow and learn. Being with these kids has taught me patience and unconditional love and what it is like to put someone else’s needs before mine. Babysitting has been such a rewarding experience for me, watching the kids grow over the years and growing myself.
Below is a quick clip of 2 of the kids I babysit that recorded these videos on my phone. I thought they were cute. Also, a few photos.