I have been struggling as of late with something that seems to have a very simple solution. As a mother of three children I need a babysitter to help me as the kids are released from school five days a week. Sounds easy enough right?
I have placed ads through a service with varying results. My ads are usually short and to the point. However applicants seem to make assumptions or not read it at all. Many are seeking above $20 an hour and believe that I am offering more then 20 hours a week.
Which brings me to the definitions of babysitter and nanny. What do you think of when you hear those words? I have always differentiated between the two words. These days it seems that many people think that those two words mean exactly the same thing.
When I was younger I was a babysitter, I think my first job was when I was about 10 years old. It was for only a couple of hours at a time while the parents went out on a date. My babysitting jobs were maybe once a week and I think I was paid about $2.50 an hour. I remember going on vacation with my parents and hearing kids from the east coast talking about how much they charged for babysitting $7 to $10 an hour! That was just crazy. At that point I think I was finally up to $5 an hour. My point of all this is that to me a babysitter is someone who helps out here and there. Sometimes on a regularly scheduled basis but it is usually always under 20 hours a week. It isn't a career but a stepping stone of a job.
Nannies on the other hand generally work 30 plus hours a week and either live with a family or close enough. Nannies are there to watch the kids, help get the kids to and from school, make sure they get to their various activities etc...Nannies are there to help the parents who are working. Sometimes they are from other countries to help the kids learn another language even. These days nannies are generally aged 18 to about 25 or so. Sometimes they are even older.
Usually babysitters are paid under the table, meaning their employers don't file taxes on the wages. No W-2 forms or anything. Babysitting children while it can be trying at times and sometimes incredibly messy it isn't an intellectual job or something you need to spend years at school for. Sure some people are way better at it then others. However expecting and demanding between $20-$40 an hour to do it is ridiculous. There are so many other jobs out there in the world that should be paying those wages and aren't. Hell, I do this job 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week and I am paid nothing.
What do you think reader? Am I crazy for thinking that people are asking too much money? Am I silly for believing that a nanny and a babysitter are two completely different jobs? I don't think that I am that out of touch with the world.