A sudden dearth of babysitters
My oldest son is eleven. That means I’ve been hiring babysitters for nearly twelve years. Historically, I’ve been awash in young women who aren’t just some freckly kid down the street who rolls her eyes and adopts an attitude like you paying her $10 is her doing you a favor, but genuine, responsible, fun, Godly, available, lovely young women.
It seems, though, as though that door is closing, and I’m more than a little panicked, especially as I prepare to have my fifth child.
Here’s a rundown:
- Cassie: She has been watching my kids since I only had one of ’em, back when she was 11-going-on-18. I have long told her mom, “If I ever have a daughter, I’d love for her to turn out just like Cassie.” However, she’s now graduated from ASU, has a full-time job (a paid internship with NASA), is 21, and, frankly, has a life of her own. As glad as I am to adjust my perspective of Cassie — from girl/employee to woman/friend — I really miss having her watch my kids.
- Kimberlee: Cassie’s 17yo younger sister. Kim got a job at Target last fall, and Target has discovered what I’ve known for a long time: Kim is a tireless worker with a fantastic attitude. This summer, Target’s been working her 30-40 hrs/week, and, well, that just doesn’t leave a lot of time for babysitting. ~sigh~
- Mackenzie: Mackenzie’s been watching my kids for nearly as long as Cassie has. Mackenzie is just lovely. Lovely. I have the semi-secret desire that, one day, Mackenzie will marry a guy named Dillon, who goes to my church. She doesn’t go to my church, and that has long been a babysitting-bonus, because when you have babysitters that go to your own church, chances are, they’re going to be asked for their services by 10 other couples who want to go to the same church event that you do… She was like my ace in the hole. Talented and smart, she wants to become a nurse so that she can be a medical missionary. She just finished her fourth year at ASU, and decided to take a few more classes in the fall semester so that she can graduate with not only a major, but two minors. She leaves on Friday for a month-long mission trip to New Orleans, taking with her…
- Hannah: Hannah is Mackenzie’s sister. Absolutely sweet, tennis-playing Hannah, who never has a complaint about my kids. Ever. I suspect she’s lying half the time. Hannah is about to enter her senior year of high school, and I was happy that, even though all my other regular babysitters are unavailable this summer, at least I might have Hannah, at least Thursdays – Sundays, since she nannies for a friend of mine Mondays – Wednesdays. Well, then the plan changed, and she’s going to go to N.O., too.
- There’s a host of others, who would watch my kids from time to time… some of them now with full-time jobs of their own, some moved out of town, plus a couple teen guys who I was happy to have watch my boys for short jobs, but now that I have a girl… it just doesn’t seem right. Some moms, like back when they only had one or two, and I only had one or two… but now, they might have three or four, and I have four, and saddling some poor mother with eight kids just doesn’t seem right, either.
I’ve had a longstanding view that one simply doesn’t ask the parents to babysit… which I’ve broken, I think, three times already this summer. And, Martin has used up way more of his PTO than ever in recent months, coming home early, or leaving for work late, so that I can get that doctor appointment in… ~sigh~ Really. I don’t know what I’m going to do. And, I have yet another doc appt tomorrow afternoon; it doesn’t look like anyone is available; I’ve already rescheduled the appt once, and Martin already took time off on Monday for me to get some lab work done…