This is a collaborative post
It’s funny how things change so much over the years, but in particular, how we think about our children with childcare. Back when I was about 16 or so, I did a bit of babysitting. The first family was my then boss of the restaurant that I worked in. My Sister and I both worked there, it was a family run business and they ended up as our family because she married one of his brothers!
Anyway, the boss had three children. At the time that I was babysitting them, the youngest was about six months old, then there was probably a three and a six year old. Something like that. To think that at the age of sixteen, there were periods of time when I was in charge of three children – well, it’s a bit scary.
Equally, the other family I used to babysit for had a baby and a toddler. I still remember getting a taxi to their flat in East London, going up in the scariest lift ever, being left with some instructions and then looking after the kids – sometimes until 11 or 12 at night.
Back then though, you wouldn’t bat an eyelid at this happening – in fact, it was pretty much happening all of the time, with babysitting notices up in the local newsagents and in the local papers. It was just the done thing, parents would use a family friend or a cheap babysitter – rarely anyone with actual qualifications or security checks!
And yet here we are in 2017 and you wouldn’t dream of doing such a thing now. OK, so you might still be able to rely on a very close family friend if need be, but I don’t think I would ever be comfortable in leaving the boys with a 16 year old who works in the shop down the road and just happens to like and be really good with kids!
With the world as it is though, technology has brought a new way of childcare and a new way of being able to have your children looked after if you need a night out! And really, it must be a blessing for so many parents.
We are very lucky in that we have family all around us. If we need someone to look after the boys, there will always be someone willing and able to do it. For so many people though, they don’t have these options and so a safe babysitting website like Sitters is a real benefit. Knowing that there are local people who have been vetted and are thoroughly experienced to look after your little ones is really wonderful.
When I think about the time of year it is and how many people there are who would love to go out and celebrate the New Year but don’t have any family to look after the children, it makes complete sense that this kind of business is out there, helping parents actually have somewhat of a life outside of their children (unless of course your children are like my youngest who currently has to have mumma home at night!). And it is a far cry from what now seems like the dodgy babysitter days of the past!