The Great Babysitting Myth

There’s nothing like spending the day, locked in the house with half a dozen kids. It’s so easy to get instant sympathy from people, everyone feels bad for women who “put themselves out” to babysit, right? If you want your husband to offer to bring dinner home, try babysitting.

“Wow honey, you’ve really got your hands full,” Jason says to me today, “Can I bring dinner home for you? I’m sure the last thing you’re going to want to do is cook.”

“Oh, that would be great. This is just so hard, *sniff*”.

“Hey, I could never do your job.”

“Actually sweetheart, you know what would be really great?” I say.


“Could I go to that five-o’clock yoga class tonight? That would be the best thing for me today.”

“No problem, I’ll meet you there and get dinner for the kids.”

Is it bad that I kind of played it up a little? The truth of the matter is this: babysitting is not hard*. At all. In fact, there’s nothing worse than a houseful of your very own bored kids. Sure, six kids might sound like a handful to some teenage babysitter who’s getting paid by the hour, but to a mother who’s dying for some cheap entertainment for her five-year-old? Babysitting is the perfect solution.

And the more the merrier. When I babysit, I like to call all my girlfriends and invite them to dump their kids off. It’s like money in the bank, racking up all those hours of free drop-offs.

Lifestyles of the stay-at-homers: you can’t beat it.

*Except when you have a ten-month-old infant who cries all day, and wants to be held, and doesn’t know how to hold his own bottle. That can get a little exhausting and frustrating. But the rest of them are great.


I am going insane. Three of these children (two of them are mine) have been crying at top volume for the past 22 minutes straight and I want to cut off my ears. I think I need that yoga class.


  1. Yeah, babysitting on some days can be GREAT, entertains your kids, whatever. OTHER days, its horrible. Its a toss up every time I do it. Hey don’t cut off your ears, try chocolate instead. Chocolate for you, chocolate for them, chocolate in your ears. Whatever works. 😉

  2. With VERY few exceptions, I would rather clean your toilets than watch your kids (I don’t mean you specifically, Annie). I figure God barely gave me enough patience for my own children, and even that’s questionable. Maybe my children are abnormally uncooperative, but I find that all that community playtime is just an exercise in terrorist negotiations… a battle to do, play, eat what you want over what your “friend” wants. It’s excruciating. I would need chocolate, yoga class, and 3 weeks of counseling. I’m publically confessing my babysitting whimpiness.

  3. ARE YOU CRAZY –Yes babysitting is Hard. I–like—my—own—children, but after that , NO THANKS. (with the exception of yours of course) YES go to that Yoga class —–drugs are illegal, but ahh————shhhh, I know people.

  4. I NEVER babysit for other people unless it’s an emergency situation. “Hey, there’s a meteor headed for my house and I need to get the kids out. Can you watch them?”

    Well, okay, but just this once.

  5. Babysitting is a different story when all the kids are OVER t he age of three. Then it really is like entertainment.

    Unless they start fighting.

    Or stay too long…

  6. I used to babysit a little girl who made it seem like I was taking care of 14 little people rather than just 4. I don’t do that any more. . .

  7. I hope you enjoyed every minute of that yoga class! and maybe found a steam room after, too…

  8. I rarely babysit other children, I think it’s very hard – – which is why my kids have to make up imaginary friends….

  9. Think about your parents before going insane 🙂

  10. Crazy crazy woman. I hope the dinner and yoga was worth it!

  11. Annie, if only you lived closer!! I would gladly send cousins over to play with your children all the time!! Mom has 2 of mine this week, and it’s so blissfully peaceful around here, although I miss their sweet faces, the fighting has almost completely taken vacation with them. I don’t mind having 1 extra kid when the rest are in school, but I don’t advertise my availability! lol

  12. I’ll be waiting for my call when you want to watch my kids!

  13. It cracks me up that Jason is so ready to help out with bringing dinner home, etc. because Dustin is a little less sympathetic when I watch other people’s kids. He’s not a complete ogre about it or anything, but he is big on giving “just say no” speeches. If I’m stressed out, he’s most likely to shrug his shoulders and say, “Told ya you shoulda said no.”

  14. You’re right – when I’m going insane with my own children, I just invite over a couple of their friends.

    And then I go more crazy.

  15. I just want to tell you I think it is cool. I’ve had to ask for help with my 4-year old a lot lately and it truly is a blessing to have people like you. In fact the last lady I used thanked me for bringing my daughter over because her son had someone to play with.
    Just make sure you get your break when you can!

  16. I was reading your post and thinking…WOW good for her that she likes to babysit!

    Now I’m ROFLOL because of your update! And you deserve that YOGA class and your break from babysitting! Thank goodness for Jason right?

  17. I don’t know if you’ll read this…since you’ve obviously written plenty of other entries….BUT, I babysat my friend’s two boys and I ended up with a wounded eye! He brought over his toy sword! I was trying to get it from him while he ran laps around my kitchen island. I couldn’t caught the kid. I was pissed when he whacked me in the eye. I know it was an accident, but I was still so irritated. Still love there mom, but I’ll be a little more apprehensive next time.