Other People’s Children

Sarah of No Whey, Mama has another question for us. She wants to know what we think of the idea of earning a little extra money by taking care of other people’s children in your own home, when you’re at home taking care of your own kids anyway. She’d like to know if anyone’s tried this, either as a full-time or part-time thing, and how it turned out. You can read the whole question over at her site.

I’ve considered this myself, from time to time. It seems like such a win-win thing: I’m here anyway, I’m watching children anyway, why not earn a little money? I always come down on the “no” side, mostly because I worry that I would get into it and then not want to do it anymore and have trouble getting out of it. Also, when we have playdates over here, I usually find I dislike other people’s children, even if they’re very nice children.

11 thoughts on “Other People’s Children

  1. Trena

    I had seriously considered doing this before Owen was born (and even for a short time after he was born as well) if only for the simple fact that we don’t see other children much and it might be nice to have some interaction with other kids.

    The main reason that I haven’t gone ahead with it though is mainly because if I’m being really honest–I don’t generally like other people’s kids. If I were going to sit for someone, I’d really want to be able to handpick the kids.
    Also, I babysat quite a bit in high school and got burned a few times (why yes, I do enjoy being paid for services rendered) and that makes me a little hesitant to have to go through that again.
    If I knew the person relatively well and liked their kids, then I probably would.

  2. Shelly

    So I sense a theme and I’m jumping on board. I don’t usually like other people’s kids either. & let’s be honest, I have moments (okay, days) that I am not sure how much I like my own. Plus, you know, the burden of being responsible for my own sometimes feels crushing, I can’t imagine the pressure to not break or scar or emotionally damage kids other than ones I created.

  3. Kara Marie

    Isn’t there some kind of licensing process now? Some kind of city permit you have to obtain? It probably depends on where you live, but I think a lot of areas are more strict about this. I think I’d be nervous, like Shelly said about the pressure of the responsibility.

  4. Erica

    I, too, have considered this as a viable means of obtaining money. But, the reason I decided not to pursue it is because I know that I’ll always give my daughter preferential treatment and I’d hate for the other child involved to feel neglected in any way. I’m not talking grand scale neglect here… but if they were both crying, I’d pick up my daughter first, you know?

    Plus, I don’t like other people’s kids, either.

  5. jen

    I’ve thought about it but th en I realized I hate children. Except my own. ;)

    also it would be hairy to go on vacation, or get sick, and I don’t have enough space in my car if I had to drive them somewhere. The big thing for me is that I think it’s okay to let my kids watch tv all day or play by themselves and not actively teach them or sing songs with them every single day and I bet most people who are leaving their kids would want that. I’d hate to get locked into that.

  6. desperate housewife

    I don’t do this mainly because my mom did it for awhile when I was little and I remember really disliking it. The babysat children tended to get more attention, and they seemed to pull all kinds of crap and get away with it because they weren’t really my mom’s kids, you know? So it didn’t seem fair, and I hated sharing my stuff and my house with kids I didn’t even like.

  7. Anonymous

    I’m glad to see the ‘I don’t like other people’s children’ comments. I’m 8 months pregnant with my first, and this is what was holding me back from taking the leap in the first place – if I don’t really *love* other people’s kids, how can I have one of my own? I hear it’s different when it’s your own. I sure hopw so!

  8. Jaime

    My mother did this when we were young, but I don’t think any of the kids were younger than 8 or so (my age), other than my brother and sister. This made it feel less like babysitting and more like all of the neighborhood kids (only like, 4) hanging out at our house after school or during the summer.

  9. nowheymama

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, everyone. I have found out more about this particular family and have learned that the mother would expect me to keep a journal of the children’s activities and, um, inputs and outputs, as well as call me on her lunch hour to discuss things. So I declined and am counting my blessings. If the right family came along, maybe I’d consider it, someday.

  10. coffee stained

    you all have validated my long-held feelings of dislike for other people’s kids. thank you. I have friends who think I’m insane for feeling this way, but seriously, even with the depths of love I feel for my own daughter, sometimes I want to pitch her out the window. I fear that if I were responsible for taking care of someone else’s kids in addition to my own, that I wouldn’t be held back if they were to cross me.

  11. brenna

    I realize this post is almost a year old, but I had to say thanks. I had thought for the longest time that I was the only person who dislikes most all kids except for my own. It made me feel guilty for a long time, wondering if it made me a bad person. I got over it, figuring that I would never be mean to a child, so it didn’t really matter if I liked them or not. But it’s still nice to know I’m not the only one.

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