Running across a post by Sue Fagalde Lick on a babysitting jello fiasco brought back memories of my own babysitting days. I have some babysitting stories to tell as well…Babysitting was the first “job” I had and did it as a teen.  I grew up to have no children by choice, so did that mean I was a bad babysitter earlier in life–I must have not liked kids, right?  I was actually a good babysitter, well, except for the time I wrestled  a kid (about 8 at the time I think) named Paul to the ground to get him away from the freezer.

He was hyperactive (maybe diagnosed ADHD today?) and his mother was adamant that he was not have any ice cream before bed. But boy, did that kid try everything in the book to get at it.  Wrestling him to the floor was not my best moment, but after that he relinquished, and I could say in full confidence to his mother when she came home that Paul went to bed without having any ice cream that night (I was told that not all babysitters were successful).

Maybe I was good at it because I have a younger brother, and helped my mom with him when he was very young, and babysat him too. In any case, if I was good at it, I must have liked it, right? Wrong. I can’t say that I disliked the kids; it was more that I did not enjoy most of what was entailed in watching over them.

Most of the time I counted the hours until the kids had to go to bed.  I counted the days until I turned 16, when I could apply for other jobs. Not long after my 16th birthday I got a job as a hostess at a restaurant and was thrilled that I could make some money another way!

Babysitting was a gift, however. It was one key way I learned early that raising kids was not going to be for me when I grew up.  I am not unlike a lot of childfree women who babysat.  You might be surprised how many say the same thing–that it was one way they learned they did not want to become a mother later in life.  Call it an internship, a very valuable one, to see if you wanted the job called parenthood.

Childfree out there, if you babysat, were you good at it? Like it? Have a babysitting story (ies) that influenced your decision to  have no children later in life? Do tell…

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