Any parent can tell you that it’s hard (and expensive) to find a good babysitter, which leads one to ask: What is a reasonable requirement for a babysitter, and what is asking too much?
As Kidspot reports, many people felt that the mom behind a 14-point list originally shared on Facebook was bordering on “delusional.” And it’s true that she is asking a lot from her potential sitter.
Speaking as a parent who lives in an expensive area, her offer of $10 an hour for a sitter isn’t great but hits the average range for sitters available through an online service. However, I have relatives who live in less expensive areas, and they pass along legends about good babysitters available at $5 an hour. I don’t know if I believe them.
Moreover, the mom’s note that getting $10 per hour “under the table” is “like making $15/hr normally but without paying tax” doesn’t exactly warm the heart.
Then you get to the 14 requirements she has listed for applicants. Commenters on Reddit, where the post was reshared, tended to find her requirements over the top. Personally, I think they’re a mixed bag, from the reasonable to the ridiculous.
Some of her demands seem like the bare minimum you’d expect from someone you’d trust to watch your kids. I can’t fault her for wanting “[three] good references with phone numbers,” “no problems with the law,” or “no drugs, no alcohol, no sketchy social media behavior and/or public pictures.”
Some of them seem OK if you’re willing to pay a premium for someone who has those skills. For example, “a bachelor’s degree in childcare or nine years of relevant babysitting experience” isn’t a terrible thing to look for. But it inevitably comes with a price — one much higher than the one she listed.
The same goes for “full-time availability,” “perfect attendance,” CPR certification, a car and driver’s license, and “must be okay with emergency last-minute calls.”
Even the request for a native English speaker who is able to teach her children a second language isn’t completely bizarre. Who doesn’t want a Mary Poppins who can also teach their children to be fluent in French? Sure, it’s unlikely that you’ll find that for $10 an hour, but I can understanding wishing it were possible.
But she’s still not done. If the previous set of requirements seemed overly optimistic, the last set seems to be intended to alienate prospective applicants.
“No tattoos” doesn’t seem to relate to babysitting ability, but I guess some people really hate tattoos. However, disqualifying someone for a traffic ticket, along with the promise that “I will be running your name through databases,” is off-putting.
Then she adds that the sitter “will love to work with an infant, 3-year-old, and 5-year-old,” “must be okay with my two pit bulls,” “ideally will be a Trump fan,” and worst of all, “willing to pay for some snacks.” As any babysitter can tell you, families that don’t let you eat their food are almost always bad clients — cheap, picky, and impossible to please.
It almost seems like she’s warning any potential applicants that this is bound to be a difficult position.
On Reddit, most commenters agreed that the mom was asking way too much. One wrote:
For $10/hr I will come over to watch your TV and eat your snacks. Expect to return to alive children…. that’s it.
Another noted that the requirements eliminate sitters most people would think were more than qualified:
Wow, I got ruled out for this job pretty quickly and I’m a certified teacher! Not good enough I guess.
However, there were those who thought that the list wasn’t unreasonable … so long as you’re able to pay the going price for a full-time Manhattan nanny. One commenter wrote:
I’ve seen these ads before in NYC but they’ll pay you $60k-80k per year and other perks. Essentially you get paid to raise someone else’s kids.
A friend of mine did this and one of the requirements was also having a degree at an Ivy League (she did). She was able to stay at their summer home whenever and got to go to Paris Fashion Week.
This lady is nuts though.
Another agreed that the going rate is about twice as much as she offered:
Our babysitters with a Child Development degree (one with Master and one with PhD) are making about $16 an hour … and one of them requested $20 in a larger city where cost of living was higher. That’s the going rate for educated sitters. Last minute asks make more.
The snack provision, in particular, came in for heavy criticism:
I’m a nanny and I eat the family’s food all the time. It’s sort of expected (it’s in fact in my contract that I can help myself to their fridge) I pack a lunch most days but if I forget I have a bit of leftovers or eggs on toast for lunch. It’s fairly standard in the industry.
But perhaps the most damning indictment came from people who were qualified to take the mom’s job but wouldn’t want it. As one nanny commented:
“As a professional nanny I would never seek out a job so unsettling from the very first. Parents make very specific requests for their children but they are often within the realm of reason that any person could empathize with considering the treatment of their own children. Considering three young children are involved, $10 is a remarkable undervaluing of the efforts put into properly caring for any child. If you’re really asking for $10 worth of effort split among each of three children I feel for those poor babies because they will ultimately receive poor care not to mention all other requirements make little sense.”