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Babysitting: Is It Worth the Investment?

OK, so you want to run a cost-benefit analysis on babysitting.  Very logical. 

Let’s start with the cost of having a babysitter watch your children periodically.  The average babysitter pay is between $5 and $18 per hour.  There are a number of variables that determine the cost per hour of a babysitter.  Those variables include in what region you live (some regions have a higher cost of living than others), the experience of the babysitter, how many children you have and what their ages are (the more children you have, and the younger they are, the more a babysitter will likely expect to be paid), whether any of your children have special needs (i.e., medical needs that require a babysitter with a CNA . . . or perhaps you have a perfectly healthy child that is expected to learn a foreign language, so you consider hiring a babysitter that is fluent in that foreign language to help the child learn the language), the relevant education and experience of the babysitter that you hire, etc. 

Now, let’s consider the benefit of having a babysitter watch your children periodically.  If you have two date nights a month, as in the example above, you allow yourself and your spouse / significant other the opportunity to nurture your relationship.  Some times, parents become so focused on nurturing their relationships with their children that they don’t make time for similarly nurturing their relationships with each other.  Relationships that are not nurtured may tend to struggle.  Or maybe you want a babysitter to attend to your children while you address household matters that your children cannot or should not participate in.  For example, if you are always with your children, how do you manage to sneak in the shopping cart all the children’s birthday gifts?   Or perhaps you and your spouse work opposite shifts so that one of you is home with the children most of the time . . . but for that two hour period when the children get home from school . . . and you would like the children to be able to come home and talk about their day to a caring adult even if you yourself can’t be the one to share in the stories they will tell.  There are myriad reasons why people hire babysitters: nurturing adult relationships, attending to the needs of the household, attending to the needs of the children, etc. are but a few examples.

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