Photo Credit: Gabby Accardi
While some students work after school at Publix or the mall, many students care for the children of many South Tampa families. Parents always need a little help and students are always willing to give their time. However, being a nanny can become a very rigorous job. Picking the kids up from school, getting/making them food, helping them with homework, and making sure they are having fun the entire time. Student pay ranges from $8-$12 dollars an hour and if you work for extended hours, students are able to earn a good amount of money.
The perks of being a babysitter include the pay and having money for food and shopping with friends. The blessings of working with young children instead of teenagers is also a great feeling. “Whenever I go to watch the kids, they light up with excitement and I know they love hanging out with me.” Young kids love having students come and watch them as they go through the school year. Students help these kids get through things, and they have special things that they do together. “Me and the kids I babysit for go every Friday to Yogurt Naturally and they get their favorite flavor ice cream and talk about their week.”
The downside of nannying is when all your friends go out on the weekends and you can not go due to your prior commitment of babysitting. Also, being responsible for another person’s child and having to protect them no matter what the circumstances.
Sometimes the job can get really messy. An anonymous source shares how: “One time I was babysitting this little girl that was like one and a half and she pooped in the tub. I had to get it out with a cup and then clean her. ”
There are also times when things can get very awkward, “I once watched a group of really spoiled kids who yelled at me all night for trying to get them to shower, do their homework, etc. I tried to use stern voices and explain to them that I had to make them do what their mom wanted them to do as my job as the babysitter, but they kept behaving horribly. Once the mom came home, i went downstairs and realized that THE DAD HAD BEEN HOME WORKING DOWNSTAIRS THE ENTIRE TIME. The kids, the mom, and I all had no idea. Even more annoying, he never once intervened when the kids were acting so mean and disrespectful! Needless to say, I was super upset and I won’t be sitting for them again.” Awkward encounters happen all the time when babysitting, “One time I fell asleep, and the parents had to wake me up.”
Sometimes babysitting can get dangerous, not for the children, but the babysitters themselves, “I was babysitting this kid and would hit me and my friends. He would try and stab me with knives and hit us with boards.”
Sometimes scary things can happen when on the job and the nannies always have to be prepared, “the microwave got set on fire.” No matter what happens, the nannies have to be ready to take care of the children, “One time I was babysitting a kid that sleepwalks and they went to sleep then started sleepwalking around the house. When they got downstairs they thought that the couch was a toilet and they started peeing. It was the worst experience of my life.”
Don’t let the horror stories scare you away, not all babysitting jobs have the same outcomes and some of these stories; however, if you decide to become a nanny, make sure you complete the training first
** All interviewees have been made anonymous to protect their identity as well as the children they watch.