When I was around 10 or 11, one of my favourite movies was Adventures In Babysitting. We had it on VHS and, along with fellow 80s classics Hello Again and Baby Boom, I watched it over and over. Back then, babysitting seemed such a grown up thing to do (pretty sure that’s because Elisabeth Shue was actually 25, playing a teenager in the movie… also love that her best friend Brenda was channelling some serious Barb from Stranger Things vibes…)
Since becoming a mum, I’ve babysat for friends a handful of times, and despite the fact it’s nothing like in the movie, here’s why I love it…
- You get to sit in someone else’s house and just for a couple of hours, pretend you live there. You can make yourself a cuppa, watch TV, and almost try out that life just temporarily. It’s a bit like when you were a kid and you moved your bedroom furniture around, and you’d wake up the next morning and just for a minute, it would feel like someone else’s bedroom.
- The people you’re babysitting for probably have a better digital TV package than you. You know what that means: Sky Movies, or even better, Comedy Central, so you can watch back-to-back episodes of Friends (Which is your favourite episode? Mine is The One Where No-One’s Ready)
- When you make yourself a cup of tea, you get to have a totally legitimate and non-nosey look in their fridge. Anyone else find looking in someone else’s fridge SO FASCINATING? I often see things that it wouldn’t occur to me to buy (ooh beetroot! I forgot I like beetroot) and feel relieved that other people’s fridges are packed slightly chaotically like mine is. (NB. If you’re reading this and I’ve babysat for you, obviously I don’t mean your fridge. I didn’t look in your fridge.)
But of course, there’s also this…
- You can’t really have a drink – getting slowly sloshed on your own sofa while kid(s) sleep upstairs is acceptable. Doing it on someone else’s sofa, while you’re responsible for their kid(s), not so much.
- You have to work out how their TV / fancy kettle works. And what’s their wifi password again?
- When their kids won’t go to sleep and keep getting up and interrupting your precious TV/cuppa time…
Ultimately though, the best thing about babysitting is that it probably means they’ll repay the favour and babysit for you one day soon… DATE NIGHT ALERT.