What The Babysitter Can Teach Us

Monday, September 28, 2009

In Babysitter: An American History, Miriam Forman-Brunell examines how attitudes toward babysitters reflect social anxieties. What have you learned from your babysitter? Comment below!


Miriam Forman-Brunell

Comments [8]

jeanette boatman from Upper East Side

I was 50 when I started babysitting for this single parent with one little girl.My charge was three. It was not my 1st foray babysitting as I had done it extensively as an adolescent. At the time, I had a massage therapy practice that waxed and waned. I was delighted with the extra money: $10/hour at first and later $13. Since I was childless, it was a way of being a mother. My "baby" is now 17 and I still have a nice relationship with the famliy. They occasionally have me to an odd job or two for me.

Apr. 22 2012 04:57 PM
Julie from Windsor Terrace

I'm a college graduate with a full time job and still babysit sometimes for one family. The kids are fun and it's exciting to see how they're changing through the years. I'm very thankful for this relationship.

Sep. 28 2009 09:24 PM
Irina from NYC

Babysitting was my first job when i came to this country at 13. I babyset until I was able to get my first paycheck job at 15.
It was a wonderful experience. I am not sure if i have learned responsibility from this, i think i was a responsible kid to begin with, but when a stranger leaves their 3-week-old baby with you its pretty impressive.

Sep. 28 2009 11:52 AM
Rich from kenilworth

when you and yours want to go see a live show that say costs $50 a ticket. it cost a $100 for the show and $10 an hour for a sitter and if you want a couple of drinks and something to eat, add $50 more (at least). So the cost of a night out doubles, but when you have kids you go out less and you can somewhat justify splurging here and there. btw, need a sitter for next thursday going to see richard thompson w/ loudin wainwright III at the tarrytown music hall. any takers?

Sep. 28 2009 10:57 AM
dag sheepshanx from brooklyn

what the hell is this? Arent there more interesting topics to discuss than babysitting? AAnd this liberates women? PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Does babysitting get you more than 72 cents out of every dollar a man makes?????????
Really?? Women internationally have REAL problems and we are being told babysitting is "hard". No sale here, bourgouise swine.

Sep. 28 2009 10:57 AM
Tara from east harlem

I babysat in the 80's from the time I was around 11 or 12. I made under $3 an hour-- I remember one job was $3/hr and it was great! I didn't get an allowance, so babysitting was my only way to earn money. I used the money to pay for my horses. I lived in rural PA. We had the space for horses, but my parents insisted that if I were to get one, I had to pay for it all on my own. I bought my first pony for $75 when I was 12. I had to keep a log of the expenses, and paid for all the grain and hay myself-- from my babysitting money. It really made into a good financial manager.

Sep. 28 2009 10:56 AM
Mike C. from Downtown Manhattan

No need to use the term "kinship structures." Kin, or relative, works just fine. The language works best when used simply.

Sep. 28 2009 10:52 AM
Martha Hoffman

Hi Miriam - Just read your article in Girlhood Studies! Looking forward to hearing you on BL.


Sep. 28 2009 10:07 AM

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