The Babysitter Who Works For Us A Few Times A Month: Worth Every Cent of the $60 I Pay Her?

Because I was looking to hire a babysitter of the highest exactitude and excellence, I put an advertisement in our local serviceperson-finding exchange. (A very well-qualified gentleman named Craig manages this exclusive directory.)

The advertisement read:
“Needed: a childcare professional who can handle many specialized tasks. You must be able to finesse our LOB-STAR Elite tennis ball thrower, be a leather-gloved chauffeur who can handle driving both our finicky Mazarati AND our sporty Range Rover, sail and know the starboard from the portside, be comfortable in both the environs of Chez Panisse AND Mission Chinese Food and preferably be bilingual in Mandarian and English. Perks include a private Pilates studio, biannual trips to Nantucket and St. Barts and the company of elite intellectuals who would NEVER sing David Guetta songs.”

Ah, but I did not anticipate how DIFFICULT it would BE to find such a paragon. My own heavenly mother’s helper did not appear, because, good help, it seems, is really hard to find.

There were the intangible qualities I was looking for, too. She would need to extract invitations on the chicest playgrounds in town from daughters and sons of the A-list. (She could only rub elbows with other nannies employed by captains of industry or possessors of very large fortunes.) She must know the difference between Salmon roe or sturgeon caviar, when over at Mrs. X’s house for a playdate. (And let me know, because if it’s the Salmon, she’s down on her heels.)

If this sounds bonkers, click here.

Here’s my actual advertisement:

“Competent, kind babysitter wanted to help out a few hours a week. The children are toddler twins. References and CPR-certified, please.”

I mean, REALLY!!!!

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “The Babysitter Who Works For Us A Few Times A Month: Worth Every Cent of the $60 I Pay Her?

  1. Libbi

    I would totally do it if I lived near you. I was always so intimidated by the ads in the bay. I love kids but don’t have all the language and other crazy things they request.

  2. This was so interesting to me because I’ve relied on babysitters and nannies since my daughter was 4 months old. Right now, we are in a position vis a vis our host country which puts us if not in the 1% at least into a very comfortable income bracket. I pay my nanny well above the average market rate and for me it’s so totally worth it. I did like one thing the article said – that the most important factor is “the extent to which a nanny is responsive to the child’s mood and interests.” Our nanny is such a gift to me; I’m happy to pay her generously and to give her generous time off as well because I feel so confident about entrusting my children to her care. Even though I feel weird about the fact that we can afford it.

  3. Gail K

    Wow! It makes me want to quit my job and become a nanny!

    My sister has a friend that is a nanny for a well-to-do family in NC. The advertisement required an education degree, a valid passport and a few other requirements. The friend had just graduated from college at the time with a teaching degree and had a valid passport. She was hired and has been to Italy, France and a number of other places with her charges. She lived in a 4 bedroom guest house on the property owned by the family for the first few years. Once the children became school-age, she figured that she would move on to another job, but the family asked her to continue working for them at the same rate (which I don’t know). But, the bonus is that she got to move off the property to an apartment that she shares with a few other nannies and she has a part-time job while the kids are in school. So, she is bringing home 2 paychecks and still gets to travel to Italy and France and other places on a regular basis.

  4. *giggle* This makes me laugh in an uncomfortable way, it’s so ridiculous. A friend of mine recently quit her nannying job partly because both the husband and wife were at home while she was there watching the kids (wife works part time from home, husband had resigned his job and was in no hurry to look for a new one apparently). It got to the point where it was just too weird, and she felt like they felt like they were doing her a favor.

  5. Wow. We hire the senior high school girl down the street, and her mother, if she’s unavailable. 😉

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