Babysitting, why we go without and at what cost?

23 August 2019
MindForMe Babysitting why without and at what cost

Last Sunday I went to a birthday party for 2 year olds. It was a wonderful family and friend gathering, everyone so helpful setting and packing up in a park by the river. I noticed at least 8 or so families there, all knowing and trusting each other and with young children.


From talking with people and thinking back to a statistic I’d previously seen it started to click why we go without so much. The Red Cross had published some information and some stuck with me. Some 55% of people staying home because they can’t find a babysitter.


Looking around at this party I saw what should be a solid support network yet it didn’t exist. Sure, some of the people would help each other but it still meant having to ask for that favour. The majority of people babysitting are friends and relatives, understandably, but then why such a high number of people unable to find a babysitter?


I realized then the 55% probably wasn’t people not actually being able to find a babysitter but deciding they wouldn’t even ask. They would be deciding to stay in without really calling on a support network, without even seeing if there was someone willing to babysit. Last month I was at dinner with one of the parents from Sunday’s party. Only one. That’s because the other stayed home to look after their daughters. I understand wanting to be a parent but in years I’ve not seen them have any adult-time together.


There seems to have been a bit of a cultural shift, where we aren’t as involved with our neighbours, less connected in our day-to-day lives. We look to stand on our own two feet, only asking for a hand when it’s absolutely needed, and often expecting to pay for that. This has created a wall, where we often say no to doing things or getting things done. Either we do them alone, pay and make it transactional, or they just don’t happen.


It needn’t be about money!

Just talking to people and you’ll know there are people willing to help others, but do people ask for that help? Why can’t we get a babysitter more often than we do get one? What are we saying no to?


We really should think a bit more about our own lifestyles as well as the community we’re inadvertently creating around us. By staying inside, engaging less with others and helping each other less just what are we missing out on?


What are the benefits of finding a babysitter and saying yes more often?

  • Adult-Time
    As parents we do need to maintain adult connections and thinking and behaving as adults in social situations to avoid disconnection. Important to also be able to spend this time together as couples.
  • Balanced Lifestyle
    To spend our time in a more balanced manner assists with improving mental health and reducing stresses. To take time out more easily can reduce pressure in relationships, and lead to better quality time when together or when parenting.
  • Social Development
    Babysitting doesn’t simply mean you’re leaving your child without, but actually giving them opportunity to develop socially. They interact and learn more with other adults as well as children they get time with.
  • Resilience
    Both children and parents need to learn to cope with being apart at times. To rely solely on few people and become overly comfortable with that means more difficult times when apart.


Mind For Me helps this all happen, making it far easier and fairer for you to ask for a hand and say yes to more.