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March 07, 2006

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Lionel

We do one night a week. Sometimes just the two of us. Most of the time with a group of friends. I think it's important to find time away from the kids, have some adult conversation and enjoy a little fun.

As for babysitting? We're in the Bay Area. Average cost is around $12/hour.

Rachel

That's quite a lot of money for one child...

I usually make around $6-$7 per hour for one child and then the people I babysit for who have two children (well now 3, but he's only 3 weeks old) pay me $10-$12 when it's both of them. And unless they are giving me money to get food for the kids and I to share, I NEVER accept offers to order my own food though they do offer (if I do order something, I pay for it myself). They tell my to help myself, typically show me where snacks and drinks are and I usually eat what the kids are eating or bring along a PB&J. Here of course, we don't do taxis, I drive myself, but paying for cab fare seems reasonable.

I remember being younger and making like $3 an hour... that really was a ripoff! I have to agree with the mom that I sit for though, I've been babysitting her children since her 8 year old was 2 and she said "If you find a good babysitter who you trust and who the children really love, then take care of them and pay them well, because they're hard to come by." And it's true, I adore the kids and we always have a great time.

Brian

Aren't you the guy who wanted to put the whiny thing in a box? Feed her before you go out and make sure she's changed. Then duct tape her sandwiched between two big pillows so she can't hurt herself (or get her a baby sumo suit). Maybe a little extra bubble wrap for the head. $120 for babysitting? I'll wrap her up for $20.

Dollymama

We have a teenager that lives across the street from us that usually babysits for us. Our three oldest kids help a lot with the younger kids and getting them to bed, etc., plus the younger set normally goes to bed around 7pm so they aren't up that long while we have a sitter. SO, we usually pay around $7 per hour. She doesn't do a bit of picking up or cleaning anything, and mostly just sits on our couch talking on her cell phone while our kids sleep, so I don't feel bad about not paying more.

We live 30-45 minutes from a city that has stuff to do, so when we get a night out it easily costs $100 by the time we pay the sitter, get fuel for the car, and do whatever we're going to do.

Thanks to the high cost of getting out, we try to have as much fun at home as we can. We've worked to get the younger kids to bed early. We get the older ones set up with something quiet to do. We buy snacks or dinner that we like and have it at home and watch a movie or whatever. For us, we don't really love going out as we're not really into shopping and there's not that much to do. Getting some down time and being together is really all we need.

We're also fortunate that we're reimbursed by our church for our attendance at small group that meets three times a month. Since we're friendly with the people in our group, it's a treat and we have fun with it.

Katrina

Awesome-- as a professional nanny I am happy to read that you take good care of your sitters and do not grudge her the $$ earned. Thanks for boosting our profession:)

ny

We fairly recently started doing this once a week. Our nanny just stays later than usual. usually a nice meal and a coupla drinks, maybe a movie

Phil

No date nights out. My kids have never had a babysitter. I have no idea what the going rate is around here.

My wife and I will, however, spend a couple of evenings each week watching movies or TV shows on DVD (just finished up Dead Like Me -- great show!). We fix snacks, order a pizza, whatever, so we have date nights IN.

Everything else -- travels, dinner out, etc, we take the kids with us. I couldn't even imagine traveling without them. We'll do plenty of that once they're grown. The point now is to make memories WITH the kids.

Louise Fury

I think you got a good deal on a nanny. I am a nanny in NYC, I charge $30 an hour. I have friends who charge $40, we go through an agency, but it is not just babysitting, its art projects, sing alongs etc.
Living in NYc myself, my husband and I often joke about the fact that when we have a baby, we wont be able to afford babysitting, the prices can range from $15 - $40....pretty steep.

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