I'm a Babysitter and I Love It

I'm a Babysitter and I Love It

I was once told by a three-year-old that she could hear ants.
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I started babysitting when I was about 12 or 13 years old. I did it then just to start making my own money. I was too young to work anywhere and I didn’t get paid for chores (more like I hated doing chores). But, I wanted to start being able to pay for whatever I wanted. I liked kids enough that I decided babysitting would be it.

I started out just watching neighborhood kids. It was typically really easy, the kid I watched in the neighborhood most often was usually asleep by the time I got there, so I just got to sit and watch TV and movies. Another girl I watched one summer loved when I blew bubbles or colored with her. But, that’s where it started out. Watching neighborhood kids for a few extra dollars.

I got my license the summer of 2014 and that’s when I knew I needed a job. I hadn’t done any babysitting in a while and didn’t have any other jobs either. During that summer though I had met a few younger girls in a group I was helping coach on my club team. They loved me and I really liked them as well. At the end of the summer swim season, I wound up talking to a girl’s parents and something awesome happened. She loved me that much and her parents could see that, so I picked up my first babysitting job in almost a year!

I started babysitting for them and did so consistently. Along with their daughter, they have a son who is about 3 years younger than her. They are awesome kids. But, they could also be difficult. Very difficult. I had never had to break up fights between siblings before, or even act like I was the parent. I had to uphold the parent’s rules, while also trying to stick to how I believed situations should be handled. Sometimes it was handled by sending them both their rooms for time out, but as they got older, it turned into simply taking the item away. Sure, they might hate me for five minutes for deciding they couldn’t watch TV anymore since they were fighting over what to watch; but the girl practiced piano instead and the boy went and found something else to play with. I grew close to these kids and watched them grow for about two years.

Along with babysitting them, I wound up getting two other families going into this past summer. A family from my church needed a babysitter and my youth group leader helped them out by posting to Twitter asking if anyone needed a summer job. I replied and got the extra family. The other family I got was because of my best friend. She was moving that summer with her boyfriend and asked me if I would like to take over that family for her for the summer until I left. I gladly agreed.

The kids from those families are also awesome! The children from the church were two boys who are nine and five. They are the politest boys I’ve ever met. They listened to me every time I told them to do something, I never had to stop them from fighting, never had to yell at them, and they always responded to me. They helped me if I didn’t know how to do something- like doing something with their TV. They are insanely funny, and I always got hear about how the youngest is convinced he’s going to be Power Ranger when he grows up.

The family I got from my best friend, I got really close to. I babysat for them a lot during the summer and their three girls are the best. The girls are eight, six, and three. While the oldest is definitely stubborn and hard-headed, she is also very caring. She wanted to get my number and Facetime me when I left for college. The six-year-old loves when I do her hair and talk about Disney movies with her. The youngest is obsessed with Minions, loves being tickled, and always said the weirdest, most random, funniest things. While I had to settle arguments here and there, they were some of the most fun kids to babysit.

On top of that I also wound up working in my church’s daycare, which was also some of the best times with children I ever had. I also got close with the kids in there- especially a two-year-old foster girl, who got attached to me and sometimes even called me ‘mama’. She was difficult, but so sweet. She gave me a hug and kiss on the cheek at the end of every day for the last month I was there. Some of the kids preferred me over the other people working- even the kids whose moms were working in the daycare.

Babysitting and being a childcare provider has been one of the greatest decisions I’ve made. I can see the impacts I make on the kids every time I’m with them and how they impact me. They force me to be patient and think more reasonably. They make me come up with solutions in just a few seconds- and creative ones at that. They taught me how to think and act kindly and explain things sensitively and think of others first. I thought that was something I had always done, but I really learned how to do it when I worked with kids and had to explain everything to them. Not only that, but I literally got trained to be a parent. I can feel confident in saying that I know how to change messy diapers, sooth a crying baby, handle a baby and a toddler on my own, and keep multiple children happy while maintaining my own sanity.

I know it’ll be different when I have my own, but at least for now, I don’t feel so overwhelmed or scared as to what to expect when that time comes. I miss these kids, but I’m happy knowing that I’m now in babysitting service along with a few other students from my school as well. I enjoy knowing that I can make a child smile and make them scream with happiness every time I go their house. I can’t wait to see my old kids, but I can’t wait to find new families to babysit and make smile as well.

Cover Image Credit: Emma McGee

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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14 Things You Relate To If You Grew Up WithOUT Any Cousins

*GASP* "What, you really don't have any cousins?"

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It always shocks every person who hears me state that I do not have any cousins. For some reason, this is just hard for people to really believe when it's actually not something impossible. I think we are all just so used to large families that it sounds weird when people say that they have no cousins. Yet, it is definitely a potential reality, and actually impossible if each of your parents is the only child to your grandparents.

Here are 14 things that you can relate to if you grew up without any cousins.

1. Nobody believes you when you say that you don't have any cousins

I'm serious, for the tenth time.

2. Your grandparents spoil you

With no other grandchildren to worry about, it's pretty easy to do.

3. You don't understand when people say that cousins are your first best friends

My best friend was my first best friend.

4. You and your siblings are always the youngest people at family events

This was simultaneosuly a good thing and a bad thing.

5. You get all of the attention at holidays

Since you're the youngest one around, then distant relatives are always doting over you.

6. Everything you do is deemed awesome by your extended family because there is nobody to compete with

It's much easier to be praised when you aren't being compared to someone similar to your age.

7. You don't know how to hold babies

You're never around them so why would you?

8. Family photos are pretty easy to coordinate

The less people, the easier.

9. Other family members spoil you just because 

Afterall, you are the only kid around...

10. The family will make comments regarding the potential for you to have a cousin as a justification for why they aren't doing something for you

When you hear, "I can't buy you too much because someday your aunt is going to have kids and I will have to do the same for them" you cringe and just had to know that all of the attention wouldn't last forever.

11. Birthdays are always a big deal

A perk of not having very many to remember.

12. If your parents' siblings own pets, then you refer to the animal as your cousin

Cat cousins, dog cousins, lizard cousins, and fish cousins can be pretty cool, actually.

13. Sometimes you dream of marrying into a big family

This is to ensure that your kids do grow up with cousins.

14. You appreciate the closeness of your tight-knit fam

Maybe the only thing you would miss if you had a big family is the opportunity to develop such close bonds with the few relatives that you do have.

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