Saturday, March 29, 2008

babysitting circle?


Well, that unfolded pretty quickly. I was expecting to provide you with more drama, perhaps a love triangle or terminal illness, but no!
I was bemoaning my lot to my godmother, who said that when she lived in Liverpool in the 70s, there was a babysitting circle arrangement, made up of mothers presumably from the school, or surrounding area - they weren't necessarily friends. What they did was cirulate a list of their numbers. You called around, and whoever was free would babysit - they didn't pay eachother, but used curtain ring currency! You paid one ring per hour, double after midnight, or if you had only black an white telly :) You then used these rings to pay others in the circle when it was your turn. This way nobody owed anyone in particular hours, but you got back what you gave out. It has to be a pretty big cirlce so there'll always be someone free.
I think it's a brilliant idea (though I suppose you could cheat with counterfeit curtain rings pretty easily). I somehow can't see the mothers I know being up for it - those with would presumably pay cash and not have to go mind anyone else's children. However, we all talk all the time about the price of dinner/drinks/movie/taxi plus ten euro an hour on top.


9 comments:

Bald Devil said...

Does Bald Devil intrigue you? You seem to mention Him a lot...

Bald Devil loves you all.

jothemama said...

Urg, creepy, Bald Devil is e-stalking me! Get thee behind me and off my blog, Bald Devil.

Someone Living said...

He's weirded me out in the past too Jo. Ignore him he'll go away.

jothemama said...

Ta, Someone. And I thought I had too much time on my hands.

Bald Devil said...

Bald Devil never goes away. Ignoring is not the answer.
I just asked a question is all.

Bald Devil loves you all.

Bald Devil said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
NYDublinGirl said...

There are circles in the US. I read an article a while ago in NYT. have just sent you link. Silly me didn't send at time.

Anonymous said...

it sounds like a great idea, but i think most parents will only let family or close friends babysit. i sometimes babysit for a close friend. apart from me i think it's only her mum or sister that do it. my neighbour who i know quite well never asked us to babysit, even though we offered, she only uses family. another friend also only asks her mum, even though she lives in donabate and the mum in tallaght. my husband's and my life will be very quiet when our baby arrives, all going well, his family is 150km away, and mine 1000! so we won't be able to ask any other than the one friend to babysit, as nobody ever asked us. or maybe it's just because we don't have children yet, maybe it's that you only ask other mothers?
hm, i babysat our neighbours' kids from when i was 12, back then it seemed to be allright to trust a teenager from down the road, and i don't think i was paid the equivalent of 2 V&Ts per hours!

jothemama said...

I find it hard to ask people to babysit. It just feels messy! And people don't always do what you ask them to, etc. I think it just feels like it's too much to ask, really, much as you need the support.

I've heard of people who'll only ask their family too, I think it's silly though. After all, you're more likely to be abused by someone in your family!

I babysat a small baby when I was still in primary school, and I think I was good at it :)


As to the circle - hmm. I think I'd prefer it was in my own home. But I know people who use teenagers, surely another mother from the school or community would be as safe?