By BERN MORLEY
Throughout the years, we’ve used babysitters on and off. I was lucky enough to have my Mum and mother in-law on hand for many years.
There did come a time however, where we started to want to go out and just you know, relax in the in the knowledge that we could pay our babysitting debt with currency rather than passive aggressive guilt trips.
That’s when we decided to look around for a decent babysitter. And we’ve had a few over the years. Some fantastic ones, Jess, Charise, Belinda, take a bow.
There were also some ‘not so great ones’. Like Emily, who brought her boyfriend over and was caught shagging him on the climbing frame in the backyard. Or Samantha, who was still feeding our 2 year old Cheese and Bacon Balls on the couch when we returned at midnight. One thing we did keep consistent however was the gender of the babysitter. And this was TOTALLY unintentional.
It only really came to my attention the other day when one of my neighbours asked me if I’d like for her son to watch our kids from time to time at might I add, a very reasonable price. Her son is 16, smart, sporty and popular.
My first instinct was to say no but I hesitated and asked her why such a strapping young lad would want to get paid $7.50 an hour to look after children when he could work somewhere social and get paid much more. Her answer was simple.
‘He loves hanging out with your kids and when they go to bed, he can do his homework or watch TV’. That’s when I realised I had immediately discriminated against him because of his sex. If she’d offered the same with a daughter I would have immediately taken her up on the offer. So then, what was my deal?