Chicago mom shares adventures in teenage babysitting

I try to be a good mom. I try to feed my kids healthy food, keep the house clean, and teach them things. I try to be consistent with rules and (sort of) stick to a routine.

But some days when I’m tired from being up all night with the baby or I’m feeling under the weather, I fantasize about the good old days when I was a teenage babysitter. The days when I simply showed up, fed the kids whatever they asked for, played games, and didn’t worry about tomorrow because that was someone else’s responsibility.

So on those too tired, under the weather days when I’m not feeling up to being “Mom,” the kids become the responsibility of Teenage Babysitter.

Mom is concerned about how much TV the kids watch. Teenage Babysitter leaves the TV on all day and even lets the kids watch Caillou. Well, sometimes. Even Teenage Babysitter has her limits.

Mom worries about balanced meals with protein, fruits, and vegetables. Teenage Babysitter is happy to make macaroni and cheese or order a pizza even though there are chicken breasts and broccoli in the fridge.

Mom feels like the kids should be dressed in real clothes in the morning hours. Teenage Babysitter is fine with the kids wearing pajamas all day since she’s in yoga pants and a comfy sweatshirt.

Mom has bills to pay, laundry to fold, dishes to wash, and blog posts to write. Teenage Babysitter is just there to make sure the kids stay alive and relatively healthy and happy; household chores are someone else’s problem.

Of course come morning, Teenage Babysitter is gone; and Mom wakes up to dirty dishes overflowing in the sink, laundry waiting to be folded, bills needing to be paid, and blog posts that won’t write themselves. The kids want to know why they can’t watch TV all day long or have snacks right before a meal because after all, they were able to yesterday.

But ultimately the damage is minimal. The household chores get done eventually and the temper tantrums end. And Teenage Babysitter is forgotten until she’s needed again.

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