Confessions of an Irish Babysitter

Growing up in Ireland, for most children, every other weekend night consisted of the parents going out to get a break and leaving their children with a babysitter. It was something to look forward to as the ritual beforehand usually included something along the lines to a trip to McDonald’s or renting a movie from Xtra-Vison in return for the kids to be on their best behaviour.

Perfect babysitting set-up - Photo Credit Emily Poisel
Perfect babysitting set-up – Photo Credit Emily Poisel (flickr)

The tables then usually turned when the child became a teenager and in turn became the babysitter. They finally knew how it felt to care for the hyperactive children they once were. But it’s not all bad, through the children’s different personalities, ages and genders, it’s interesting to see the way this new generation is wired differently.

With modern technology being so present in their daily lives, it’s all about PlayStation’s, I-Pads and mobile phones, so far-fetched from the childhood people had experienced over ten years previous.

Child doing art on I-Pad - Photo Credit Brad Flickinger
Child doing art on I-Pad – Photo Credit Brad Flickinger (flickr)

From sharing babysitting stories with others throughout the years, I found that a lot of them had similar experiences when it came to looking after children.

Some of these people spoke to The Circular and shared some of their more memorable experiences:

“A 4-year old girl I was babysitting was so jealous of her older brothers new ‘crocs’ that when I was upstairs putting the youngest one to bed, she got the scissors and cut them into pieces“. – Anonomys, Dublin

“After spending a long time in the bathroom I later noticed that the child left this note of warning on the door, safe to say I did not enter. – Anonymus, Dublin

“A little girl I babysat near-by asked me when I was babysitting her on a Saturday night could we hang-out the next day. To get her to go to sleep I said yes and thought nothing of it. The next time I babysat for them, her mother told me how she got up early, dressed herself and snuck out of the house and made her way to my house (crossing two roads) and waited outside until I appeared. Unfortunately for her, I didn’t appear so after waiting for what seemed like forever, she returned home and confessed all to her mum”. – Anonymus, Dublin

“On my first day as an au pair in Spain, I brought the kids to a local playground. As there was two of them it was hard to keep my eyes on both at the same time. When I looked back I couldn’t see the younger boy and began to panic, with my minimal Spanish I was shouting all over for him. People didn’t know what was going on. Finally, he turned up on the other side of the park on his own. It was an interesting summer after that.” – Anonymus, Dublin


I’ve had to clean up a lot of vomit over the years, and sometimes that made me vomit” – Anonymous, Meath

“I would honestly just get too caught up with watching T.V and the great food selection they had that I would lose track of time and next thing you know the parents are home and the four-year-old is still up with chocolate all over her face” – Anonymus, Cork

“Babysitting for boys, in general, is like being a human punchbag” – Anonymous, Dublin

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