I am 29 so I always expect that I could hire someone older then me. It isn't an issue for me personally because at my very part time job I'm a supervisor and all my employees are actually older then I am. Every single sitter has always turned out to be younger then me. My preferred age is around mid 20's just because that is what we've had the most good experience with. My last 3 were 24 and I loved all of them, I went several this year due to bad circumstances that weren't anyone's fault, surgery, a move... I live in a college town and I do now refuse to hire college students just because we've gone through so many. They move, class schedule changes, it's finals week, on and on. I bet an older college student would be fine but I kept finding ones that were about 19-21 and they would be responsible for a while and then flake out on me. That isn't always the way it is, but just my experience I guess.
I've never had to post an ad, I've always responded to ads and found people that way. I lay out exactly what I'm looking for so I don't waste anyone's time. I guess if I had to call it something it would be mother's helper, my current person calls herself a nanny even though she does all the extra stuff for us.
I worked as a nanny for a SAHM before my son was born, and at the time, I thought, "why on earth does she need me? how hard can this be?" I had NO IDEA! I've been sending that mama all kinds of telepathic apologies lately for having ever judged her for hiring help. :) I'm a WAHM now and we don't have the flexibility in our budget to hire help, otherwise I definitely would. I like what you wrote in your OP about the village idea. I strongly believe that we were never meant to parent in isolation--I've found WAH to be incredibly isolating and lonely. I would love to be able to pay someone to watch my little guy while I got together with girlfriends for coffee, ran errands, or even just took a nap!
And not to add fuel to the fire, but what's wrong with having help in raising our children? I believe that the more hearts and hands, the better! As mamas, we need time to ourselves, which often doesn't happen for SAHM. And I truly believe that kiddos gain a tremendous amount by having multiple loving caregivers in their lives. It takes a village to raise a child, and since most of us live in isolated nuclear families these days, we often have to hire our "village."
I am now pregnant with our second child and spoke with my son's nanny about what the future holds. She's excited because she has never cared for an infant. Of course the new baby will be attached to me completely for the first several months but it will be wonderful having help and company. My husband now works out of town more than he is home.
I was watching the most recent Sex in the City movie, which I didn't like much but there was one part that made me LOL. One of the ladies was lamenting because she thought her husband was cheating on her with the nanny. She felt really guilty because her first thought was, "I can't lose the nanny!" LMAO, of course I would rather lose the nanny than my hubby but it just goes to show how much we love our nannies!
Thanks to everyone who posted! Let's keep this thread going. :-D
Wife to one amazing husband , SAHM to DS 10/09, DS 10/19, one furbaby , and lots of !