Saturday, August 7, 2010

Texan Thoughts, Week Ending 8/7/10

What a week! It's been hectic, planning for a vacation and going on a vacation. I'm still not exactly sure what the Texan Family did could be classified as a vacation, but we did leave our house for a few days and pack enough diapers for Octomom, so call it whatever you may.

Some of my posts from this week left me thinking, and wanting to expand on what I'd written.

My post on Sunday was my usual nod to Weekly Winners. When I first started participating in Weekly Winners, I was like, "Wait, who won? How do I enter?" But that's not how it works. Lotus, a.k.a. Sarcastic Mom, hosts Weekly Winners every week for participants to just showcase their best photographs of that week. Their OWN winners, so to speak. That is what drew me to it: I didn't have to worry about my photo being judged against hundreds of other "amateurs" (who also own a photography company. My opinion is, if you're making money from your photograpy, then you're not an amateur). I'm sure I'll post my Weekly Winners again tomorrow, with shots from San Antonio.

On Tuesday I posted about the care and handling of babysitters. One comment I got a lot was about how cheaply I got the babysitters. I wondered, am I being TOO cheap??? I usually ask my sitters, "What do you charge per hour?" and almost every time, they say, "Just whatever you want." Once, since living in DFW, the sitter actually told me, "I usually get 5 dollars an hour". Of course I'm not going to pay that little, but $8 seemed good if she was only expecting $5. In my post, I suggested $2 per hour per child, which of course would not work for only 1 or 2 kids (as Kacie politely pointed out). Maybe a better calculator would be $5 for the first child and $1 for every child after that, per hour. Maybe $2 instead of $1 if you have an infant or child with special needs. I definitely would say that age of the babysitter plays a big role in how much I pay. If the sitter is only 14, then getting $8 an hour is a good gig! But if she's 16 or 17, she can get a job paying minimum wage so I owe her that much at least (although, at "my job" she can eat the food and watch tv and she doesn't pay any taxes on her income. I'm just sayin). And, to be honest, I probably wouldn't hire a college-aged babysitter because I couldn't afford to pay her what she'd likely expect. Bottom line is this: I pay what I think is fair, and I do ask the babysitter how much she expects to receive. So maybe I'll have to revisit the idea of how much to pay the sitter. How do you calculate a pay rate for sitters? What factors influence your decision?

Wednesday's post reflected on the recent story about a 9-year-old boy being left in the airport during a layover while traveling alone. Some folks commented that they traveled alone when they were young too, and that it never was a problem. I am sure in 99% of the cases that's true. I just felt like this was a situation waiting to happen sooner or later, since the boy made this cross-country trip about 6 times a year. It's simple probability. Then I thought about all the things I was once nervous about with my own children, and now I'm lax about it all. Things like, surfing the internet, wearing bike helmets, climbing trees, etc. The first time it happens, I'm a nervous wreck; I watch while biting my nails and pray they'll be okay. Then the next time I'm still cautious but I am comforted by the fact that everything was fine the last time. Lather, Rinse, Repeat, until finally I've forgotten how dangerous a situation can be. It's not that I'm unconcerned, but rather that I've gotten used to feeling safe. It's important to remind myself that every time is as dangerous as the first time, because next time can be THE TIME that something un-fixable happens.

Then, on Thursday, the post about Gisele. Not Dr. Bundchen, M.D. or Dr. Bundchen, Ph.D. Her doctorate is in walking the runway. She's a mother and that levels the playing field for me. I think her commitment to breastfeeding is wonderful... for HER family. That's the choice that is right for her. And, I think her opinion is hers to give. It is our job to decide if we give her words credibility by heeding them or ignoring them. My bent on the whole issue is this: I could care less what a celebrity does about breastfeeding. I just feel bad for the poor woman who's a new mom, maybe trapped at home with a new baby because she can't go out of the house with her newborn, and the only connection she has to the outside world is TV or internet, and this is what makes the headlines. A woman whose hormones are all over the place, probably working on not enough sleep, trying to figure out what's best for her child, and hears statements of criticism about parenting choices from someone in the public eye. I know that, as a first-time or even second-time (maybe every-time) mother, I was NOT emotionally strong enough to say "I know for sure that my decisions are right. Don't give me your advice! I'm good!" I feel bad for how her words may have confused or conflicted a mom who's on the fence because of so many issues that are unique to her family.

And, finally, yesterday I spoke briefly about my horrible time-share presentation experience. Our first one went really well, way back in 2005. This one, ah, not so much. We waited for an hour and a half time to talk to our salesman. Then, after a 2 HOUR presentation (it was supposed to be only 90-minutes) we got the hard sell. We heard, "Why wouldn't you take this deal? It would be crazy to pass it up!" (a.k.a. the moron sell). We heard, "Your salesman here makes all his commission off of these sales. He wouldn't be wasting his time with you, would he?" (a.k.a. the guilt sell). We heard "Just wait here and let me get my manager to speak to you." (a.k.a. the I've got your credit card number and I can keep you here as long as I want to sell.) We escaped with our $40 gift card and a certificate for another 2night/3day stay at a vacation destination for later. No timeshare BS required. Although I have the feeling that's too good to be true.

Now I'm looking forward to getting back in the swing of things. Bags are unpacked. Laundry is semi-done. But I have 5 baskets overflowing with clean laundry. If you come help me I will provide all the pizza you can eat. Any takers?

Texan Mama


Gigi said...

I'm with you. If you own a photography studio and make money - then you are not an amateur.

Ummm, I'd come help you with the laundry but, uh, I have to wash my hair.

Jennifer said...

Sorry, but I've got my own huge pile of laundry to fold. Although, we don't have pizza.