As a mother of five children, my husband and I have a hard time making sure we go on our monthly date. It's not so much finding the time (though that offers its own challenges) it's the cost of hiring someone to watch our children.

As Doc and I were chatting about the Old Dominion concert tomorrow I mentioned that my regular baby sitter would be attending the concert, and I was having trouble finding someone to watch my kids. We naturally began talking about how awkward it is to hire a new sitter because of the "how much do I pay you" conversation.

Too low and you'll end up with a "sorry I'm busy" or you come home to a trashed house, children glued to the TV and up waaaay past their bedtime loaded up on sugar!


Too high and you can't even afford to go out!

According to this handy babysitting rates calculator on I should be paying my sitter $18.00 an hour!

Ummm no.

I pay her $5 an hour and then add a dollar an hour per kid. That means when our sitter is watching all 5 children she makes $10 an hour! We usually add a tip to the total if it's a later night or if we ask her to make sure they clean rooms etc.

I'm just going to be honest. If the going rate for a babysitter in Casper, Wyoming is REALLY $18 an hour I think I need to look into a new career!

We decided to ask you what you pay your babysitter, and it seems like I'm not so far off after all.

$8 an hour for 2 or 3 kids is about normal for Casper. So for watching my 5 children, $10 is pretty fair!

Some of you are blessed with family nearby that can help provide free childcare.

And some of you simply bitterly laughed and said you don't have money for a date night AND a sitter!

I think in the end it's up to the babysitter to let you know their rates...but can we all agree to NEVER pay them as much as $18 an hour ;)

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