So apparently, three out of every four mums will have two to three nights out over the Christmas season – thus creating a phenomenal mini-economy for the teenagers of Ireland.
And according to parenting website MummyPages.ie it was that found that almost half of parents (46%) paid their babysitter an hourly rate of €10 – not bad for sitting around eating crisps while the kids are asleep.
This got us reminiscing back on our babysitting days – and so, here are 19 things you'll remember for sure if you spent your early years looking after young ones.
1. Cursing your parents for having so many kids
A fine Catholic family they said, be grand they said.
2. Getting oddly annoyed and defensive because Princess Superstar was giving your industry a bad rep
We didn't ALL have our boyfriends in the shower.
3. The parents always coming home hammered
And slurring their words even more by trying to hide it.
4. Getting every 'dose' and 'bug' doing the rounds, and constantly feel sick due to baby germs
Don't these things come with immune systems?
5. Rooting through the snack drawer like it was your last meal
Because they obviously bought the good treats for you.
6. Getting up to date on all the Disney releases
And making the kids stay up with you to watch them, no matter how much they wanted to sleep.
7. Getting used to hearing blunt childlike comments
''You look fatter today than you did before.''
''Why aren't you out with your boyfriend'?'
8. The parents cancelling last minute but still paying you
9. Trying your best not to swear in front of them for fear they'd replicate it like some form of parrot-child
Especially when they overheard you on the phone to your big mess of a mate who told you about their night last night.
10. Quickly learning that silence isn't always golden
It's quiet... too quiet... WHAT ARE THEY UP TO?!
11. Your hosts asking you to stay the night and making a bed fit for a Sheik
The good pillows and electric blankets and mints on pillows and basically the only room not covered in dog hair.
12. Being wholly aware that they didn't wash their hands and having to hold them anyway
And live a life filled with piss and shame.
13. Wondering who's more crazy – you or the kids
Or the parents. Four children under five? Who does that?!
14. Developing quite a strong bond with the dog
Your only compadre, to whom you throw frequent knowing looks of solidarity.
15. Becoming a ninja in the art of nappy changing
Because kids go ALL THE TIME.
16. Discovering skills you never knew you had
Like unclogging the loo, killing spiders and performing the Heimlich – all at the same time.
17. Realising that you are a pawn in the game of the children's lives
They are the key to your only income stream, and you know it.
Anything you say or do can and will be held against you.
18. Knowing all the words to Peppa Pig
And not really knowing why.
19. And finally, total fucking disasters becoming second nature
Because you are the adult, and the adult always has to sort the shit out.