What I Learned from Babysitting a Toddler for a Weekend

I love my three-year-old cousin so much. When he was born, I was so excited to spend time with him and be his role model. Since we are about 17 years apart, I wanted to be the cool, older cousin who did everything fun with him. 

So, I love when I get to babysit him for the weekend. I look forward to it every time, but I’m not going to lie, it is exhausting. The days are so long, and we always have to be doing something so he doesn’t get bored. 

After the last time I babysat him, I learned a few things—and not just about the newest Nickelodeon cartoon. I learned some things about myself. 

For one, I am completely not ready to have my own kids. Not for a while and certainly not right now. Children are a lot of responsibility, and I sometimes forget that. But, all it takes is a few hours with a toddler to make me realize that I do not have my life together enough at 20-years-old to take care of another human being. I applaud all the young mothers out there because it really does take a special person. 

Children have super strong personalities. You would think that they would just go with the flow and take your suggestions because they idolize the older people in their lives, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. If my cousin didn’t want to do something, he didn’t do it. Trying to get him dressed, no matter if it was into pjs or clothes, was the most exhausting part of the day.  

Children are fragile. My cousin has broken and strained a few bones already in his short life. But he is a little daredevil. You have to watch them all the time so they don't break a leg or swallow a dog toy. But their little bodies are optimal for some intense cuddling sessions; and makes it easier when they insist on being carried throughout the entirety of Target. 

I will never give up the time I get to spend with my cousin. He teaches me more than any college course ever could. I will have my own kids someday, when I am 100% ready because having a child is the biggest commitment in one’s life.