Care.com

I have never had to think about creative ways to earn a living. I’m a registered nurse and I’ve always been able to count on a regular paycheck.  But this year I needed to take a leave of absence to focus on other things. Unfortunately I woke up one day and realized that I was still going to need money if I wanted to continue eating food and living indoors. Plan A was to panic for an indeterminate amount of time. And then I launched into Plan B: side jobs.

The first tip I got was when a friend told me about this site called Care.com that connects would-be nannies, babysitters, or caregivers with the people who need them. All I had to do was upload an awkward selfie, write a paragraph about myself, and wait for some offers.  Luckily, I got an email right away from a couple with two small kids who needed an after school nanny. If it was a good fit, they would pay me $20 per hour to pick the kids up from school, play with them, and help with their homework.

Sign up for Care.com today!!!

When I first met the family, I sat down with the four of them and the mom suggested that the kids do most of the interviewing, because they would be spending the most time with me. The Boy started things off. He sat and thought for a really long time and then asked, “What skin color did you wish you were when you were born?” I’ve never been interviewed by a six year old before, so it wasn’t entirely clear to me if I should attempt to answer.  As I was pausing with what I hoped was a thoughtful expression on my face, his mom intervened and suggested they ask me something else.

I guess it went well because the next day they requested some references along with a background check /DMV check. The background check/DMV check was relatively easy because Care.com will do them for you.  But it did cost me $69. The good news is that you can keep a copy of this report to use for anything else that you might potentially need them for. And it was exciting to get the results, almost like waiting for your SAT scores. I knew that my background check would be clear, but the DMV report did remind me that I’d gotten a ticket for talking on a cell phone some years back. It ended up being an exciting trip down memory lane.

The references were a little tricky because I haven’t really worked as a nanny in the past. I decided to give them the number of one of my friends whose baby I’d taken care of when he was an infant. And a woman whom I’d done some housesitting for. And then just one of my friends whom I hadn’t done anything for, but who could serve as a character reference. That friend is pregnant and apparently when she talked to the woman, they bonded over the phone about pregnancy and whatnot. So this process also brought people together.

With Care.com you can help those that need it and earn some cash on the side!!!

The family is delightful. They always pay me on time via Venmo and they’re unfailingly kind and considerate.  And it’s fun. I was drawing pictures with The Girl the other day and she decided to draw a time machine. She asked me if I knew what a time machine looked like and I answered honestly that I was really only familiar with the DeLorean from Back to the Future. She paused and calmly explained, “Yeah, but that’s not a REAL time machine.” So it’s a learning experience for me too. The other day I taught the kids how to do a magic trick. I’m pretty sure that this is my greatest contribution to their little lives. Plus, I don’t currently know any adults who are willing to watch me do lame magic tricks, so this is good for my self-esteem, too.

Some important things to know are that I’m only working for this family part-time, but many of the offers on Care.com are for full-time work as well. There are also temporary gigs and people who just need an occasional babysitter or caregiver.  Also, Care.com wants you to pay for a monthly membership, but you definitely don’t have to.

Sign up for Care.com today and do what you love!