Meet Ashley Mason: Featured Santa Barbara Babysitter
I grew up in a tiny town between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, California. A place so small there are only two high schools in the entire county. I am the oldest girl of three in my family so you could say that this is what started my journey in being a babysitter. I decided to move to Santa Barbara 4 years ago to get an immersive college experience but what I didn’t expect was to fall so in love with this beach town. Currently, I'm a drop-in babysitter and love it.
What did you love most about being a kid?
When I was a kid I loved school and/or being in charge. I remember begging my mom to allow me to go to summer school when I did not need to so that I could continue going to school throughout the summer. During the year, the school librarian would come by my classroom almost daily to remind me she was there and encourage me to come and get a new book to read that day. One of my favorite accomplishments was having read the most words throughout the year in the fifth grade - even beating out the smart boys.
What are you most excited to share with kids you babysit for?
I am most excited to share my knowledge. I love when I teach a kid something new and they are able to retain that information with them forever. It’s fun having a friendship with such a tiny person because they get excited so easily which makes me excited. I think when they see that I am interested to play with them and let them take the lead, they have more fun exploring.
Why do you like most about being a sitter?
I like being able to work with lots of different families. I have met people from all over the United States and it always intrigues me to learn about their different parenting styles. It is very interesting to see how kids from different areas reflect their regional culture. Meeting new people all the time is really fun for me.
What have you learned about yourself since working with children?
I have learned that it’s okay to embrace my emotional side. With children, their emotions are always so big. If they fall down it is the worst thing that could ever happen to them and they cry and cry. On the opposite end though if they get 100% on their spelling test, they are ecstatic and nothing could make them happier. As an adult I feel that society encourages us us to suppress emotions, but since I'm around children so often, it's taught me to embrace the natural ups and downs.
Favorite activity with kids:
Definitely arts and crafts. Kids are so creative. Teaching kids new ways to create then have them show it off to their parents first thing gives me a great feeling.
During solo time, you’ll find me:
Either watching Grey's Anatomy or catching up with my friends and family who live far away.
I can’t live without:
A full night’s sleep.
My favorite sitter as a child:
My Auntie Stephanie. My younger sister and I spent many summers at her house. She taught us to bake and sew.
In 5 years, I'll be:
Hopefully more established in my career goals and more clear on what I want in the long term. I hope to have traveled more and lived in a few more places.
3 non-essential items that help carry you through your day:
Chapstick, glitter, and knowing that I have my bed to go home to at the end of the day.