Family Friday (vol. 18): Babysitters

19 months Collage

The last time we had a babysitter, it was a nightmare. Shea was mid-“sleep regression” (or mid-toddler h-e-l-l, who knows) and from our restaurant table, we were watching her on the Blink camera installed in her room via smartphone app and willing our meals and the check to arrive pronto.

So much for a nice dinner out to reconnect…

It wasn’t that the babysitter did anything wrong – we asked her to let Shea cry it out so long as she was laying/sitting vs standing. Every child has their cues and with Shea, we know that if she’s laying down or sitting while still fussing, we just have to wait her out. If she’s standing in her crib with prolonged protests (which rarely, rarely happens), we know things have escalated to a point she may require intervention. It was simply that it was an off night and we weren’t there. It was a lose-lose for all parties involved…and we haven’t been out since.

We joke that we’re the “perfect” babysitting gig – with one child who has an early bed time, we’ll most often get Shea down to bed, hand over the baby monitor to the babysitter, and while we enjoy a dinner out, we encourage the babysitter to raid our fridge, use our wifi, and relax with Dish TV for at least $11-12/hour in a low cost of living area. Yet, our sitters have failed to show up on us at times, or been unavailable more often than not.

With upcoming work conflicts, I knew I needed someone RELIABLE and with the nudge of work necessity, I signed up for Care.com for a month. I found a student teacher who was teaching full-time while completing her master’s who wanted some additional income on nights and weekends. Great references, CPR and First Aid certified – perfect, I thought! And then she didn’t show for our meet and greet. She forgot and wanted to reschedule for later in the weekend. I politely texted back (with a slather of guilt) that it sounded like she was busy and that we’d opt to continue our search. Sigh. 

Is finding a reliable, responsible teen or young adult really that difficult to find in this town? It’s beyond frustrating to not have that go-to person who can help us out in a pinch. While we received several referrals for students who are home for the summer, I prefer to find someone who we can use long-term and who Shea can get to know and grow to love.

We may have found someone who meets our needs, referred to us by a friend, but time will tell. I just can’t believe that this search has been so far and wide and resulted in such slim pickings. Perhaps we need to grow to love take-out on weekends, because I have to assume that adding a #2 to the babysitting gig will only muddy our waters more. 😉

Is this a Millennial thing, maybe? I may need to start pinning some date night in ideas…

Sigh.

Be well,

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5 Comments

  1. May 13, 2016 / 10:46 pm

    Well, if you lived closer, I’d be your babysitter! I fortunately lived with my parents when Hannah was little, so didn’t have that problem. But I worked at night to make extra money, so it worked out for me since I wasn’t coming home until 2 a.m. Luckily Hannah was (and still is!) an awesome sleeper – she slept about 18 hours out of 24 from 6 weeks on – my friends joked and asked if she was ever awake!

    Fast forward, she’s now 24, and she literally schedules naps into her schedule – Type A even with her naps!

  2. May 14, 2016 / 8:14 am

    This really surprises me! Maybe it is a millenial thing because I babysat/nannied for 15 years before becoming a full time teacher and I never missed an appointment with a family. Ever.

    If you lived near me I could give you the names of several younger teachers I know who babysit in the evenings and weekends to supplement their income. 🙂

    • Nicole Morrissey
      Author
      May 17, 2016 / 7:11 am

      Hi Bekkah! I know, it really surprises me, too!

  3. Mia
    May 16, 2016 / 12:24 pm

    Just curious – do you tell your babysitters that you can monitor Shea from video on your phone? (In other words, do your sitters know you’re watching them?) I know some people who keep it a secret and some who are open about it

    • Nicole Morrissey
      Author
      May 17, 2016 / 7:09 am

      Hi Mia! We have not. We haven’t had the camera long and we don’t use a babysitter often. We’ve used them most often to see what the dog is doing during the day 😛 We’re crazy dog people like that. The cameras are definitely not hidden, though. I mean, they’re small and in the corners near the ceiling, but not hard to spot. I’m not opposed to telling sitters, but their primary role is to satisfy curiosity of what our daughter’s behavior is – obviously we trust (as much as we can) those who babysit 🙂

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