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Why Finding a Good Sitter is Like Finding Good Love

enquire today (3)

I stood outside my son’s daycare classroom today and ran through what I was going to say to his teacher as I watched him play for a minute or two. I walked into the room, gathered his things, and struck up a casual small talk-type conversation with this girl. He’s been there for about three months now and I know that he loves her. However, because I only see her for a few minutes in the morning and at night, I don’t actually know too much about her. I asked her where she went to college and what she was studying as I worked up the nerve to ask her what I had rehearsed. After a few awkward minutes and some stuttering on my part, I finally took the plunge and went for it. “So,” I said, “do you babysit?”

If you have kids, then you understand that good babysitters are tough to come by. You want someone who has a specific set of qualities – someone who is dependable, trustworthy, intelligent, nurturing, compassionate, punctual, reliable, and loving. In fact, it’s a lot like looking for love. They say a good man is hard to find. And a good babysitter? Even harder to find. And sometimes, even more important.

Overall, securing a good babysitter is very much like the awful and tiresome process of dating. Maybe a friend sets you up with their sitter who you’ve met before and were interested in. If you’re desperate, maybe you hire a babysitter who you don’t know but who was highly recommended by a friend, much like a dreaded blind date. Or maybe you’re brave and you consider using a website to scroll profiles in order to meet your babysitter soul mate. No matter how you go about it, the important thing is to find a good one and hang on for dear life.

Once you’ve committed to an awesome care taker, you’ll fall deeply in love with the ability to actually leave your house child-free more than once every six months without having to desperately beg your own parents to watch your child for you. You’ll be able to meet up with friends, enjoy a glass of wine at happy hour after work, or even go on a much needed date with your husband (imagine that!). Before you know it, you will have fallen head over heels for your hired help and you’ll do anything to keep your relationship intact. You’ll purchase pizza every evening that she’s scheduled to sit for you. You’ll pay her an absurd hourly rate and then some, even though the baby was asleep for the majority of time that you were out – solely because you want to keep her happy. After all, you remember how much effort it took to find a good sitter in the first place.

Unfortunately, just like many of our past dating relationships, the babysitter breakup is often inevitable. Maybe she stops answering your calls or she claims she’s too busy to babysit. Either way, it’s almost as painful as losing your first love. You’ll sadly call and cancel your dinner reservations for your date night, knowing that you’ll never find another sitter by the time the weekend rolls around. It’s depressing, really. And if you’re like me, you’ll take a break from the babysitter-searching world and you’ll accept that it could be months before you’re back at your favorite bar for happy hour.

It’s been about six months since our last babysitter sadly (for us, at least) took a permanent teaching position. We’ve been relying on our family and friends to help us out when we are desperate for a sitter, which I totally hate doing on a regular basis. I knew it was time to finally get back in the game. I’ve had my eye on her for a few weeks. I have a very important baby shower to attend next week and no sitter in sight. And so, today was the day I finally worked up the nerve to ask her. I felt like I was getting ready to propose – to pop the most important mommy question – I even considered getting down on one knee and begging her, “Will you babysit for me?”

“Sure! I’d love to.” She said. I almost died from relief, or cried tears of joy, knowing that we might be able to leave the house alone occasionally once again. I wiped the sweat from my brow and clumsily fumbled around with my purse. I told her I’d write down my cell phone number and address for her. I walked out of the classroom and silently cheered to myself. I called my husband immediately to share the good news – we’re getting a sitter. We’ve only got the first date scheduled, so I don’t want to get my hopes up for a long-term babysitting relationship. But in the meantime, we’re going to enjoy any adult-only time we can get.

 

Comments

  1. Oh I soooo know the feeling!
    Jenn @buildingmommymuscles recently posted…The Church’s Greatest FailureMy Profile

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