babysitter woes

It looks like we’re going to be looking for a new babysitter. Damnit. We have had our current sitter for a few months now, and this has allowed us to attend weekly therapy, go on a few dates, and generally feel like we’re adults again. Today, I texted her to let her know we didn’t need her tomorrow since BG is sick, and she texted me back saying “Bummer. Hope he feels better. Hey, I meant to tell you in person, but I just got hired by Banana Republic, and I don’t know my schedule yet, but I’m probably working weekends and afternoons.”

And here lies the problem with hiring eighteen-year-olds who are drifting aimlessly through their lives. They may tell you one week that they don’t want any other work, that they want to focus on their studies, and then another week, they may decide that a mall job would be far more glamorous. I certainly can’t begrudge anyone a job. I just wish she would have told us. It’s hard getting a kid used to a sitter, and it’s hard as a parent feeling comfortable with a stranger coming into your home to care for your child.

But I remember myself at her age, and I remember very well that I wasn’t thinking about any of that. Still, can’t I expect more? Maybe not.

I’m not looking forward to yet another search, to getting BG used to yet another person, but at the same time, I can’t help but wonder if maybe there’s someone out there with a little more experience who might be a little more stimulating to BG. Maybe he needs someone he can actually get excited about, who is really enthusiastic about seeing him, who isn’t totally awkward when he tries to give her a hug. That would be cool.

I mean I have liked her well enough, but she has always done exactly the same things with him when she has come over. They play tea party and do playdough. Once in awhile they draw. Sometimes she brings stickers. I’d love to find an experienced sitter with real ideas. And did I mention she once completely forgot about working for us, that she didn’t show up until I texted her? So it’s not like she’s been superb. Still.

I’m curious: for those of you who have searched for and hired babysitters, what have you looked for? And what would you do in our situation? Would you just let her know you’d rather find someone who can commit to the work? I’d love to hear your ideas.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “babysitter woes

  1. Hm. My question is, is this a regularly-scheduled babysitter? Or do you use her on-call? I guess I’m asking because if she’s regularly scheduled, then yeah, I’d probably tell her that you’re going to find someone else, because you have to know that the sitter will be available on XY or Z dates. Otherwise, to be honest, I’d probably just reply with an “okay, thanks for letting us know” and leave it at that. If she’s still up for it, she’ll text/call. But it sort of sounds like she’s “breaking up with you” anyways, and hoping you get the memo. You know? I guess either way I’d start looking…

    • reproducinggenius

      We do have a standing Tuesday from 4-6 thing, and she also agreed to be available Friday or Saturday evenings for us. The weekends are on an on-call basis, but Tuesdays have been standing since she started. I think my wife and I both feel like we need to look elsewhere.

  2. I would look elsewhere. We are on babysitter #…4 or 5 now. All found through c@re.com. All in their early 20’s (one in her 30’s who was weird and didn’t work out). Basically they’ve been finishing up college while babysitting for us and then moving on. I hope our current girl will stay with us for a long time because she meets everything we’re looking for- she is responsible, timely, warm, friendly, smart. It’s just that gut feeling you get when you meet the right person. We feel really comfortable with her. Although, Curly is almost always sleeping when our sitters arrive since we mainly go out Saturday nights. But we’d 100% trust her with him if he were awake 🙂 Every time we feel like we can’t count on a sitter to be available to us, we find another one.

  3. k

    Ditto the care dot com website. We’ve had good luck there. The current sitter (only our second) has been great up until the last month or so, but we’re putting up with it since after the first of the year we won’t be needing her anymore. But all three I interviewed were great. I only missed out on my first choice because she was my first interview and by the time I’d interviewed all three candidates she already had a job offer.

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