General Ramblings

Enabling the Babysitter Addiction

I was reading Salon and found an article called My Babysitter Addiction. Interested, I clicked on it – and read a really honest and inspiring story from a woman who uses babysitters as part of her “global village” – you know, the one that’s supposed to help raise your child. She’s a single mother with a passel of kids, and she went from micro-managing her babysitters to allowing them to help her. In turn, she relaxed and was able to get more of her own identity back, and not just be “Mom” all the time.

I really enjoyed this because I provide similar services to people I work for. I’ve been the sitter that’s been over while they read or study upstairs for their Masters assignments, or want to get some writing time in. I’ve taken kids out to the park while they cleaned the house or tried to get some office work done. I’ve done the babysitting while they’re still at home, and I honestly don’t mind it.

When parents who do want a break from their kids stay hands-off, it works out extremely well for all involved. When they don’t, they create an uncomfortable situation that makes it hard for me to do my job, and keeps their kids constantly trying to get to them, knowing their parents are there in the house. I tried to look after some children while their mother was home, but their mother kept coming downstairs every five minutes because she “heard the baby cry”. If you don’t let me handle things myself, you’re not going to get the time you need to do what you need to do – and I’m not going to want to come back and be micromanaged by you again.

I am proud to provide a great service to families that I’m with. I am the regular babysitter for a number of families, Diva and Footballer to name one, and it’s great that the kids know me and love me. I love being greeted at the door by happy faces and knowing that it’ll be a good time, even if it’s just an hour before bedtime, because we enjoy each other so much. I don’t consider wanting a babysitter to look after things while you get some me-time in selfish or worthy of judgement. We all need a break. That’s what nannies and babysitters are for.

Do you employ babysitters? What do you think about this article?


2 thoughts on “Enabling the Babysitter Addiction

  1. I am a mother of a 7 year-old and my husband and I employ a full stable of sitters who come in the evenings when we get home from work. We use that time to do more work, spend husband/wife time together, read books, do hobbies and catch up with friends. I feel our babysitters have brought a lot to the table over the years – our daughter has learned about baton and track and ministry and she has tried different churches, and at this point, she has never met a stranger because of all those sitters. We have kept in touch with a large number of them over the years, and many of them come back to see our daughter even when it’s been years since they’ve stayed with her.

  2. I was a nanny for 6 summers, and everything you write is so accurate! I watched 3 kids and each of them was unique (how could I have a favorite? Never!). Yeah, they had bad days, and guess what? So did I, but we had some amazing days too. It was wonderful watching them grow and learn over those 5 summers.

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