I am about to enter a new phase in my parenting. I am on the hunt for a babysitter. Because we live only five minutes from my parents' home and maybe twenty minutes from my in-laws', we usually just call them up when we need to get away from these monkeys! But in order to get out more often without wearing out our parents, I'm in the business of looking for the occasional sitter.
My mother-in-law recently mentioned that she knows the mother of a sixteen year-old girl that lives around the corner from us. "This girl enjoys babysitting," declared my mother-in-law. I think that was a hint, don't you?
I am not real crazy about a teenager being in charge of my three, very close-in-age boys, so I've put it off for a month or ten. But the time has come. I need to venture out and entrust my angels to someone soon.
I have some questions to throw out to you, the parents who are screaming at me, "Get over it already. Get a sitter and get out of the house!" When I call this girl, what do I say? "Um, hi, I'm the mom of three boys who might wear you out in thirty minutes. Would you like to come play for say two hours?"
No, but here are some genuine questions that I would appreciate your more experienced answers:
- I plan to ask her to come visit all 5 of us before asking her to actually babysit. What do I offer to pay for this visit?
- I plan to ask her for references. Is that being paranoid? I mean, I know I'm being paranoid, but how normal is it to ask for references?
- What do you pay for sitters these days?
- What else do I need to know?
I babysat when I was young. In fact, I began sitting at the age of ten years old, which is crazy to think about now! But I was a darn good sitter, if I do say so myself. I played with the kids, fed them well, followed their routine, cleaned up our messes, etc. I enjoyed it. So why am I so nervous about this from the parents' end? Because they're my kids!