I must say, there is nothing quite like finding a great babysitter. Maybe it is (partly) because it requires so much legwork for us to find them. If you don't have the luxury of family nearby who can babysit, you must find outside help if you ever want to get out of the house solo.
If you stay at home full time, it helps you to be a just [little] less frantic to know you get a couple hours to run errands by yourself once a week. And whether you work or stay home, a weekend sitter for occasional date nights is worth the trouble of finding one, training one, introducing her to your babies/toddlers/kids, and enduring the screaming cries that will most certainly ensue as you and your spouse leave (flee?) the house.
*[While on the subject of babysitters, may I ask that we not judge moms who use their resources to find occasional help? It takes A LOT of work to find a sitter; they do not fall out of trees. Plus, getting out of the house alone is a self-care measure and it hurts when their is judgement around the issue].
So where do you find one of these wonderful people? It's tricky. Many moms are reluctant to share their sitters because they found them and rightfully want to make sure their sitter is available when they need them. In an effort to help your year be less frantic, here are some other ways to find high quality sitters:
1. Care.com. It's like Match.com for nannies and sitters, and it comes with a month-to-month price. Let me guess: you think finding a sitter online is sketchy. I thought that at first too. Then I got desperate. Remember this: these days everyone is online and as long as you meet the sitter and check her references, websites like this one can be very helpful.
2. Nanniesforhire.com. Similar to Care.com, but it is more expensive. Most suited for those looking for regular part-time or full-time help.
3. Career Posting at your local college. This has been a source of energetic, nice college-age sitters for us-- many of the students who respond are education majors and love kids! Jackpot! Not all schools allow individuals to post jobs, but it's worth a shot. Call their career services office to ask. Perhaps there is even a way to post your job on a bulletin board near the education classrooms?
4. Neighbors and friends' kids. What could be better than the neighbor kids who lives down the street? If he or she is young, I would recommend starting her as a Mother's Helper, which means she plays with your kids while you attempt to go about your chores and business while in the house.
What other ways have you found great babysitters?
Best of luck in your quest for enjoying a latte alone on a Tuesday afternoon or a fun night out! You deserve it.
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