Friday, December 20, 2013

A Note to Parents:

I am a nanny/babysitter that has been in action for about 10 yrs. I am good at what I do. I have been handed kids without as much as a word of advice and told, "See ya in 10 hours!". I have weathered kids through fevers, broken bones and sadness. I have been underpaid, overpaid, and not paid at all. I have fallen in love with some kids, wanted to run screaming from others. It is NOT an easy job, but I do it because I do believe good, solid childcare is important, and I love that I can do it with my son as a partner/playmate because he is a great helper. But I will say one thing as a warning to parents: Don't fuck with the babysitter.

The babysitter is someone who takes your child's ups and downs in stride. Your kid poops his pants and drops a whole roll of toilet paper in the bowl, while getting poo all over the bathroom? The babysitter isn't (well, a good babysitter wouldn't) make your child feel bad for it. He or she will help your child feel better, clean them up and sanitize the bathroom. The good babysitter will hug your child when they miss you. The good babysitter will feed your child, make sure they get enough water, ensure they take their vitamins. They will make sure they are clean, happy and exercised. The good babysitter will read to them, make sure they take good naps, and give them snacks.

Essentially, a good babysitter is parenting your child while you aren't there.

So if you lie to your babysitter, it makes them feel like you don't care about how they care for your child. It makes the babysitter feel like you don't value their hard work when you tell them you forgot to bring money to pay her. If you show up two hours late with a lame excuse, you throw a wrench in the babysitter's life (because we actually do have lives, ya know!!!) and we have to reschedule special events because of your poor planning, you make us feel very, very frustrated. And because we are good babysitter, we don't take it out on your kids. We internalize it. We deal with your inconsistencies. But it's just like having a really bad boss who puts you down. It hurts. And in turn, ultimately, we will have to let you go, and your hurt the kids we care for, because they get bounced to another caretaker, which is hard on them.

So here's my advice: Treat us as a very important part of your life. We are an extension of your parenting. We need to know what your kid's needs are. We need to know their likes and dislikes. We need to know when they are sick. We need to know how they react to certain foods, animals, situations, people. We need to know that you care enough to pay us promptly and at a rate that matches our time and ability. We need to be tipped for spending time past what you promised. We need to be cared for, because our needs are important for your child's well being. If all you do is care for us because you love your child, then do that. Your love of your child is important to us, and we need to know you care.

Be the good parent we all wish for and want to support. If you need help, chances are, we will help you. But don't resort to lying, cheating and disrespecting us. Your children don't deserve it, and your baby sitter doesn't deserve it.


A super exhausted, I-just-quit-my-last-family-babysitter, who needs-a-break-for-a-while-because-she-needs-to-go-cry, wishing-it-didn't-have-to-be-this-way-but-couldn't-find-another-solution nanny.

(PS- Bean Boy, I miss you. You and your parental units are the best I ever had to care for, ever.)

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