The Ins-and-Outs of Hiring a Nanny or Babysitter
The first time I ever had to hire a babysitter was when my daughter was six months old and I was going to do some part-time work. I was a nervous wreck about finding someone who would be just perfect for my firstborn child. I found a lovely nanny through people I trusted and although I was nervous about leaving my child, I knew she would be in good hands.
However, I was shocked when, after leaving her for the first time, I came home to find her sitting in her highchair with the nanny feeding her and she was parked in front of the 5 o’clock news on TV! I had read tons of articles about not letting your baby watch TV until at least the age of two, etc, etc. I was so upset to walk in and see my baby in front of the television. However, I had never communicated this expectation to the nanny. I had assumed. Well, obviously, she couldn’t read my mind. It was my first lesson on how specific you need to sometimes be and how well you have to communicate with the person caring for your children.
Make a list of questions and don’t be afraid to ask them. You will regret not doing it later. Some of the questions you should ask are whether they are certified in infant and child CPR, whether they would be willing to do some cooking, cleaning, or driving, what their discipline strategies are, do they mind dealing with pets (if you have any), their fee, and how they would deal with an emergency. Of course, you will probably have many more questions specific to your family.
Ask for multiple references (at least 3) and call them all. If you start to feel bad about this, remember that this is a stranger coming into your home, watching your children. Some people even like to do a background check. If the person is resistant to any of this, she probably isn’t a person you want watching your children.
Decide on your general age preference. Do you mind hiring a teenager or do you prefer someone older? There are benefits to both, but you have to decide what is important to you. A teenager might be a little less expensive, but will they be as reliable as an older person? A teenager might be more savvy with technology and help your kids learn new things on the computer.
Determine their potential reliability. It takes a lot of work to find just the right person to watch your children. Make sure they are in this for the long haul. Ask them their schedule and see if theirs matches yours. Ask how long they worked for their previous families. It shows good character when someone had been with a family for a long time.
Finding the right babysitter is like finding a wonderful member of your extended family. Taking the time to find just the right person is worth your peace of mind, and is important for the well-being of your children.
Meet The Bella Behind the Blog: Kristen Farley is a mother of three and a domestic goddess. She is a former teacher who enjoys spending lots of time with her kids, healthy eating, volunteering at school, and mommy blogging for the masses.