Thursday, 23 May 2013

Sit and Wonder

Less than a week after the minions were born their great grandmother Hazel* passed away.  At our one week doctors appointment we were told that it is quite common for one generation to leave very close to the arrival of the next generation.  Sadly this meant that Molly and Jack never got to meet their GG Hazel.  This also meant that we were knee deep in funeral arrangements, visitations and services a week after our double five pound bundles of joy arrived.
Yeah, that's right they're holding hands.
My close friend E and my brother watched Molly and Jack during the evening visitation and my parents looked after them for the funeral, burial and the family reception.**  We were thrust into having others take care of our children really early into parenthood.  I am thankful for the way this forced us to jump into the land of  baby-sitters.  I am also super happy with our three regular sitters who all care about Molly and Jack so much.

Chris and I are very lucky to have supportive family and friends who definitely do more than their fair share of minion child care support, but it's nice to have a couple of sitters available. Sometimes you need a date night, and sometimes you need to go out to dinner with friends and family to thank them for looking after your rug rats, AGAIN.
Here are some things to consider before you place an ad looking for a sitter:
  • Who do you envision as your ideal sitter? 
  • How old are they? (teenaged or adult) Mrs. Doubtfire vs. The Babysitter's Club
  • Do you already know them?  If they're younger and a neighbour, will their parents be home/available to help out if there is an emergency?
  • What training do you need them to have?  First aid?  Babysitting course? ECE worker?
  • What do you expect them to do?  Meal preparation? Light cleaning? Laundering or soaking of cloth diapers? Activities with your children?
  • How much can you afford/ are you willing to pay them?  I've heard anything from $8 an hour (this would likely be for a tween-teen sitter) to $17 for a licensed ECE worker with a ton of experience.  This can also be dependant on the number of children you have, their age, or the night (i.e. New Year's Eve is going to cost you more than a random Tuesday in June)
  • How will they get to your house?  Will you pick them up?  Or are they expected to come and go on their own?
  • Are you going to have a set date night or contact them on an as need basis?
  • Are you going to be home and use the sitter as an opportunity to complete chores or take a much needed nap?
  • When are you going to make the big leap? (I've been told that 9 months-12 months is one of the peak times for separation anxiety so you may want to start the sitter hunt and adjustment period a bit earlier than this).
In the next week I'll tackle some questions on where to find a sitter, interview and selection tips,  babysitter orientation and babysitter alternatives.

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*An eccentric lady with a penchant for Freixnet sparkling wine, show tunes, Hawaiian dancing, singing lobsters and Law and Order.
**I still remember tearing over to my folk's house between the burial and the reception to pump milk.  It felt like my boobs were going to explode.

1 comment:

  1. Great info! Especially with wedding and graduations coming up. Our calander is full the entire month of June.