Monday, January 11, 2010

Adventures in Babysitting

Growing up, I absolutely loved the movie, Adventures in Babysitting, although I never did have a babysitter myself. My parents were very lucky to have my grandparents nearby to watch us everyday during the summer, after school, or for times they needed a date night.

We, on the other hand, don't exactly have that luxury. When Mike's mom comes to stay from Illinois, it's so awesome to have the chance to get out for some fun on the town. Otherwise, with my family living no closer than an hour away & working full-time, we don't often go out unless our neighbors or friends volunteer to watch Cam.

Today at work my friend asked us if we wanted to grab a beer on Saturday & listen to some live music. I said that it sounded great, but I'd have to figure out who could possibly watch Cam. Since they have 3 kids, they'll also be looking for a babysitter. Mike came up with the idea of picking someone off the web from a site called Sittercity, which specializes in child care, but I find myself a bit apprehensive.

I guess the hesitancy comes from the fact that since I've never dealt with babysitters, I really don't know how to go about it. Do I meet the potential sitter before the actual night we're going out to be sure that she's a good fit? A lot of the candidates seem great; they're students, moms themselves, teachers or just have a love for kids. But how can I be sure that when we leave the house, Cam will be well taken care of? Since he can't talk yet, it's impossible that he'd be able to verbalize any issues. How do I know that we won't come home to an empty house & the "sitter" ended up being a crazy person who kidnaps children?!

I'm just wondering if it'd even be worth looking into? Would I be sitting with my friends, beer in hand, but unable to enjoy myself from the anxiety of hoping everything was going well at home?

Have any of you ever hired a complete stranger to watch your child? What do you do when you want to get out from time to time, but have no family or friends available? Help! Any advice would be appreciated!!

I can't trust just anyone with my little man!

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  1. I wouldn't do it, but that's just me. Honestly I prefer to leave her w/ family or someone that at least has had a kid so they know all the dangers/rules, etc! My advice is to swap childcare with another family once a month or so, then you get time out and so do they but you dont have to pay for it! Or find someone responsible from your church!

  2. You can always bring the little man over to Greens!!

  3. I too watched that movie about 1000 times but that’s because my sister loved it so it was always on, and I can probably still repeat the movie verbatim. I feel the same way you do about leaving you baby in the hands of a stranger, I would be way stressed out and couldn’t enjoy myself during the night. Kelly and I used to go on dates, at least 5 times a month and in Leah’s first year we have been on 4 total dates, where it was just the two of us. We knew having a baby would hinder our social life a little, and we tried to live it up beforehand. Now the times we do go out, are just that more special. It would nice to go to a bar at the drop of a hat, and listen to music and there will be a time in our lives we can do that again, but just not at the moment. Luckily we still get to hang out with you guys at the house. Plus mike’s mom comes 3 or 4 times a year which allows you guys to have some date nights. If you do decide to use that website and works out let me know, and I might reconsider.

  4. Yeah, I don't know. I have never used a babysitting service, nor do I know anyone who has. Obviously, Mike & I don't have much of a social life since having kids. Which is fine for us. Every time we do go out, all we do is talk about the girls anyway and we're usually in a hurry to get back home. The only babysitters we've ever used are family, friends or our neighbor across the street which are free and never a worry. Of course we do have to plan in advance and it's hard to be spontaneous... but that's just part of parenthood. I agree with Lesli. I suggest you ask around your neighborhood and at church. I'm sure there's someone capable and trustworthy right in your own community. Otherwise trading date nights with Matt & Kelly is a smart idea... or with us for that matter! We would love to have Cam overnight! He could have a little pajama party with his cousins!

  5. Another option is the children of coworkers. I haven't had anyone babysit Lily yet (and I am very blessed because a few of my local friends have infants of their own, so it would be easy to have one of them watch her), but I do have a coworker with two teenage daughters, and have made a mental note that if I ever need a sitter, they would be good options.

  6. You just leave the babysitting to me, Allison! I'll take Cam anytime!

  7. Thanks for the insight everyone (and the offers to watch Cam!) After thinking about it, I decided that I will just stick with utilizing friends & family since I know I will just be too worried to have fun anyway. I will check with my church to see if they have any trusted people.

    We're the same way too with talking about Cam the entire time we're out & missing him/rushing to get back home to him. Like you said, Matt, it's part of parenthood & it won't always be like this... I'm not complaining though! Cam is worth never going out for the next ten years!

  8. I think we'll just start bringing Cam out to the bars once he's 3 years old. That's a good age, right? I mean he'll love the music and there's no smoking in the bars so it's cool. KIDDING! Love the little guy!