Seriously - how do you find your sitters?
Good question. Shy of having older relatives living a short driving distance away, I have no effin’ idea.
for us it was the bonus of the kid going to daycare and the teachers there offering parents night as well as drop off baby sitting.
I used Care.com. It was expensive but provided a good selection and filtering process that made finding one pretty easy. I was using it for a long-term situation so paying for it for a month was worth it.
Also, if you’re looking for someone on a regular basis check with other parents, especially ones who are “aging out” of the need for a sitter.
Are you or your kids a part of any youth organizations (Scouts, Guides, etc.)?
Those organizations tend to focus on teaching responsibility, so maybe one of the older youth would be a good choice as a babysitter.
Yeah, people tend to hoard a resource like that, though there’s also a strong tradition (at least in my neighborhood) of people “out-placing” caregivers that they’re letting go, typically because their kids started school or are old enough to take care of themselves or whatever.
If you’re not looking for a full-time or part-time nanny type, another option to consider is either joining or creating your own babysitting exchange. There’s actually an app for that (at least on iOS) and if you need guidance, time-based alternative currency systems happens to be my specialty.
Teachers at daycare are often willing to take on babysitting gigs at night, as well… the babysitter we’ve had for years and years was a daycare teacher who was looking for extra work.
Once the kids got older, and we needed some “pick up from school” or “day off from school” type care (with the occasional night), we have a neighbor who teaches at a local university who asked her students to see if anyone was interested in some extra “beer money” (she didn’t actually call it that, but…).
We got lucky and got the kid into Boys and Girls Club which was awesome and right on the school grounds also worked great for summers. Now he is old enough to take care of himself for a few hours and it is so nice.
I usually set out wine coolers or alco-pop, with a string attached.
Yeah, that’s where my family kinda fell short. When my kids were real young, my parents were too far away and too old, then just way too old, and now too dead to be any help. I was the last of my parents’ seven kids to produce grandchildren for them (there are seven other grandchildren and five great-grandchildren older than my kids, plus two or three more great-grandkids who are newer than mine), so I can’t blame them for being unable to help much due to my late start.
My in-laws are significantly younger (and far more energetic, especially now) than my parents, and since my kids are their only grandkids, they positively dote upon them. But… they live over four hundred miles away, so we only get the benefit of their babysitting services a couple times a year.
We always had to rely upon recommendations to find sitters, and it was never easy. Nor cheap; the going rate in our area was usually $15/hr for the pair of 'em. It takes some parent-to-parent networking, and also some trial and error, especially if your kids don’t adapt to just anyone.
This needs to go hand in hand with the ability to trust your fellow earthlings. I know so many parents that are so worried that their babysitter is going to harm or exploit or steal their children, that they never even try.
Getting started early will help both you and your children get used to the idea of trusting someone else with your kids.
Yup - my sister nannied and taught preschool for a number of years, and she’d pick up night/weekend babysitting gigs from parents of current and former students.
Craigslist. I hate my kids.
That’s true. Our son particularly liked one of his preschool teachers, and she was often willing to babysit for some extra dough. Preschool teachers are generally criminally underpaid.
Our kids sometimes took an occasional class at The Little Gym, and they had, once every other month or so, a program whereby you could drop off your kids in their jammies around 6:00 PM, and they’d fart around in the gym with a couple of the teachers until everyone got tired, then they’d curl up and watch a movie until the parents came to pick them up by 10:00. I think it cost $25/kid or something. I think several of the kids’ gym chains do something similar.
just “some time.” My wife and I actually went out for lunch-time dinner twice this year. We saw a movie together… a couple of years ago?
My kids actually ask to go to the cemetery. They like running around. I like looking. Since they’ve started to play “zombie and vampire” however, I’m a little more nervous about being overheard. Back when it was just my son wondering if cars had ghosts it wasn’t such a big deal.
A couple of weeks ago we went for a diner at a friends place. An evening away for the first time in. Oh, I won’t say. But it is not a good idea to leave such things for such a long while.
Good luck finding a sitter, good idea! Parents need to take care of each other and themselves also.
I live within walking distance of Mountain View cemetery in Altadena, which you’ve probably seen a million times on TV and in movies, since it’s the most traditionally cemetery-looking cemetery in L.A.
I’m told that productions film at the cemetery something like 150 days a year, so if you don’t mind grips squatting on your grave every other day, it’d be a fun place to get planted. My kids keep bugging me to go visit there one of these days. On The Mentalist, we typically shot there three or four times a season.
Anyone cool buried there?