An Open Letter to my Future Babysitter

Dear Future Babysitter of my Three Young Children,

I am a veteran rockstar babysitter. In other words, I was the most coveted babysitter in my entire neighborhood.  I was more interested in making money than hanging out with my friends.  I treated the kids I babysat for, as younger {and sometimes preferred!} siblings.   And it felt great to be fought over by numerous families on Friday and Saturday nights.  So I thought I would let you know how I was so successful, and what I {as a parent} now expect from you {my babysitter} when you care for my kids.

A humorous letter to a babysitter spelling out the mom's expectations for the evening. Great read for teenagers and moms alike. #parenting #babysitter #teenager #childcare                                                            Edited image courtesy of Prawny

First of all, please recognize that I am leaving my babies with you, a relative stranger.  I am literally trusting you with my little ones’ lives.  Please take this very seriously.  Pay attention to directions, and ask questions.  Make sure I write down both of our phone numbers {and maybe even a neighbor or two}, and where we are going to be.  I know you want to be the “fun one,” but please put safety before fun and discipline if you need to.

Actually follow the directions that I give you.  If I tell you I want the kids in bed by 8, I mean just that…they should be in their beds, going to sleep at 8:00.  Even if I don’t spell it out for you, just assume that my kids need to wear pajamas, brush their teeth, and go to the bathroom before getting into bed.  And no, they may not sleep in “dress up.”  If I don’t specifically ask you to give them a bath, then please don’t.  There may be several reasons for this, ranging between my comfort level with you {relative stranger} washing their bits and pieces, to me not wanting to have to pay you more when my toddler poops in the tub.  Trust me, you’ll thank me later for that.

After feeding the kids, it sure would be nice if you rinsed and loaded the dishwasher with their dishes.  Don’t worry about scrubbing pots or anything, just basic clean-up.  Wiping down counters, cleaning up any spills and refrigerating leftovers are also expected.  If the kids are already fed when you arrive, I don’t expect you to clean anything in the kitchen {but if you do, I promise you will have a babysitting job for life!}.

I may tell you to “make yourself at home.”  What I mean by this is feel free to look for something that you need {pertaining to my children} in the cabinets.  For example, if you run out of toilet paper, by all means search closets and under sinks to find more!  Please help yourself to a soda, some dinner, a cookie from the plate on the counter.  No, you may not “fix” yourself a “drink.” {I don’t care how old you are!}  And no, your friend/boyfriend may not come over to “help” you babysit.  I hired you because I thought you could handle my kids alone.  Hopefully, I’ll remember to show you how to work the remote, but please only watch TV after the kiddos are in bed…and obviously, keep it to the appropriate {and free!} channels.

My kids will beg you to let them watch TV/play on the iPad, etc.  But, I am not paying you for screen time.  I expect you to play with my children.  They are generally thrilled that you {cool teenager} are here just for them.  Get creative!  I’m positive that this was one of the determining factors of my babysitting success. I was famous for my games.  I came up with “House Olympics” involving different types of competitions and obstacle courses, many of which ended up requiring the children to clean up areas of the house {i.e. “Who can build the tallest Lego tower in 20 seconds? …aka “I’m tricking you into cleaning up the Legos” or “Pyramid Cup Stacking Race….straight out of the dishwasher”}.  Or, don’t get creative…my girls are perfectly happy to have a guinea pig  friend to try out new hairstyles on, and my toddler will roll a ball to just about anyone!  As long as you are engaging with my kids, I’m happy.  And on the clean-up note….I’m always super impressed when the playroom is cleaned up when I get home!!

A humorous letter to a babysitter spelling out the mom's expectations for the evening. Great read for teenagers and moms alike. #parenting #babysitter #teenager #childcare

When I ask you, “How were the kids?”  please tell me the truth.  I promise I will hire you again even if you say my kids were terrible!  I truly want to know if someone was being disrespectful or mean, and I will respect you more for being honest.

Although I prefer my babysitters to be able to drive, it’s not a deal breaker.  But please have your own ride to and from my house.  It’s a bummer to come home after a night out just to have to turn around and drive you 20 minutes back home.  And if I do have to drive you home….please pacify me with some small talk.  Although I’m not totally interested in who your soccer team is playing next week, I’d rather talk about that than have 20 minutes of silence!

And finally, although keeping my kids alive for three hours is a big job, please realize that you are still a teenager.  I’m thankful that you gave up some of your Friday night to play with my kiddos, but I did not hire you with the intention of making you independently wealthy.  I have checked with my friends, and yes, that is the going rate for partially educated, minors in the childcare field {and dinner was even included!}.  Yes, you may deserve more than that during the hours that the kids are awake {especially if they poop in the tub!}, but you also deserve less than that after they are asleep and you are watching Bravo and texting your BFF.   So, it all averages out, right?

In conclusion, I’m touched that you like my kids enough to want to spend your Friday night with them.  I’m hoping you will still like them enough to continue to babysit for them next week too!  I think it’s important for my little ones to have real teenage role models to form relationships with….so keep my kids {who idolize you!} in mind on those Friday nights that you are out with your friends, and remember them as you make all of those those tough choices that are forming who you become as an adult.

Good luck!…..and are you free Saturday!?!?

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