Babysitters: They come in all varieties. There are the high school pros that have a constant rotation of families who pay for their Juice Stop trips and college savings accounts. Then there are the older vets who have extra time to fill with baby giggles and games of pattycake.
Being a retired nanny myself, I can remember sitting in my car, hyping myself up before meeting a new family. Picture the quickest, and generally loudest, interview you’ve ever had.
Imagine my surprise when I felt (just) as nervous when looking for a babysitter. We started with family and close friends and still found it hard to be gone for more than an hour or two.
What I've Learned
- Not all babysitters will vibe with your little one. When using someone new, schedule a bit of time before you leave for everyone to get to know each other.
- Writing down emergency contacts is a no-brainer, but don’t forget about including soothing teXchniques, rewards/ consequences, and “last-ditch efforts.” This will help both you and the sitter in the long run.
- If you wait for an excuse to have some “me time,” or “us time,” it will never happen. Scheduling a weekly date night, workout class, or Target run will validate the importance of taking time for other aspects of your life.
So when 605’s publisher Alana Snyder suggested we try out Bambino, the babysitting app, I had an instant flashforward to me reenacting scenes from Taken while stifling a small panic attack.
How could an app be as safe and reliable as word of mouth? People lie on the internet all the time, or at least that’s what Dateline has led me to believe.
After doing some research and hearing from other local moms about how much of a lifesaver it was, I decided to sign up and give it a go.
The sign-up process was really simple, and honestly kind of fun. It was like making a Tinder profile to find Sloan the perfect babysitter match, while combining LinkedIn and PayPal.
Babysitters are ranked from Junior to Elite based on their age, experience, and overall rating. Not only that, but each babysitter has a set of icons under their name that represent the specific skill set of the sitter, like “CPR Certified” or “Will Sit for Infants.”
After a few days of browsing the app, Reid and I requested our sitter, set a time, and not-so-patiently waited for her to arrive.
I was beyond nervous. I found myself pacing and rewriting the emergency numbers just to make sure they were legible.
Let me tell you, you think you’re a chill parent until you let a complete stranger into your home to babysit for a date night.
I felt like I was stuck in this weird limbo between going full-on “mama bear” and desperately wanting to impress this random 19-year-old.
Luckily, Sloan was instantly obsessed with said 19-year-old. She smiled at her right away, and after going through the basics, we were off.
» Sign up with the app with enough time to really look for babysitters who meet you and your child’s needs.
» Take advantage of reaching out to the community coordinator. They are there to answer any questions and ease any worries.
» Leave an honest and appropriate review. This is what parents and babysitters rely on when searching for the perfect match.
We contemplated spending our 2.5 hours at Target, and then we talked about finding somewhere to nap, and somehow we ended up at Thunder Road. The pre-sunset glow on the green turf brought us back to one of our very first dates.
We were both living in Vermillion and were working way too hard to impress each other one mini-golf game at a time. But man, we were the definition of infatuated. Everything was new and exciting, which left us feeling hopeful for the future.
It took us remembering this moment to realize that we have the ability to look at everything like we did on that date, even a new babysitter.
There will always be new things, some exciting and some, well, terrifying. That’s life—and the more I think about it the more I understand that it is my job to teach Sloan that new is nothing to be afraid of.
All this time I spent worrying about a new babysitter should’ve been spent being excited to have a new resource, a new friend for Sloan, and new opportunities to learn as a parent.
After playing an embarrassing 18 holes and stuffing our faces with wings, we made our way back to our babe, new outlook and all. She was asleep, our new babysitter said she was happy to come back, and we were left feeling content in our mini Bambino trial run.
Embrace the new, embrace the change, and embrace good babysitters.