I’ve been in this dilemma for some weeks now, as I need to go back to office work. My daughter is 14 months old and has entered that fantastic, but very tiresome phase of moving around the house like a drunken little human. I’ve worked from home for a month, but it is not possible to finish even half of what I have to do, as I have my little angel praying with her divine face to play or to do “ta-ta-ta-ta-ta”. So, I decided to hire a babysitter to take care of my baby for 6 hours/day and I wanted her to take care of my dearest in my place. Guess what, I found out this was a very complex process. There were so many factors to be considered and still there was no guarantee for success.
In the beginning I checked among my relatives, if I could find anyone suitable to do the babysitting for my baby-girl. I thought I could trust better somebody who is blood-related and already know my baby. But, in the real moment I started to scan them, I realized I could not trust any of them to do a good job with my baby. They were either: too old or too young, not patient or very slow, very old style or completely let-it-be, not informed or very theoretical. There were two people I fully trusted, but they already had other professional engagements.
I asked for advice, or even any specific recommendation, from my friends. None of them helped me with that, as they knew how keen I am about my baby and how picky I am in the way I raise my child. Instead, many of them shared their experiences with babysitters. I was impressed by one story in particular. Parents decided to replace their 50 years old nanny with a 18 years old girl. The reason was they did not want the nanny to interfere in the education of their baby. They wanted the nanny to love their child, follow their instructions and offer amusement to their baby for the time she spent with her; their baby was a girl too and had the same age with mine. The only advice I received was to have my mother take care for my daughter for those 6 hours. As much as I know how important is grandma in my daughter’s life, I believe it would be exhausted for my mom to run after my diamond for so long.
Then, I went to check any company available in my city, that would help me solve this problem. I contacted two of them and even had a face-to-face meeting with their staff. They offered babysitting services, but were not very keen to have their staff stay in my home. The other thing I didn’t like was the fact they practiced changing of babysitters based on their company needs. I don’t want to have many people coming and going to my place, as I want my daughter to feel comfortable with the person that stays with her.
Finally, I ended up navigating online to see if I could get a better solution there. I found so many pages in Facebook dedicated to babysitting. Endless posts and messages exchanged between unknown people to negotiate demand and supply for babysitting services. I even found a poll organized by one of these pages about the ideal age of the babysitter. Out of 635 votes, 56% of parents voted for the babysitter to be 35 – 45 years old, while 44% preferred younger babysitters at age 18 -35 years old. I didn’t know if the results of this poll was right or wrong, so I posted them to a group of moms asking for their opinion. Their opinions differed based on mothers’ age. Younger mothers preferred younger babysitters, while older mothers trusted older babysitters. Almost all mothers would not preferred a babysitter younger than 24 years old. Many of them set as criteria for the babysitter to be mothers themselves, so they are familiar with needs of a little baby. One of them said something that stick in my mind: “I want the person taking care of my baby to be similar to me, in terms of age, behavior and the energy she would spend with my child”.
With all the knowledge I gained at that point, I posted my request: “Required babysitter for a 14 months baby-girl for 6 hours/day. Interested people should write in the comment box”. I know it is a general announcement, but I’ve learned by my HR experience that the best way to find good staff is to meet them face-to-face. Even though you might loose time with some interviews, they will serve to better understand what not to choose. There were many messages back and I scheduled first interviews. Together with the dear aunt of my girl, my sister, we conducted the first interviews in a private area of a coffee bar. We had a lot of fun meeting all those nice ladies and in the end we came up with three candidates ready to undergo the second interviews. They took place in my house and the panel was composed of my mother, my husband and myself. All three ladies met our daughter too and took a tour to the house. Separately, we checked their references and finally came up with our first babysitter for my baby. She received the highest score and on top of that my mother happened to know her family and that made all three of us to vote unanimously.
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In the end of the process, I felt I did so much work to find my first babysitter, equal to the work done for hiring a top manager of a big company. Apparently, my bright diamond deserve always the best and every tiny bit of her happiness is worthy for our dedication and love.
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