How do I find a GREAT babysitter?
1. Determine qualifications.
Sit down with your spouse and decide what qualifications are necessary for you to find in a good sitter.
2. Ask around.
There are plenty of people to talk to about babysitters. If you feel you're running out of ideas, try a few of these:
3. Meet your potential sitters (aka, interview them!)
Interview your to-be babysitters in a casual atmosphere. Call them up and invite them to meet you at the park or at your home - somewhere you can comfortably introduce them to your kids.
See how they interact with the kids. Talk to them about how much they charge per hour, and how much advanced notice they prefer before sitting. Explain what your expectations are for them (cell phone and computer usage, friends over, rules and guidelines you set, etc). See if they are a good fit.
(FYI - Sometimes younger teenagers, who can't drive yet, are the BEST babysitters, so don't overlook age if someone is mature and has a lot of experience.)
4. Don't overlook the older couple next door!
You know the ones I'm talking about. Yes, your next door neighbors who are in their late sixties who spend a lot of time watering their plants and going on walks. It may surprise you how willing they are to come hang out at your home while you and your spouse go on a date. Yes, "Grandma and Grandpa," next door may become your favorite babysitters, ever!
5. Do a couple swap!
Talk to your friends-with-kids (FWK) and see if they would be up for a regular babysitting swap. You could take their kids every Friday, and they could take yours on Saturday. Or, you could switch off every other week. This option is great for those looking to save a little moola on babysitting, or for those who just feel more comfortable having someone they know, and trust, watch their kids.
Finding a great babysitter isn't easy, but just remember - once you find one you like, keep them! Call them regularly and pay them enough to keep them coming back!
Your kids will be happy. Your babysitter will be happy. And your marriage will be happy.
"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person."
- Mignon McLaughlin
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