I started babysitting when I was quite young, popping next door to watch a few kids around my neighbourhood while their parents went on date nights. It was a good gig that helped pay for my new shopping addiction, but it wasn’t always easy.
Year after year I learned the hard way how to keep tiny humans happy, usually after making a big mistake and calling my mum for advice. But one thing that was abundantly clear from the very beginning was that I would never, under any circumstance, raise my concerns or questions with the parents.
That sentiment seems to be consistent among all young babysitters, so when I became a parent myself and started hiring sitters to watch my kids, I decided I was going to be different. I was going to be the perfect employer.
“I’m a cool parent with enough experience to understand exactly what they need from me”, I said to my partner. “They’ll text if they don’t know what to do, right?”
Mums confess. The things I do after the kids got to bed:
Most babysitters are quite young, so it’s important that parents take the lead on direct communication. But how can you know exactly what they’re thinking if the sitters don’t feel comfortable speaking up?
I decided to go straight to the horse’s mouth and ask a dozen babysitters who have all watched kids in the last 30 days exactly what they were thinking when “sitting on” your precious cargo. And here’s what they wish you knew:
1. “I wish they would feed me, too.”
Oftentimes parents put a lot of effort into preparing food for their kids, but they completely forget about the sitter. As most parents don’t expect a babysitter to cook and watch their kids at the same time, it makes sense to have a pre-made meal in the fridge. But what is a sitter supposed to do?