Babysitter quandaries

Filed under: Just For Moms, Toddlers Preschoolers

My husband and I are now the parents of TWO children, and we have yet to find a babysitter. How sad is that? The only time we ever spend alone with each other outside of the house is when family is in town and we manage to fob off the kids on them for a few hours.

I know I should really make an effort to find someone, I'm just not really sure where to start. We thought we had a good lead with a wonderful teacher from our toddler's daycare, but she turned out to be oddly flaky -- more than once promising to be available on a certain night, then canceling at the last minute.

There are some babysitter services I know of that seem pretty cool (Sittercity, for instance) but I haven't done much more than look at their websites. I don't know what my problem is, exactly -- I don't think of myself as an overly paranoid parent, I just . . . oh, I guess I just wish a Mary Poppins would drop out of the sky (umbrella in hand) and be the perfect, trustworthy person with whom to leave my kids.

So on a related subject, I got an email recently from someone who wondered if ParentDish readers might have any advice on her situation. Melissa has offered on multiple occasions to babysit her friend's 2.5 year old son, and her friend has never taken her up on it. She wonders if this is an implied criticism on her friend's part, if her friend doesn't think Melissa can properly care for her son.

My feeling is that it's really, really hard to let a friend help out in this manner, because it seems like a burden you're putting on their shoulders, even though they're volunteering. I know I've had friends offer to babysit Riley in the past and I never said yes, not because I thought they couldn't do a fine job but because I felt goofy about the situation. I'd rather pay someone to do the job and not feel like someone is doing me an enormous favor, but now that I sit here confessing that 1) I really wish I had a trustworthy babysitter and 2) I don't want to say yes to my trustworthy friends' kind offers, I think I probably sound like a damn idiot.

What do you guys think? Is it weird that Melissa's friend hasn't allowed her to babysit?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.