It is finally date night. She is all jazzed up and ready for a night out. Finally, a night where mom and dad can feel like younger, cooler versions of themselves. They get to be kid free which means no diapers, no chicken nuggets, no fussing, and no whining. The only whine mommy is dealing with comes in a glass. So, the excitement is in the air and ding dong. Enter the baby sitter.
Isn’t she great? Mom and dad finally found someone they trust. Someone they don’t have to worry about being on their phone the whole time, or inviting her boyfriend or friends over. This babysitter actually cares for their children because she likes kids and she loves her job. This kind-hearted woman, be it old or young, shows up on time. She cooks and even cleans up a little after the kids. Above all else she keeps the kids safe and sound, and for the most part she keeps the kids pretty happy, too.
So, why in the world would mom and dad screw up this beautiful relationship? Why would they do anything to jeopardize the Friday or Saturday night freedom they long for all week? The truth is nobody really knows. Babysitters sure don’t. Maybe some mom and dad’s figure that good babysitters are a dime a dozen and they can just log on and find a new one if the current one won’t stick it out. Whatever the case may be, the babysitters have had enough. Here are 15 baby sitters that can’t stand the parents.
There is nothing worse than being stiffed. Some babysitters discuss their fees before the start of their duties but some trust the parents to be fair when it comes to the time to pay up. Unfortunately, many parents end up shorting the babysitter out of her hard earned cash. Let’s get real here. Watching 2 kids for 4 hours does not equal 25 bucks, no matter how sweet and easy your children are to deal with that night.
Becca* in Florida said she went over to a new family’s house to watch their 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old toddler. The parents left the house at 6pm and returned home at 11:30, to find both of their sweet daughters sound asleep and everything nice and tidy. They thanked the babysitter and handed her 35 dollars. Do the math here, and that’s not even ten bucks an hour to watch two kids! In most parts of the country, Becca wasn’t even paid minimum wage! What a crummy way to say thank you.
When a parent hires an adult to watch a child, then the adult should be in charge, correct? Sound simple enough, but many parents seem to be confused about roles. There is nothing worse a parent can do to a babysitter than belittle them in front of the children they are about to watch. It sounds kind of crazy and highly unlikely but it happens all the time. Parents leave their homes and basically leave their kids in charge, with a babysitter as a stand-by adult.
To illustrate this point, Hilda* from Nacogdoches told this story: She was asked to watch one of the kids from the afterschool program she assisted in for one night, so the mom could go on a date. As the was leaving a guy showed up to repair a leaky faucet. The mom told the repairman that if he needed anything to ask her five-year-old daughter, not Hilda (the 26-year-old adult) she was leaving to watch her child. The five-year-old girl took that to mean she was in charge and tried to boss Hilda around the entire afternoon.
Moms and dads can’t wait for date night, and once they are out some of them spend the whole evening checking back in on the kids. Newsflash: Constantly calling the babysitter to check on the kids does three things. One, it distracts the babysitter from watching the children. She is now spending time on the phone like the parents asked her not to do. Two, it can make the kids want to talk to the parents, which makes the babysitter's job even harder. Three, it signifies a lack of trust in the sitter to do his or her job, and if the parents cannot trust the individual to watch their children, then why on earth did they leave their children in this person’s care?
It is totally fine to check in once by text, but anything more than that is unnecessary and causes issues. Natalie* in Alabama, said a mother once phoned her 8 times in a two-hour period, to check in on the baby. Funny thing is the mom was at the movies! What a waste of a date and money!
Babysitters understand that children have allergies. Many babysitters have sensitivities to allergens themselves, so it’s no big deal when parents make simple requests. Do not feed her juice. Milk upsets his tummy. They won’t eat the crust. These kinds of requests are typical and should be honored. The problem is that some parents take it to another level. They ask babysitters to prepare culinary school style meals for their children. Making requests like: blanching or steaming things, or even things that need to rise and bake are better left for mommy and daddy when they are home. Insanely enough, some parents try to get the babysitters to make their children eat the things the parents themselves have not be able to get their kids to eat.
Renee* in Miami, says that one night she was sitting and the parents left this all vegetable casserole with vegan cheese for the kids to eat. Renee begged the kids to just try it but they would not take one bite. When the parents returned home, Renee admitted that the kids would not eat the casserole so she had made them PB and J sandwiched. To which the parents laughed and told her they’ve never been able to get the kids to try either!
Babysitters are hired to provide care when mom or dad is not able to be there, right? So, why in the world do parents ask for care for their children and then stay home? Ask a babysitter, and he or she will tell you that there is nothing more irritating than a peek-a-boo parent. The babysitter arrives to watch the kids, and then the adult just goes in the next room, constantly peeking in to check on the kids. They peek in to tell the babysitter what they should do and when they should it. They peek in and tell everyone it’s time to eat. Some babysitters say it makes them feel as if they are one of the kids.
It’s one thing to request help for a mom or dad that works at home and needs a back-up set of eyes and hands. But it is quite another when the mom or dad is lurking about the entire time. Samantha* from Pensacola gave another spin to this issue. She said that one mom hangs around the whole time she watches the kids, and then pays her 50% of what she’s owed because she had “help”!!!
There is nothing a babysitter fears more than being overwhelmingly outnumbered. Most babysitters can handle multiple children if they are warned in advance. But sometimes when the babysitter shows up she takes a head count and sees that there are more kids than she signed up for because the parents decided to pull a fast one. Nice parents would call the sitter and ask if he or she would mind if there is an extra kid at their home that evening and offer to pay her more. While others let the sitter show up and deal with the frenzy.
Whether the little ones decided to have a last-minute sleepover, or the parents decided to do a group date with the neighbors, the babysitter should always be forewarned. Francine* in Annapolis says one night she showed up to babysit for her regular Friday night family who has twin girls. When she arrived, there was twin girls, a toddler boy, and an infant! They did pay her double but, geez Louise, what a night that must have been!
Most babysitters can understand a parent wanting to come home a little late. Usually it’s perfectly fine, if the babysitter knows they are expected to stay late. Typically, before the parents slip out the front door they give the sitter some sort of idea about how long they will be out. For instance, if a mom or dad says they will be having dinner and catching a movie, they will probably be out for 4 to 5 hours. So, if they left at 6pm, they should be home by 11pm. If parents say they are going out for drinks and dancing, sitters might expect them to be home around midnight or so. But anything after midnight should be cleared in advance and at the very minimum requested via text as the night progresses.
It’s hard to believe some parents stay out for hours, like way longer than would be expected with no communication. Raine* from New York said one night she showed up to babysit and the parents left at 5pm and did not return until 3am. Raine, who was 18 at the time and living with her folks, had to deal with her own angry parents when she finally got home.
Some children are what folks might consider "difficult". They throw tantrums when things do not go as they would like. They scream, pout, whine, and shout all the time. Sometimes their parents exacerbate the problem by ignoring it or rewarding their children for this unfitting and unbecoming behavior. So what is a babysitter to do? Not much. If mom and dad allow terrible behaviour, there is not much a babysitter can do in the limited hours they spend with the child. This means babysitters have to put up with some nasty little tykes.
Hannah* from Reno shared a story about a sweet (and sometimes very sour) little girl she used to look after during the summer. The little girl had a bad habit of speaking her mind about some very grown-up topics. Once when Hannah was looking around the fridge for something to eat and drink, the little girl pointed out that she "might want to stick with a diet coke..."
Remember in Meet the Parents, when the dad set up that nanny camera to spy on the soon to be son-in-law? It didn't turn out so well. There is nothing that says "we trust you" like a surveillance system. It is one thing if the family already has cameras set up around the outside of their home (well, its kind of creepy if there are cameras in the home), but it is another situation altogether if the family has a camera hidden just to keep an eye on the babysitter.
In some states, recording someone audio or video is illegal if it is done without their knowledge. If the parents don't trust the person they have left to care for their children, maybe they should rethink the whole situation. One mom said a girlfriend of hers purposefully leaves out expensive jewelry and sometimes even cash in front of a hidden camera to constantly "test the honesty" of the housekeepers and nannies that work in her large home. So not cool.
Sometimes when mom and dad want to sneak out for a date, the babysitter can't make it. Maybe she already had plans, maybe she is even sitting for another family. Listen, trying to find a babysitter during the holiday can be very difficult. There are holiday parties, cookie bake-offs, church and school plays, work events, and pot-lucks. There are a multitude of other events throughout the year that keep the babysitters planners packed with sitting gigs. So, when the babysitter has to say no, some parents don't handle it so well. Some of them pretty much flip out.
Kallie* out in Bel Air said one time she told a family she could not sit for them on her regular Friday night session and they never called her again. She had been working for the family for a year and a half.
Mom and dad have returned from dinner and they are feeling great. Maybe mom has had a glass or three of wine and she is feeling a little loose lipped. Dad wanders up stairs and the babysitter finds her self face to face with a mom in need of some tipsy "girl-talk". The babysitter just wants to be paid so she can rush home and wash the play-doh off her jeans, and peanut butter out of her hair but now she is stuck listening to how this mom "should've have followed he heart and stayed in ballet".
Thirty to forty-five minutes later, the mom finally hands her the hard earned cash and she is released from babysitter/counselor duty. Renee* from St. Louis said one night a mom talked to her for an hour straight even bursting into tears talking about how motherhood would changed her life one day.
Life does not always run as smoothly as people would hope. Sometimes people have to cancel and sometimes those cancellations come without prior notice. The problem is when a person cancels something that they booked or made an appointment for or with someone, at times there are fees. Take the the doctors office, most of them have a policy where if the patient does not cancel with a 24 hours notice that they will charge some portion of the fees associated with the visit. The same thing goes for massage appointments. If a client books the therapist's time, thus preventing the therapist from being able to be booked by another client, and then cancels at the last minute, they still pay for some if not all of the time they requested.
What about sitters? This is not the case. Parents cancel on sitters all the time with no regard for the sitters time or money. Jill* in Frisco, said she arrived to a woman's home to watch her children and no one was home. When she finally got ahold of the mom, the mom said "oops" and that she had meant to text her!
If parents hire a babysitter to watch their children, they should expect the following: some drawing, some playing, some food, some TV. Maybe throw in a bath and some story time. This typical set-up can be adjusted to fit the family. If the family is TV free, then there would be more play time and vice versa. There needs to be a notice sent out to many parents that babysitters are not tutors, coaches, chauffeurs, chefs, etc. Babysitters are child-care providers and should not be expected to do much more than care for children. Meaning the main goals are keeping the kids happy, safe, and busy.
Ryan* in Detroit said one family repeatedly asked her to go over their son's math homework during her sitting hours. Little did the family know that math was Ryan's worse subject. She barely understood the kids homework herself!
When kids get sick, they can't be around other children. If they are they can cause other children to get sick. So, having a babysitter for situations like these is important. The problem is when parents are not up front about their child being sick. Many babysitters report showing up for duty and the parents are vague on the child's condition. They do not discover the little one is sick until they are covered in vomit or snot. First and foremost the babysitter should be warned in advance of an illness because he or she may not want to catch it and they also might care for other children that could get sick as a result of her being around the nasty little germs. Yolanda* in Dallas, said she actually caught strep throat from a child she was caring for and the parents told her the kid just had a cold. Hey. maybe they honestly didn't know...
Most babysitters love the families that they sit for because they truly enjoy their job. But there has to be some point where the line is drawn. It is okay to invite the babysitter to a party or birthday event, if you are paying him or her and asking them to help out. The reason they should not be asked to show up just to "hang out" is because that never happens. Sure enough thirty to forty-five minutes after they show up, they will be requested to help out. Help out with the cleaning, keep an eye on the kids, there will be some reason that the babysitter will have to act like a "babysitter".
Just like it is advised to keep friendship lite in the workplace, babysitting is a job. Therefore, parents do not friend request your babysitters on social media outlets. They need to be able to have a personal life away from their professional life. Nobody is saying that babysitters should have such hot and wild profiles that they need to keep them hidden, but parents should respect boundaries. Zane* in Atlanta said one of the moms she sits for requested for her to add the mom as a friend. Then she started receiving all these alerts that the mom was liking all her old pictures. Zane had nothing to hide but she also didn't want the mom all up in her business either!
Sources: Today.com, Mommish.com