Choosing not to tell the babysitter something certainly comes with a certain amount of risk. It’s evident that many parents believe that by omitting important details, they’re actually doing a good thing.
Take for instance the case of mom telling the babysitter that the kids usually go to bed at 8pm when in reality, they have never had a set bedtime. While Mom may think that she’s doing the babysitter a favor by potentially providing the babysitter with some downtime, the thing is that if those kids were never used to a set bedtime, they aren’t likely to just calmly march to bed and tuck themselves in.
And what about when parents put their halos on and maintain that the kids never eat junk food? However, not all omissions and falsehoods are always that innocent. More often than not, parents choose not to tell the babysitter an important fact about their kids out of desperation, just so that someone would finally come to watch their kids… sometimes for longer than intended. For anyone who has been thinking of getting a babysitter soon, then these 19 things parents choose not to tell the babysitter will actually serve as a great guide for to what not to do.
19 Why The Last One Quit
Full disclosure is always the best policy when it comes to hiring someone to look after your children but Elia confided in us that she chose to omit an important detail. Her reasoning makes sense but it’s undeniable that the information would have been useful for the new babysitter.
“It had been a really long time since my husband and I had a date night. Our anniversary was coming up and when I finally found a babysitter I liked, I didn’t tell her that the last one quit unexpectedly because my kids put her through the wringer,” she said.
18 No Set Bed Time
Then, there’s also the laborious bedtime. Rosemary explained her reasoning for skipping over an integral detail by saying:
“My kids have pretty much always gone to bed whenever they wanted. They have never had a set bedtime. In my culture, it’s normal for kids to stay up with their parents and go to bed at the same time as them. The same goes for wake-up times. Everything is just a big family thing. But reading about how kids should go to bed around 7-8pm, I figured I would see if the babysitter could get them to bed then… and she did!”
17 Still Breastfeeding To Sleep
The thought of leaving a child with a stranger is always a difficult one, especially if Mom is still breastfeeding. As she was still breastfeeding her 15-month-old daughter, Shelley told us why she chose to glaze over a particular detail:
“When I finally hired a babysitter, I chose not to tell her that I was actually still breastfeeding and my daughter was used to still nursing to sleep. To be honest, I was really hoping she would just figure it out and then make my job weaning easier. Unfortunately, she called me after two hours of trying to put my daughter to bed and I had to come home early because my daughter was so upset.”
16 Not Quite An Average Child
Some kids are rowdier than others and that’s exactly why Faith chose to stay mum. She told us:
“I totally jinxed myself because my first son was a total breeze and I was able to get a babysitter early on. But with my second… I made sure not to tell the babysitter the full details of just how he is. You see, he loses his mind at drop-off at daycare and he’s a headbanger. It deterred quite a few babysitters, so then I stopped mentioning it. What ended up happening is that the babysitter would refuse to come back but then we finally found one who was able to work around the issues.”
15 Oh, And Don’t Forget The Cat
Getting a babysitter who doesn’t mind animals is hard enough but Amber actually encountered another problem that made her decide to not say anything during the interview. She said:
“When I finally found a babysitter who didn’t mind that I had a cat and a dog, I didn’t tell her that she would also need to look after my sick cat. There was some medicine to administer and just making sure that he didn’t end up in a corner somewhere as he had a tendency to wander off but being mostly blind, he would get lost in the house. So I just left her a note.”
14 Not Coming Back On Time
So far, we have covered quite a few instances of moms explaining why they weren’t fully honest with the babysitter. This next one comes directly from a babysitter who never watched the kids again as the mother didn’t mention when exactly she would be back. She said:
“I babysat two girls maybe 8 and 6. Their mom said she was planning on being home around supper time. A few hours later, I receive a phone call from mommy dearest and it’s clear she had a few too many. She didn’t come back all night and I had to call a friend to take over the next day. She only showed up 3 days later and gave my friend $20 to give to me.”
13 No Contact Number
Not telling the babysitter something can certainly be problematic. Whereas most parents usually leave a long list of contacts to reach out to in case of an emergency, Roxane omitted one very important detail when the babysitter arrived.
“Being a [solo] mom, I hadn’t been on a date in forever. So when the babysitter came to watch my kids for the first time, I ‘forgot’ to leave my number. I had only corresponded with her by e-mail and then through my home phone prior to that. I did, however, leave my mom’s number. Luckily, everything went well and I’m now married to my guy!” she said.
12 Promises Of Sweet Rewards
Offering kids a treat in exchange for good behavior is never recommended but at least Kelsi’s story isn’t nearly as worrisome as some of the others. She explained:
“I was very excited for the babysitter I found because she had a ton of experience and could cook too. To make sure that everything would work out, I told my kids that if they listened to her, I would get them a huge Paw Patrol cake from the bakery they love. The babysitter couldn’t stop raving about them when I got back and I didn’t have the heart to tell her the truth.”
11 A Rocky Marriage
While most parents hire a babysitter with the intention of getting away for a few hours and enjoying a much-needed date night, Jessica told us that she had to get a babysitter for an entirely different reason… and not one that she was particularly excited about either!
“I had to get a new babysitter after [...] the last one [was affecting my marriage]. And the reason for the new one? So we could go to couples counseling. Obviously, I couldn’t tell the new one about the reason for the last one’s departure. Let’s just say that counseling didn’t work out anyways.”
10 Still Rocking To Sleep
As Ashley discovered, sometimes our kids have a way of surprising us. Perhaps next time, she’ll be honest with the babysitter.
“All over the web, it says not to rock the baby to sleep, not to nurse to sleep, not to do this, not to do that. Well, I was definitely a rocker. I knew that would be an issue, so I didn’t tell the babysitter that my son still had to be rocked to sleep. When I came home, he was sleeping peacefully in his crib. She said that he just laid down and went to sleep! I couldn’t have been more floored.”
9 No Time To Clean Up
It’s kind of hard to bring up unsavory points during the hiring process. On the one hand, it’s understandable why Angelina wouldn’t say anything about a particular aspect but on the other, it may have also been worth mentioning. She said:
“I didn’t tell the babysitter just how disorderly my house was. I had just gone back to work after a long time away and didn’t have the time nor the energy to do a big clean-up. In fact, I was hiring her so that I could go out and have a spa day to myself! To my surprise, the babysitter cleaned up a bit.”
8 Didn’t Mention The Bathroom Troubles
Although she’s now a mom herself, Madison told us about a time that she babysat for a family who wasn’t totally upfront about a certain issue. She explained:
“Everything was going well until it dawned on me that the four-year-old girl I was watching hadn’t been to the bathroom in a long while. I asked her if she needed to go and she kept saying ‘no’. Finally, she gave in but while trying, she looked up at me and asked me why I wasn’t squeezing her. Turns out that because she has trouble going, her parents squeeze her tummy to help things along.”
7 First-Time Being Baby-Sat
Gabriela told us about one little fact that she chose not to tell the babysitter:
“By the time my eldest was five years old and my youngest was two, they had never had a babysitter. So when a friend referred to me hers, I didn’t end up telling her that it was the kids’ first-time being left with one. We did, however, have a little meet-up beforehand to make sure that she was the right fit but after that, I just didn’t say anything about it. Apparently, she had a bit of a tough time the first day but things got better.”
6 They Don’t Like Strangers
As for Heather, she was so desperate for a night out without kids that she wasn’t completely honest about the way her kids act with strangers.
"As much as I love them, my kids are undeniably very high energy and not in a good way. After the last babysitter quit for this exact reason, I didn’t tell the new woman I hired that they’re on the kookier side. All of it stems from the fact that they don’t like strangers though and I truly believe they just need some time to warm up to someone new. The babysitter never answered my calls after that night,” she said.
5 Not Alone In The House
Alaina, a former babysitter, told us about the time the mom omitted a very important detail:
“Over the phone, the mom told me all about her daughter, her likes, her dislikes – EVERYTHING. But it wasn’t until I actually arrived to babysit that she said to me, ‘By the way, my 17-year-old is in the basement’ as she ran out the door. Although I was 25 at the time, the son still came upstairs and tried to make a move. Fortunately, I was able to shut that down fast and I never babysat for them again, even though the mom offered to pay more.”
4 Attention Span Of A Goldfish
For her part, Taylor told us that although her story isn’t nearly as eyebrow-raising as some of the others, she had an “exhausting evening of babysitting nonetheless.” She explained:
“Babysitting at 17, the parents said their son is a ‘typical 10-year-old boy who loves sports and video games, has lots of energy, etc.’ Turns out this kid was the poster child for ADD. He couldn't keep his attention on ANYTHING for longer than 45-60 seconds. After playing a minute of Madden, he’d run outside to play football, only to get bored again and want to play basketball. This went on for four hours. When I would attempt to continue an activity he was bored with, he would scream and run away. At the end of the night, his parents paid me $20. I never babysat for him again.”
3 Paying In Kind
Amy, another former babysitter, shared how the parents figured that a fun day at the water park was enough payment for a full day of watching the kids. She explained:
“After I texted the mom if I could come by the next day to pick up the money, she texted back saying she wasn’t aware that payment was involved as I got ‘a day of fun and ice cream.' I actually have screenshots of the texts to prove that she was supposed to pay hourly. Looks like she completely forgot to mention to me that she had absolutely zero intention of paying up.”
Not telling the babysitter about the real mode of payment is definitely a big no-no!
2 Not Being Truthful About How Many Kids Will Be There
A mom anonymously shared with us the one ‘little’ detail she purposefully left out so that she could have a couple’s night out with her husband, her sister and her sister’s husband.
“Although I told the babysitter that she would be watching my two kids, I ‘forgot’ to mention that their two cousins would also be joining that evening. I played it off saying that it was a last minute thing and there was no one available to watch them. She definitely wasn’t happy with the last minute addition and never came back to babysit again. Perhaps that’s because I didn’t pay extra.”
1 They Never Have Any Junk Food
Suzie, a mom of three, told us that when she finally got a babysitter, she maintained that they never had any junk food.
“Truth be told, I keep a cupboard stocked full of junk for the times that I need to convince my kids to stop crying, cooperate enough to leave the house or go to bed. But on that day, I hid all the snacks in my closet and told her to give them fruits and veggies. When I came back, the kids still weren’t in bed as the babysitter had been having a hard time convincing them to lie down.”
References: Interviews with moms.