These days, it’s hard not to need a full-time sitter because at least one parent is working full time, and usually it’s both parents. Close to 80 percent of U.S. families have at least one parent working full-time. That’s not the only reason families employ babysitters; sometimes it’s just because the parents need a date night. Whether they use a babysitter on occasion or have a full-time nanny, there are a lot of things going through babysitters' minds that they might not tell the parents. Babysitters are in our homes and around our children and our belongings, and really none of us truly knows what they do when the kids go to sleep.
A lot of parents don’t even know what goes on behind the scenes with their children while they are at work or out on a date. For all of those who have been wondering what indeed goes on behind the scenes, we have the answers. For those who have wondered what the babysitter thinks about the rules or the family in general, keep on reading. These entries might give parents a second thought about what they say to their babysitter the next time they see her. Check out these 20 things babysitters won't reveal.
20 They Refuse To Haggle With Parents When It Comes To Pay
Don’t try to haggle with your babysitter or pretend that you don’t know how much you owe her. If you have a good sitter, you should pay her what she’s worth. If she sees that you are trying to give her the runaround, she will go find someone else to work for and you will be left finding a new sitter. “When it comes time to pay me, people are always trying to tell me that I said a different number than I actually did,” says Katie, a nanny in upstate New York. “I am not thirteen and trying to go to the movie theater. I have to put food on the table,” she says.
19 They Know A Lot More About The Parents’ Marriage Than They Think
Babysitters typically know more about the things going on with your marriage then you would probably like. She can hear you arguing at the front door before you come in at the end of the night and your child told her about the argument the two of you had over dinner. Also, be careful of iCloud because your private text message can often pop up on your child’s iPad and conversations that you would have rather kept private are being read by the sitter. It’s kind of worrisome when you think about it, but it’s just something to keep in mind when you have someone watching your kids.
18 They Really Don’t Care When Parents Come Home
You may be sitting there having some drinks with your friends and think you would love to have just one more drink but you have to get home to the sitter. The babysitter is there to make money and she’s likely not going to care if you are an hour late. It just means that she will have a bigger paycheck at the end of the night. But don’t push your luck, communication has to be open and if you say you are going to be home at 8 and you come back at 1 am, that’s just being disrespectful. Be aware that a sitter may have another gig right after yours.
17 Their Sole Purpose In Babysitting Is For The Money
Yes, rest assured your babysitter likes your kids and she may even love them if she has been doing it for years in your home, but the bottom line here is that she is babysitting for the money. So don’t ever ask her to do something for free because you know she loves your kids so much. Babysitters also love tips at the end of the night and if you pay them well, they are likely to become loyal to your family and save important dates for you. If you are cheap with your sitter, then she might not say yes the next time that you ask her if she’s free.
16 The Children Never Keep Things Hush-Hush
Depending on the age of your children, they may be revealing a lot to your babysitter. Young children don’t know how to keep your personal business hush-hush. Even when you tell them not to say anything, young children are likely to forget what you said right after you said it. So, it’s likely that your babysitter knows that your husband lost his job, that your brother is in recovery, and that you lost your child in the grocery store the week before. There’s really no way around it but you should rest assured that your sitter will at least keep your personal business private.
15 They Read The Things Parents Have On The Counter
If there are personal things that you don’t want your sitter to read, then don’t leave them on the counter. You may think that there’s no way that a sitter would pick up your bank statement and check it out, but you are just fooling yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s your to-do list, your magazine subscription, bills or a letter from your mother if it’s there, it’s being read. That was how on babysitter on Reddit knew that she was charging the parents too little. She read their income tax return and decided to ask for a raise. You’ve been warned.
14 They Prefer Payment To Be Ready When Parents Get Home
When you finally get home, there is nothing more a sitter wants to do than get home themselves. They don’t want you scrounging around for money or asking if it’s okay for them to take a check. Be prepared to pay your sitter when you get through the door so they can leave. You already know you have a sitter coming so either hit the bank machine before you go out or before you go home at the end of the night. One babysitter on Reddit claimed that she had to watch the mother ransack her child’s piggy bank because she had no money on her.
13 They Wish Parents Would Give Quick Goodbyes To The Kids
We’ve probably all babysat that one child that stood at the door screaming as they saw their mother walk away. It’s heartbreaking, and that kind of scene is not easy for a sitter who is left to pick up the pieces after you left. You may think that a long goodbye is easing your child’s anxiety, but it’s actually making the situation more difficult. It’s best to have a quick goodbye and get out of sight as soon as possible. Babysitters assure us that a child doesn’t cry more than 10 minutes after you leave and it’s much easier to get them to calm down if you aren’t there.
12 They Don’t Want To Hear About Parents' Problems
You might end up becoming really comfortable with your sister because they are in your home so often or they’ve been working for you for years. Maybe you are having a rough day and you just can’t help but unload your baggage on the sitter when she shows up. It might be good to know that your babysitter probably doesn’t want to know about your problems. “People I’ve only babysat for a couple of times will say, ‘Can you believe my husband?’ and spill details about their relationship,” says Katie, a sitter and reader of Reader’s Digest.
11 They Don’t Want To Feel Like A Captive
Telling a babysitter that she is sequestered to one room in the house is very unreasonable. You would be surprised how many parents actually request a sitter to stay in one room all day. “I wasn’t allowed to leave during my 10-hour shift and I couldn’t leave the master suite all day,” recalls Katie, a Reader’s Digest user. “If the baby needed a bottle, I couldn’t even go into the kitchen.” You may think that you are protecting your child by keeping them in one space but you’re just making the experience uncomfortable for everyone involved.
10 They Love For Parents To Write Everything Down
Babysitters would prefer if you made up a list of everything you want them to know before you leave the home. A lot of parents will give out verbal instructions as they are leaving the house and it can be a lot for a babysitter to remember. Write down your expectations, emergency phone numbers, bedtime routines, rules, and please don’t forget the Wi-Fi password. It doesn’t hurt either to leave helpful hints for the sitter as to how to get Netflix on or where they can find the extra toilet paper. Leave a note just makes sure that nothing is forgotten, and you can enjoy your night.
9 They Prefer When There Are Snacks In The House
If you want a sitter to be truly happy throughout the night, it doesn’t hurt to leave snacks behind especially if your sitter is a teen. We also aren’t talking about those kale chips that you have been dieting on either. Have age appropriate snacks in the house, like chips or ice cream, so that your sitter can have a treat with your kids or even after they have gone to bed. It’s also nice to let the sitter know that it’s okay for them to help themselves to a snack or something to drink in the fridge. Some sitters won’t go in someone’s fridge if they aren’t sure it’s okay.
8 Badly Behaved Kids Don’t Mean That Parents Are Bad
It can be hard to see your child misbehaving and not take it as a personal attack on how you are as a parent. But relax, babysitters don’t think that way. Your child may even act like an angel with the sitter but then go off the rails when you are with them but that’s also not your fault. It’s normal for your child to act differently with the babysitter and it doesn’t mean that you are doing anything wrong. Personality shifts are normal in these situations and it doesn’t mean that you are a bad parent; it just means that they know they get an extra hour of TV if they listen to the sitter.
7 Yelling Shouldn’t Be A Normal Occurrence
We can all feel stress at times, and sometimes we have a habit of taking our stress out on the wrong person. That person should never be your babysitter, even if a mistake has been made. “One family I worked for made me cry,” says Katie, a sitter and user of Reader’s Digest. She also stated that parents don’t seem to have a problem screaming at their nanny or babysitter in front of the kids. That’s just not cool and you should be able to approach your sitter in a calm and professional manner.
6 They Are Not The Parents' Assistant
Your babysitter or nanny should have only one role in your household, and that’s taking care of your kids. You shouldn’t be asking them to do other tasks because they aren’t your personal assistant. Some parents seem to blur the lines between babysitter and assistant and that’s just not appropriate. Some babysitter usually won’t mind doing the laundry or the dishes but that should be discussed prior to hiring them and it should never just be expected. Don’t ask your sister to run errands for you even if it’s child related.
5 Parents Shouldn’t Expect That The Weekends Belong To Them
You may be thrilled that you found a new sitter and now you can go out every weekend and have a life of your own but that’s not always the case. You shouldn’t assume that now that you have hired a sitter that all their weekends are booked for the foreseeable future. Some parents assume that babysitters never have anything better to do on the weekend than watch their kids. Don’t assume this and if you do want an on-call babysitter, then you should expect to pay them a lot more for giving up their time for you.
4 Parents Should Inform Them When They Will Be Late
Yes, your sitter is interested in making more money and probably won’t mind if you are late but it’s always best to call them and let them know that you will be late. They may have another job booked but even if they don’t, it’s common courtesy. Don’t leave them hanging and wondering when you will come home. “People will say they’re going to be back at 11 and come back at 1 without warning,” says Katie. “That is a constant.” If you prepare them for when you will be home, the chances are that they won’t mind. But if you blindside them, they may not want to babysit for you again because they won’t know when you intend on coming home.
3 They Usually Know How Much Parents Make
This could be because you left your bank statement on the kitchen counter but it could just have everything to do with your lifestyle. Babysitter Katie explained to Reader’s Digest that sitters usually know how much the parents on banking. Sometimes it’s because parents will squabble about finances right in front of the nanny or because they are around to see the things that you shop for or the packages that you bring in. It’s not that hard to figure out how much a family makes just by the kind of car they drive or the house that they live in.
2 A Clean Home Is Always Preferred
Be respectful of the environment you are leaving your sitter in to watch your kids. Your house doesn’t have to be spotless but we can attest for the fact that some parents will have a sitter sit in a pigsty for hours because they haven’t cleaned their home in a while. A sitter may even start washing the dishes or cleaning the house because it’s making her uncomfortable. You may think that it’s a win-win but you also may find that she’s busy every weekend after. “There have been cases in which I have been uncomfortable working places because people keep their homes so messy,” admitted Katie.
1 They Want An Introduction Prior To Babysitting
Babysitters really want to meet your children before the actual night of babysitting. It just makes the transition a lot easier if the child feels like they know the person babysitting. It’s always best to invite the sitter over, even for a couple of minutes, sometime before she is going to babysit so that it’s not like the child sees a stranger coming into the house. At the very least, if you can’t meet with the sitter prior, then show your child a picture of the sitter beforehand. It will relieve the anxiety from your child when you try to leave the house.