Since becoming a mom, I’ve discovered something I didn’t expect would be a problem for me. I rarely leave my kids with babysitters. When I do, I have a hard time doing so! I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because it was my husband’s 30th birthday and our 6-year anniversary-- so different dates and getaway ideas were tossed around and I just couldn’t seem to commit to any of them. So in all of my contemplating I’ve come up with a list of why I don’t often leave my kids.
I don’t HAVE to
I think my mind is telling me that I’ve gotten away without regular date nights or outings for the past three years, so why would I need to start now? I also feel the need to be with my kids at all times because, well, it’s my “job”. Most occasions that require a babysitter, I justify that I don’t actually need one--I either take the kids with me or I stay home all together.
I’m very peculiar
I’ve spent a lot of time and effort to get my kids to where they are at today. Especially when it comes to bedtime! I get anxious thinking about tiny details getting skipped over that could unwind and snowball effect into an unsuccessful bedtime attempt made by someone else.
I’m not a fly on the wall
While I do have four cameras in my house, I don’t sit and stare at them the entire time I’m away from my kids! I know I’m eventually going to have to let go of control of my children as they get older and attend school and what not, but for now – I want to know what they’re doing and where they’re learning certain things from. I simply like to know what's going on!
I babysat all through my teenage years. I was good at it and I loved it. You’d think that because of this babysitting experience, I’d feel perfectly comfortable having someone in my home caring or my children while I’m away. But it may just make me more nervous because I was so young and didn’t know anything back then! I do feel like I’m ahead of the babysitting world game because the two big questions are already answered for me.
Who to choose
I live in a neighborhood where several parents hire local teenagers on a regular basis. Word travels fast and the “gold star” babysitters are easy to find via recommendations. I also happen to know a lot of these young ladies on a personal level, which has helped ease some of my anxiety of babysitters overall.
How much to pay
My husband and I sat down and established a payment plan a few months ago, and since then I haven’t had to think anything more of it! I pay per kid per hour ($3/kid/hour), and the rate varies depending on how old the babysitter is. Besides the age factored in, this is a set rate at our house. It hurts my brain to think of factoring in mealtimes or bedtime or activities, so I’ve stuck with my initial payment rate and I figure it’ll all even itself out eventually! Besides figuring out how much I should pay my babysitters, payment hasn’t been an issue for me at all. In fact, I probably pay on the high end and I prefer it that way. Why?
- I want them to want to come back.
- I want them to take their job seriously.
- I want them to know how much I value my children.
By now you may think I’m an official crazy person, or maybe you can relate to some of my concerns! I’ve made a very conscious effort in the last few months to release some control, trust others more, and accept the fact that my children will deeply benefit from babysitters in their home running the show for a time. And you know what I’ve discovered? Each time it gets easier and easier to leave them! I’m less concerned about what is going on when I leave them, and I’m more fully able to enjoy what I’m doing when I’m away. Here I am, still learning as I trudge along in this motherhood journey – and I just might be becoming the next biggest fan of regular date nights!
Featured Image: @anniepapi