Saturday, October 3, 2009

When Babysitting Falls Through

I am bummed because tomorrow a very dear childhood friend of Daniel's, who I have been fortunate to get to know, is getting married and I will not be able to join in the festivities. I was so looking forward to this affair and the fun I knew we would have together. But, unfortunately, and no fault of her own, Grammie got sick and will not be able to babysit as planned.

Grammie, please know we are not upset with you and hope you are feeling better soon.

We tried a few babysitters, who are actually teachers from Sarah's school, who she really likes and responds well to. But, unfortunately several of these individuals go to church on Sunday and others are not able to sit for the long hours we need. At first I thought, since I know a number of the teachers often look for babysitting to help supplement their income, and since it was a long day with a good financial outcome, I thought they might reconsider. I admire these folks for their spiritual and religious commitments and feel terrible for even thinking that money could even trump G-d. I'm being honest. What can I say? I really wanted to go to the wedding and with it being well over an hour away plus the time for the ceremony, cocktail hour and even part of the reception the day is easily 6-7 hours and likely too much for anyone other than these special people.

At first I thought maybe I was being overly protective and not letting many people watch Sarah. But, the reality is that Sarah, like many 20 month old toddlers, is extremely active and sometimes unpredictable or uncooperative. So, other than some immediate family members who have watched Sarah previously or teachers who are with her for long hours at a time and know her demeanor, it just didn't feel right to choose anyone beyond these people to watch Sarah especially being well enough away from home.

Sometimes situations like this are going to happen and we as parents we are just going to have to suck it up. It's part of the job.

I wish Lenny and Kelly a wonderful wedding and a lifetime full of happiness, love and good health. I will be there in spirit while Daniel helps to cut a rug, eat cake, and share in the festivities of this auspicious occasion. Many congratulations!!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Caren! Great article! You are right this is one of the more challenging aspects of parenting. I myself have been having a terrible time finding reliable and competent child care for Max and Logan (ages 4 yrs and 22 months). Especially now when there are SOOOO many people out of work and soooo many women who have thrown their hat into the babysitting/nanny ring for a TEMPORARY position. However...they don't tell you they are looking to make money temoporariliy, and this is why I have been through 6 nanny's in 8 months! Now THAT is not good for the kids. Not being able to pay for day care at $1200 - $1800/month for 2 kids PART time, I have changed my career from a professional psychotherapist to another more flexible business I can do from home. But, even so, with my closest family more than 2 hours away we have had to be more creative about child care and babysitting. I have hired friends and family to come with me to big events (like weddings and business conferences in Dallas and elsewhere) so that the kids can be close by and the sitter can enjoy a day at the hotel while I come in and out to visit. I have traded hours with friends who have children of similar ages and offered to have sleepovers so that we become more like an extended family (and it's good for the kids to have sleepovers at an early age). I have adopted an attitude of not worrying about what the potential sitter might think...if I think she/he/they can step up and enjoy the exuberant challenge of watching my 2 boys, then I ask and let THEM decide if they want to do it or not. I did not have to be given a license to be a parent...and as long as I know the person, and believe that the children will have fun and be safe, I've learned that the details (micromanaging the routine or the schedule, worrying about a particular mood or personality trait, etc) are less important. As Max's Godfather said, "One or both of us may be crying when you get back, but we will both be alive!" Besides...children act differently with each person they spend time with...what works for Grammy does/does not always work for me and vice versa. So whoever you choose to spend time with your child will figure out what works for them in the moment. I have found it is good for the kids to have that experience as well. They get to know a diversity of people and the sitter is more relaxed which makes it more fun and comfortable for your child. But, us!! We would have been happy to come over with the boys and watch Sara as a playdate!! :) - Denise


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