Why I Decided to Allow a Stranger to Babysit My Children
I became a first time mom almost a decade ago and I’m 32 years old. In the first five years of being a parent I became a mom again twice, and spent every day and night with my children. The only time I saw a break was when family members came to visit once or twice a year, or for quick runs to the store while leaving the children at home with their dad. All of my children were breastfed for over a year each, but BabyCake was the only one to never have a bottle touch her lips in life. So that meant she and I were inseparable. I love my children dearly, and I know you all can see that, but as an adult spending every hour with your children isn’t a healthy way to live.
One day I decided I wanted a healthy balance in life. To spend time with my children, but at the same time pursue the things I wanted to alone as well as have an adult life. I began seeking out a babysitter for my children.
Everyone doesn’t have an ill intent – I know we’ve seen a few bad stories on the news, but most people do not intend to harm your children. I shared a list of questions HERE to ask a potential sitter. There are reputable sites online that you can use to find a babysitter. They have background checks and references. Spend a day having face to face interviews with sitters you think will work well with your family. Use your gut feelings and do your own research. Most of my sitters have been enthusiastic college students looking to make additional income when they aren’t in class. I can tell that they genuinely love children.
My husband and I wanted time alone – Time alone as a couple is essential in the success of your marriage. Having a date night once a year when family came in town was not sufficient for our marriage. Children also need to see that their parents value their relationship together by spending time alone away from them. Recently my husband and I traveled to Miami sans kids and it was wonderful. We were only there for two days for business travel, but I didn’t feel any guilt about taking a trip without my children. My marriage comes first because our children are going to grow up, move out, and start families of their own. My husband and I will still be together once our children leave home.
It’s not that expensive – I incorporate paying a sitter into our monthly budget with any other bills we have. I pay my sitter $10 an hour to sit on my couch while my children sleep. If we spend $100 dollars for a sitter monthly, I just see that money as an investment into my marriage.
I need time alone – Because I am a homeschool and work at home mom, my family spends a lot of time together. I still need my time alone to relax and rejuvenate myself so that I can be the best to my family. It’s nothing better than walking through Target aisles alone and being able to shop without telling someone “Don’t touch that!”
The trend of not trusting anyone with our children should end. If you send your children to school, you trust them with strangers daily. Over time my sitters have started to feel like an extended family and my children are excited when they come to our home. It’s also a sad time when they have to move on because they got the job they always wanted and I have to begin my search again. I will have to allow someone new that we don’t know very well to come into our home and look after my children.
Do you have a regular sitter for your children? What holds you back from hiring a babysitter?