Childrearing

Anonymous Mom: I Had To Fire My Babysitter (And Friend) For Stealing

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piggy bankAnonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.

Ever since I went back to work after having my youngest child (and the subsequent times I had to go back after having my other children) I have struggled with the typical mommy-wars-esque fears that plague most working mothers. Are my kids safe? Are they getting enough attention from the babysitter? Is she giving them a bunch of junk? Etc. I thought I had solved this issue once and for all when I hired one of my close friends to watch them for the few days when my husband wasn’t home during the week.

That decision has turned into one of those things where I wish I had known the consequences beforehand so I could choose differently. I should note that this friend, though a good person, has a troubled past. Some trouble with the law as a teenager (shoplifting, nothing violent or too serious) and some issues with drugs in her early 20s. You might want to judge me for leaving my kids with a former druggie, but in my defense she celebrated her eighth year of sobriety the month before I hired her, so I thought she was on the right track.

Not too long after she started watching the kids, weird things started happening. The house would be filthy when I got home, which I attributed to the kids’ typical daily comings and goings. It wasn’t in her job description to do housework after all. So while it seemed like a lot more than the typical kind of messes, I let it go.

Then, one day when I was walking up to the house, I saw that she was outside with the kids. Only she was busy having a terse, hushed conversation with a guy I had never seen before. He handed her something and quickly walked off in a huff. I was suspicious, but she assured me it was her boyfriend’s roommate who owed her $20. I let that go too.

This is where things started going downhill though. An issue happened with my bank card and I was only able to pay her half of her daily earnings. I could give her the rest a day and a half later when the bank opened and I could go to a teller. I felt terrible. But I figured she would be understanding. She lives at home with her parents so she doesn’t pay rent, and her boyfriend covers her cell bill, so I figured the first half would be fine for what would be less than 48 hours.

Boy was I wrong. She went ape shit. Not only on me, but to numerous close friends, telling them how horrible I was. Which made me feel even worse (and embarrassed obviously).

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