10 Things That Will Make Your Babysitter Hate You
6. You hover (and spy).
Iâ€™m sure itâ€™s distressing to leave while your child is crying and screaming for you. But, honest, 99% of the time, the minute youâ€™re out of earshot, your kidâ€™s snapped back into happy mode. Dallying around or trying to comfort your kid does nothing but prolong the goodbye tantrum. Coming back intermittently to â€œvisitâ€ or â€œcheck inâ€ is actually cruel, turning one goodbye into many and disrupting the probably quite happy rapport weâ€™ve established in your absence.
Worse than the hoverer is the spy. At a certain point, you need to either trust us or not. If you feel the need to spy on us, then maybe you shouldnâ€™t leave your kids with us. Kristy once caught a stay-at-home parent watching her through a sneakily angled mirror in another room. WTF, parents? And nanny camsâ€”theyâ€™re not just rude, they can be a violation. Do you know how many times Iâ€™ve changed out of clothes your baby puked on and prepped for after-work activities in front of said baby? Because Iâ€™m responsible and donâ€™t want to leave them alone? Are you watching me change? Can you please not?
7. You expect us to be tutors, cooks and/or housekeepers.
I have happily gone above and beyond with homework help, done laundry, made delicious** meatloaf (despite my being vegan) and more! Thatâ€™s because Iâ€™m fucking awesome. Also because I communicate well with my clients. They didnâ€™t spring these tasks on me, expecting it to be no big deal to totally revise my job description.
Itâ€™s reasonable to ask us to ensure your kid does their homework. Itâ€™s not reasonable to ask us to teach them whatever they need to know to do it well. Itâ€™s great that youâ€™re teaching your toddler French. Itâ€™s less great to ask the nanny (who doesnâ€™t speak French) to create an immersive environment for an hour a day. Iâ€™m happy to put away our lunch dishes. Iâ€™m not happy to clean your entire kitchen. Unless weâ€™ve agreed in advance and Iâ€™m getting paid for it.
If you want a babysitter to do extras, pay extra. Do you expect your hairdresser to polish your shoes? If so, I sure hope youâ€™re tipping well!
8. You dump extra kids on us without warning (or a bonus).
I set ratesÂ based primarily on the number of kids I have to keep happy and healthy per hour. You fuck up my whole system when suddenly it turns out little Braedon will be joined by little Freedom for the day. I know, you (claim to) believe itâ€™ll be easier for me since theyâ€™ll entertain each other. This may be the case. Or maybe theyâ€™ll develop a Pokemon blood feud and suddenly Iâ€™m trying to clone myself as they run screaming in two different directions down Ocean Parkway. I donâ€™t know Kid #2; they donâ€™t know me. Neither of us knows what weâ€™re in for. Itâ€™s totally fine to ask us about play dates and how that might affect our rates. But you know what happens when people make assumptions.
9. You quibble over our rates.
Childcare is expensive. Everyone should have access to quality affordable childcare and itâ€™s a disgrace that so many donâ€™t. I am not, however, trying to solve these systemic problems by neglecting my own bills and running a childcare charity. My rates are my rates. If theyâ€™re too high for you, I sympathize! If I had a kid, thereâ€™s no way I could afford to pay me on my income! Youâ€™re under no obligation to hire me, and Iâ€™m under no obligation to cut you a deal because you swear youâ€™ll hire me all the time. Iâ€™d rather get hired all the time at my actual rate.
And no, there isnâ€™t a flat rate for late nights because I â€œcan just sleepâ€. I like sleeping in my own bed, where Iâ€™m not waking up every time your kid has a notable dream or wants a glass of water.
10. You ask when weâ€™re going to have babies of our own.
This is just invasive. Also, are you planning on giving me paid maternity leave and then a stipend for or on-site childcare? How exactly do you imagine thisâ€™ll all work otherwise?
*Totally her real name.
**So I am told