Some babysitting horror stories make headlines; others, fortunately, are more benign … but can make us crazy nonetheless! To save your sanity, check out these tips on how to avoid a babysitting nightmare from the mom blogging network, Lifetime Moms, our new partner here at the ABC News Parenting blog. Looking to commiserate? You can read tales of some babysitter mishaps below, also courtesy of Lifetime Moms.
I remember having two small children and needing so desperately to have time alone away from home. Unfortunately my track-record with babysitters is so bad, getting a “break” now only happens if Grandma is available. I’m already skittish enough about leaving my kids with anyone – so when I have a bad experience it just proves what my gut was saying all alone: don’t leave them!
By far the worst trouble I’ve had with babysitters seems to involve their boyfriends. Coming home to find our sitter and her man watching my recorded reality shows (and DELETING THEM before I could watch!) seemed like it was bad enough. But a new babysitter, well equipped with the “no boyfriends allowed in my house” rule, took the prize for Most Moxie of a Sitter. We returned home to find not only the boyfriend at our house, eating our food, flopped on our couch, blaring some action movie, but then discovered the babysitter had actually left. As in, the person I left in charge of my babies wasn’t there. Apparently the boyfriend wanted munchies and the sitter thought it fine to leave HIM with our kids since he “has totally babysat a ton.”
–Arianne Segerman, Lifetime Moms & creator of ToThinkIsToCreate.com
I have little experience with hiring sitters. Aside from family and a handful of friends from church, my kids had never been with anyone else. But last summer after a rushed move, a teenager from down the street approached us at the neighborhood park about babysitting. I had been considering a mother’s helper a few days a week while I got settled in our new home and worked part time. It seemed like a good idea, and we soon hired her based on her experience with kids and pleasant demeanor.
She started coming over a few days a week while I worked in my bedroom (the life of a blogger). Before long, I noticed that my kids did not really seem to like her. They just never “clicked.” This should have been a red flag, but I figured they just needed more time to get to know her. One afternoon, I noticed the kids were downstairs unsupervised, so I asked my oldest where the sitter was. “Upstairs in my room.” I headed up and found the teenager in a deep sleep on my daughter’s bed. I was too shocked to say a word. Needless to say, I no longer required her services after that day.
–Alyssa Francis, Lifetime Mom & creator of KeepingTheKingdomFirst.com
When we hired one of our previous babysitters we thought we had found the perfect one…the daughter of prominent business owners in town and the niece of the chief of police. We loved her when we met her at the town park last summer. We felt perfectly comfortable having her watch our son.
Then she showed up at our house to babysit and boy were we shocked…she wore a low-cut top and a short short skirt; an outfit fine to go clubbing in but not to take care of a 4-year-old little boy! And since my husband works from home and was the primary greeter/one to interact with her, it proved to be somewhat uncomfortable. Over the course of time her fashion choices didn’t change, in fact they got worse! Needless to say I was thrilled when she was no longer available to babysit!
–Beth Abbott, LifetimeMoms
Got your own babysitter misadventures? Share them below!