Date Night Done Right for Parents
Finding the time and energy to find a quality babysitter so you can have a successful date night doesn't need to be so taxing.
What are some important questions to make sure to ask a potential babysitter?
I like to get a sense of an applicant’s maturity and experience. Sure, they can tell you all about the kids they babysit and how much they love children. But what would they do in certain situations? Think about your house and your kids. What possible wrenches might get thrown at him or her on a bad night—and how would she respond?
- What is your experience with kids/babies my child’s age?
- What do you like about babysitting?
- What has been a difficult babysitting experience—and how did you handle?
- What would you do if a neighbor comes to the door?
- What would you do if the smoke alarm goes off?
- What would you do if my child refuses to sleep?
- How would you handle my son throwing a tantrum and insisting on “one more show”?
- What would you do if the baby won’t take her bottle?
The last time I babysat when I was in high school, the parents had the child present for my interview to see how I interacted with him. How important is this for parents to feel comfortable with the babysitter they higher?
It’s a nice idea, especially if your child is shy around strangers and the sitter will have a lot of “wake-time” with the child. Another option is to have the sitter come early and play a game with your child while you get ready or make his dinner. They’ve transitioned and you can sneak out. And yes, the first few times, you might have to not say goodbye. If this is your first time leaving your child with a sitter, there is bound to be tears and pleas for you to stay. This is bound to happen whether the child loves the sitter or not. Just keep in mind that separation is good. You can’t be super Mom. Right now, you need to take care of you—and your relationships outside of kids. That includes a date night every once in a while!
What is the typical cost of a babysitter these days? Does more money equal more care? Does more money equal more quality?
You should definitely use Care.com’s Babysitter Calculator to find out the going rate in your neighborhood. You will often pay more if you have more kids and for the level of experience you’re looking for. But use the calculator to create the price you’re most comfortable with—and make it clear what you’re willing to pay. Only interested sitters will apply, nixing that awkward pay conversation.
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