Thursday, March 24, 2016


Its Babywise Friendly Blog Network week! This week, we are all chiming in on all things babysitting/childcare related. You can head on over to our pinterest page and look at what all the ladies have to say. I am going to be writing mostly about it being worth it for me to hire a sitter during my children's sleeping hours if I must be away to continue making our family schedule and their sleep a priority.

Tyler and I don't need babysitters super often, but we have one come everyday. Yes you read that correctly - and yes its true. What I mean is we don't often leave our children during times that they are awake and need a lot of supervision. However,  I  have a strong conviction to keep my children's sleep a priority - so this is why I have a babysitter come everyday during my younger girls nap time come sit at my house while I pick up my oldest from school (which annoyingly ends at 2:50, right in the middle of nap time). Our sitter is amazing and I am so thankful that her schedule allows for her to come and make sure our house doesn't catch on fire while the girls sleep. On Monday and Wednesday my middle girls (5 years and 3 years) go to a mothers day out program at our church. They get out at 2:30, so on those days my sweet sitter will come a little early to stay at the house with Wynn (napping) while I do pick up for them and then for my oldest daughter right afterwards. She will be here anywhere from 15-25 minutes everyday of the week. When she is here, those babies are sleeping and not requiring a lot (any) of her direct attention so we agreed on $30 a week for her payment. If I have her do anything extra during the week, I of course compensate her for all of her time that I take.

When we leave a babysitter with a quiet house, we tell them to relax  - give them free reign over our netflix and set them up on our wifi.

I want the sitters I use to want to come back. I want them to know that I KNOW how valuable their time is, and I want to be respectful of that - and want to make them feel like its worth their time to come and babysit for us. When a sitter is keeping all of my children, who are all awake and the sitter has to be more "on" I pay at least $15.00 per hour. This has been what I pay since I have 3 or more kids.  I know better than anyone what a task that is - to take all 4 of them on. I feel comfortable with this, because if there is something that is important enough for me to do to need a babysitter then it will almost always be worth that price. I will pay slightly less for a sitter that is there during sleeping hours for my children - I feel like the work load is significantly less, but I still try to pay enough to make it worthwhile for them.  If a sitter needs to be in charge of a meal time, I provide a meal for her as well. I have never and will never ask a care taker to bathe my children, as I am just not at all comfortable with that. I don't think my children would be comfortable with it either, and most likely the sitters I use would probably rather not themselves!

I would say that 98% of the time any long term babysitting needs arise (If Tyler and I leave for a weekend, or sometimes when he travels and I need a little break) I ask family. My parents and my inlaws are so amazing and willing to keep the girls overnight from time to time. I think they enjoy the alone time with their grandkids and I know that my girls soak up every minute they can get with their grandparents. My in laws and my parents are both incredibly respectful of Tyler and I, and keep our kids on their regular schedule as best as they can. Having my children following a schedule, I believe, helps them (and in home babysitters alike) to know what to expect for the day - and gives them a guide to follow. I think they are appreciative that they can know what to expect from my kids and my kids don't miss a beat. The longest we have ever left the kids with family is for 4 nights. This was not for a vacation, it was when I delivered Wynn. (she had very minor complications at birth and just needed a few extra days of monitoring before they sent us home). I also try to split the girls two by two between my parents and tyler's parents when possible. I feel like that lessens the burden on both of them and gives the girls a better chance for a more special visit when I can split them. We are beyond blessed to have both sets of grandparents fairly close (30 and 80 miles away) for this to even be an option for us.

I have a lot of other thoughts regarding babysitting and childcare for my children, but I have learned that it has just been worth it for me to pay someone to sit at my house when I need to leave and children need to nap - and that when they are awake its important to me to make it a gain for a sitter to stay with my kids. I have REALLY learned that it does take a village to raise and care for children and I am thankful for each family member, babysitter, and teacher who has assumed responsibility for any of my children for any length of time.

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