Note: I may earn money or products from the companies, products, or links mentioned in this post.
I started babysitting when I was only 13 years old. I took a Red Cross Babysitting Course first and then I was ready to go! I loved kids and I loved helping in my church’s nursery and Sunday School classes as well.
Over ten years later, I had been a babysitter and nanny for many families and countless children, many of which still hold a dear place in my heart and some of whom I still keep in contact with. Being able to care for someone’s children prepared me for motherhood and those experiences are something I will never forget.
Now, as a mother to two children, I understand the ups and downs of having to find a babysitter for my kids. It’s hard to find a sitter that’s right for your family because what you want or need is not necessarily what someone else may want or need. You need someone you can trust with your children’s lives and that’s not something to mess around with.
That’s why I decided to write a short e-book on finding a babysitter. I want to share my knowledge with other parents that are looking tips on where to find sitters, the interviewing process, and lots more! But before I release the book, I wanted to hit on one subject that I feel is very important: feeling guilty about hiring a babysitter.
I hear so many people talk about how they feel guilty for leaving their kids with a sitter. I have known people who have never left their kids with a sitter, and hearing that fact just blows my mind. What is it that make parents feel guilty about getting a few hours away from the kids? I think there are several different reasons for this and I am going to cover these quickly.
3 Reasons Parents Feel Guilty About Hiring a Babysitter:
1. Parents Feel They Don’t Know Who to Trust.
In a world where all we hear is bad news, it’s hard to know who to trust. Maybe you live far from family or maybe you don’t have any friends that you feel you could ask or trust to watch your kids. That’s okay!
The good news is there are good people out there that you can trust with the care of your kids. There is a whole process you can put in place to make sure your kids will be safe, and plenty that you can require from a sitter before you will leave your children with them.
Sometimes parents have people they do trust to watch their kids, but they feel bad asking. They don’t want to put family or friends out. There are many ways to deal with this guilt. You can trade childcare with your friends, or trade for other services, for example: cleaning a friend’s house in exchange for a few hours of babysitting.
Although it can be scary to know who to trust your babies with, hopefully my book will help to ease some of your fears and help you find the right person!
2. Parents Worry About Leaving Their Kids.
Letting go is one of the hardest parts of the entire process. When I had my first child, I remember the first time leaving him with a sitter. My husband literally had to drag me out the door because I wouldn’t stop giving the sitter instructions. I had written everything down, gone over it with her a thousand times, and still I was nervous about leaving.
Letting go is hard because parents worry they will miss a milestone while they are away, or that they will miss some important moment and never get it back. Parents worry that they will forget to tell the babysitter one important instruction or that the kids won’t be able to cope while their gone.
Other concerns include worrying that their child will misbehave and the sitter won’t know what to do or be able handle it, or that the sitter won’t know their child well enough or understand them. These are all valid concerns, but setting up a plan ahead of time will help both you and the sitter feel better about each situation that comes.
Don’t let these concerns stop you from letting go and teaching your child to be independent. Once you get past this part, it only gets easier!
3. Parents Believe They Don’t Need It.
Another reason for the guilt in using a babysitter is that parents believe they don’t need it. They look at other families and compare themselves to them. Well if the Smith’s don’t use a sitter then I don’t need one either!
Parents try to convince themselves that because they love their children that they don’t need to a break or that because they work and can’t spend enough time with their kids, that they shouldn’t be away from them anymore than they already are.
While the guilt here is understandable, it’s still not true. Of course we love our children, but getting a break helps us be better parents and helps us recharge. Letting yourself believe this is crucial to the entire process of letting go of the guilt.
Maybe you don’t feel guilty about hiring a babysitter for any of the above reasons. Maybe it’s something else. But no matter the reason why, the guilt should not be there!
Moms and dads: you deserve a date night.
Mom and dads: you deserve a little help.
Mom and dads, you deserve a few hours off.
Moms and dads, you deserve a vacation.
Don’t let guilt stand in your way of finding a sitter, getting a little extra help or just a little break. Tell yourself you deserve this, because you do!
What about YOU? Do you feel guilt for leaving your kids with a sitter? Why or why not?