So you have found a babysitter that you really like and who your children really like and would love to keep that babysitter returning, here are some guidelines to make that possible.
- Do not fight with your spouse in front of the babysitter. This would seem obvious, but evidently it needs to be said.
- Be home at the time you say you will. I understand that sometimes being late is unavoidable, but if that is the case, call the sitter as soon as you realize you will be late and let the sitter know. And apologize! It might not hurt to remember that your babysitter is my child and I'm waiting up as well.
- Give the sitter a working phone number. Because when you're two hours late and the sitter is concerned, having a non-functioning phone number does not encourage the sitter.
- Be realistic about what time the sitter should arrive at your house, or if you are having the sitter come early so that you can get dressed, be clear about what your expectations are. Otherwise, it is a waste of the sitter's time to sit around for an hour and a half when you're still home.
- Do NOT tell a friend they can stop by the house while you are gone, unless the friend is known to the sitter as well. At least my child is well-trained and that friend will not be let in the house if my child is there alone.
- If you have pets, ask a new sitter if she is comfortable (or allergic) to your cat or dog. More than once M. has arrived at a home to be greeted by a huge dog. She's OK with that, but what if your new sitter was afraid of large dogs or severely allergic to your cat?
- And my friend reminded me of another one that is important to add... it's just safer for all involved to be above suspicion. The wife should always drive a female babysitter home. Why invite trouble?