I’ve been through at least five Nannies/Babysitters in the last three years. In the beginning, I think I was a fairly laid back employer. I did background checks, I asked for references and I really interrogated all prospective candidates. Yet, I still managed to find the worst sitters imaginable. Here’s a list of eight things the next sitter can do to assure she gets fired. Just so you know, all of these things have happened to me.
- Things you tell my kids.
I know everyone has a differing opinion on how to raise children and differing views of the world. What I don’t understand is why someone would take a position knowing that our value systems do not match up at all. If you knew in your heart that you could not accept the fact that my children are mixed race, why would you care for them? Why would you think it would be acceptable to call my child an abomination to her face? A word she heard multiple times from you to the point where she asked me what it meant. Totally not okay to impart your twisted world view on my child. FIRED
When was the last time you were changed?
When my kids were babies, one sitter literally left them in their diaper all day. I knew this was happening because I marked the inside of the diaper with a sharpie after suspecting it. She swore up and down that she was changing them and diapers were definitely winding up in the trash but they were her daughter’s. Not only was she not changing my kids, she was stealing my diapers and using them on hers. FIRED
Punctuality isn’t one of the seven deadly sins, I promise.
I don’t think I have ever had a sitter be on time consistently after the first week. Even more surprising is the expectation that after they’ve made me late for work, I’m still supposed to leave my job on time to get home so they can get off at their scheduled time. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.
- Blowing up my phone for no reason.
I appreciate a call during the day if something is wrong or calling me back if I’m checking in. What I don’t appreciate is being called because your Aunt wants to know where I buy my daughter’s tee shirts. Last time I checked, I’m at work, working. When you call me asking questions on behalf of your Aunt, it’s apparent to me that you aren’t working, you’re talking to your Aunt.
- Inattentive behavior.
I don’t have a problem with sitters who have children bringing their kids. But the last two times I’ve hired a mom, I’ve regretted it. Not only did they not watch my children but they didn’t watch their own. I’ve had property destroyed, Play-Doh shoved into areas that I know my kids wouldn’t even think of doing. I’ve been told my kids did all the offenses and then as soon as the sitter left my eldest would I say her daughter did it, she told me to say Quinn or Colin did it. Really, Lady? You’re going to tell my child to lie to me when she knows that telling lies is wrong. When she’s been taught that if she tells the truth she won’t get in trouble, I think I’m going to believe my daughter on this one. Especially, when I’ve seen the meltdowns your child throws over not getting a glass of water at the exact second she told you to get up and get it.
- Can I have more?
I really find it laughable when I get asked for raises. Mostly, because I haven’t had a full-time sitter last more than six months. I once had a sitter ask me for a raise after being on the job for two months. My response, “You’re chronically late, you don’t clean up after yourself, your kid or mine and you don’t watch them. How can you possibly believe that you deserve a raise?” That said, on the rare occasions I do have someone who is great, these often date night sitters, I tip them crazy well because I believe a job well done should and will be rewarded.
- Keeping a dirty house.
I’m not a messy person at all. In fact, I allow my kids to be a lot messier than I allow myself to be but at the end of the day, we always clean up. I always tell my sitters, I don’t expect them to be my maid but I do expect them to clean up after themselves and whatever children they bring along. Meaning, that when I come home from work I shouldn’t have every dish, eating utensil and cup in my sink when I only have three kids and everything was clean at the start of the day. There is absolutely nothing more irritating than coming home to sink full of dirty dishes after a long day and an even longer commute home. One day, I had so many dishes in the sink that I still had dishes to wash by hand AFTER loading down the dishwasher. That’s just ridonculous.
And the worst offense.
- Taking my kids without permission.
I’m perfectly fine with you taking the kids to the park or walking them to the bus stop to meet their sister. I draw the line at you taking them to your house. The first reason being, I don’t know anyone that you live with and the second reason is that your job description is that you watch them at my house. When you remove children from their home without the permission of the parent, it’s called kidnapping. I fired that sitter on her first day because not only did she not ask my permission but she didn’t tell me at all, I found out from my kid and then confronted her about it. I should never have to find out anything from my kid.
I truly believe there are some good sitters out there. I’ve had one or two, I wish I could say I had more. The problem I have with most of the sitters I have come in contact with is that they don’t take their job seriously. It’s not just watching kids, it’s a profession and ultimately it’s their choice to take the job. I don’t understand why people who dislike children would take a job as a sitter. Being a sitter is not an “easy” job, I’ve been a SAHM and it’s rough, I can imagine that’s it’s even harder when the children aren’t yours, even more reason to actually enjoy your work.