Trying to find a babysitter can be daunting for new parents. Generally it’s either a close friend or your parents or the partners parents who offer to mind the kids for the evening while you and your partner are off for a dinner or a few drinks in the local pub.
When Matthew was born, hubby and I went out for dinner one evening. Matthew was only 3 months old. Hubby’s parents minded him for the evening and it was no bother at all. As he was getting older we had the odd night out or dinner date but only maybe every 6 months if even. My best friend Karo from Germany also offered us a few times to mind him and I gladly took the offer because I was comfortable with her minding Matthew. They both have a great bond since he was very small, mainly because she is also his god mother.
When Chloe came along, all of a sudden there were two kids to mind.
There was the 2 1/2 year old toddler running around going mad and a baby who had colic and took ages to settle. Not exactly ideal for a babysitter when you, as a mum, find it hard to settle the two of them for bed for example. Since Chloe was born hubby and I were out once or twice. We put both kids down and Karo was able to look after them from then onwards which was an easy enough job. Up until this point, so that at least one of us is able to get out and have a social life, we rotated. It meant I went out with a friend to go to the cinema or hubby went out for a few drinks with one of his mates. This works great but it doesn’t give us any “us time” as a couple.
Now that Chloe turned 16 months, I think it’s time we take the plunge and find a local babysitter in town. Matthew has become an easy child when it comes to putting him to bed. He would normally fall asleep within a few minutes because he had such a busy day in creche and he doesn’t nap anymore. The only thing I am concerned about is that a person he doesn’t know he will panic when going to bed. For example he developed this new thing now where it’s only me that can put him down and it’s only daddy that can put Chloe down because “Matthew is best friends with Mammy” and “Daddy is best friends with Chloe”. It’s hilarious in a way but the funny thing about it is when I am not there an evening and hubby needs to put the two of them to bed, he will chance it saying mammy has to put him down but really he doesn’t mind daddy. It’s just an excuse to delay bedtime really.
Ask around in creche
If your child is going to creche or play school, the easiest way to find a babysitter, would be to ask around in the creche or maybe even a member of staff is offering you to mind your kids. I know they’re doing this daily 5 days a week but you’d be surprised some may be happy to babysit an evening.
Another option would be to put up an ad on a board in a local shop. This is also where you might pick up someone who is actually offering to babysit around the area. In that case take down their name and number and give them a call. Discuss the rates per hour and give them a trial run before they do the actual babysitting. They need to get to know the kids first. If you put yourself in the situation of your kids, think about it, someone random taking over mummy and daddy’s job while the only people they know are leaving the house for the evening.
There are many different childcare websites/ forums out there that offer babysitting service. Websites like Rollercoaster or Schooldays are great for this. Most of them have sub categories so you can find a babysitter in the region of Dublin, Galway or Sligo, you get the idea.
Do you take advantage of a babysitter or do you have relatives who take turns?