Being a single parent is tough work. You’re handling a lot of day-to-day operations completely alone, and sometimes parents need a break. So, that means you need to call in a babysitter. You might not do so often, or maybe the other parent is usually your babysitter. But, in the event that you’re taking a night out— it’s important to make sure you’re maintaining some proper babysitting etiquette.
You’re bringing someone into your home and trusting them with your children. While you want them to respect your home, it’s also important that you respect them. So, we’re giving you a guide to being a good client when it comes to babysitting. Because ;et’s face it— you’re going to want them to come over again.
Babysitting Etiquette: Being a Good Client
The less last minute— the better
Don’t expect your babysitter to be free in thirty minutes for a last minute escape. Planning ahead, and scheduling their time ahead is not only respectful but it’s also more likely to be successful. If you’re using a reputable neighborhood babysitter, chances are, her Friday night is booked by Monday. Make your plans early, that way you aren’t spending your one night off all dressed up with nowhere to go.
Pay them a reasonable amount
In short, don’t try to cheap out on a babysitter. Sure, a 16 year old doesn’t necessarily need to be making $13 an hour, but $10 is quite reasonable. If you’re hiring someone who is reputable, has a lot of baby-sitting experience, and they’re coming to you last minute— pay them accordingly. Remember that you are a potential future client, just like any other business. You don’t pay well? They’ll likely go with another family. You don’t pay well even when they come last minute? Good luck getting them to return at all.
Show up when you say you will
Don’t tell your babysitter that you’ll be home at nine, only to show up at 10:30 or later. Their time is valuable as well, and you might not be their only obligation this evening. So, make sure you treat their time as you’d like your time to be treated.
Feed your sitter, too!
Babysitters are usually required from around dinner time, to beyond. So, feed them! Offer up snacks in the fridge, pantry, or if you feel uncomfortable with that— ask what snacks she prefers, or leave money for pizza. You might not want the babysitter making herself at home with your groceries. But, don’t leave them high and dry— give them some options.
Ask for additional services if you want them, don’t expect it
The number one piece of babysitting etiquette is this: don’t expect the babysitter to wash your dishes, fold the laundry, and wipe down the counters without being asked. Many families don’t expect this, however if you ask them to do so and the oblige— good for you! But, it might not hurt to pay them a little extra for doing so. They are a babysitter and not a cleaning service, after all.