Confession: I Don't Let Anyone Babysit my Kids, And I Don't Give a S*#%

Monday, November 2, 2015




The floors are fragrant and glistening - as in, they just got the once over with the Swiffer.

The granite countertops glisten. The blueberry muffins are freshly baked, and sitting on a pristine pastel, mint green cake platter.

I check my breath by blowing hot, steamy air from the back of my throat into my hands.

HHAAAAAUUUUUUU

I take a deep whiff.

Gross. Just so gross - coffee breath all the way.

I got three minutes - lemme go upstairs, do a little brush, and check to make sure the kids didn't leave toothpaste "bugs" in the sink. You know  - the toothpaste globs that kids leave behind, that get caked to the sink because apparently getting the toothpaste in their mouths is too difficult. Furthermore, cleaning up their caked on globs of organic, schmorganic toothpaste is even harder.

I swish with mouthwash, spit it out and make my way back downstairs. I do a final look at myself in the foyer mirror. I hope I don't get caught checking myself out. I'd be better off busying myself with my phone while I wait.

Two minutes go by and ding-dong. She's here. The young woman I am interviewing to babysit my children one day. One day.....

The last time someone other than a family member watched my children - was 4 years ago.

My youngest was 5-months old, I was visiting my hometown for the holidays and I was desperate to get away from my daughter's piercing, needy screams for a night of drunken debauchery with my old homies. She was a colicky baby, and I needed a cocktail (or ten) to block out the hideousness that was my life at the time.

Nothing bad happened. I was just miserable all night. I was running on fumes of sleep. Couple that with cocktails. And the leave-my-baby-jitters. It was an unenjoyable evening at best.

I don't let people watch my kids.

I barely tolerate family and close friends babysitting my kids.

And it comes down to one reason.

All consuming, fear. In fact, it's probably a phobia! A paranoia at this point!

I'm afraid one of my kids will choke, and the person watching them won't know CPR. Or will be too freaked out to react at all.

I'm afraid there will be a fire, and if my kids are under the care of someone else - in someone else's home - they won't know the fire escape plan. They won't know how to operate the windows there. Because of course -all windows are different. I only taught them how to open our windows.

I'm afraid they'll fall - and hit their heads on hard floors or concrete. And down stairs.

I'm terrified my oldest will have an asthma attack, and I won't be there to administer her the medication. Even though she's 5-years old, and knows how to administer it herself.

I'm scared one of them will break out in hives from a random, first-time allergic reaction.

The "what-ifs" that swirl through my head make me sick to my stomach. And so - I never pull the childcare trigger.

My husband begs me for date nights.

It's with great pride that I announce we've had two "day dates" in the past two years.

Ugh, sad state of affairs. I know. I know! But, yet I can't help it.

Sure, would I like to go on a date with my husband? Or go out with my friends when my husband is out of town? Yes and yes. But, at what price? How fun is being childfree, when you're freaking out about childcare?

I don't give a damn that I've missed cocktails because I didn't have anyone to watch my kids.
I give no fucks about the fun adult birthdays I've had to miss.
I don't give a shit that I've missed another shindig.

It never seems worth it to me to find a babysitter, interview them and then actually use them because of this overwhelming anxiety I have about leaving my kids in someone else's care.

Not to mention the disgusting, visceral reactions that precede before said "nights out."

How worth it is date night if I spend 30 minutes in and out of the john with anxiety-induced diarrhea before the big date? I'm supposed to feel sexy and date-worthy - after that?

My childcare trepidation - always means I chicken out. I turn down invitations left and right.

As I sit across from this friendly, inviting face - I wonder, can I trust her? Will she be more alert watching my kids that I am? Will she know to never answer the door? How does she handle herself in emergency situations? Will she invite boys over like I did when I was a teenage babysitter? Will she be on her phone the whole time? Will she remember to turn off the gas stove when she's done cooking the kid's mac-n-cheese for dinner? I need to know. I need to know she will not only follow my detailed lists of DO's and DON'Ts - but that she'll be diligent, and react with common sense and urgency when needed. I want her to remember that she was a small child once. What did she like about her parents? What did she not like? How would she like to be cared for? Most importantly, can you play Barbies for two hours straight?


HIRED. Here we goooo......

Anyone else afflicted with parenthood paranoia? Anxiety over your children being in someone else's care?


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15 comments:

  1. Love your babysitter post! I was lucky, I had my mother-in-law, and later, my best friend to babysit, but even still, I was a nervous wreck because my son was born with Down syndrome! it took years for me to get used to leaving him in someone else's hands!

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  2. Oh, I have so been there! I am still there. I have almost never gotten to have a family member babysit for various reasons, so if I were/am able to leave the house alone my only option is to pay a babysitter. And yes, I'm nervous half the time, but it gets easier the more often you do it. Now I'm grateful when I find someone we trust-- but it takes a long time!! I hope you are able to do it (if you want to)! :)

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  3. Thank you! I've always envied parents that don't think twice about leaving their kids.I have hope it gets easier!!

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  4. I prefer to leave my son with my mom - but the more I utilize her for childcare the more she uses it against me.
    I have used a couple highly recommended babysitters.
    It gets easier every time. My hubby begs for date nights too.

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    1. Yes, I prefer my mom to anyone else too. Thank you for telling me it gets easier. I still have hope that I can actually take the plunge

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  5. I feel you sister! I was totally like that for all my kids' younger years. I wasn't so much worried about the accidents and potentials for disaster but I simply TRUSTED NO ONE! These were my babies who could not tell me of the horrors they could have endured and humans are cray cray! I've seen too many that seemed like angels on the outside but I knew differently. There are way too many good actors and no matter how good your maternal instincts, you can't pick 'em all out, especially the really good actors. So...no dates. Minimal required engagements. Lots of tag-teaming with my hubby. And I didn't give a shit, either! The good news. Once they get older (say 8 or so), it's WAAAAY easier. They can talk (A LOT!!!) and I was free to go on about my business. Finding someone good was still a tall order and having no family nearby I never did find anyone long term to use. But we managed. So hopefully you only have a few more years until that timeframe-o-peace.

    TX Momma

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experience with TRUSTING NO ONE! LOL Me neither! I feel like it's getting easier day by day - my kids now go to school, they're 4 and 5 right now. So I've worked up the courage (a little bit), thus far, by the time they're 8 - mama will be lettin' her hair down....A LOT!

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  6. Oh I should have told you - this is liz from SheKnows! The one who confessed to lurking on your website this morning. HA!

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  7. Okay THIS is hilarious! I guess you're no longer a lurker;) But, thank you for lurking and commenting!

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  8. Oh sweet woman i FEEEEEEEEL YOU IN THE FEELS. I cant even let my mom watch my girl. No one listens to me about how i want her cared for, loke i dont know whats best, so i join you in the ranks of homebody don't give a fuck.

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  9. Omg, cracking up - "I FEEEeeeeeLL you in the feels." THAT is hilarious. I'm tired of making excuses about me not wanting anyone else to care for my kid. So, now I'm like fuck it, no one's qualified.

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  10. Its great that you can do it all on your own and still function as a mentally healthy mom. But there are a lot of us out there that are hangin on by a thread and need help to relieve us so we can be the good moms we all want to be. I have fears of the kids getting injured with me there as well as with the babysitter there. But there are many things we do in life that leave room for an accident happening (driving a car, etc). For the moms out there that need childcare help and have the above listed fears: You are not bad moms! :-) You love your kids as much as moms who never use a sitter. You just know you need help so you can make it. (Missguided Mama I know your intention was not to come off as better that us but I just wanted to share that:)
    Peace and love

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  11. I can so totally relate but I had my mom's help, when the kids were much younger. I understand your 'trust no one' phobia. Been there, done that. But, the greatest help I've received along this route, as a mother who watches out for her kids, is the fact that I entrust them into the hands of God. I believe they are safe with Him. But, that does not mean, I leave my children with people carelessly. I still do my due diligence. But, they're grown now. I admire your honesty.

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  12. I completely get it. There are only two sets of people besides my husband and I that have EVER watched my son: my in-laws, and my son's godparents. They're the only ones I remotely trust to-- and since I work, my in-laws watch him while I work and for the occasional date night AFTER I get him to sleep (read: late movie!). However I'm about to get a weekend break courtesy of his godparents for my birthday! And he'll be in a different state. Totally nervous, but excited all the same.

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  13. People think I'm weird. But i still don't leave my son. He's 14 months now and still breastfeeds quite a bit. I've left him with his dad for a few hours at a time which is fine, he loves his daddy. But we are isolated on a farm and at least 3 hours away from the nearest family. So even our parents are strangers a to him. I don't have the heart to say to him "mommy and daddy are leaving you all night with this stranger. Have fun." Imagine the terror in his little face and the sadness in his cry. How pray tell could i ever enjoy an evening out of all i think of is the hurt in my heart from leaving DS with a stranger and the echo of his panicked cries ringing in my ears? Yeah, no thanks. Enjoyed your post ��

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