Meeting the Babysitter
We met the babysitter and she is lovely!!
We’ve already made a plan for her to babysit next weekend which is amazing, I can finally ask my husband how he’s doing for the first time in a year. But I’ll get to the meeting and the plan for the future a bit later. I first want to talk to the prep and research I did in anticipation (of course I did).
Panicking about Meeting the Babysitter
After my last post, I had a bit of a who, what, where panic. The panic about who she was? The panic about what I should ask her. And the panic about where to meet her.
The “who” panic
Naturally I was able to dispel the ‘who’ panic with a bit of a internet check out. I checked out her FB profile and looked out for other posts on FB on the babysitting page I’d found her on.
She seemed good, no nudity on FB, kind sweet and consistent messages. This was consistent with the mental image I had developed after messaging with her. I was happy.
The “where” panic
The where panic made me debate where we should be meeting the babysitter. Should we meet her at home or should we meet her at a park. While it would be awesome to get the kids out the house to burn off some excess energy it would probably be better for them to meet her on their ‘turf’.
Meeting them in their comfort zone also meant they couldn’t run too far away so they actually had to talk to her.
We thus decided to do the meet and greet at our home. It did however make for an early morning cleaning panic. We didn’t want her thinking we were the messiest people that ever walked the earth, just normal untidy people.
The “what” panic
The what panic was focused on what do I ask so that I cover the basics. Knowing me, I would be so worried about the process and the impending child-less evening out that I would forget to ask the basics.
Imagine forgetting to ask how much she charges, whether she had police clearance and then get her name wrong.
I reached out to a few people who had been through this process before and it wasn’t very helpful so I hit the inter-web hard and looked at a number of sites.
Questions to ask upon meeting the babysitter
- What kids have you cared for?
- Are you willing and able to change nappies.
- What activities do you like doing when you babysit kids?
- Are you prepared to work nights?
- If one of my kids is upset, how will you go about comforting them (I forgot to ask this question – will have to when we meet with her next)
- How would you discipline the children?
- How would you break up a quarrel between the kids?
- What would you do if you were babysitting at night and my 3 year old refused to go to sleep (again another question I forgot to ask her, will definitely have to have a chat with her about this when she looks after them one night)
- Do you have any health problems we should be aware of? (I’m not sure this is a PC question and I am not sure I would like to be asked this but I saw it referenced on tons of other sites so I asked anyway)
- What is your hourly rate and how would you like to be paid – cash or by bank transfer?
- What work / studying are you busy with at the moment.
Questions I didn’t ask but maybe should have
- What’s been your most challenging babysitting experience to date?
- What do you like about babysitting children?
- Are you willing to feed my kids if I prepare the food.
Prior to the interview I also asked for her to bring copies of:
- WWC Check (This refers to the Working With Children check that is required in Australia)
- police check
- proof of child care studies
If she was to be driving my kids anywhere I would have asked for copies of her drivers licence but I am not comfortable with that at all just yet.
The Day of Meeting the Babysitter arrived
So… the day arrived and we frantically ran around the house trying to clean it up. I was just getting out the shower when she knocked on the door. As my husband was just busy dressing the children I nearly had to meet her at the door in a towel – can you imagine!! Thankfully my husband got there in time with one child dressed.
The importance of Meeting the Babysitter
Getting a feel for the babysitter and asking your questions
The date went well. She was friendly and the children sat near her and eventually after an hour spoke to her so it was actually an excellent start. The conversation was easy and I managed to remember most questions. My husband and I had asked all our questions within twenty minutes. From then she spent an hour playing with the kids, checking out their rooms with them and making jelly.
Watching the children the baby sitter
Important for our son was establishing a relationship and then making sure there was something he could look forward to doing with her – they will be watching some Lego show together next weekend. For our daughter I wanted to make sure that there was some form of physical contact whether it was letting her share a toy, brush her hair (our daughter is a proper little girl) or sit next to her on the couch – this way I knew that my daughter felt comfortable with her and would be able to stay with her in due course.
We confirmed her availability for the following weekend. This was so her positive visit with the kids would be fresh in their memories.
My husband and I are finally going to have lunch together without having to share with four little hands. I can’t wait to find out what he’s been doing for the last year 😉