My Sitters Are Driving Me Crazy–Part 2
I was a bit surprised by the firestorm my blog set off. I was pondering it with my girlfriends Tuesday morning at the playground when a very strange thing happened.
A woman I had never seen came running up to us. She was almost in tears.
“Have you seen a blue baby blanket?” she asked frantically. (Her name is Julie.)
We shook our heads no.
“My sitter took it out with my son today and lost it!! It is his special blanket that was made from yarn we got in Australia. I let them take it because his father had to fly to Australia today and my son wanted to hold it. I even told her to be careful with it,” she said, clearly distraught.
My gals and I looked at each other, mouths hanging open.
“You gotta talk to HER!” my friend Stephanie said, pointing at me. It was like the universe sent Julie to me. Divine intervention reinforcing the point of my blog.
She went on to say, “You know the most ridiculous thing about this? I am paying my sitter to watch my son while I go searching for it.” I nodded. Been there too. It’s on my mom-crutch post.
Now before conclusions are drawn, let’s step back and think for a second what this argument is really about.
It’s about what we moms define as important. And what our expectations are. And it’s okay to agree to disagree. But I think it goes deeper than that. There was an underlying tone and theme in many of the comments. It speaks to the judgment we cast on each other, particularly the Stay At Home Moms versus the Working Moms.
And so begins Part 2 and 3 of my Sitter Chronicles.
Let’s first answer the question– how do things get lost? Sometimes it boils down to an accident. A mistake. And in that case, yes, get over it. But a lot of times it’s because tots fling things out of the stroller, or throw something in the playground. I know the few times I have lost stuff it’s due to texting while strolling (not something I’m proud of). Or not paying enough attention to what Fia is doing. I accept that my behavior is unacceptable. And I make a conscious decision to be better. So are sitters beyond reproach on that? I don’t think so. Because at the top of their job list is to pay attention to their biggest responsibility: The Child. Not their phone or their sitter friends. I believe that is exactly how Julie’s baby blanket got lost. And Fia’s things.
Dear lord. Diapers are a shit storm—literally and figuratively. I heard you all loud and clear on not checking the diaper bag: guilty as charged. Last Saturday was the first time it happened. And it bit me—and Fia—in the butt. It won’t happen again.
For the record: I never leave dirty dishes in my sink for my sitters to clean. I don’t ask them to cook or do laundry for me. During Fia’s 2-hour naps, I often find T reading a book or making herself something to eat. (I also give her money to order in). I’m happy that she’s relaxing. Oh, and p.s.—I pay them really well.
Now that’s just me. Someone else may have completely different expectations and guidelines for their sitters. And that’s okay. But whatever you lay out, they should follow if it’s reasonable. And packing a diaper bag is reasonable. It’s not like I’m asking them to go stand in traffic.
I found many comments quite contradictory. Lamenting that sitters should be looked at as professionals. And treated as such. Exactly. So how is asking them to do something that is part of their job so horrible-terrible-awful? I mean, we’re asking them to wipe dirty butts. So putting 3 diapers and some wipes in a bag at the end of the day is demeaning? Give me a break.
Here were some sensible comments:
@Sabrina Condon–You’re paying them to care for your child. If that means restocking the diaper bag to you, then they should restock it. That’s well within the reasonable realm of responsibilities. I wouldn’t tell my boss it’s his/her job to restock the supply closet if I use the last pencil.
@DAISY – If your boss asks you to clean the bathroom and you’re the manager, you just do it. You may not like it, but you do it.
@ANGEL–And leaving filthy things in the diaper bag and not putting them in the sink is unsanitary. We’ve all done it accidentally, but as a habit, it is unacceptable.
Now for some of the not-so-sensible ones (in my opinion).
For those who say my sitter isn’t my personal assistant, maid, etc, I say, exactly. She is a sitter, and therefore her responsibilities include keeping track of my child and her things. That’s her j-o-b.
And commenters who expressed disbelief that I was expecting the sitter to “raise my child”… I argue that putting 3 diapers in the bag and refilling the wipes is far from rearing my baby. Not to mention she’s there 10-15 hours a week. The other 153 hours it’s all me, all the time.
Having said this, I truly enjoyed getting all your comments. It was great, as it really got me thinking about why it struck such a nerve.
Which is why Part 3 tackles the judgments between the stay at home moms (SAHM) and the working moms.
But before I get to that one, let me end with the baby blanket. It hasn’t been found, but for 2 more hours, Julie scoured the park. Then she went and had fliers made up to post. Here it is, and yes, in her world, it is an important thing. And something her sitter was supposed to keep track of. And didn’t. And that’s a shame.
Categories: Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Must Read | Tags: accidents, baby blanket, babysitters, diaper bag, diapers, expectations, judgmental, judgmental moms, lose, lost, lost baby blanket, mistakes, mom, moms, playground, professionals, raising a child, responsibility, sahm, sensible, sippy cups, sitter, sitter responsibilities, sitters, stay at home moms, stroller, texting, texting and strolling, toy stroller, wipes, working moms