October 4, 2012

A letter to my former would-be babysitter.

Dear Composite of Several Recent Babysitter FAILS:

I suppose when I casually told you that I didn't care what you did as long as my kids were safe, that you took that to heart. A little too young and childless for that kind of sarcasm, I guess. My bad.
Let me start over. Let me say first, thank you. Thank you for taking time out of your young, and childless and relatively carefree life to take responsibility for the only things in this world that I would kill to protect.

Not only is it important to me that you are a responsible human being whose care for my children should closely mimic my own (without crossing a line that would incite my natural maternal paranoia that you are a psychotic lunatic kidnapper) but also that you understand the fact that I consider this your job and expect you to treat it as such--be on time (and don't tell me two days before you start that you can't watch my kids this summer--despite the fact that you told me you would, two months ago), look presentable (keep the Daisy Dukes at home--I don't care how fucking hot it is out, I have central air) and unless you are legitimately ill (not hungover) and/or puking (not hungover) and/or contagious, show up. My kids will survive a sniffle, they are in the public school system.

As I see it, you have two basic duties: one, keep my kids safe and two, play. The first should go without saying. The second, well, I thought it was fairly obvious. Since you don't have to fold clothes, vacuum, run errands, pay bills or do any of the things I am constantly barely finishing, what else could possibly eat up your time with my precious little darlings? Put your phone down--really, that text to your BFF about Tommy's new skank can wait until you get home--sit your ass on the floor and make the baby a goddamn block tower she can knock over, just so you can build another one. Read a book. Hug a babydoll. Sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider, and damn it, do the hand motions and putting a little extra finger-wiggling in that rain.  Play Monopoly with the older two or bust out the crayons and coloring books. Whatever! PLAY! If I could afford to, I'd do it all day every day.

I can't possibly make you see that years from now when you have a "real" job and you’re punching a clock and paying taxes and wondering where the last ten years went, you will finally truly appreciate the job this is now. Show up, play with some kids, feed them, don't let them kill each other, don't burn the house down. (Oh yeah, and DON'T fall asleep on the couch when you're responsible for an inquisitive one year old.) Big responsibility for sure, but you'll never have another job like it. In the "real world" work is not often "play" (unless you are so lucky as to have a career at something you truly love and are passionate about). And no one will hug you just for showing up and being fun.

So for now, I won't miss you, and I'm probably lucky that these things didn't work out. In the end, I do believe that despite the shitstorm of stress I am operating in between dragging the kids to work with me some days (thank God I can!) and slapping together a patchwork babysitting schedule with duct tape and bubble gum and good Mommy friends, my kids will be better off not having known you or been in your company long term. For all the crappy attitude and slothfulness they will not witness, I will thank myself.

Good luck, and good riddance.

(Not-So-) Super Mom.


  1. Awsome post! This should go to all the "great" babysitters that will tell you they love children. I had a baby sitter that once put my 11 month old son in the stroller in my livingroom fell asleep on the couch. My son got out of his stroller and got on top of the coffee table which was right next to the stroller and was at the edge of the table about to go head first on the floor had my husband not come home at that moment. Oh and the babysitter is my husbands cousin. She had the nerve to get mad at me after I told her that she was a fucking idiot who didn't give a shit about anyone but herself and I wasn't paying her to sleep and please do not show up at my house again. Thanks for all your help.

  2. That was one of our issues--chickie was sleeping on the job. I have a diabetic and a very inquisitive one-year-old. That was an accident waiting to happen.

  3. Gurl...I remember the days of leaving my kids with the chicken fat lady types because I had no choice if I wanted to keep my job. I feel it. Great stuff!


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