Finding the Perfect Sitter

Moms love to share information. Anytime I need something, I typically put a call out to all of my Mommy friends. Why? because they’re in the know. Whether I need a stylist (for myself or my kids,) a gymnastics class, a pediatrician, a new app for my phone, you name it, they always come through, well almost always.

When you ask for a recommendation on any of the above services you will get tons of replies, ask for the the recommendation of a good sitter and it’s crickets. It’s as if they didn’t hear you, why? Because sharing their awesome sitter means a chance for them to lose her because she’s committed to you on night that they might need her too.

Offering up your sitter is a risky thing, trust me, I’ve done my fair share of playing clueless when I see a call go out. I figure if I have a friend that was so generous that she shared her sitter with me, it would be rude of me to then share her with someone else, right? We’ll go with that.

So, if your friends are being selfish how do you find a good sitter?

Relatives are a great resource if you’re fortunate enough to live near them. They’ll most likely save you some dough too, insisting it’s their pleasure to spend some time with their great nieces and nephews. Plus you already know them so there’s no sweating the stranger-keeping-your-kid-thing.

Remember those Mom friends that didn’t want to share their sitter? How about working out a deal with them where you swap sitter services every few weeks or every month or so? You know you like them or you wouldn’t call them a friend. Your kids probably know their kids and you know they’ll have things at their house to keep your kids entertained. Again, like using a relative,  swapping with your friends will save you some cash.

Try a sitter service. There are many like Southern Nannies Plus to choose from. These sitters have been pre-screened in most cases so you know you’re getting someone that knows what they’re doing, or they will at least look good on paper.  You just need to meet them and make sure you and your children are comfortable with them. Start by having them watch your child in your home while you are there and always check their references.

Check with your local colleges. Many of them will have a list of students looking to babysit. Some of our best sitters are college students.

The current national average is $10 an hour for high school students and $12 an hour for older babysitters. The closer you are to an urban area, the higher the fee. Age, experience, number of children, holidays and the type of chores you expect from your sitter will also determine whether or not their fee should be slightly higher.

While we know that chilling in your jammies watching reality television is fun, you deserve a night out with the hubby every now and then. Put down the remote,  ditch the sweats and start lining up a sitter! Valentines Day is just around the corner!

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