shutterstock_113455042Most of us parents have been there before—totally screwed and desperately in need of childcare to make it to work, an appointment, or a special event on time. I feel fortunate in that we have family close by, but my in-laws keep themselves very busy and see our kids a maximum of once a month.

Because of that, we’ve had to make relationships with a few good babysitters in our local area. These relationships came primarily through word-of-mouth, starting with the super sweet, early-twenties teacher of my son’s Mother’s Day Out Class. So, we have a few babysitters in our rotation, and that usually works out for date night or in the case of an emergency.

But I will confess that I have dabbled on websites like Care.com before. Even though I love all of our babysitters to death, we had an issue with flaky teenagers a few months back. We just wanted to get out of the house, and we couldn’t get a sitter to stick for the life of us!

It was getting to the point where I wanted to drastically lower my standards. I was thinking, If you don’t have a criminal record or any visible jailhouse tattoos, I would LOVE for you to hang out with my kids for a few hours. Even if you have one leg in a cast and can only catch them with a net while you recline on the couch and grimace in pain, I really don’t care. I just want to go out in public!

All of the sitters on specialty babysitting websites have official profiles and references, but I never pulled the trigger and set up an interview. I’m not opposed to booking a babysitter directly from a website. I even had my eye on a little old lady that looked like she was sweet and boring with tons of time on her hands.

In the present moment, our young lady babysitters are still working out for us. Our latest top choice is absolutely amazing and hasn’t flaked out yet—knock on wood. Though I’ve heard through the grapevine that it makes some parents uncomfortable to book a sitter or nanny online, just like ordering off Amazon, I’d do it in a heartbeat, as long as I could get out of the house.

(Image: Andrey Arkusha/Shutterstock)