• Sun, Jul 20 - 10:00 am ET

World’s Worst Babysitter Abandons Toddler At Hairdresser And Mother Is Now Fighting For Custody

VIDEO Babysitter Leaves Girl, 2, In Hairdressers For Two WeeksWhen you leave your child with a babysitter, you likely have some expectations. Namely, that the babysitter will keep your child safe, clothed, fed, loved and even entertained during the time they are with them. I’m pretty sure that the last thing any parent expects when they leave their child with a babysitter is a battle to retain custody of their own kid.

Sadly, that is exactly what is happening to a young mother in Russia who left her 2-year old daughter with a babysitter in a long-term situation. According to The Daily Mail, Yulia Kouranova, 28, left her daughter Lena with 24-year old Marina Kougadova while Kouranova worked a 6-month contract in the tourism industry. She was unable to take her daughter with her so she hired Kougadova to care for her while she was gone.

One day, the world’s worst babysitter took the little girl with her to a hair salon to get her hair done. When she was finished, she told the salon owner that she needed to go get money from her car to pay and left the child in the salon. She never returned and the salon owner sat with the girl all evening waiting for her. And this is where the story gets incredibly weird because the salon owner kept the girl for TWO WEEKS before calling authorities. The Daily Mail does not provide any explanation for this but the salon owner did eventually contact police and they are currently searching for the babysitter. The mother is now waiting to find out if she can keep her own child because before she had been located, they had begun the process to put the child up for adoption. From the social worker on the case, via The Daily Mail:

‘We immediately tried to find her relatives and to clarify the situation, but it was quickly clear that this wasn’t going to go anywhere.

‘It was only when we put out an appeal through the media including images that the girl’s mother got in touch.

‘This was seen by the girl’s mother originally got in touch and told us she thought the child was safely with the babysitter.

‘She said that she had regularly called the babysitter who had always pretended that the child was well. On the occasions when the mother asked to speak to her, the babysitter always said she was refusing to come to the phone or sleep, which she accepted because of her age.

So this poor mother tried keeping in touch with her child’s caretaker and was repeatedly lied to? I cannot even imagine having to make the choice to leave my kids for six months to take a job elsewhere but I have to think this mother was very desperate. It is easy for me to say I would never do this because I have a big support system including my husband and family and this is quite simply something I will never face. My judgements for her odd decision aside, I cannot believe this mother is now fighting to keep her own child after a horrible babysitter decided to abandon her and an even more horrible (or at least, very strange) hair salon owner decided to house her for two full weeks before attempting to find her family. This is obviously an odd-ball story all the way around but I think being told I cannot keep my kids is among my worst nightmare scenarios so I really feel for this poor woman.

I guess the moral of the story is to be very careful about who you leave your child with for a long-term babysitting stint. You never know who someone really is and six months is a long time to trust another person with your child. As parents, we have to go with our gut and I think after being repeatedly told that my little one could not come to the phone I would begin to grow suspicious. I hope this poor mother has learned her lesson and will have her instincts more finely tuned in the future.

(Image: via The Daily Mail)

You can reach this post’s author, Valerie Williams, on Twitter or via e-mail at mommyishvalerie@gmail.com

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  • Alicia

    I can’t imagine being in a position where I feel I have to accept a job that wouldn’t allow me to take my kids with me. Especially a tourism industry type job versus something like military or Federal agent of some kind. It sounds like she did everything she could to ensure her child was cared for, and that babysitter should be thrown in jail. That poor kid. She doesn’t understand what the hell is going on her life.

    • Valerie

      I know, it really is sad. How weird for the hair dresser to wait 2 weeks to say anything, though! That’s almost worse to me than the dumb babysitter abandoning her.

    • Kelly

      I don’t see how it’s worse. The salon owner probably thought she was the parent and could have been hoping that she would come back and collect her daughter. Once it’s reported, the legal system is involved and the parent could lose the child.

      It’s a crappy situation for the salon owner to be in. I know I’d be wondering if some kind of emergency had happened to make someone leave their child. I’d probably call the police the next morning after waiting all evening for her to come back, and I’d feel awful about calling.

      If she didn’t hurt the child then I don’t see how caring for her was worse than abandoning her.

    • mediocrity511

      It could be a cultural thing though, without knowing what Russian social services are like I’m not going to pass judgement. I know that a lot of former Eastern bloc countries have a legacy of truly appalling orphanages, I’d be tempted to hang on to the kid for a bit if I thought they’d end up somewhere like that.

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      I have to wonder what sort of reputation the police or child services have in Russia for the salon owner to think it was better not to call them. Was she just a nut who wanted a kid for awhile? Or did she keep the kid as long as possible before calling the authorities, which in her view might wind up horribly?
      Actually, considering they’re already putting the kid up for adoption, which is extreme and terrible, maybe the salon owner wasn’t so wrong. Perhaps she was just hoping she’d come back so that wouldn’t happen and had waited as long as she could.

    • Natasha

      Terrible. The police and child services in Russia are terrible. The salon owner probably assumed the sitter was the mother, and that the “mother” was overwhelmed and needed a break. Rather than get, what the salon owner may have assumed was the mother arrested, she tried to help by caring for her for a few days so mom could come to her senses.
      Unfortunately, when it became clear no one was coming back the authorities had to get called.

    • MrsMommy

      Everyone is not quick to call the gestapo when other measures can be found to help out.

  • Diva Mother

    In a lot of cultures many parents leave their children with others for long work stints overseas. I know in the Philippines for example many mothers will take jobs as domestic helpers in places like Hong Kong and Singapore and only see their children once a year, if that. To them it’s a way out of poverty as the pay is so much more than what they would get at home (if they can find work at all). To us it seems unimaginable to leave our children for long, but to them they are doing it for their childrens future.

    • Sherri

      Yeah. My wife and her family are from Russia, and it’s common to hire a long-term babysitter or nanny to care for your kid when you don’t have family around to watch them for you while you’re gone.

    • Wilma Flintstone

      Gee, how about DON”T BE GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Boots

      How about… Have money for food, shoes and school??

    • Starshine30

      Or better yet…how about don’t have kids if you can’t care for them?

    • Linda Anderson

      What is the matter with you?! People get in situations all the time…divorce, loss of a job, when they already HAVE children! This mother hired what she thought was a competent babysitter…it doesn’t mean she can’t care for her child. You don’t know the situation as to why she has to work, so get off your high horse.

    • Boots

      yeah – because bad stuff never ever happens once you have kids. divorced, widowed, lost job – nope! once you have kids (that you could, of course, care for at the time) nothing will ever happen that could ever change that situation.

    • Linda Anderson

      How about you use some common sense?! The mother needs to work for a living. What is so hard for you to comprehend about that?!

    • ScienceGeek

      I went on a cruise where a lot of the staff were on 3, 6 or even 12 month contracts, and they all knew that if they turned down a job, they wouldn’t get called again. I was pregnant at the time and it was heart-breaking how many staff members weren’t going to be there for the birth of their child, or had basically given birth then had to leave their baby. One of them noticed my laptop and asked how much it cost and if it would be any good for video calls, because his wife was about to give birth to their first child, he wouldn’t see them for another five months, and he just wanted his child to know who he was.
      It was one of those things that made me realise how damn lucky I am, and how much I take for granted.

    • Wilma Flintstone

      B.S. if they have to leave their kid for that long they should stick with cats and not have any kids.

    • MomMom Dearest

      I wouldn’t even leave my cats for THAT long!! :)

    • kamille1291

      Seriously what is it with you old women and comparing your animals to children…

    • Cindy Araya

      Well, unlike you, there are people who don’t want to have human children, and think of their alleged animals (humans are the real animals) as being a part of their family just like as if they were their children. There is nothing wrong with that, but based on your comment you should not be allowed to own any “animals!”

    • sindirella

      I was just about to Add My four legged furry Children looooong surpassed my two legged Adult/Children by doing more for a Milk bone than My Human specimens for $20.00 {just Sayin}

    • Cindy Araya

      What a heartless and callous remark on your part to say! Do you know what the economy is like in Russia? I certainly don’t, until then I am not going to pass judgement on this suffering mother. I can only imagine that the only reason why this woman had the need to have this despicable babysitter was because she had a job (a contract job to be precise) where it would take her away from her kid for quite awhile, and she took it because the pay was good or great, in order to care for herself and her kid and be able to survive the bleak economy of Russia’s.

    • Smishsmash

      I could probably make the argument that someone like you who clearly lacks both empathy and the ability to understand how the world works also shouldn’t have kids. But here you are on a mommy blog, so I guess I’ll just have to hope someone else in your kid’s life has some common sense so they don’t turn out to be ill informed sociopaths.

    • Marie Reyes

      Damm what a way to be bitch over a comment. Common sense should tell you to just ignore it, and common sense is telling me to call out on your bitchiness. ..just saying since the topic went to common sense rather quickly.

    • nancy

      I’ll bet you anything, Wilma, that you and mommom dearest are both “Christian Republicans”, yes?

  • personal

    My children’s childminder once kept a child for 3 days before contacting the authorities to let them know the child had been abandoned. She said she really wanted to give the mom a chance to come to her senses. To be fair, though, she knew the mom was abandoning the girl. When she dropped her off, the mother had said, ‘I’m not coming back. I don’t want her.’ I do think that if the mom had just disappeared, she’d have assumed she’d been in an accident and would have called earlier.
    I hope in this case, the woman gets her girl back soon and without having to bankrupt herself. I cannot imagine how hard this is for her.

    • 2Well

      Was that poor child old enough to remember?

    • Personal

      Worse. :( The childminder is qualified to be a foster parent, and the child was used to her, so she was asked by the authorities to keep the child. They settled down, all got used to each other, the little girl (age 2) started calling the childminder’s husband ‘Papa’ and they were in love with her and hoped to adopt her. The mother was a prostitute. She came back after 6 months and the state gave her the child back. They never saw her again.
      Broken hearts. :(
      (PS We are in Germany. Different system here. They try really hard to keep biological offspring with their birth parents. It’s almost impossible to adopt a baby here.)

  • Blueathena623

    As for the salon owner, it’s Russia. You try to involve the authorities as little as possible.

    • Cindy Araya

      Proving my ignorance here, but is there any particular reason for that?

    • Boots

      Because it’s Russia. Corruption and distrust run deep. (family experience speaking…)

    • Cindy Araya

      Thank you for your response. Now I know then why the salon owner took so long to call the authorities.

  • Coffee&Cats

    Russia’s a strange place, y’all. O.o

  • NatayaStarlingetu

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  • Spiderpigmom

    So… The mother didn’t phone (or otherwise try to contact) the
    babysitter for at least two weeks? I assume if she did and couldn’t
    reach her, she would have alerted the authorities. I can understand
    having to leave your kid with a stranger if you have no other choice. I
    don’t understand not checking on her for that long.

    • Spiderpigmom

      (My bad. Obviously, I can’t read)

    • MomMom Dearest

      hehehe!!! ;)

  • Wilma Flintstone

    The worlds worst babysitter? Are you kidding me? This is the worlds worst mom, leaving her 2 year old for 6 months?!??!? Good god, I would not leave my dog for that long, let alone my kid, she is a scum.

    • kamille1291

      You clearly don’t have a child…. Pls don’t comment so viciously on things that you don’t understand… or compare a dog to a child, it’s incredibly insulting to those of us who do have children, ’cause when your dog has a terminal illness you put it down, it’s the humane thing to do… do that to a child with terminal illness and you’re a murderer! if you can afford a dog you obviously don’t have money issues and, just hazarding a guess from your comment, are probably used to living an entitled life.

    • nancy

      Wilma and her ilk are trolls. Don’t play into their games.

  • Cindy Araya

    Wow! What a horrible situation to be in! I really hope this woman is able to get her daughter back, and the idiotic babysitter is thrown in jail! What I can’t understand is why is it that the salon owner waited 2 week before calling the authorities??? I realize this is Russia, but really 2 weeks??? If it had been me, at the most, I would have waited 24 hours maybe 48, before realizing that maybe nobody is coming back for the kid, or heck even trying to call the idiotic babysitter on the phone (don’t they have some kind of appointment book for their clients with their contact information?) perhaps 24 hours after she was left in my care, before I consider calling the authorities. Is there something that I am not understanding about Russian authorities that this salon owner thought better to keep the kid with her for 2 weeks, rather than going to the authorities earlier?

    • Boots

      In eastern Europe, we avoid the police or government intervention as much as possible. People help each other, because the police and government sure don’t.

  • Sharron Davis

    First of all, this is RUSSIA not the United States! Many, many people from very poor countries work on ships, as elder care persons, construction jobs, etc. They do whatever they CAN to provide for their families. Please don’t pass judgement on people that are not like YOU or do what YOU do. Most people in the US don’t have this problem although WE have many children that are abandoned for one reason or another, a lot to do with drugs, alcohol, and those that take no responsibility for the children they produce.

  • momallatoo

    In the U.S. there are many parents in the armed forces who may have to leave children with a long term caregiver while the parents are deployed out of country. I hope this would not happen here, but it could. Years ago, many children here were left with families when parents couldn’t find work and went in search of employment. So I don’t understand why this seems so strange that a single mother might have to be away for her job. I’m sure she never thought the sitter would abandon the child. Geez. Have some empathy.

  • Russian

    How ignorant people are!! Look around you, millions of people working here in the USA, and their families stay in another country. How can you judge them? one woman says I would never leave my dog….!!!???? Let me see how she will do been born in other then USA country, able found a job, keep it and raise a child!!Ignorant, heartless people! Did you not see how people struggling to get by? open your eyes and look around you, everywhere in USA you can found mothers whose hearts bleeding for their children overseas . My girlfriend left a child at 9 years of age, she met her child again in 12 years. And she was lucky, just lucky.

  • Rinat Azran Biton

    Yeah the mother doesn’t deserve her kid back. The fact that the mother hadnt bothered to even contact her child for two weeks is suspicious enough. I accept the fact that she needed to work long term. But you check in on your children every other day at least.

    • Boots

      But she did try to contact the sitter – multiple times, only to be told that the child was sleeping or just didn’t want to talk (which is pretty standard for my 2yo when my husband calls at lunchtime…). In tourism (eg. cruise ship cleaner or cook) there aren’t a lot times when you can call – you’re isolated and far from land and have to work incredibly hard for little money. it’s not glamorous, but it’s a job.