10 Things That Will Make Your Babysitter Hate You

While I no longer nanny full time, I still babysit because freelancing is so flexible and lucrative that it gives me space to pursue hobbies, like other people’s kids’s diapers. But it’s not all soiled Pull-Up wrangling, I also have to deal with parents.

These days I’m able to be very selective about my clients, and all my recent clients get gold stars. But I’ve been doing this a long time, and (wino skeleton from The Last Unicorn voice) I remember. As do my nanny/babysitter friends.

This list isn’t about serious abuse. (Don’t do that either!) This is about those smaller acts of disrespect that parents may not even realize are fostering resentment in those they’ve entrusted with their spawn. If you don’t do any of these things: high five! But for the rest of you? Here are ten things we might hate about you.

 

1. You insist we take your kids out every day.

I get it, exercise and “fresh” Brooklyn air are good for growing kids. But; weather. Sometimes it’s 110 degrees or there’s a blizzard. If you trust me with your child, please trust me to decide whether it’s worth it to slap the rain cover on the Maclaren which, while keeping your baby snuggly-dry, does exactly nothing for me as I trudge my increasingly waterlogged body over to the library. Oh, you can hold an umbrella and push the stroller at the same time? Fine, you are a better and more talented person than me.

Some weather actually poses a genuine threat. Kristy* holed the kids up in a store to wait out an electrical storm that hit during their walk and got screamed at as a reward. If you want your kid’s claim to fame to be surviving a lightning strike, perhaps you should work on this goal together and leave the help out of it.

 

2. You don’t respect our time

We promise to be at a designated location caring for your children during the hours we’ve agreed upon. But that’s it. You can ask if we’re available at the very last minute on our day off, but we are under zero obligation to say yes, and the reason is frankly none of your business. Our lives do not revolve around your offspring, however much we love them. Maybe we’re working another job, or out with friends, or smoking pot and watching ALF in a snuggie. These are all valid reasons to not pinch-sit for your kid.

On the days we are ensuring your kid eats, plays and doesn’t die, please come home at the appointed hour. Of course, shit happens, so unless I’ve explicitly told you I have to leave by a certain time, an apologetic text saying you’ll be 15 minutes late is a reasonable inconvenience.

What is not okay is what happened to Dawn, who was babysitting while Mom and Dad had a night out on the town. Said celebration was supposed to turn into a pumpkin at midnight, when Dawn would go home, sleep for 6 hours, and go sit for another family. Because that’s how Dawn pays her rent. But instead, the toasty birthday couple came home at sunny 6 a.m., oblivious to the hours Dawn had spent calling them (and being sent to voicemail) and debating at what point it’s be appropriate to report them missing.

She didn’t, as the tipsy couple assumed, “just go to sleep.” (You really want to leave your kids with someone who’s going to peace out into dreamland when you’ve been missing for six hours?). What she did do is immediately go to the other family’s home, without even changing her clothes, and spent 10 hours trying to provide adequate childcare while struggling to not fall the fuck asleep. Don’t ever make your babysitter pull a Dawn.

 

3. You cancel last minute (and don’t offer to pay).

Hopefully, we like your kids. We may even love them. But watching them is still a job we do for money, so we can pay bills and eat and stuff. It’s very frustrating when a paid job we’ve been counting on is cancelled last minute, especially because we may well have turned down other paid work to be there for you and your darling.

If you need to cancel in under 24 hour hours, offer to pay the sitter in full. Sorry, but bitches gotta eat. If you wouldn’t take this crap from your boss, don’t dole it out.

 

4. You don’t tell us your kid is sick.

I do often babysit for sick kids, but it’s only fair to tell me the situation so I can assess the risks for myself and possibly prepare with gloves/mask/etc. Not only are we almost guaranteed to get with whatever nastiness is breeding inside your child, many of us work for other families. Congratulations, now the whole block has the stomach flu.

 

5. You’re inconsistent with discipline.

We try our best to work with whatever cockamamie discipline system you have set up. But for that to work, your kid needs to listen to us. Don’t undermine our authority. If, in accordance with your rules, we say “no,” and little Pork Belly goes crying to you, don’t just say yes because you’re distracted or vulnerable. Explain that while we’re sitting, what we say goes and keep it moving.

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    • JJ

      My mom babysat for several years when me and my sibling were in elementary school and there was one parent who always showed up late to pick his kid up every week. My mom worked a second job at Sears and my dad worked nights so he was still half asleep at this point. Plus it wasn’t his job to babysit anyway because it was expected by 5:00 or earlier parents were to have their kids picked up. And all the parents did except this one parent. Pissed my mom off so much after a while because she would be scrambling to get ready for her second job and getting us supper ready while still taking care of the kid whose parent never showed up on time. Needless to say the next year when summer was over and they tried to use my mom again for babysitting this kid my mom said NO. Accidents happen and traffic happens sometimes but not every week. Value the babysitters time to because they have their own lives and other jobs to.

    • K2

      I used to do evening babysitting for a family my mum was a nanny for, because my mum didn’t feel like doing extra night hours (which I totally get!). It was well paid and I didn’t have to do much – just keep an eye on the kids, and once asleep, watch TV whilst regularly going to check on them. (I probably checked on them more than necessary, but I wasn’t taking any chances, lol..)

      Only problem is it wasn’t a regular job, so it’s not exactly great for actual earning.. But then I worked at a cinema, worked a lot harder, got paid a lot less, and did extra hours and night shifts for no bonus, whilst dealing with jerkface customers. Coming home at 4am smelling of nacho cheese is really really not my idea of a ‘good job’.

      Eventually I’d like to nanny a bit before maybe going to work in a school.. But I’m not sure yet. I think a big thing about being a nanny is finding the right family.

    • Lesleykc

      I used to do some babysitting in college to help pay bills and these are all so painfully true! The worst one was my first day sitting for a new family and I walk in and they explain that their precious snowflake has pinkeye in both eyes, see you in a few hours! Just wash your hands! He has a little separation anxiety because we never leave him with anyone he doesn’t know! So they left me with a child who was a raging, contagious mess and who was inconsolable about being left with a total stranger. I have never been so grossed out. If your child is harboring an extremely communicable disease, please cancel (with pay/ some sort of compensation). The problem is that these parents were some of the most genuinely nice people ever, I think they were just dying to get out of the house and didn’t think to even ask if I would take care of their sick kid.

    • CMJ

      Mine was always food related….JUST BUY SOME GOOD SNACKS.

      • lyzl

        Can I just say, I really try to buy good snacks. I even ask the sitters, “What do you like to eat? I am going to buy you snacks.” And they are all too polite to say, “Oreos, bitch!” So, I have to guess. And I like delicious things like Oreos and pizza and soda and cheetos and cookies and well…obviously. I was doing this for our occasional sitter for a year, before her mom told me she is actually health nut and only wants granola bars and iced tea. FAILURE! I felt like such an asshole.

      • Natalie

        I don’t care if you don’t have good snacks or anything, I just get pissed when I show up, am expected to make the kid dinner then get told “oh you can’t eat any of it.” I’m sorry, but if I’m making food- I’m eating some of it. Even if it just chicken nuggets.

      • auntiea

        Wait-people actually do that?! They suck.

      • C.J.

        That is just rude. When I used to hire a babysitter I ordered pizza for the kids and the sitter and loaded the fridge and cupboard with snacks. I can’t imagine asking someone to be at my house at dinner time and not providing them with food.

      • Véronique the Attachment Shark

        wow I totally would have responded that they needed to give me a lunch break then so that I could go eat my own meal…

    • Jen TheTit Whipper

      Also, don’t send me a ton of texts and call me 300 times. I know you miss kiddo but seriously, I can’t watch your kid and respond to your texts and your phone calls wake your kid up. I will happily send updates to keep you in the loop, just leave me be so I can keep your kid alive.

      • Véronique the Attachment Shark

        The first time my mom watched our daughter, when we came back, the first thing she said was “I’m surprised you never called or texted to see how things were going!!” I just told her “you would have called if nothing was wrong, right?” I mean, why torture myself with the answer if the answer is not the one that i want? Say that she is cranky, I’m gonna feel guilty about taking a night to myself to relax. FUck that.

      • Jen TheTit Whipper

        I agree. Most of my kiddos parents were cool. But there is always that “one” who spends all night going “what is she doing now?” Sleeping. “How is she?” She’s asleep, how do you think she is?

    • Katherine Handcock

      Wow, these blow me away! I can’t imagine ever doing these things to someone I was getting to take care of my kids.

      I try to make life as easy for my sitters as possible. My kids are pretty nice to sitters, and neither gets upset about being left, but I still try to sneak in extra treats (special desserts, a slightly later bedtime, etc.) so that the sitter gets to be the totally awesome person who gives you all the stuff you don’t normally get with Mom and Dad :-)

    • blh

      I think telling your client not to pop in is sketchy. I’m sure most babysitters/childcare workers are great people who love kids, but abuse and bad things happen often enough that parents want to make sure everything is ok. Especially with babies or kids too young to talk.

      • Katherine Handcock

        The problem, as she points out, is that it’s extremely stressful for kids when you’re popping in and out while the sitter is trying to interact with them — especially if the child picks up that you’re nervous, because then the kid is scared. I’ve seen it at my kid’s co-op preschool: the kids who are in hysterics settle down within fifteen minutes with some reassurance from the teacher, but if Mom or Dad poke their head back in the door and the kids see them, you’re back to square one.

        I think you have to start from a position of trust. You’ve hired this person, presumably after checking references, meeting them, watching them interact with your child. Unless you see signs that something isn’t right, I think you should trust them to do their job well.

      • Kelly

        Agree. When my daughter started daycare at 3 months old, I was a typical, super-nervous first-time parent. My daycare lady gently suggested I call her for updates as needed. So I called during lunchtime, and my report was always a cheerful “She’s fine” followed by some basic information about how she was really hungry when she ate her bottle, or how she smiled at one of the other kids, or some nonsense. I’m glad she was open to it, but at the same time I realized that I was taking care of my separation anxiety, and not the baby’s, and ultimately, my sitter was doing a great job. Most of the things we talked about during those early calls could have just as easily been relayed during pick-up and drop-off times…I stopped calling pretty quickly.

      • CC

        I think it depends. I worked as a nanny for years, but mostly for stay-at-home moms. I loved them so I didn’t mind them popping in to chat or say hi, but I can’t say I would tolerate a parent popping in and out every day before leaving or during another stressful transition time. Employers often forget that nannies are people too–if we don’t like the way you operate, we don’t have to work for you.

    • Boozy Shark Lee

      I was a nanny for two kids. The one thing that really pissed me off was when a sickness ran through the house we would all get it. Their mom would take the day off of work and stay in bed and have me come (just as sick as her) to take care of the sick kids.

    • CW

      #7 is the worst! If you want a housecleaner, go hire one. I will promise that the house won’t be any messier when you get home than when you left it, but I’m not going to do your breakfast dishes or your laundry, etc. I had to start making that clear up front when I was a nanny because I had this awful yuppie mom who tried to cheap out on paying for a separate housecleaner by dumping the housework on me. Sorry, nope.

    • ToninaMDC

      I am on board with all of these except #6 – specifically, the bit about the nanny cam.

      My child is a high-functioning autistic. While he’ll talk my ear off about his particular interests, he has only a vague understanding of how wrong it is for another person to hit/kick/punch/spit on/shove/”bad touch” him and how important it is that he tell Mom & Dad right away. While any baby-sitter I hire will be one I trust to treat my son right, it’s an unfortunate truth that there are paid caregivers out there who betray that trust, and he is a particularly vulnerable child. Therefore, I’m going to use a nanny cam. If a caregiver can’t deal with that, s/he isn’t the right person to take care of my son.

      • alexesq33

        I feel like as long as you disclose that you have a nanny cam and that there isn’t one in the bathrooms, that makes total sense. That way, a caregiver can decide whether she is comfortable with being “on camera” or not, and also know that she shouldn’t be changing her shirt from spit up since she thinks it’s just her and a 5 month old in the room.

      • FishQueen

        If you’re upfront about it, it wouldn’t be a problem for me, depending on how you handle it. In the interview phase, I would prefer a simple “we use a camera- is that something you’re comfortable with?” rather than a “we don’t take any chances and if you have a problem with it, get out” explanation. I completely understand where you’re coming from, and I think many other carers would agree with me, but it is tough to take something like the latter.

      • ToninaMDC

        I can see your point; however, think about other places of employment today. Retail stores, office buildings, factory floors, health care facilities – the vast majority use visible and/or hidden security cameras. So while I certainly wouldn’t be a creeper and put a hidden camera in my bathroom (ew), I don’t really see why I should adopt a policy of disclosure no potential employer would ever use with me!

      • FishQueen

        It’s a bit of a different expectation when you work for an individual vs. a large corporate entity. Most reasonable people would expect that if you’re working in the latter situation that there may well be cameras and know that going in. The law may well prohibit individuals from filming someone without consent in your area also, so be sure that’s not the case.

        If I found out that I was being filmed without my permission, no matter the reason, I would quit then and there. If you’re going to trust me to work in your home, I trust you to disclose the full nature of the job, and I do feel like it’s a violation of trust to omit that detail. And again, I would likely have no issues being filmed at all as long as I was told from the start that the camera exists and what the footage is for.

      • ToninaMDC

        The law does not give someone who works for me an expectation of privacy in my home, aside from the bathroom. And as long as the surveillance recording is video-only (no audio), I am under no obligation to disclose the existence of surveillance equipment to a paid caregiver.

        http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/babysitternanny-camera-legality.html

        Again, I can understand where you’re coming from, and if I hadn’t had the experiences I did during my childhood with a “trustworthy” long-term babysitter, I might be more inclined to agree with you. But this is an employer-employee relationship that happens to be taking place in my home and involves the most precious person in my life.

      • Katherine Handcock

        Keep in mind that public spaces that are using a video recording system (for either staff or customers) have to display a message SOMEWHERE that there are recording devices…technically they’ve notified people that they’re there.

      • Carolina

        Agreed.

    • alexesq33

      LAST UNICORN FOREVER!!!!! Sorry, it slipped out.
      I wish I was capable of inserting a GIF here, but alas, I am not :(

    • nikki753

      A while back I was in that post-college, low-paying internship but the student loan bills are kicking in broke. I found an occasional babysitting gig for a kid that I honestly was just not that fond of. Some kids the time flies by and it’s easy. With that one, I was always watching the clock. One Sunday day I was asked to watch her for about five hours starting around ten. Excellent. A little cash for the pantry. Then they kept calling and asking for extensions. Which I was cool with because I needed the money. In the end, I was there until midnight… when I had a job to be at the next morning and had left the house that day planning on just a few hours. But I kept reminding myself of the money and got myself through by thinking of what I could buy with it.

      I got home and unfolded the check thinking that it would be something like I would write if I were a freaking millionaire like them and someone had just done me the kind of favor I did them. It would have been at least straight hourly plus some because that was a bullshit day. “Come watch her for this set time. Oh how about another hour or two. And another couple more. And a couple more.” Nope. It was for the rate we had discussed for overnight sitting… where I and the kid would be sleeping for eight hours… not where I would be interacting with their kid for almost the entire time (she was not impressed by the constantly changing plans and did not stay in bed well at all that night) and cooking and cleaning up.

      The next time they called me up wanting me to babysit with nearly no notice I didn’t even bother with an excuse. Just “Oh, nope. Can’t do it.”

    • Meg

      Sigh. I haven’t babysat for anyone in years because 1 bad experience ruined it for me forever. At the time I was working at a daycare. One of my new coworkers asked me to babysit her 2 kids (ages 3 and 1). She wanted me to babysit from about 2pm til 10pm so she could go out. She dropped the kids off at my house with some food to feed them for dinner.
      So I go about babysitting, fed them dinner, and put them down to sleep. It wasn’t easy, because for some reason the older child was terrified of my cats. So 10pm comes and goes and the mother didn’t show up. Me, being forgiving, figured she must have had a little to drink and didn’t want to drive. She didn’t leave me a number so I couldn’t call and find out what was up.
      So the next morning I get the kids up, feed them what I can. This was difficult because my house was fairly empty because it was food shopping day and having the kids in house was actually holding up my shopping trip at this point. My husband was less then pleased. Finally I get a phone call from the mother around 10am saying she would be by to get the kids around noon. Noon comes and goes, still no mom. At this point I was wondering if she was in an accident or something. My husband was pissed. At about 2pm, my husband had enough. He used the phone to call *69 to call back the last phone call recieved and got ahold of the mother. Yeah, the mom was still at home. He told her she needed to come get her kids or he was calling social services.
      The mother finally shows up at close to 4pm. Yeah I was babysitting for over 24 hours. Never did get any payment. Or apology.

      • nikki753

        My mouth is still hanging open. What the fresh fuck? Ages 3 and 1 and she’s just “whatever” about the whole thing? Those poor kids. I’m sure that was neither the first nor the last time she did that to them and the poor unsuspecting sitters. I feel terrible for you but I’m so sad for those kids.

      • Meg

        She was very “whatever” about the job too. As I recall she was fired after only a week.

      • Véronique the Attachment Shark

        WHHHHAAAAAATTTTTT???

      • lyzl
      • Shelly Lloyd

        That is like the best gif evar!!!!

      • Jessifer

        My friends had a similar experience when they babysat their (ex) friends’ three kids (all under 5). The parents decided to go out for the evening but midnight came around and phone calls weren’t being answered. Next morning, still no answer. By this time, my friend is getting worried because she is a nurse and has to start work at 3pm. The parents finally showed up at 2pm to pick up their spawn with not a single apology. The cherry on the sundae was these people’s brats injuring our friends’ 3-year-old daughter who ended up with a huge bruise on her forehead, and then being interrogated by a skeptical daycare about how the bruise happened.

      • Jessifer

        Oh, and did I mention that the youngest of the three kids was only 3 MONTHS OLD????

    • Jem

      #2 and #8 are why I quit babysitting. After more than 5 experiences of the parents coming home wasted 7 hours late and “forgetting to pay me” after leaving me with their kids plus nieces and nephews they sprung on me at the last minute, I couldn’t do it anymore. Maybe it was the type of people I was babysitting for? But it was either families like this or families that wanted me to have a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education with experience in special education and to also be bi-lingual. So I stopped babysitting.

    • Rachel Sea

      Surprise kids are the worst. No, bitch, you can not surprise me with a NYE sleepover of 10 kids ranging from toddler to pre-teen. That is not how anyone rolls.

    • leahdawn

      I babysat for what is probably a miracle child last weekend. One sniffle when mom left, and then he was a happy little clam the rest of the time. At bedtime I asked him, “are you tired and ready for bed”? He said “yeah”, and I put him in his crib, where he promptly laid down with his teddybear and shut his eyes and went to sleep.
      HE’S ONE AND A HALF YEARS OLD.
      Either I’m fricking magical (doubt it), or his mom has some kind of magical genie superpowers that make her child go to bed in one shot.

      • Sara610

        Some kids are just really good sleepers. My daughter (hahaha, watch, as soon as I write this her sleep is going to totally go to shit) is generally an AMAZING sleeper. Yes, we’re pretty consistent with routines and we did sleep-train her, but I have a lot of friends who did the exact same things we did and bedtime is still a battle.

        Sometimes ya just get lucky. I’m honestly kind of afraid to have another one.

      • leahdawn

        I asked his mom about it an apparently he was sleep trained, but his nap had also gotten fucked up earlier in the day, so he was basically a zombie by that point in the day anyway. So neither of us are magical, I just happened to be babysitting on just the right day. :)

      • Véronique the Attachment Shark

        The sleep training debacles really do pay off in the end… My daughter was a horrible sleeper for the first year and a half of her life… Teething had lots to do with it though. But geez it’s an amazing feeling when they participate, are excited about bed, and go to sleep…

      • Véronique the Attachment Shark

        My daughter is like that too… Since we got her a toddler bed, she loves the thing and sometimes asks to go to bed. And when we put her in bed after our routine, she turns on her side, we give her a kiss, and boom. Done. It’s miraculous…

    • Dirty Old Lady Phillips

      I never really had anything too weird happen with the families I babysat for on an as-needed basis, but I was a full-time nanny to two of the weirdest fucking families ever. The first family had one toddler, and I watched him from 8am until 6pm in his grandparents’ un-childproofed house. The grandmother had dimensia and would walk around naked; the grandfather was a mean old fucker who knew that Mikey was scared of cows, so he’d moo at the poor kid every time he walked by him. I wasn’t allowed to eat their food and had to bring my own; on more than one occasion, the grandfather ate my lunch before I got to it.
      The second family were….let’s just say they had some Duggar-esq qualities. Three kids, two dogs, no AC in the house (and they could TOTES afford it) and they had me make dinner for them every night–I was given a menu of what to make. Have you ever made roast chicken and mashed potatoes in an un-airconditioned kitchen in the dead of July? The more I did for them, the more they’d ask me to do, so eventually I was doing their grocery shopping and cleaning and taking the kids for three or four days at a stretch….psychiatrist appointments, giving meds, attending their games, bringing the kids to church…..I was 21, and not ready to be a mom, so I quit.
      I know there are some bad care givers out there, but there are also a lot of crazy ass motherfucking parents out there. I think any babysitter or nanny who takes care of other people’s children halfway decently deserves all the money, hugs, and cookies.

    • Princess Kenzie

      When a friend of my mom’s nanny quit without warning last summer I was asked to fill in until they could hire a replacement. They lived in the same building and I knew the kids from them hanging out with my sister.

      It was awful. Mom didn’t work but I was to be there at 8am Mon-Fri and some Saturdays. She would get home hours late, yelled at me for letting my sister come play (she was 8, the kids were 8 and 4. They all got along) and expected me to clean and cook. I finally quit after a month and half when I found out she wasn’t even looking for a new nanny and kept “forgetting” to pay me.

      • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

        Gee. I wonder why the previous nanny quit without warning.

    • itpainsme2say

      My sisters problem is #5 or at least white cheetos are…

    • Sara610

      What the…..WHO THE EFFING HELL DOES THESE THINGS?!
      Good lord.

      • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

        I can say from experience that the various money-related issues and the “you don’t respect our time” bit are frustratingly common in any form of freelancing. The last-minute cancellations are a reason a lot of freelancers of any field have a contract for an up-front, non-refundable partial payment in the form of a “reservation fee”, the purpose of which is to ensure the freelancer gets _something_ to make up for losing income due to turning down other gigs (I’m not sure how realistic it is to do this with babysitting).

        People also think freelancers spend all of their time not on a job twiddling their thumbs and are shocked to find out they can’t (or even sometimes won’t) just drop everything and take on another job on the spot.

        Though, I’ve had that last problem with traditional employment, too. I’ve had employers call me to try to get me to come in on my day off and when I say I can’t be all “Why not? You don’t have a husband or kids at home, what else do you have to do?” Oh, I don’t know, just all of those things in life that require me to get a paycheck in the first place.

    • That_Darn_Kat

      My ex-step-mom made me accept a job babysitting for her boss’s 3 kids. The lady would come home hours after she was supposed to, and I could never get a hold of her, and really didn’t like to pay me for the extra hours I was there. I wanted to quit when I found her cocaine at her computer (I was ordering a pizza as I had been instructed to), but my step-mom made me stay. My final straw was I came over to babysit during the day, and she had her 3 friends all bring their kids, so I went from watching 3 kids to watching 7, with NO EXTRA MONEY! I told my step-mom I was done, would never babysit for her again, and I didn’t.

    • lyzl

      Yeah, I thought I would read this and become a better person. But now I just know people are assholes.

    • Pzonks

      The money things. Yes. I casually babysit for 1 family and have for a number of years now. A couple years ago I had to take a 6 months+ long “break” if you will because I was so angry at the Mom for booking me over and over and then cancelling me at the last minute without paying me. And they are ridic wealthy, they were in the process of buying a $3 million beach house.
      The kids or you are sick? I get it, that happens, I don’t really expect payment for a cancellation every now and again for that sort of thing, but, no joke, she booked and cancelled on me 6 times in the span of 1 month. I was LIVID. That’s a LOT of money and she KNEW I’d turned down another babysitting gig for one of the weekend nights.

    • Pzonks

      #11 do NOT tell the kids that they can stay up “as late as they want” before you tell the babysitter. Let us tell ‘em huh? That way if at their normal bedtime of 8:30 they are already cranky and being royal shits we don’t have to deal with a kid that REFUSES to go to bed and proceeds to get even more awful as they stay up another 2 hours.

    • KL Walpole

      With number four, we had to cancel on a sitter with only about five hours to spare recently. I told her to swing by at her convenience to get her fee she would have gotten. She was completely floored and insisted that no, we didn’t have to do that.

      Oh, well, I’m glad we offered, anyway.

    • SP

      Not my usual username because I’m paranoid and I need a rant.

      I work for a family right now that is giving me trouble. I watch their kids from 6am until 8:30/9am every week at my house. They never seem to bring the kids all the stuff they need for the day; there won’t be any milk, no sippy cups, diapers that are too small, 3 extra sets of clothes for one kid and none for the other one. They have a list of the things I need to care for their children and I am lucky if I end up with half of it. Last week I woke up at 5:30am and waited around for an hour for them to show up. I texted them to ask what was up and apparently they didn’t need me for that entire week and just neglected to tell me that (didn’t apologize for wasting my time when I could’ve been sleeping or working other jobs and definitely didn’t offer to pay me). The youngest one always shows up day after day with sticky mats in the back of his head and smelling like rotten milk with a little bit of poop unless I bathe him. In addition to needing the money, I am really starting to feel bad for the kids because the older one never wants to go home and the parents are a lethal combination of clueless and defensive. I’m not sure how to address any of this.

      • Carolina

        That the kids seem to fear going home combined with the lack of bathing is concerning. I’m not sure what you should do, but maybe social services could do a home study?

    • Carolina

      Ooh, cannot agree on the nanny cam. I disclose that I have one and that it’s not in the bathroom or any place you’d expect privacy, but I’ve heard too many horror stories from friends about nannies abusing, neglecting, ignoring kids to what to be without it. I don’t have an expectation of privacy at work. Neither do you.
      The rest of these are common courtesy

    • Savannah

      I nanny part time and I’ve had some weird families. There was one big group of families (three or four families and a total of 7-10 kids) that have a beach house down here. They usually hire one or two nannies for the summer so I saw a lot of them and I LOVED their kids. They were always so well behaved and I may have cried the last time I sat for them.

      But why in the hell would you drop $15/hr PER SITTER so you can sit in the other room with a Margarittaville and get wasted? Like, call a cab, go out, have a drink where you can’t hear kids in the next room? I don’t see how that’s relaxing at all. This isn’t about the alcohol either. Like they could be playing bridge and I’d still be just as WTF. If you’re dropping that much money, why not make a night of it, you know?

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    • Grace

      I started babysitting when I was 13, and it was one of the best and worst decisions of my life. I rarely do it anymore, because it almost drove me insane, but I’m glad I did it because I know much more about kids than I would have otherwise.
      I usually babysat for pretty good people, although there have been several incidents that drove me crazy. I once showed up on time for a job, a family with 4 kids (ages ranging from 10 to 2), and they asked me if I could watch their friends 4 kids as well because their babysitter never showed up. I said yes, they told me to let them watch movies until they got home. Which was fine. Long story short, the missing babysitter of the other four kids decided to come over and let herself into the house, say something along the lines of “Who are you and why are you in this house?” to me, as if I was the intruder. She then told me that she had forgotten about the babysitting job and came to apologize to the parents, thinking one of them would’ve stayed home. She then asked to use my own personal cellphone to call the parents and apologize since she had forgotten hers at home. Not that any of this was the parents fault, but it was one of the weirdest experiences I ever had babysitting.
      Another time, babysitting for a different family (that I hated babysitting for, as a side note. Two girls who were impossible to deal with) then I babysat for twice a week. It was a saturday, which meant I had to be there from 5am to 3pm. Great hours for someone in their first year of high school. Anyway, at around 2pm someone rang the doorbell. I obviously ignored it, but one of the girls took it upon herself to open it. It was her uncle and her 5 cousins. We had the following conversation:
      “Excuse me, who are you?”
      “I’m the babysitter, neither of the parents are home right now. Can I help you?”
      “I guess they forgot about our plans today. We’ll just come in and wait for them to get home.”
      So in walked this older man with his 5 kids, and I had to watch all 7 kids because this man decided to take a nap on the couch while waiting. I was too shy to do anything, so I stuck it out. When the parents came home, they apologized and told me they had no idea he was coming over.
      My parents were furious and made me quit the job after that, not comfortable with 14 year me being forced to watch 5 extra kids with a sleeping man on the couch.
      Some people are just crazy.