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.
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.
I’m sure it’s distressing to leave while your child is crying and screaming for you. But, honest, 99% of the time, the minute you’re out of earshot, your kid’s snapped back into happy mode. Dallying around or trying to comfort your kid does nothing but prolong the goodbye tantrum. Coming back intermittently to “visit” or “check in” is actually cruel, turning one goodbye into many and disrupting the probably quite happy rapport we’ve established in your absence.
I set rates based primarily on the number of kids I have to keep happy and healthy per hour. You fuck up my whole system when suddenly it turns out little Braedon will be joined by little Freedom for the day. I know, you (claim to) believe it’ll be easier for me since they’ll entertain each other. This may be the case. Or maybe they’ll develop a Pokemon blood feud and suddenly I’m trying to clone myself as they run screaming in two different directions down Ocean Parkway. I don’t know Kid #2; they don’t know me. Neither of us knows what we’re in for. It’s totally fine to ask us about play dates and how that might affect our rates. But you know what happens when people make assumptions.
**So I am told
(photo: Senol Yaman/ Shutterstock)