Babysitter break ups. They aren't easy.

As with any relationship, some remain, some fade and some end not-so-great..

One babysitter became  too busy with a day  job, college courses and activities.  That breakup was by her in a " No, really it's not you it's me. I'm too busy to commit right now."   It was amicable. The no uncomfortable moments when you bump into each other at the grocery store kind of breakup.

Another was a no-show the last time she was supposed to sit. No call.  Nada.  I ended that one in true Minnesota passive aggressive form. The "Well, I'll show her. I'll just never call her again -  kind of way."  In hindsight that didn't solve anything.  I never got an explanation for why she didn't show and she never knew why I stopped calling. (Or she one-upped us and passive aggressively broke up with us by not showing up.)  

Maybe she just wasn't that into it.

Whatever it was, it was a classic case of communication breakdown. 

Our most recent sitter violated our trust by inviting visitors in our house without our knowledge or permission. She must not have realized that our son tells us everything. This made me furious. As in, mama bear furious. I did stop, pause and give her the benefit of a doubt before I called her.  I asked her if she felt she needed to call for back up help with our kids. Because, believe me,  there have been times I wish I could. No, that was not the case. So, I firnly let her know  that what she did was not okay and we would no longer be calling her.  Bye, bye babysitter.

So, we need to start from scratch once again. Good sitters are hard to come by.  You must trust them completely,  they have to truly enjoy being with your kids, and be responsible and mature enough to care for them. 

A friend once told me that you have to find babysitters in a specific window of time or you lose them to their social calendar.  I believe she said some point between 13-16 were the magic years.  Then they get cars and more school activities and become too busy.

But then what about older babysitters who are past the teen years, or have been mothers themselves? 

I just aquired a list  of potential babysitters from the church where our son goes to preschool. Then I got a phone number from a neighbor teen that I met at the playground.  Or  I may need to twist the arm of another neighborhood mom on the block for permission to use their coveted sitter.

But again, I turn to you for advice dear Cribsheeters: 

Any babysitter stories to tell? 

Where have found your babysitters? 

Do you think there is a magic age window of opportunity  for babysitters?

What are the ground rules you set with them? 

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Related piece from the babysitter's point of view from babble.com