Babysitter do’s and don’ts

Okay, so I am clueless.  Completely clueless.  In the 3 years and 3 months that we have been parents we have never actually paid anyone to look after our children whilst we go out and do something that doesn’t generate an income.

No, we don’t really have a life, but we do entertain at home.  A lot.

So, we have friends coming down from Jozi (which reminds me, I didn’t manage to lose those pesky 20 kgs in the 3 weeks I’ve known that they were coming) So, I took the plunge and called someone who came highly recommended.  And she quoted me R40 per hour, minimum R200.  BUT she is mature (i.e. 34) and has worked with small children for many years.  And with the dynamic in our house you need someone that knows what they are doing, an 18 year old is just going to cut it.  So, once I got the shock of spending at least an additional 200 odd sa ront for an evening, I started thinking that’s it’s actually cool.

BUT, then of course I started angsting.  What time should she come over, seeing as how my kids have never met her.  Should we feed her supper as she’ll be here when we eat.  Do I leave milk and cookies?

Please, any pointers would be welcome.  I’m thinking that a good babysitter is like a good hairdresser, you don’t want to be pissing them off… (sorry Shazzie, but I think you’ll agree..)

10 thoughts on “Babysitter do’s and don’ts”

  1. I haven’t used a babysitter before, but I think that basic things apply: If she is there during supper you have to invite her to join and a snack will be nice to leave while you are away. You can maybe give her permission to make herself a cup of coffee or tea and put all that she will need out on a tray by the kettle if you do not want her to go through you pantry (I would hate to have stranger going through my things). Leave the basic stuff a office kitchen have.

    Good luck. Have fun!!!

  2. Yikes R40 an hour is a bit heavy ,we pay R20 an hour,but mine need more adult supervision than looking after.
    Always good to offer food,mine usually doesn’t eat,but she does have a few cups of coffee and cookies.
    If the kids like her and she copes you will be lucky to have found her,good luck.I luckily had a family with older kids across the road from me,they always looked after my lot and I knew their Mom was there if they had any problems they couldn’t handle.
    Maybe she should pop around one day before so the kids get to know her.

  3. yip that is the rate I got as well, and if its after midnight they charge R60 I think…

    ask the babysitter what she needs and how she normally do things 🙂

  4. Ouch, don’t tell my teen, I wouldn’t like to have to pay him that for babysitting his brother. I agree it would be nice if she pops in to say hi the previous day or something.

  5. I do agree Tania, you never know what you will come out with if you piss off your hairdresser!! 😀
    I too don’t pay for babysitting, my folks always have Jess if I need to go anywhere.
    I think that I got R5 a night upto 12 when I was 16 (in the dark ages that was a lot of money.) Good luck. xx

  6. I guess it’s expensive to have kids – and a life!
    But I am sure an evening out will be worth it! Enjoy!

  7. LOL! We also don’t have a life! But we have 6 babysitters. And they’re all free 🙂 They usually fork out to feed the kids and themselves, and spoil them rotten with sweeties! We’re very lucky to have the whole fam staying in a 5km radius. And if there was absolutely no one else, Connor’s daymother has offered to take them both overnight so we can go out and party! (I think she charges R200 for an overnight stay).
    Had to laugh at your ‘mature’ age! 😀

  8. We pay R50 an hour – but I am totally happy with her as she has been coming to watch Chucky since he was 4 months old ( We NEEDED a life!)I interviews a bunch of ladies before I decided on her! (yes, am A type personality) Easy money for her I guess as we always put him to bed but what price to pay for – essentially a stranger – that is reliable, honest, knows all kiddie CPR etc and that I feel comfortable with. I always tell her to make tea/ coffee if she feels like it but she never does. SO wish we had proper family support though would make things much easier!

  9. I usually show the babysitter where the chocolate is / tea / coffee etc. We usually go out at night, so leave money for her to order in a pizza (or whatever take away she wants) as well as her payment (think its R50 / hour)

    We’ve had a regular babysitter for about a year – until she fell pregnant and moved to JHB. So we’re kind of stuck again on the babysitting front. The one we were using worked for hubby, and had played with Frog during the day so she knew who she was.

    PS hope you’re feeling better

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