Who to Trust?
Mom? Dad? Aunt? Friend? Random stranger from the newspaper ads?
There’s a reason I’ve only worked part time jobs since having children. I don’t have family or friends who can consistently watch my children. I’ve been lucky enough to figure it out last minute every time… for the past four years… But do you know how stressful that is? It’s almost not worth the anxiety. It also doesn’t help that my jobs have never had consistent hours!
The first step in finding a trustworthy babysitter would be to ask everyone you know if they can refer you to a trustworthy caretaker. If they can, excellent! If not, like our situation, you will have to find someone using advertisements.
If I were to work full time, I would prefer to enroll my children at a nearby daycare center. The care providers are licensed, meaning the staff and facility operations meet all state safety standards and guidelines, including proper background checks.
Other options include,
- New babysitter (stranger) in your house
- Do you trust them to care for your children’s needs and keep them safe from harm?
- Do you trust them not to steal your belongings?
- New babysitter (stranger) watching your children at their house
- Do you trust them with your children?
- Is their home baby and child-proofed?
- What type of visitors do they have frequenting their home? Can you trust those people with your children?
- Do they have pets? How are they with babies who will most likely tug on their ears and tails?
With any new babysitter, you will want to find a private background checking company to make sure they do not have a history of violence or child abuse. It is common to background check all people who will be around your children while you are away. (For example, all adults who reside at the household where you intend to bring your children.)
The trust issue with babysitting is the scariest and most likely one of the biggest reasons many parents opt to stay home. You have to find someone you can trust to take over in parenting while you leave to make money.
Is It Worth the Money?
Babysitting prices can be extremely high if you are looking for professional care. It can cost $1000-$1200+ per month for two children in Michigan. If you are lucky to find a private babysitter, you might be lucky to get away with $5 an hour for two children.
Ask yourself the following questions to determine if returning to work is right for you.
- How much money will you earn each paycheck?
- How much of your paycheck will go towards babysitting?
Subtract your expenses from your expected income. If you are still making even $1-2 less than minimum wage, it’s probably worth going back to work. Remember, you are also gaining career experience. Your babysitting costs will reduce when your children are in school full time.
If you are still unsure, consider your expenses. Can you survive on one income from your spouse or significant other?
- What are your living expenses? (mortgage/rent, electricity, heat, water, garbage, insurance)
- What are your transportation expenses? (car payment, maintenance, insurance, public transportation pass, gas for travel back/forth to work)
- Do you have any other debts? (student debt, credit cards, etc)
- What other expenses do you have? (preschool tuition, clothing, tv/internet, entertainment)