This post is sponsored by Care.com.
I remember so vividly the first night in the hospital after San was born. I’d spent the entire day on a huge hormonal high from just delivering my third sweet baby boy, and feeling so relieved and blessed that everything went smoothly.
Then that night I sent him off to the hospital nursery so I could get a few hours of sleep, and suddenly the quiet and empty hospital room sent me into a complete panic. I had THREE CHILDREN. And I was suddenly going to be thrown back into newborn life with no sleep and no schedule. And other children with activities and schedules. And a busy husband and a busy job. PANIC, PANIC, PANIC. What had I gotten myself into? How was I ever going to get anything done ever again?
In that moment of complete anxiety, the only thing that calmed me down was the thought of my babysitter, who came over two or three times a week to watch my babies so I could get some uninterrupted work done. She was my sanity, and the only way I felt like I could do everything I needed to.
Then six months later, she moved away to college, and we bought our new house, and suddenly I was on my own again and PANIC, PANIC, PANIC. How would I ever get anything done with three active children, in a brand new neighborhood and area where I knew no one?
Being a work-from-home mom is a big balancing act, and I’ve found that I have to work in the mornings and early afternoon when I’m alert and focused and can get through everything I need to. Then it’s easier for me to turn it off in the afternoons when my boys get home from school, the baby wakes up from his nap, and my husband gets home from work, and I can actually be with my family.
So yes. Having a babysitter was, and is, non-optional for me.
This time, my sanity was found in Care.com. I had heard positive things about them before, and honestly I didn’t know where else to go to find someone I could trust, and I was praying for the best. Turns out Care.com was an incredible resource, and is the largest online destination for finding caregivers.
I signed up for an account (which you can do now for 20% off!) and put out my first ad, telling how many days a week I needed, the pay range, and a little bit about our family. Within a day I had twenty applications, and at a first glance I could tell that several of them had potential.
I went through their profiles and could see their work history and could request a background check, and could message them through the site to ask them any questions I had.
My husband and I narrowed it down to three candidates, and I hired each of them for a paid “trial day.” On their trial day, I had them work a normal amount of time, play with the boys and put San down for a nap, and feed them lunch. After their time was done, we chatted a bit about their availability and plans for the next few years, and after they left I asked my kids which one they liked the best, and why.
Having them in my home (while I was working downstairs in my home office) was a great way to get to know them without committing fully, and the perfect way to find a good fit for my boys.
From those three potentials, we hired our babysitter who has been with us for the last year. She’s a local college student working toward becoming an elementary school teacher, so she needed part time work and loves being with kids. She’s trustworthy, flexible, and the boys adore her.
When I found our babysitters in the past, I asked high school girls from church. And they were willing, but it wasn’t exactly their ideal job. With this girl, she was looking for this kind of job, so she wants to be here. She reads to San all day long, colors with Fos for hours, and I never see her on her phone when she’s with the boys.
Basically this is a really long winded way to say that finding someone you trust with your kids is HARD and SCARY, whether it’s for work hours or just date night a couple times a month. And if you don’t know where to even start looking to find someone, let me point you in the right direction. I have told everyone I know about Care.com because it was such an invaluable tool for me to find our amazing babysitter.
Care.com is offering all of you 20% off a Care.com Premium membership when you sign up right here!