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Babysitter issues-with edits-with more edits

Ok dh and I have problems finding people who are willing to watch all our kids. The problem is that we have 5 kids who are 18 months to 9 years old. They are good kids, just people don't think they can handle that many. So we found someone who was willing to watch all five, she gets along great with our kids, we trust her.

I have a Christmas party my best friend asked me to go to with her on Friday, and we were planning on this new babysitter watching the kids for 4 or 5 hours.

We did a practice run, first time she was alone with the kids, last night. We were gone for a hour and a half. We told her no movies when we were gone, so she called us an hour in to ask what movies the kids could watch. I told her no movies, have the boys get in the bath and play in their rooms. The younger kids could color, read books, play board games. My boys are 8 and 9 and every bath night we follow the same routine, they know what to do.

So we get home half an hour later, and all the kids are watching a movie, only one of the boys had taken a bath. The stress of setting things right, as soon as we got home, was not worth going out to eat.

So, do I give her another chance on Friday, or just not go to the party? My best friend will not be upset if I don't go.

And because I guess some people are confused, let me clarify, movies are ok on Fridays, but not on week days. And my boys had to stay up late to get baths done. Books, board games, art supplies are all in easy reach. She let them watch movies because they wanted to. And she only had 4 kids, one was at my moms.

The weather made the choice for me this time, we are expecting a foot of snow Friday night. If my kids watch a movies on a school night, they end up sleeping badly, and the next day they have problems at school, and they did. Just because your kids can handle it, does not mean my kids don't have real problems. On Fridays and weekends, they can sleep in for a couple hours or take a nap after lunch, not something they can do at school. Dh works wendesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from 7 pm to 2 am. He also works days Monday to Friday (8 to 5). So Monday and tusday nights are the only time we can go on a date. I originally planned on my sons taking showers before school the next day, but when she was having problems with the 4 kids at once, I suggested the boys take baths since they can do that all by them selves, making it so she only had to focus on two right then. There was not fight from my kids about it. One took a bath, and then said he wanted to watch a movie (this is what she said) and so she put on a movie and told the boys they could watch it, because that is what they wanted. She told me, to my face that my oldest son said he wanted to watch a movie and so she put it on. I made dinner, and served it, I was home 20 minuets before bedtime. All she was asked to do was to watch our kids. There was nothing else. If she cant handle that, I don't think I want her to watch my kids when there is more involved.

The baby sitter is 18, we paid her $40 for the hour and a half. I know I will not be going out on Friday, we may or may not have her watch our kids again. I can understand if she didn't want to do baths, and if she had said so when she called, I wouldn't have expected it to be done. She said that it would be no problem. The baths don't really matter that much, since she said she would, I expected them done. My kids did get in trouble for asking, and we did talk to them, and did before we left. Only my 8 and 9 year olds took baths, not the younger ones. Books, games, play dough, art supplies are in easy reach, easy to find. My 18 month old can get to most, my 3 year old can get to everything. I hope I got most of the questions. There has been so many responses I don't think I read them all.
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by on Nov. 30, 2011 at 10:41 AM
Replies (11-20):
by Gold Member on Nov. 30, 2011 at 3:39 PM

I think you need to give her another chance. and I would say do not expect perfection for a babysitter. kids love pushing babysitters buttons and sometimes little things need to slide. does it REALLY matter if ONE night they don't brush their teeth? sure, not good habits, but it won't cause decay from one night. does it REALLY matter if they miss a bath one night? probably not. (I don't know your kids! I only recently starting bathing mine pretty much every day cause they want too. before it was as needed which in the winter is not as much as in the summer!)

some of the rules will be broken, I would think. no one can truly perform someone else's rules 100% no matter how hard they try. I might ask her why they were watching tv? and I would certainly say that they need to be in bed at such and such a time and BEFORE you get home unless there is a major issue. sometimes as a babysitter I would be rushing around and just not get everything done. and the kids would be making a mad rush for their beds when we heard the garage. ;)

and that's okay, as long as it's peaceful when you come in and you don't have to deal with it!

if there is something that really isn't okay for you to not have done (bath for example) they you might want to get them in the bath before you leave.

I watched a family of 9 once! I agree it's HARD to find a person that will watch them and although they were GREAT kids, I was certainly challenged with the rules and sometimes second guessing myself as they would insist certain things. it makes me wonder why she put the movie on in the first place especially after calling you and why she left it on when you came home! lol.

by Barbara on Nov. 30, 2011 at 4:25 PM

I would give the babysitter another chance, but only have her watch them on nights that don't involve homework and baths.

I think it would be hard for an outsider to step into your nightly routines under any circumstance.

by on Nov. 30, 2011 at 4:28 PM
This except I have always been pretty relaxed with this.

Quoting steelcrazy:

Loosen up a little bit, I say that with the most caring that I can.  I used to be so fixed on my rules and my routine that I never had any fun or went out.  One night of staying up later, eating junk, watching too much tv, and/or not brushing teeth won't kill them.  You need to get away every now and again and have a good time, it will make you a much better mom.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Nov. 30, 2011 at 4:29 PM
I have 4 kids and I know how difficult it can be to find someone but not impossible. What did she say when she was busted? Did you confront her? I would give her 1 more chance as test if she cant follow through next time cut her. I always give 1 warning
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by Gold Member on Nov. 30, 2011 at 6:40 PM
6 moms liked this

With that many kids, then make it easier on whoever you get to babysit and skip the bath and let the kids watch a movie. Save the bath and free imagination play time for when you are home. You are lucky to find someone willing to watch so many kids at once IMO. And who knows, perhaps the movie was a diversion so she could focus more time on the younger kids who have a shorter attention span. Cut the new babysitter a break. Just because your kids listen to your authority doesn't mean they will automatically for someone else.

by on Nov. 30, 2011 at 8:12 PM

i never expect a going out babysitter to keep up with my routine. now afterschool one is diffrent, Thats just something that you expect esspecially with that many kids. You did not say how old she was if she is a teen then sure another chance but if this is an adult mmmmmm maybe not

by Lorelai on Nov. 30, 2011 at 11:11 PM
15 moms liked this

Ugh. I love how so many people are fixated on baths and movies. What I got from the post is that the baby-sitter deliberately went against the parents' wishes. The point is not whether or not it's reasonable to say 'no' to a movie. The point is, can the baby-sitter be trusted? The OP told her, not once but TWICE, that they could NOT watch a movie. I would be pretty upset if my baby-sitter went against me like that.

Alexis Emma 10-13-1999
Leslie Kirsten 03-14-2004
Sarah Mackenzie 08-14-2007 
Twins due 04-15-2012

by Lorelai on Nov. 30, 2011 at 11:14 PM
1 mom liked this

OP, in response to your question...I would give her another chance, but I would ask her to come 15 or so minutes early, and have a sit-down convo with her. Explain that you know watching 5 (or 4) kids is a lot to handle, but that in the future you would prefer that she comply when told to do/not do something.

Alexis Emma 10-13-1999
Leslie Kirsten 03-14-2004
Sarah Mackenzie 08-14-2007 
Twins due 04-15-2012

by on Dec. 1, 2011 at 12:18 AM

I think a baby sitter letting little things slide, like not brushing teeth, or no snacks before dinner, ect are totally fine,It's not like she it there all the time, so really these little "slides" aren't going to hurt the kids. Also even 4 kids is a lot to deal with and she may have used the movie as a way to keep her sanity. I used to work at a daycare, and I will openly admit, that there were days where, the kids were all crazy, and none of them wanted to nap, so thats when I'd pull out a movie, it was to keep me sane,lol. And yes there were days as well where we spent the day outside (except lunch and nap time) I was always very open with the parents and since it wasn't an every day thing none of them really cared..

by on Dec. 1, 2011 at 12:27 AM

I understand that you have a no movie rule...but I think I would bend my normal rules for the kids when they have a babysitter...I think you might be taking it too seriously. I totally get that she did not listen but I really do not understand why it had to be such a big deal to start.

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