Let’s play pretend for a moment. Imagine you stay home five days a week, spending most of your time in the basement with four children under the age of two. Each of those kids will need five diaper changes, two ouchies kissed, throw three fits, eat two meals and two snacks. One will throw up, one only wears cloth diapers. One takes breast milk, one takes formula, one eats table food, and one won’t eat because she’s teething. Two are walking, one is crawling, and one is not doing either yet. If you are outrageously fortunate, you will get them all to take two naps at the same time. Most days you won’t.
Now imagine none of them is yours.
I need a drink just typing that, so think what it must be like to be a babysitter. They have to juggle not only the children themselves but how the parents want to feed and discipline said children. They have to coordinate nap times and do their best to quarantine the one with a snotty nose so the rest don’t catch it. And they will probably end up catching it themselves.
Babysitters spend as much or more time as you do with your children. They deserve a ton more praise than they tend to get. And our boys’ sitter is no exception. Wife and I hit the freakin’ jackpot when we found Miss Dee. Our first sitter fell through after a month or so, but was able to refer us to someone she knew. And that someone ended up not only helping us raise our first child but guiding a couple of first-time parents through the turbulent waters of child-rearing.
Bubby spent the first two and a half years of his life in Miss Dee’s care and Boo has been with her through his first eighteen months. We have been able to call or text her at all hours, weekends included, with random questions concerning illness, teething or the occasional missing stuffed Eeyore. She has applauded and celebrated all the milestones with us, from crawling to walking and teething to talking. What could have very easily been nothing more than a standard business-client relationship blossomed into a true friendship. She has been like a second mom to our boys and we owe her a greater debt than her bi-weekly paychecks could ever repay.
Choosing a babysitter means choosing someone you trust with your child’s life sixty hours each week. And I think I can speak for Wife and myself when I say I have never had a single doubt as to whether or not our kids would be safe with Miss Dee, which is a luxury not every parent can claim. She has opened her home and her heart to our children, loving them like family. The only downside to having such a tremendous person care for our children is that Bubby and Boo are both growing up, and one day we will have to part ways with her. I sincerely hope all the parents reading this have found their own Miss Dee, but if not just know this: Incredible babysitters do exist. We have witnessed undeniable proof of this for the past four and a half years.
Thank you, Miss Dee, and thank you to all of the wonderful childcare providers who choose to do the unthinkable five days a week. You are a true blessing to parents everywhere, and we couldn’t do it without you.