You finally felt the courage to book your first babysitter and she’s coming tomorrow.
You are equal parts excited to get out, and terrified of the handoff and actual exit.
How the hell am I supposed to actually leave?
How will kiddo react?
What if I cry?
Will the sitter think i’m crazy?
What if I chicken-out and don’t want to leave?
The truth is, anything can happen. BUT, you are a strong, badass mom, and you deserve a break – even if it is just a doctor appointment by yourself. You can do this.
The most important thing, above all else, is trusting yourself. Whether you book a sitter through a service or if you find someone on your own, you really have to check in with that mom-tuition. That intuition thing that sprung up out of nowhere when you held kiddo for the first time? That all-consuming love? That thing that suddenly makes you feel like you could could actually squeeze life from someone that hurt your child? That’s the ‘mom-tuition’ or the ‘mom-gut’ and its invaluable.
- First, trust that mom gut. It is going to tell you if your new babysitter is the right person for you, or not. If they aren’t the right person, the rest of this list is moot (or moo).
- Prepare yourself by completing the handoff info first — jot notes, don’t rely on your memory to go over anything. No sitter will judge you for sharing too much info — I promise (check out the CSSitters Family Info Form).
- Give yourself time for the transition. Book 30-60 minutes before your first grand exit so you can actually SEE the sitter with the babe(s). Listen to them play while putting on your face, casually chat while she feeds a bottle, anything that you can observe that will show you the sitter’s capabilities and help you SEE their skills.
- When it’s time to go JUST GO. Kiddo may be crying, you may be crying, dog may be crying – regardless of what is going on, get on the other side of that door. Give a big hug, kiss, ‘I love you’, and hit the road. You can wait outside the door if you want to, but give the sitter the chance to calm, reassure, and comfort any tears (they should ALL do this naturally). The more you come back in and out, the harder it’s going to be on EVERYONE. Please just trust us on this one.
- Check in as much as you want while gone. The sitter should be checking in with you anyway, but you can also call, send texts, ask for pictures, whatever makes you feel most comfortable.
- Before you come home, take a REAL moment for yourself. If you are at an appt, or a meeting, or even on a date-night, take a deep breath and savor the alone moment. You can be excited to get home and snuggle your little, but also remember to soak in a little time for YOU.
Fears are normal and hiring your first babysitter is a MAJOR deal! It is okay to be nervous. Prepare as much as you can, ask as many questions as you want to, and remind yourself that as a parent, you need time to recharge your batteries. You are worth it.