Why I Am Trying to Hire a Babysitter

Last year at this time, my husband and I were scraping by on his small grad assistantship and student loans, relying on credit cards to get us through.  It is a situation that landed us in a great deal of debt that we are currently paying off with gazelle intensity.

The Growth of My Business

Last February, I was delighted when I obtained one staff writing job and one virtual assistant job.  The two jobs together netted me $100, which was something, but not nearly enough to cobble together enough money to supplement my husband’s income.  I worked diligently on my two jobs, but additional work was slow coming.  In March, I had one staff writing job and two virtual assistant jobs.  By April, I had three staff writing jobs and four virtual assistant jobs, and I was finally beginning to have a positive impact on the family finances.

I had no idea how fast word-of-mouth referrals would snowball my business.  Now, I simply have more work than I can handle.  I do my best to squeeze working time in at naptime and at night and all day on Saturday and Sunday, but it is not enough.  For a good month now I have toyed with the decision to hire a babysitter one or two mornings a week to watch the girls for 2.5 hours while I work.

Making the Decision

I am overprotective of my kids and have only left them with my mom and aunt before.  They literally have never had a babysitter.  Yet, if I want to watch my business and income to increase so I can do my part to meet our big, hairy audacious goal, I need more time to work.  As it is now, I feel that I am neglecting my health because I have not found time to exercise or take any “me” time.

I have had a few conversations with Miranda at Planting Money Seeds who is a busy writer around the personal finance blog world.  From our conversations, I know that even though she worked from home since her son was small, she had him go to daycare so that when he was home, she could focus her attention solely on him.

My husband and I finally decided to find a sitter so I could work from home.  I will do my work in another room while a sitter stays with my girls.  The road to finding a babysitter has not been smooth.  I interviewed one person who seemed enthusiastic and took the job, yet when I called her to confirm she was coming the night before she was scheduled, she didn’t return my call.  The next day, she didn’t show up; I have not heard from her since the interview.

This past weekend I interviewed someone who seemed like she would be a great fit for our family.  My oldest daughter, who is quite shy, kept talking about the sitter after our interview.  However, she is a nanny 4 days a week, and the mother just told her she might need her for the 5th day, which means she would not be able to take the job with us.

Just this week I interviewed another babysitter who told me that she really likes to stay in her house, and she loves her mornings, so I would have to pay her quite well for her to want to give up mornings in her house.  I wondered why she interviewed.  Needless to say, she won’t be the babysitter I choose.

I have one more person to interview this week.  I am hoping she works out.

Still, despite the difficult, my husband and I feel this is the best decision.  I can make two to three times more money per hour than I need to pay the babysitter.  Now, we just need to find the right person.

If you work from home, do you feel conflict between caring for your children and your work load?  How do you deal with the feelings?



  1. I have always worked outside the home, and my daughter has been in daycare/preschool since she’s 5 months old. I felt horribly guilty at first but I learned that I had to get over it because my family needed the money and the money I was bringing in versus the amount spent on daycare was significant.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking for help if that help benefits your family. You’ll still be home if something goes drastically wrong and, if the babysitter doesn’t show up, you don’t have to worry about calling out sick to a full-time office job. I completely understand the lack of trust in a stranger, so that’s another benefit to you being home with them; you can keep an eye on things.

    We all need help at some point. It’s hard at first but you’ll eventually realize that you’re doing the best for your family. And if it’s not working out, you can always fire the babysitter.

  2. Do not despair, I was a babysitter for a long ass time, and I actually enjoyed it! Have you tried to check local colleges in your area?

  3. Good luck! I’ll struggle with this issue once I leave my full time job. I can’t get anything done when I’m looking after the little guy. We’ll see how it goes.

  4. That sounds like a great idea. You’re income is going to skyrocket once you get a few more hours on your hands. 🙂 Good luck with the last interview.

  5. Good luck finding a sitter! I know that you prefer to have your kids home with you, but have you thought about maybe sending them to a neighbor’s? If there is someone in your neighborhood who tends children, you might be able to add your kids to the mix. Your neighbor gets a little extra income each month, and your children can enjoy playing with other children. Plus, you are still quite close by, just in case.

    One of the benefits of sending my son to preschool was that he was socialized, and he learned how to behave in such settings. so that the transition to school wasn’t a problem. But we all find our own way, and do what works best for our families. Best of luck in your search.

    • Thanks for the continued advice. My daughter will be going to preschool soon, so it will just be my nearly two year old at home. I sent my son to a home daycare when he was two. Because he liked to talk before he took his nap, she had to take him out of the nap room so he wouldn’t disturb the other kids. Her solution? Keep in the high chair during nap time. I would come to pick him up and find him asleep in the high chair every time. I know not all places are like that, but it kind of soured me on home day care.

      • That is kind of scary! Asleep in the high chair… That would probably put me off, too. At least you can sort of supervise when someone is in your home…

  6. I don’t know if this is everywhere or just here in the south. But I work at our local church at what is called Mother’s Day Out. It is only 2 days a week (T/TH, though there are other churches in our town that are M/W) It is from 8am-2pm, though some kids get picked up between 11:30-12pm. I believe the price ranges from $90-$120 month. Most of our kids have moms that don’t work but need a break or have grandparents that watch them and this gives them a break. Could you look for something like that? Like I said, I don’t know if it is everywhere. I never heard of it until I moved to MS.

    • Thanks for the suggestion. I did find one place that offers something like this. I’ll have to look into it further, especially if the last babysitter I interview doesn’t work out.

  7. I think you’re doing the right thing! A lot of people forget about the “work” part of “work from home.” I work out of my home as well, and have a very rambunctious 1 year old to keep an eye on. I originally tried to work during naps and in the evenings, but I just couldn’t keep up. If he didn’t take a nap (or a long enough nap), then I’d have to work an extra long time in the evening, taking time away from both my husband and older child. Needless to say, I was exhausted and stressed, and making myself sick because I wasn’t taking any time for me. My husband and decided that I either had to stop working altogether, or we had to send baby to a daycare, at least part time. We couldn’t afford not having me work, and to be honest, I still wanted to have a job, so daycare became the best option.
    And I have to say, it was the best decision! Baby is happy to go and play with other kids two days a week, and I can get all of my work done while he’s gone. Now the time I do get to spend with him, and the rest of my family, is special and I’m not thinking about all the stuff I have to do.
    Good luck finding the right babysitter and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this next interview works out 🙂

  8. Is there a Mom’s Club or Mom’s Network in your area? When my son was younger that’s how I found his first non-family sitter. They actually had a list of individuals and home day care places and since they were submitted by other moms they really had already been vetted so you just had to find a good fit for you and your kids.

    I know that you soured on the idea of home day care but not every place is like that. The person I chose was WONDERFUL! She was a former teacher, had a limit of 5 kids and my son loved his Miss Jeannie! 🙂

    Good luck with your search!

  9. Melissa, I work part time out of the home. Since my second child was born, I have had a sitter come to my home. I also live in the Chicagoland area.

    We had to interview and interview! But we have had two WONDERFUL sitters. We found that Craigslist was really helpful to us for Chicagoland. It sounds crazy finding someone to watch your kids on Craigslist, though! Good luck!

    Also, have you considered putting your youngest in preschool as well? They have a whole bunch of preschool programs that are two hours long that might give you some breathing room. Plus, relieve your stress in finding a sitter.

    • I did find a good sitter last Friday. She came on Monday and was great. She’ll come two days a week until mid-May, but then I will have to start the search over again. I had no idea it is so difficult to get a babysitter. Glad to know it’s not just me. 🙂

  10. True its not easy to find a babysitter today. Specially the reliable and honest ones. Good to know that you found a babysitter already. 🙂

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