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What makes a good babysitting experience?

(55 Posts)
ShaffaShaffs01 Fri 30-Dec-16 16:35:43

I am a stay at home mother of 5, all under 5, but just because I'm a good mother to my own kids, doesn't mean that I'd be THE BEST childminder, childcarer, babysitter or nanny to another family's offspring, likewise just because my babysitter is a mother of two and has babysat sleeping children over 500 times doesn't mean she'll know what how to cope when my 9 month old screams for her night time feed and my 3 yr old starts crying out from his painful eczema on the opposite side of the house.

One just doesn't know how they will react in a certain situation especially if it's her first time with MY family. If the first time goes swimmingly THAT'S GREAT RIGHT? IS she the best babysitter in the world then? But what if you come back home to a frazzled babysitter because just by sod's law both babies woke up screaming at the same time waking up the other three and she's running around like a headless chicken, or worse? (is crying herself, has hit one of the kids, or screams at them out of frustration as you've just walked in) Does this make her the babysitter from hell?

It is so hard to judge someone when
a. you're not there
b. you can't get any constructive feedback from the babies because they are all too young
c. you don't get to really talk in detail with her of how it all really went before she leaves

Speaking from personal experience, I have whole heartedly, naively sometimes just trusted in babysitting websites without questioning what i'm getting. Why shouldn't I? I pay a one-off fee or subscription fee or booking fee and membership fee and pay the sitter all under the assumption they've done ALL the admin work for me to ensure I can relax....we bloody hope so, but the only way to judge the quality of a childcarer in the company of your children is by observing them in action yourself, once or twice or three times, because EVERY time is different (that's just my opinion).

SO I have read many bad and good reviews of all the websites in the UK. BUT what I never get to read is any detail as to WHY that particular experience was good, ESPECIALLY if it was the Parent's first time. Was it because the sitter constantly updated the parents? Did she do a bit of washing up? Did she do great first aid to a deep gash on a child's knee? Did she manage to clear all the chips off the floor after dinner so that no one would slip up on them later and go flying across the kitchen?

And then the bad reviews, mostly concerning last minute cancellations? Again no detail, how close to the appointment did she cancel? What was her reason? Did the website not check and double check and triple check that she was still available? How did they compensate for the disaster of a cancellation that has ruined an anniversary date with the husband that you have booked in advance months ago?

I have many stories of my own, good and bad but I just wanted to know what in your opinion Mums and babysitters out there is your account that makes an experience AN EXPERIENCE. What is it that helps you then rate a babysitter the best thing since sliced bread? OR you babysitters how do you rate a family being manageable or not?

Has anyone had the experience of being able to rate the babysitter directly by name? Does the rating feedback appear on her profile on the website? Because all the scathing reviews I have read have been towards the website itself, not the babysitter who should be a self-employed experienced self-managed professional indivdual (again in my opinion)

Please feel free to share stories, and just because I have asked ever so nicely pretty please, can it be in detail?

Look forward to hearing both sides

Just an interested mum x

titchy Fri 30-Dec-16 16:40:23

Sorry what magazine is your article for - you didn't say...? hmm

ShaffaShaffs01 Fri 30-Dec-16 16:43:15

Ha Magazine! What a compliment! I think I have been toying with the idea of writing a blog but my children take up all of my time so the one off posts I get time to do is a luxury.

So do you have any funny stories or depressing ones?

I'll share if you do!

Be brave, trust a little

TheLadyWithTheYellowHat Fri 30-Dec-16 16:47:31


titchy Fri 30-Dec-16 16:48:09

Oh it wasn't a compliment - your writing isn't that good!

LapinR0se Fri 30-Dec-16 16:51:54

Extremely odd post

Cindy34 Fri 30-Dec-16 17:04:54

Think you need to be much clearer as to what your question is.

Maybe it is about what makes you trust a particular babysitter. Reliable and the children like them. As babies they crawl up to them, as toddlers they are keen to greet them at the door, older children plan what they will be doing when the babysitter arrives.

You may use a website to find someone initially but you don't presume that website has done anything to confirm the person is who they really are... you meet them, you get to know them, they meet your children, you end up using the same person most of the time.

ShaffaShaffs01 Fri 30-Dec-16 17:10:27

Ok I see I have to make the first move here

I had a once a week cleaner coming to help me out with the housecleaning. As I'm a stay at home mum and save money by not going to beauty salons or night's out a cleaner for 4 hours was what I was going to spend my money on.

Until in a nutshell my 2 yr old who never in her life could say her first words yet managed to string a whole sentence together saying through an ear-splitting cry : "Mama, Jona hit my head" Damn, damn, damn. I was in the bedroom ironing my husband's work shirts what was I going to do, I didn't see anything but a mother knows the difference between her babies' cries and this one was not a cry I had heard before.

She wasn't a new cleaner, she came once a week for 9 months already! Anyway I judged it I thought in a mature manner, I respected my child and presented this information to the cleaner, ready to hear her account as an adult. What I was then faced with was evil stares from the cleaner glaring at my 2 yr old who coward behind me and said "Jessica, tell her how I didn't hit you, we were just playing" I asked the cleaner FACT or FICTION, did you or did you not hit my daughter on the head, even if you were "playing". NO she said

So I left it 24 hours, HOW THE HELL WAS I GOING TO TELL MY HUSBAND! I nearly didn't and then I kind of informed him so rapidly about the whole event he admitted to me he also didn't know what to do, because he NOR I saw anything, and do we trust a terrible two's two year old. YES WE DO BLOODY TRUST MY TWO YEAR OLD WHO HAS NEVER UTTERED A WORD IN HER LIFE UNTIL NOW

So we left it until the next day to confront her about how my daughter was very timid around her now. My husband asked her straight out "If you have lied to us about this incident I will have to ask you leave immediately, is that clear?"

"Yes Sir"

"My wife said that you Jona stated that you did not hit my daughter on the head, therefore calling my daughter a liar and yet there is confusion as to actually you were playing around with her, did you or did you not hit my child ?"

"Yes Sir, I did, but it was only playful tap on the head"

And with that she was shocked as we ceased all further employment with her and asked her to leave with immediate effect.

She THOUGHT she had told the truth. SHE DID NOT.

She lied to me, she insinuated my child had made it up, she then backtracked on her story and said they were playing and then she confessed to my husband when and only she was put on the spot.

TRUST - she may never have ever done it again. But without trust you cannot have ANYONE working around your children LET ALONE taking care of them.

Call my a neurotic hypchondriac paranoid parent... If an adult lies because they are too scared to tell the truth, then they have not grown up, and what kind of role model is that around children?

She may have been a once a week cleaner, but familiarity ONLY breaks boundaries it does not BUILD TRUST.

So a babysitter for the first time maybe be bubbly, friendly, approachable and spritely, but I am trusting her to be ME when I'm not there! I'm trusting her with the LIVES of my children, I trust that I receive no LIES in return

One story of many

Who's next?

HeadElf Fri 30-Dec-16 17:15:24


Cakescakescakes Fri 30-Dec-16 17:18:01

This is bizarre

HeadElf Fri 30-Dec-16 17:19:09

Once upon a time my babysitter posted a whole load of bullshit on Mumsnet, posing as just an interested mum' to try and coerce others into sharing their horrror stories so she could write about them and make money shock the horror!!! wink

TheCaptainsMum Fri 30-Dec-16 17:19:54

No chance.

titchy Fri 30-Dec-16 17:22:33

OP may I suggest a different hobby? Maybe scrap booking?

ShaffaShaffs01 Fri 30-Dec-16 17:23:09

It really is simple

Does anyone have any insight, stories, tales, feedback as to how they have rated a babysitter highly after just their first visit?

Sometimes you can't get the same one regularly or ever again.... So how after just one then just go and rate her five out of five stars?

Has there been any account that stand out in anyone's mind as to WHY you rated that first timer so highly after her first go?

If you don't have a story, thanks for your priceless input titchy, I seem to have read your constructive criticism in an extremely odd way, my bad!

ShaffaShaffs01 Fri 30-Dec-16 17:24:37

I too am very cynical of the world

No skin off my nose, I just love to talk and hear the sound of my own "words"....

Can't you tell?

HeadElf Fri 30-Dec-16 17:25:16

It really is simple

We aren't biting.

MooPointCowsOpinion Fri 30-Dec-16 17:26:45


ShaffaShaffs01 Fri 30-Dec-16 17:29:44

Hi Head Elf,

You must be wise like the wise old elf in Ben and Holly, I am not worthy. Thanks for the biscuit, very kind of you. As for words of bullshit yes they maybe, but no one forced you to read my thread, nor did I ask or force you to reply, that was totally of your own doing.

Be mature and go and troll some other thread, because I love to have the last word, I have 5 children and I am the biggest child of them all and Berry Biscuits are their FAVOURITE!

ShaffaShaffs01 Fri 30-Dec-16 17:45:29

Hi Cindy34,

I just wanted people to share some stories

But look how cynical and insulting our world has become, in a forum where everyone was free to express their accounts and experiences people would rather waste their time talking about biscuits and scrap booking, nothing whatsoever to do with the topic.

I fear gravely for our future generations when we have such Elves appointed as HEADs, lord have mercy on our children.

TheLadyWithTheYellowHat Fri 30-Dec-16 18:19:47

Ive gone from hmm to grin op you're absolutely crackers

You must be wise like the wise old elf in Ben and Holly, I am not worthy. Thanks for the biscuit, very kind of you gringrin

Ohyesiam Fri 30-Dec-16 19:25:43

If you wanted people to share stories, you wouldn't have taken up so much space with your own. There s nothing invitational about it.

wickedwitchofwaterloo Sat 31-Dec-16 00:15:48

Did she manage to clear all the chips off the floor after dinner so that no one would slip up on them later and go flying across the kitchen?

How oddly specific hmm

ShaffaShaffs01 Sat 31-Dec-16 03:27:44

Hi OH-YES-I-AM, are a good story teller? a mum? a dad? Here's your 15mins to type ANY parenting experience that could have helped, advised or simply made people feel better that they weren't going through the same problems alone.

Oh-yes-I-am you chose to be a offending criticising individual that chose to not share anything but bad vibes.

If I came across a post that pissed me off or I thought was bullshit or lame, I move on, I don't go out of my way to waste my time saying pointless useless comments. If they were intellectually constructive like Cindy34 maybe then there would be some glimmer of hope for the social blogging/social networking world - instead you choose to write the bare minimum yet want WHAT in return?

A fight? A debate? Respect? A point of view

write more than 50 words and maybe we just might be pleasantly surprised that you had something worthy to say

Everyone is given a choice, why don't you choose to be mature oh-yes-i-am

It baffles me how I seem to weird everyone out, I invited you in, but you can always leave with self-respect, yet one day our children will read what we all have posted, and I certainly don't want them being disappointed in me if I were ever rude to those who somehow just don't want to choose to be good grown-up role models to those who matter, our children

We've had our time to be the bully's and victims at school in the playground, at least we were much braver taken that all on face to face. How easy it is to insult behind the safety and comfort of a screen and laptop? Yet the ones you affect could have been a 16yr old victim subjected to trolling and just successfully committed suicide. Think of your actions and how you may rub off on to the next generation, because for the love of God why did we have our kids if we are not trying to teach them HOW TO BE GOOD PEOPLE and treat others the way they would want to be treated...

so Ohyesiam If i were you I would have answered like this:


FizzBombBathTime Sat 31-Dec-16 03:34:44

Chill out

ShaffaShaffs01 Sat 31-Dec-16 03:46:22

wicked witch of waterloo

Love the name, I sometimes regard myself as a witch, like the witch in the story Room On The Broom

Wicked villians I believe were and are always good people who have been despicably hurt by someone or something that they held close to their heart, Disney's Maleficent comes to mind

A pure example of a well known tale, perceived in a different way because every story has two sides. And that is what I wanted to encourage here, babysitters and parents giving their own accounts, two sides to many a same story

I don't use babysitters often because I use every excuse in the book to not trust a stranger, but with that comes a price, my relationship with my husband and our date nights sometimes and more importantly I have put on the back burner a lot of what I used to do, but those things I used to I always be

I am an artist and illustrator by trade and studies, I was also Head of Art and Sculpture at secondary school when I used to teach, I have been an art technican and have been involved in many a theatrical play from a director's role, I enjoyed my life and revolved it around children and education and learning, but I see no one making mistakes and learning from them, everyone just wants to be RIGHT, there is no manual to parenting, we are all meant to just help each other by sharing stories, not judgement, stories just like we ALL enjoy whatever our age

This is my first time ever to have thrown out there a post, god forbid it had been a personal blog but I wise enough not to subject myself to anything that I could take personally. I am an artist (ceramicist and sculptor and ceramic technician BA(hons) Ceramics and we overly-sensitive creatures who were taught that if you fail, laugh it off because next time you'll do it a 1000 times better.

People have called this post bizarre and odd, well fantastic at least you all havent fallen asleep, and if you have Sweet Dreams x

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