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What your babysitter might not be telling you

Your babysitter is the one who sees to your child’s need when you’re not around. The way you see it, she’s being paid to do the job and there’s nothing more to it. Many fail to see that the person who they leave their precious bub with day in and day out, is, at the end of the day, another human being with basic needs, own set of values and (gasp!) feelings.

Here’s a list of things that are probably running through your baby-sitter or daycare provider’s head which you should know:

I am not your maid, Madam

There are no fine lines between the person whom you send your child to while you’re at work and a maid. That’s because the line is as thick as a brick! It is not unheard of for parents to come up with frivolous or even downright ridiculous tasks to be performed by sitters or child-minders. Insisting that bub’s favorite meals be prepared and meting out orders that he be allowed to call you whenever he likes are best not to be negotiated with a sitter. Try to avoid the power-play attitude of “I’m paying you, hence I’m the boss of you”, for it only results in a naturally human- natured unspoken grudge towards your kids on the part of the sitter.

Every child here is treated the same

Unless your child is sick and needs to take his meds on time, or has a bad rash that needs some extra attention, don’t waste your time trying to ensure your kid is treated a notch above the rest. This attitude will only serve to make you appear annoying and unlikeable in the eyes of your sitter, especially since you are paying exactly the same fees as the other parents who send their kids there.

This is a daycare, not a laundry service

Unless the service is clearly offered, your sitter cannot be expected to do your child’s laundry. The most you can expect of her is to help clean off any poop on your child’s clothing or cloth diapers, after which, you may pick them up along with bub… Hence, hinting that the soiled clothing can be ‘left behind’ to be used on the next day is quite simply, inappropriate.

I wish you’d provide enough diapers

You are the parent and hence, potty-training your child is your duty and not the sitter’s or child-minder’s, unless of course, she/they have agreed to provide that training.

Fact: Daycare providers keep supplies of diapers and most will not hesitate to use them for convenience, especially in cases where ‘difficult’ parents limit the supply given in hopes that their child will be potty-trained by their sitter/minder because of the lack of provisions.

I have things to do with my own time too

Basically, a sitter’s own time is before and after the time agreed upon by both parties on when your child should be dropped off and picked up respectively. Hence, if you feel it’s your right to clock out from work at a certain time, remember that your sitter has the exact same right. Only, unlike you, she is dealing with your precious little one and hence cannot afford to drop everything she’s doing and tend to her own needs, and instead, waits until you relieve her of the day’s duties.

Please don’t take advantage of me

Picking up your child in time is not an option. It’s common courtesy but more precisely, it’s your duty. Resist the urge to go home and shower first. Be honest with your time and be respectful of hers. Let the sitter know beforehand if you’re going to be later than usual and do make it worth her while.

I wish you’d pay me on time

Everyone works for a living, sitters and daycare employees included. If you do not find it amusing to be penalized for late bank payments, then neither will baby-sitters and/or daycare operators. If anything, delaying payment for your child-care service will only reflect on your attitude towards the importance of your child’s welfare, or rather, how unimportant it is to you.

I’m going on a vacation, Madam

Yes, you ‘heard’ right. It may be a difficult concept for some to grasp, but a sitter/child-minder has every right as anyone else to go off on a nice, long holiday where she will do nothing but dote on herself and basically, enjoy a duty-free period of time. The main reason why sitters and child-minders in our community rarely disclose this information to parents is because it is no secret that to many, even in these modern times, persons who provide child-care services are still very much akin or likened to maids or servants. It’s a sad fact but it’s true!

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