Get a Sitter and Go!

Would you believe that I know moms who have never once left their child with a babysitter? Maybe you're one of them! I, on the other hand, took full advantage of the opportunities I had to leave my children with someone else while I slipped out of the house for a little adult only time.

Now don't get me wrong. I was a full-time mom from the get-go and all the way through my last child's graduation. But maybe that's all the more reason why I found it necessary every now and then to entrust my children to another's care so I could go out
I didn't leave my children with others too often. I didn't have that much money or that many good friends to take advantage of! But I didn't apologize or feel guilty over the occasional times when I would bring someone else in to care for my children while I slipped out.

So if you've hesitated to leave your child with a sitter up to this point, but now realize that "hey! here's a great, responsible, smart mom who left her kids with sitters every now and then and they turned out well-adjusted, beautifully behaved, smart, and extremely successful"...

...well, that's a little over the top!

But seriously, if you'd like to escape the world's greatest job every now and then to take care of you (and that, dear friend, is a good thing to do), then here are a few tips for wisely choosing a sitter.

I realize a lot of parents are hesitant to hire a babysitter these days because we hear so many horror stories about abuse, neglect, or poor behavior. But really, you have to put these stories in perspective. Babysitter horror stories are about as prevalent, percentage wise, as airplane crashes. And yes, if it happens to you, the damage can be great. 

But smart parents not only take the time and effort to choose sitters wisely; they also know how valuable leaving the kids behind with one occasionally can be. It's good for mom and dad to get out for a date night every so often. It's a good thing for a stay-at-home mom to get out sans kids every once in a while. And it's even good for your children to have to behave for and cooperate with another caretaker occasionally.

And don't forget, you can choose other kinds of "babysitters" as well. Swap child care with another couple or mom. Or you know that sweet, recently retired woman at church who keeps offering to take your child to feed the ducks and get an ice cream? Let her!

How do (did) you go about choosing the occasional child care provider? What are your concerns when it comes to leaving your children with a sitter? Let's talk about it!

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