Battling the Babysitter Blues

babysitter drawing with toddler

Looking for a Good Sitter is Tough Business

When it comes to leaving my kids with babysitters, I could, perhaps, be the pickiest mother on the planet. Some may say I’m nuts because I won’t leave my kids with just anyone. In fact, since I am lucky enough to have family around, I will only leave them with family, with the exception of a friend I’ve known since I was five. Even then, I end up calling a few times to make sure everything is okay.

You could say I have trust issues. But, with so many horror stories in the news, it’s hard not to. Stories like the New York nanny who allegedly killed two children under her care last year and the one about the Boston nanny who is accused of killing an infant she was supposed to be keeping out of harm’s way, make you really question how well you really know your babysitters.

I know finding good babysitters is something a lot of parents struggle with. I recently had a friend ask me who I “use.” She asked me about sites like, but I told her I really don’t know anyone who’s used it. If you google “babysitters” or “nannies” tons of sites offering childcare pop up. Frankly, I would  be more than a little scared to use services like that. You have to really trust they are doing the most thorough background checks and finding the best people out there.

Just as there are sites where you can find babysitters, there are also sites to help guide you in the right direction. The American Red Cross even offers babysitting training classes. Who knew?

So, what’s a mom to do? Not go out until her kid is old enough to stay home alone? We all know that’s not practical. It’s also not practical to tote your kids everywhere. If you’re not lucky enough to have family around, perhaps asking around is really your best bet. Maybe there’s a trustworthy teen next door or someone’s older sister who would be a good fit. Remember, you are entrusting someone with what I believe is your most precious gift. Always trust your gut. They don’t call it mother’s intuition for nothing!