When you first become a mom, you can't imagine going out for dinner or doing anything without your baby. It sounds crazy because all you want to do is to stare at that sweet little face and be around them.
Of course, as time goes on, you get used to the idea of going on a date night. You and your partner want to spend some quality time together. As you grow your family and your kids get older, you need to hire a babysitter for a variety of different situations. Maybe you want a babysitter for a monthly date night, a few hours a week so you can run errands or any combination.
There are some ways to tell if a babysitter is great... or not so great at all. Here are five signs that they're an awesome babysitter and five signs that might be red flags.
10 Awesome: They Come Highly Recommended
A sign of an awesome babysitter is when they're highly recommended by other moms that you know, a family member, or acquaintances in your community. You can rest assured knowing that they trust this babysitter and they're doing a great job with these other families.
It can be tough to feel comfortable with a new babysitter so if they come via a referral, that's a really good sign. You'll be able to go out with your partner or see friends or family while keeping your kiddos in good hands.
9 Red Flag: They're On Their Phone While Talking To You
Sure, we're all pretty tied to our cell phones these days, but most of us understand that it's just not polite to go on your phone while talking to someone. When you interview the babysitter or when they come over to watch your kids for the first time, it's a red flag when they're on their phone while talking to you.
This will definitely make you wonder if they're going to look after your kids carefully... or if they're going to ignore them and go on social media or text their friends. It's something to watch out for.
8 Awesome: They Keep In Touch With Your Kids
If you use the same babysitter a lot, chances are that they're going to become fairly close wtih your kids. They could even become a big part of the family, which is always great.
You'll know that they're an awesome babysitter when they keep in touch with your kids even when they're not coming over so you can have a date night. They could text you and ask if they can FaceTime ever once in a while, or they ask your kids to keep them posted on how their latest hobby is going.
7 Red Flag: They Have No Experience
It's definitely a red flag when a babysitter has no experience. They could be a friend of the family or a neighbor's child, but if they've never taken care of kids before, you're probably not going to want them to look after your own.
When you know that someone has been a babysitter for years or even a few months, you can breathe a sigh of relief. It makes a big difference.
6 Awesome: They Aspire To Work With Children
Maybe this babysitter is a college student and they're in an education program, or they want to run a daycare or something like that in the future. If they aspire to work with children, that's a really great sign.
This shows you that they love children and that they know a lot about them. What more could you want?!
5 Red Flag: They Want To Invite Friends Over
If a babysitter asks you if they can invite friends over while they're at your house, you're going to want to say no. You won't be super comfortable with this, especially if you have really young kids.
This is a red flag since it proves that they're not that focused on babysitting or looking after your little ones. They just want to be social, and babysitting might not be for them.
4 Awesome: They Love To Cook And Bake
Not every babysitter is going to love to cook and bake, but it does help when you find someone who enjoys these culinary activities. An awesome babysitter will love getting into the kitchen with your kids. This is great since many children build a lot of self-esteem from baking even something simple like chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies. And, of course, it's fun.
Hiring a babysitter who can cook will also come in handy since you could go for an early dinner and rest easy knowing that they'll make dinner or dessert with your kids.
3 Red Flag: They Complain A Lot
A babysitter who whines and complains a lot is going to be a huge red flag. You don't want that kind of negativity around your children, and you want them to enjoy being around kids.
You want to find someone who is positive and optimistic. If the babysitter complains when you explain your expectations for the evening or how you want things to go, for example, you're not going to want to use them again.
2 Awesome: They Ask You Questions During The Interview/First Meeting
Sure, you know that when you interview a babysitter or have them come over and meet your kids, you're going to be asking them a lot of questions. You want to know about their experience, what they're studying in school if they're a college student, and anything else that seems relevant.
But if the babysitter asks you questions during the meeting, that's a really great sign, and you can be sure that they're going to be an awesome babysitter. This shows that they take pride in their job and that they want to get to know you and your family. Maybe they want to know if your kids have food allergies so they know what snacks to give them, or they want to hear more about your kids' personalities.
1 Red Flag: They Don't Contact You... Ever
It's pretty common to leave your cell phone number (and any other important numbers, such as the restaurant where you'll be having dinner) with a babysitter. You can either give them a piece of paper with this information or put it on the fridge.
Sure, you don't want to hire a super nervous person who calls you every five minutes because they don't feel comfortable taking care of kiddos. That's not going to be great. But you do want the babysitter to get in touch at least once during the evening to let you know that things are going well. After all, you're a mom and you worry. If they never get in touch, even to say a quick "all good!" then that's a red flag that they're not a great babysitter.