Do you know how long we’ve been waiting for you? My sister wife and I have been on a quest to find The Perfect Babysitter for what feels like forever. We’ve been trying to figure out this work/life balance between caring for a total of four children while also leaning in to our work-from-home careers.
We’ve lamented over mommy guilt and scheduling; we’ve weighed the pros and cons of working at home and we’ve crunched the numbers between freelance salaries and childcare costs. The solution seemed obvious: we wanted to share a babysitter, allowing our boys who are best friends to continue being best friends, under the occasional supervision of someone else.
And, well, what started out as a simple search turned into a string of bad blind dates.
There was the babysitter who was never available, and the babysitter with no personality. There was the babysitter who quit after one day (?), and the three babysitters who went back to college in the fall. Over and over again, we were mismatched with babysitters that wouldn’t or couldn’t stick around. Some were great; others were….meh. Okay, not meh, they were fine. They kept our kids alive. Whatever.
But in the back of my head, I couldn’t shake the feeling that we were missing something. Are babysitters really this hard to find? This hard to keep?
It started to feel like we were…..settling.
In a state of pure desperation, we signed up for Care.com and threw up a simple hail mary:
Two mommas seeking care for two toddlers and a baby. Must be reliable and trustworthy and have a personality.
Lo and behold, you responded to the ad and blew our freaking socks off. You, with all the energy of a child and all the responsibility of a grownup. Are you even human? Sometimes I feel like I need to take a Percocet to even have a conversation with you. Your consistent enthusiasm leaves me fighting the urge to say, “I’ll have what she’s having.”
You seem excited about this opportunity, as if watching two toddlers and an infant is your actual dream job. Is this really your dream job? I would believe you if you said yes. Your attitude and overall presence is how I imagine I would feel after winning the lottery. Do you really like our kids that much?
I’m obviously not there while you watch the kids, and you probably don’t even know this, but my sister wife texts me regularly while she works from home, just a wall away from you.
“The boys are hopping like frogs and the babysitter is hopping with them.”
“The babysitter is singing to Grace.”
“The babysitter brought her own bubbles.”
Hold the phone. You brought your own bubbles? That you bought with your own money?
Please don’t ever leave us.
The second time you watched our kids, my sister wife whispered to me in the kitchen, “I think she’s a better mother than I am.”
I joked that it’s easy to be a good mom when you only have to watch kids for eight hours a week but my smile was forced because underneath my grin, I agreed with my sister wife.
Please don’t let my kid love you more than me.
(Actually, I am borderline okay with that).
There was the time you showed up with coloring books and the time you took the kids on a “field trip” to the nearby park. There was the time you picked up dog poop in the backyard because you didn’t want anyone to step in it. Every time I pick my kid up, you give me the full rundown of the day’s events, which always include what snacks were eaten, how many times he peed, and a list of varied fun activities that you facilitated with the energy of a responsible new puppy. The house is always picked up, my kid is always exhausted, and really, I could just cry when I think about how much I love you.
I’m starting to feel like a clingy ex-girlfriend, but I really want you to watch my kids forever. Do you need anything? Can I bring you back a latte? Wanna borrow my car? Here…help yourself to these unused gift cards sitting in my junk drawer.
Seriously, whatever it takes, I am in this. To me, you are perfect. Whatever you need, you got it.
In the meantime, I know you’re only three weeks into this gig, but we’re giving you a raise.
Please don’t ever, ever leave us.
*Name left anonymous to protect said babysitter and also: paws off, she is ALL OURS.