I don’t like to leave my granddaughter with a babysitter overnight, but even at five years old, she understands that sometimes we need to be apart to better appreciate each other. In fact, we had the best conversation EVER last night!
I told her that she was spending the night with her friends because I just needed to get away for a little while.
She asked, in a heart-breaking sad, little voice, “You don’t want to be with me?”
It about broke my heart because she really thought I just needed to get away from her.
I said that I wanted to be with her more than anything in the world, but that sometimes grandmas needed to go somewhere by themselves to think.
She responded, “Oh. Okay. I do that sometimes, too. I just go in the living room and stay away from you for a while so I can think.”
The conversation went on from there to a discussion about the best part about dogs and cats, but the point was made for both of us—Sometimes you just need to get away for a little while.
As much as I know I will miss her. I also know that when we reconnect tomorrow, we will both be very happy to see each other.
Choosing a good daycare
This is not going to be easy unless you have someone you have used before or know of someone like a neighbor or a relative who can help you out. It wasn’t easy for us to take our granddaughter to a new person so we could go to work. It is also harder to find daycare in many areas because people aren’t getting into that profession as much. We had a very difficult time and finally opted to hire a friend to watch her because there simply were no openings at the daycares in the area where we live.
This might happen for you, too. If you work a job, it will be necessary for you to find a reliable person or daycare to watch your precious one.
There have been many times that one or the other of us have considered quitting our “day” job so that one of us can be home with her. Not because we don’t have a good daycare now, but simply because we do like to spend so much time with our granddaughter.
There are many things to take into consideration when choosing your daycare/sitter.
- Proximity to where you live. You don’t want to have to drive all over the place for daycare.
- Proximity to where you work. If you can’t find any adequate daycare close to home, try finding one close to where you work.
- Request referrals from the daycare. Talk to other parents who have children in the daycare. Find out things about the provider(s). Don’t be afraid to ask the “hard” questions.
- Cost. This might be a big one for you. It was for us. We were both making a little better than minimum wage and even though we consider ourselves quite good at budgeting, adding in the expense of daycare was pushing it.
- Your county community health department may have a list of licensed daycare providers or they may be able to direct you to who would have this list.
- The reputation of the provider. Word gets out on daycare providers especially if they are really good or really bad!
- Parents.com has a very nice checklist of things to consider when hiring a provider. You can find that list at this link: https://www.parents.com/baby/childcare/basics/essential-child-care-questions/
But I just want to go out for the evening… how do I find a good sitter?
When I was growing up, I had several babysitters who would watch me, my brother and sister while my parents went out for an evening. Most of the time it was the teenage daughter of family friends. Some were good, some were not so good. My mom always listened to us if we had a legitimate complaint about a babysitter. (A non-legitimate complaint would be something like, “She made us go to bed at 8:30!”)
When you need a babysitter for a few hours, an evening or maybe even a weekend, you are going to want to use the same considerations that you would use in choosing your daycare provider.
Finding a good sitter could include:
- Asking friends, family or neighbors for referrals, especially the ones who have children themselves (although they might not want to share if they have a good one!)
- Ask for referrals at your church or religious organization.
- Ask your friends if they would watch the child for you.
- If you do have to hire a stranger, make sure to talk with them beforehand. Introduce your grandchild to them. If you grandchild can talk, listen to their opinion of the person.
But I have an emergency and I need a babysitter…NOW!
Most of the time, in our experience anyway, if you have a legitimate emergency, your friends are your first point of contact. We have had to employ the use of a friend on a few occasions over the past five years. Things come up and you need a person who can help right now!
We asked a few friends at the start of our journey if they would be willing to help us out in a pinch. They were very willing and they have. If you can give them a few dollars when they do watch your little one, that always helps make things smoother, at least in my opinion.
Unfortunately, there may be times when you have no choice except to take your grandchild with you. I have had to take my granddaughter to my doctor appointments with me because there simply was no one who could watch her at that time.
In a nutshell…
Finding a good and quality daycare is not impossible, but it will take some work on your part if you don’t already have someone in mind who can help you out. We didn’t know anyone, but were lucky and had a couple of friends who provided good care for our granddaughter. Now we have had her in the same private daycare for three years and she is doing very well there.
Since we don’t have any other young children living with us, it is nice to have her in a private, family daycare with a family who has two other children her age that she can build social skills with. Development of social skills is very important and being in a good daycare can help with that part of your grandchild’s life.