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How Something Good Can Come From Firing a Babysitter

How Something Good Can Come From Firing a Babysitter

By Kelcey Kintner

There comes a moment when you know a babysitter isn’t working out. There may have been some red flags but then comes that moment.

Recently, it happened to me. I was at a holiday festival with my five kids and I had brought a newish sitter along to help me wrangle my 3 year old, not lose any of the others in the crowds and reduce my stress level.

Except my stress level was high because as we maneuvered our way through the candy canes and elves, she was looking at her phone. Again and again.

Why was I paying her to message her friends?  Or look at cat videos? Or whatever the heck she was doing on that phone.

This had been an issue already with this sitter (who is 22) but I had ignored it. I had also ignored other things like… my kids not going to bed when I asked, kid laundry not getting folded (even though it was part of her job), etc. My children liked her – so I hoped for the best.

But at that holiday festival (somewhere between the s’mores and a way too skinny Santa), I realized that my new sitter was actually more like one of my children – and I didn’t need a 6th kid! Really, I don’t.

So I let her go and my kids were a little bummed (because she was fun!) but when a sitter doesn’t work out, my children take something away from it. I tell them why she didn’t end up being the right fit for us and I think my children learn from this.

They learn that keeping a job means putting your phone away, fulfilling your responsibilities and respecting your employer. Because no one is entitled to any job. You have to prove you deserve it. And the same goes for myself. I work hard to make my employers happy and fulfill my commitments. And I expect the same from others.

I have another sitter who I have been using for three years and she is only 15.  And, she is remarkable. She is beyond responsible. She not only does what I ask, but usually something more. I’ll find the dishes washed. Or the counters wiped down. Or the toys neatened. And she’s fun too.

I point out to my children why she is so good at what she does. I want them to see that a work ethic means a far better chance of getting a job and staying employed.

I know that part-time sitters come and go. Other great ones will come into our lives. They always do. I roll with it. And, so do my children.

But learning how to develop a work ethic is a life lesson – for always.

Photo source: Depositphotos/ Melpomeme


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Kelcey Kintner
About the Author

Kelcey Kintner

Kelcey Kintner writes the humor blog, The Mama Bird Diaries and co-founded the cheeky advice site, The Mouthy Ho...

Kelcey Kintner writes the humor blog, The Mama Bird Diaries and co-founded the cheeky advice site, The Mouthy Housewives. This Columbia Journalism School graduate also drives a gold minivan because you can’t fit five kids on a Vespa. An award winning journalist, she still secretly longs to be an Olympic ice skater. You can follow her on Twitter @mamabirddiaries.

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  • Caroline

    Totally true and fair, one thing though, did you clearly tell this young lady why you were letting her go, or before you reached boiling point, explain where she was falling short?

    I am in a position of having to have a serious Come to Jesus with a staff member (her being on leave has made me realise what an inefficient, poor job is being done in various ways. Not unwilling at all, but anyway, I digress!), and I’m trying to really carefully and simply come up with A/ what the issue is and B/ what I expect to happen in terms of improvement… but without being harsh or ”threatening”. She is a lovely person, kind and decent, so I need to walk a fine line!

  • Brittany Law

    Good job mom. I am a professional nanny of 8 years and I often suffer from the stigma of not being seen as a professional or not having a “real job.” Learning proper business etiquette and behaving as a professional is necessary in any job. If we want to be respected as such, we need to behave as such. Unfortunately, nanny reform in that manner is far away but those of us that are now in the industry must set the standard. I am a business. I give my best, I give respect, and my work ethic will never waiver in any position or title that I hold. And I expect full reciprocity from any colleague or employer. But it begins with me and the standards that I set going in. Never hesitate to let go of your care giver, or at least prompt the conversation of progress, if you have just cause. No one benefits from a negligent nanny.