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Does your babysitter clean up while you're gone?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Just curious... does your babysitter clean up while you're gone? We have a babysitter that we love but she doesn't clean up at all. We don't expect her to do dishes or laundry, but she doesn't put away the kids' toys or clean up their meal plates so I always come home to a mess. When the kids are awake while she's there I sort of understand. And I'd prefer that she play with them instead of clean so I really don't mind. But sometimes I come home and both kids are sleeping and she's reading a magazine on the sofa... and there are toys and dirty dishes everywhere!!!

It's so frustrating to come home to that mess. My husband tells me it's fine and that we're paying her to watch the kids not to clean, but it's starting to really bother me. Should I say something to her or just relax and know I'll just have to clean a little when I get home?

Thanks in advance for the advice! smile.gif
post #2 of 21

Well, I never expect my babysitters to clean up after play or feeding the kids... to me it's just the deal, that they take care of the children and focus on that and that only. It's hard enough for me to take care of them and clean up too, so I don't expect anyone else to do it either. I'd rather have the sitter focus on the kids than on the mess!

post #3 of 21

Have you ever asked her to & she isn't doing it or is it something you just assumed would happen?

 

If you want the meal plates put on the counter then ask her to do it.

post #4 of 21

I had a sitter that did that too. IKWYM, it drove me crazy! I'd be out and know I was going to come home to toys strewn all over, dirty dishes, etc. I never did say anything to her about it but you can be sure that I will tell my kids to clean up if they ever start babysitting. It's like you said, I don't expect to come home to sparkling clean house that was freshly mopped and vacuumed but it would be nice to come home and not see leftover mac & cheese sitting on the stove, plates with leftovers sitting on the table, toys all over, etc.

 

We don't use sitters much anymore but when we do, it's a HS boy from down the street. And he cleans up a bit thankfully.

 

Sorry, I guess this is no advice. Just commiseration!

post #5 of 21

to me it's common sense that toys would be put away and dirty dishes put in the sink.

 

I used sitters for the first time this weekend, and the first sitter didn't want to let the dog out (even though it didn't require walking, just going out of the apt door to the main building door and letting the dog out, waiting a minute, and calling her back in. She claimed it made her uncomfortable to leave ds asleep in the apt while she did this.

 

She also didn't put the toys back like I asked her to. I don't care about the kitchen being cleaned but I am ANAL about the toys. The legos, hot wheels and stacking trains have their own buckets that they go in and it drives me CRAZY when they are not properly sorted. and I want dirty clothes put in the hamper, not strewn about the floor.

 

Other than that, I'm good.

 

Oh and I'm pretty sure this is not unreasonable because the second sitter managed to put all the toys back where they belonged and the dirty clothes were within the vicinity of the hamper. I wouldn't expect deep cleaning, but just leave it how you found it. If they wash the dishes that's a bonus!

post #6 of 21

In the situation you described, yes I would expect her to pick up the toys and put away the dishes. You're paying her to watch your kids, but once they're asleep, it would take only a few minutes. You're not paying her to read a magazine. I did tell a sitter once that I wasn't paying her to text her friends because I came in and was home for a couple of minutes putting things away before she even realized I was there. She was glued to her phone. How attentive can you be to my kids? What if one of them were crying? I wasn't stealthy, and you thought you were alone in the house with sleeping kids. Wouldn't you wonder why the fridge was opening, back door shutting, etc? Since then, I'm always upfront with my sitters that I don't mind an occasional text but that I don't want them to text constantly.

post #7 of 21

FWIW, I did a lot of babysitting when I was younger and I always cleaned up the messes that were made while I was watching the kids.

post #8 of 21
I think you need to be clear, especially with teens. Say outright what you want done if possible. Because as a teen I would totally clean up but sometimes the toys and things are out already and I did t know where to put them and I'd just shove them to one side lol. I wanted to be helpful but didn't want to make a mistake and everyones home is different-- so just tell the sitter!

Any refusal of reasonable cleaning up or texting like the pp said is unacceptable!
post #9 of 21

You really need to lay out your expectations when you hire someone....  I remember one circumstance when I baby-sat and I realized after the summer was over, that they had been frustrated that  I didn't empty the dishwasher or clean up messes.  I guess I was just clueless :) and didn't know that was part of the job requirement.  It was never an issue with previous positions.  I'm betting that she does not realize what you are expecting....

 

I would also be curious to know how much you're paying her.  If it's a low number, she may not see the incentive to go the extra mile with cleaning up.  

 

If it were me,  I would have that discussion.  If I were the one babysitting, I would rather you talk to me than be resentful of me.  

 

Just my thoughts.

post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone!!! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one in this situation and you've given me the confidence to have a small chat with my sitter... maybe if I mention how I want the kids to help clean up their toys and clear the table she'll get the hint. She's so great with the kids I don't want to complain, but coming home to that mess is just a not-great end to my day.

Thanks so much!!!
post #11 of 21

Is this full/part time child care provider (nanny, babysitter, whatever) or a teenage once-in-a-while sitter?

 

If it is someone who is watching your child on a regular basis-what is in her job description?  Did you discuss expectations in advance? Do you a have a work agreement that detail what is expected each day? I would expect the sitter to maintain things related to the child but would also understand that sometimes it just can't all happen everyday. The occasional messy play area, dishes in the sink happens but a good caregiver will either explain (sorry about the playroom! We were having so much fun doing XYZ! I promise we will get to it tomorrow) or will stay (I never got to the lunch dishes today, while you get settled I am going to go take care them).  All employees are entitled to some breaks during the day but if you were very clear in your expectations and she continued to act this manner (sitting around reading while the house is clearly a disaster) I would set up a meeting and discuss the job description. If you have not been that detailed/thorough now is the time to do so. 

 

However for our occasional Saturday night sitter? I have no expectation of them cleaning/ picking etc anything other than what they did together that night. Ie: board game put away, DVD back in its case, Pizza box in trash, that kind of thing

post #12 of 21

My daughter has babysat since age 13(she's only 14 now) and she cleans up the kids and all their toys. Apparantly she waits til the parents are on their way home, then she and the kids clean up all their toys. It's never been asked of her, all the parents want is for the kids to be safe (bc these kids are WILD!! LOL). She gives baths, also, if needed. She babysits my brother's kids some but I don't know if she cleans up there, I know she cleans up the kids but it's never been mentioned if she cleans up their toys. I'd assume she did but I'd have to ask. She doesn't normally get paid for babysitting them but she loves babysitting and her cousins so she does it free. She gets paid for babysitting other people.

post #13 of 21

I think what you're asking is reasonable. When I was 'baby-sitting' I would put the dirty dishes in the sink at least. And I did try to contain some of the toy mess, but I can't promise it was always put away 100%. I think you just need to tell the person that you'd like them to do that. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post

to me it's common sense that toys would be put away and dirty dishes put in the sink.

 

I used sitters for the first time this weekend, and the first sitter didn't want to let the dog out (even though it didn't require walking, just going out of the apt door to the main building door and letting the dog out, waiting a minute, and calling her back in. She claimed it made her uncomfortable to leave ds asleep in the apt while she did this.

 

She also didn't put the toys back like I asked her to. I don't care about the kitchen being cleaned but I am ANAL about the toys. The legos, hot wheels and stacking trains have their own buckets that they go in and it drives me CRAZY when they are not properly sorted. and I want dirty clothes put in the hamper, not strewn about the floor.

 

Other than that, I'm good.

 

Oh and I'm pretty sure this is not unreasonable because the second sitter managed to put all the toys back where they belonged and the dirty clothes were within the vicinity of the hamper. I wouldn't expect deep cleaning, but just leave it how you found it. If they wash the dishes that's a bonus!



I wouldn't have felt comfortable doing that, either. 

post #14 of 21

Heres how I see it, and I am a daycare user AT THE MOMENT.  That may change very soon. 

 

At school/daycare, the providers clean up/teach the children how to pick up, when moving from one activity to another. They also finish picking up toys and straightening up the place at the end of the day, so there isnt a mess to walk into in the morning. They also put all dirty dishes and silverware into the kitchen area after meals, for later cleanup.  It only makes sense to do it this way, if you think about it.  You wouldnt expect to walk into a daycare center and see dirty dishes and cups strewn all over the place. (atleast I sure hope not)  It would actually be a safety and health code violation (atleast in my state).  Therefore, I would expect ( and will talk all this over with my future babysitter) the same treatment in my home.  I also have a dishwasher.  So rinse the plates and throw them in there.  super fast. 

post #15 of 21

OP, you don't say how old your babysitter is but I think, especially with young or inexperienced sitters, expectations need to be clearly laid out -- what's obvious to you as a responsible adult and mother may not be obvious to a teen.

 

When I was a teenage babysitter, it didn't occur to me to clean up (I will be sure to tell my kids to clean up when they start babysitting, but for some reason my mom never told me and I didn't think of it myself). I was, if I do say so myself, an AWESOME babysitter to 3 boys who loved me, but I just didn't think about cleaning up, and looking back I'm embarrassed at the mess I left for the parents in the beginning. The mom gently asked me to please make sure that dishes and toys were under control by the time she got home, and I had a huge internal, "OMG, duh!!! Why didn't I think of that?!?!" moment, and kept things neat and tidy from then on out (I would even mop and vacuum because I was so embarrassed that I hadn't thought of it before) -- I just needed to have it brought to my attention. thumb.gif

post #16 of 21

I have two teenage DDs who babysit, and they always, ALWAYS clean up.  Most of their babysitting charges go to sleep, and the girls clean up any dishes, toys, clothes, whatever needs to be done.  Often, the girls will fold laundry or find some other small job that they can do if the kids are sleeping and they are bored.  There's only so much TV that can be watched!

 

I've had many of their clients compliment me on the job that the girls do - both with their kids and with making sure their houses aren't trashed when they get home.  So yes, I don't think it's too much to ask.

post #17 of 21

When I babysit (now and in the past) I would try to clean up any mess made while I was there. If I fixed lunch and there were other dishes in the sink I would go ahead and do them all. If the kids got crumbs everywhere I would pull out the vacuum and do the whole floor. Heck I've even done laundry for people I know well just to give them a nice surprise when they came home.

 

If the kids are old enough to help pick up, I would just say, "We are working with the kids on picking up after themselves. Could you please help them put their dishes in the sink and pick up their toys when they are done?" That way it doesn't sound like you are criticizing her, just that you are trying to teach the kids some responsibility.

post #18 of 21

How old are the kids?  For the most part, I think if a child is old enough to be eating from a plate at the table, then the child is old enough to at least carry her plate to the sink herself.  And I would expect a babysitter to have my child take her plate to the sink.  Toys all over however, I am torn.  I don't mess with picking up during the day, a toddler can destroy a room in 30seconds.  But every night, I have my toddler pick up her stuff in the main living area. 

 

So, for the most part, I don't expect a babysitter to clean up, however, I do expect a babysitter to assist in helping to keep my child's routine, which in our case includes picking up before bed and taking her plate to the sink after she eats.  For me, it's not so much about the clean, as it is about instilling good cleanliness habits in my kids early.  I am not as neat as I want to be and I don't want my kids to follow in my footsteps in that regard, so I am trying to teach early. 

post #19 of 21

I am a babysitter and I always clean up. Hell, I even do all the dishes that are in the sink, sweep, fold diapers, etc! 

post #20 of 21

When I babysat, I did, always. But, my children babysit for my children. SO my teens babysit my younger children. My house is always a disaster when I come home. It if frustrating. I did used to hire a sitter. She cooked, cleaned, and took good care of the kids. 

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