Wow, lots of replies! Just getting back to this.
Originally Posted by cmlp
Again, there is another perspective. It is not obvious to me that a babysitter's job description includes cleaning (even if the kids are asleep). A secretary cannot be asked to get coffee for her boss as part of her job (at least where I come from, she can't!). A nurse is supposed to be a nurse, not a cleaner or an orderly.
I am beginning to understand that my mom taught me to babysit on a whole different level than most people were taught (or actually not taught at all - just sent over). So my expectations come from many years of sitting in high school and college. So to me, it is obvious that you should pick up after the kids are asleep. THEN watch tv!
And in my world, a secretary (which I am - now they call us administrative assistants but same diff) certainly can be asked to get a cup of coffee. I offer; he almost always declines but I don't know why. I am not insulted to bring him a cup of coffee. We're friends too, and he is always very respectful to me. And a nurse most certainly ends up cleaning up a mess here and there I'd imagine. I think you do what needs to be done. If the orderly is busy doing something else, and there is something that needs attention, you do it. Team player and all that.
Originally Posted by Lady Lilya
I took the letter as intending to be a rant and not so much a letter a person would actually send. So, condescending and passive-aggressive fit right in with a rant.
I agree she shouldn't have to do any housework other than cleaning up after whatever she fed the children, and putting their clothes in the hamper when she changes them for bed, and putting away what they played with.
Yes, LL is right; it was a rant - I'm not actually sending it!
And I don't expect
that she'd clean up messes that were there before she arrived, or fold laundry either. But 1) you watch/play with the kids, 2) get them to bed as close to on time as you can, 3) clean up the toys and dishes and towels that were used by you and the kids while you've been there, 4) if you are in a charitable mood, do any other obvious things that would make the mom smile when she walked in, and likely up your pay, THEN 5) watch tv or do your homework or whatever.
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie
It can be really hard when you are so young to find the place between being friendly and playful and being firm. Especially if you have never had kids of your own.
Or it could be that they were nervous with a new sitter and just needed to hear your voice - and that's why they kept coming up with excuses to call? How long has she been sitting for them?
The first part is a good point. I will try to remember that.
They weren't nervous, and she isn't new. They LOVE her. She really is the nicest girl; just no one has taught her (guess it is my job to be clearer about my expectations) the little things that you can do to make the mom smile when she walks in the door. It wouldn't take all that I did as a teenage sitter - but wet towels in the hamper, shoes in the shoe box or at least tossed near it, toys off the floor in the family room and into the bins, dishes in the dishwasher, empty milk carton rinsed out and tossed in the recycling (right outside the garage door, just off the kitchen), clothes in a hamper instead of the living room floor.
Originally Posted by Momtwice
Oh and about the vitamin phone call, can't an overdose of vitamins be fatal? I'd be glad she asked first.
Oh, I agree! I just assume that anyone old enough to get a driver's license should know that you only take one vitamin a day. I knew that when I was five. I guess I should add that to my list of things to mention in my new "clearer babysitter expectations" presentation.
Originally Posted by Canadianmommax3
I babysat and i would clean up after us. It was just commen sense to me, but obviously not to the two babysitters i have now.
If you are going to eat my icecream than either wash out your bowl but don't leave them on the floor so i can kick them across the room when i walk through the livingroom.
I babysat for one lady and not sure where she was going but made a huge mess of her kitchen, i am talking tons of dishes in the sink.
She didn't expect me to do them at all, but once the kids were in bed i thought how nice it would be to come home to a clean kitchen so i cleaned it!
I didn't say anything when i left but as i was walking to my house she came out of her house and yelled to me in the middle of the night "I Love you Shannon" It made me feel good to do these things for the parents.
But maybe because my parents would tell me things that would be helpful as a babysitter. (and that was when you made maybe 2 bucks an hour)
EXACTLY!!!!!! I remember making one or two bucks an hour, and doing all the things I mentioned in the original post. My mom had three kids, and she taught me what she'd want - do what is expected, and then if there is time do the "above and beyond" stuff. No, I don't want someone washing my delicates, but tossing a load of towels in and starting the washer seems pretty safe. Necessary - no, of course not.
I have had babysitters from age 13 to 22. The 13 year old actually did a better job than the older girls. I was amazed at how much she got done. More than I could have I think!
The OP was a rant after I got home to find her watching tv - in a messy family room. The kids were in bed (the time they were up late was a different night) so I'd have liked her to put the dinner dishes that she and the kids used in the sink if not the dishwasher, and put the toys away, fold the blanket, shoes in a pile at least. I absolutely think my kids should help out - I often remind them (loud enough for the babysitter to hear) to do a "ten second tidy" (anyone remember Loonette and the Big Comfy Couch show?) A couple of my sitters are good but most of them don't do a thing besides watch the kids. Which, again, is my primary goal. I just also think they can take care of picking up some toys and dishes.
And as long as nothing gets broken, I'm fine with looking in a drawer or two to find the spatula. Really, how far could it go?
I love me a babysitter who unloads and reloads the dishwasher!