DS is 2.5 and I've never had a babysitter. I've asked neighbors/friends/family to watch him here and there, but other than family he's never been left for more than and hour or so.
After reading some of the posts here and elsewhere, I really don't want to find a sitter! DH and I should have a date night each week, but we only do it once a month or less, whenever DS is with his grandparents for a weekend. The only neighbor he knows well enough is now sickly, so she doesn't have the energy to stay with him after a long day at work. A trusted friend had her niece staying/working with them this summer. The woman is in her mid-twenties, never finished school due to a lack of commitment, has never held a job, has no idea what she wants to do with her life, etc. So the friend took her under her wing for the summer, and hired her to work for their business. She apparently was only part-time, b/c she introduced herself to me, and let me know she's available for dog- house- and baby-sitting.
Since I trust my friend, I figured I could trust her family. Yeah, the niece has had some personal issues in her past, but I don't hold youthful mistakes against people. Or at least I try not to. Something just didn't sit right with me, and I just never got around to introducing her to DS to see if he'd be comfortable being left with her.
Come to find out weeks later, the niece has not been showing up for work at the family business, stopped taking her meds cold turkey, and turned out to be so irresponsible that my friend's 20 year old son had to go stay at their house with her to make sure nothing went really wrong while they were away. They are sending her home next week.
I feel bad for having hesitated, b/c I think I was a little prejudiced about her past. But now it seems like I was right! So how am I supposed to find a sitter when I am suspicious of everyone, and have been proven right too many times to count (this being only one example)?
Does anyone else wait til their kids are old enough to stay alone before they leave them for a night out?