Ok Supermom, I need some advice! I recently overheard our babysitter say something to baby L that left me upset and completely shocked. She only comes once a week to watch baby L for maybe 5 hours tops. Well, on this particular Tuesday, he was being quite ornery and pitching a major fit while sitting in his highchair. She unbuckled him, picked him up, and with me standing only a few feet away proceeded to tell him, and I quote, "L, if you weren't so darn cute, I'd shake you!"
First off, she's 24-ish with no kids of her own. Not that I'm defending her, but just to paint a clearer picture, she's fairly naive. Second, I know she didn't mean it seriously, but it still caught me off guard. I need some suggestions on how to handle this.
She's done a few other things to get under my skin, too—comes over in her work-out clothes (either short shorts, or tight leggings and a thong with a shirt that isn't long enough to cover ANY part of her ass), asked me to change a doctor’s appointment because she couldn't make it over that early, even though she had previously agreed to watch baby L with no qualms about the early time, and I could go on…
Hi Momma P,
My goodness, where to begin? As someone who is being paid to watch your child, it was extremely unprofessional to even joke about shaking your child. Common sense would tell us that shaking a baby is not acceptable, yet it still happens every day.
There are plenty of sitters/child care workers without children of their own, but they are able to keep their frustrations in check. Perhaps she IS one of them. But you need to sit her down, employer to employee, and voice your concerns. Here’s a sample dialogue:
“[insert name], I truly appreciate having you watch baby L. I wanted to talk to you about something you said the other week. I overheard you saying something to the effect of if he weren’t so cute, you’d shake him. I know he can sometimes be a handful, but I need you to understand that shaking a baby is completely unacceptable. If you find yourself getting frustrated with him, you are more than welcome to place him in his crib and walk to the next room (while still monitoring him) for a few moments. Being around children can occasionally be frustrating, but we should never take that out on them.”
Now, onto part two: Even though she is coming to your home to watch baby L, if you are uncomfortable with what she’s wearing, you may want to discuss what would be appropriate attire for work (because after all, this is her job). You also mentioned work times being an issue for her, even though you had previously worked it out. Things come up—on both ends—that may require a time adjustment. Just as you’d hope she’d be okay with her coming in a bit early to accommodate a doctor’s appointment, you need to help accommodate her schedule (as long as she’s not abusing it).
I know you are concerned that you may lose your sitter by having these conversations, but I’d rather lose a sitter than have a sub-par worker with my kid. Just find the appropriate tone, and have the difficult conversation. You’ll feel better after it’s off your chest.
Now, I know I gave the “appropriate” response above, but the conversation in my head goes a little something like this:
I get that you want to show off your little 24-year-old body, but it is not okay to show up with your ass hanging out, in pants that could fit my baby. I pay you to take care of my son, not look like a hootchie. And I pay you fairly decently, too, so I know you can afford more fabric than those daisy dukes and thong. Also, and this is super-important, if you shake my kid, I will cut a bitch.
Whew, now that that’s off my chest …
What say you, fellow supermoms/dads? Any advice for Momma P? Sound off below!
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