A baby sitter is not you, of course. I do get it. It’s tough to part from our children not to mention trust a stranger with your baby. You need to save your sanity as a parent, especially if you’re a mama that works from home like I do. Now this situation can change, obviously, and there are times when I need to leave my home to drive to a client and we have no choice but to hire a sitter. But this article is more about the pros and cons to working from home.
PRE-BABY SITTER: DENIAL
Pre-baby sitter, the wannabe “Super Woman” in me thought that it would be so easy to juggle child rearing with my career. “What’s the big deal?” I thought. “It’s an ideal situation to be working from my abode where I could also keep an eye on my 17 month old.” Others told me the same.
But during my last freelance project, I got a crash course on the reality that I’m not super human. Immediately, my daughter does her usual grab everything from the cabinets and take them out routine. Yes, we have our cabinets and plugs baby-proofed. Still, she finds the few “safe” drawers where we’ve thrown caution to the wind and left unfettered, though they contain baby-safe items. I don’t mind if she plays with the Tupperware, but then she starts taking out clothes from her drawers.
These are signs that she needs to get outside and go to the beach or to the park. By this time, I have to stop my work, get off the laptop and cease my train of thought to get her out of the house. But, even if she’s exhausted enough to take a nap, there are days when she skips. And lately, she’s been doing this thing where she clings onto my legs and won’t let me walk anywhere. She thinks it’s funny, and many days we laugh together because she’s that kind of toddler—always giggling, and I’m grateful of that. But, when you’re trying to do work and your toddler is pulling clothes out, whining, restlessly clinging onto your legs, it’s not so funny. It’s certainly a challenge to get anything accomplished.
THE TV IS NOT A BABY SITTER
My husband had been telling me that we should get a babysitter for a while. As usual, I think I can do it all. I think I can work from home and not get distracted with my 17 month old. When your toddler is under 3 years, they need more one on one time. By 3 years they can talk, communicate what they need more clearly and watch their favorite kiddie show. But, even then, most of us don’t want our TV to be a replacement for education and human interaction. Our television sets are not baby sitters (30 minutes of Sesame Street or Daniel Tiger, is fine, of course).
I even let Ariabella watch more than one episode of her favorite toddler show. However, she is so active, and I am, too. We tend to get out a lot, sometimes with multiple outings a day. I don’t condemn tools that work for other parents, because each child is different and everyone is entitled to parent their way.
YOUR TODDLER’S SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
All I know is having a part-time babysitter really helps our household. It enables me to go to a coffee shop to do work. Yes, like actually focus on what I’m doing. I also think it’s good for toddler’s to be exposed to other people and children. While I don’t speak much Spanish, I can understand some of it. Ariabella’s new babysitter teaches our little girl some words that she’s already memorized. She can stick out her tongue when told to do so in Spanish. Babies brains are sponges, so why not let a dedicated professional teach them, expand their social skills, acclimate them to other people, and also give you a break? I truly believe we’re better parents when we don’t expect ourselves to do it all, and when we recharge our jets away from baby for at least a few hours a day.
When we try to take on too much, we lose our patience, not to mention we feel like we’re losing our minds. Sitters or nannies are also helpful if you don’t have relatives nearby, like in our case. Kids are expensive no matter how you cut it. I like saving money, so I like to think I can be super woman and just do it all. Then I found out that I got a great ROI in getting a part-time nanny. She also helps clean and she keeps Ariabella very active. Now, I’m able to successfully complete projects and work more productively. It is all about delegating.