Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mommyland Babysitter Application

As you all know, a few months ago I went back to work part-time. I’m lucky enough to have my amazing MIL watching my kids one day a week and on the other day I hired a babysitter.

This was my first time hiring a regular caregiver for my kids and I found the whole process really intimidating and annoying. We’ve had plenty of date night babysitters in the last four years, but they had all been recommended by friends. This time I put an ad up on a major sitter search engine site, crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best.

I’m sorry to report I had several very discouraging responses. The first woman I interviewed was very nice but her interview revealed she had absolutely no experience with kids. None. Sorry, that’s not gonna fly.

The next interview went well and I was feeling really good about her until I asked for references and she made up three different excuses for why she couldn’t give me any. You’re out.

Then I eventually hired a woman who showed up for her first day and 5 minutes before I left for work she said, “Um is it OK if my boyfriend stops by to hang out while I’m here?” Whaaaaa? I basically looked really constipated and told her, no, not this time but that we’d talk about it in the future. Then I told Lydia about it and she was like, “NO. NEVER, EVER, NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS. NOOOOOO.”

Finally I ended up hiring this wonderful young woman who seems to be a pretty damn good fit for us. She is sweet and patient and fun. But she just told me she’s going to start nannying full-time for another family come July so she won’t be able to watch my kids one day a week anymore. DANG IT!

So I’m going to start searching again…and that got me thinking that I could save myself a lot of energy and cut through a lot of bullschmidt if I just posted my own custom application on Sittercity. And then I told Lydia about this and she was totally on-board so together we made a pretty kickass application.

You may think our standards are a bit high...but you see, while we may not be the picture of perfect motherhood ourselves, we feel we have the right to be very picky about who comes into our homes to watch our children. They are our precious, beloved kidlets...obviously we're going to screw them up...but to PAY someone ELSE to screw them up?! Oh, hellz no.

Without further ado:

Mommyland Babysitter Application

1. Name:

2. Age:


3. Age of your actual maturity level:


4. Number of years caring for children:


5. Number of years caring for children who drove you to drink wine from a box:


6. Do you like to play outside? If so, are you willing to lie on the sidewalk while my daughter draws a chalk outline of your body, making you feel like a homicide victim?


7. Do you like to do craft projects? How good are you at getting Sharpie off things in my house?


8. How many Wiggles albums have you smashed or ‘accidentally’ thrown out the car window?


9. How many times have you threatened to vacuum up all the stray toys left on the floor?

10. Do you have a boyfriend? If so, is he castrated?


11. If a sex offender approached my children while they were in your care, you would:

a. Go all crazy tigress and rip him into small chunks


b. Run away screaming in terror and then later remember you left the kids on the playground


c. Be like "Hi Uncle Fred"


12. Do you smoke? (Bearing in mind that I have the olfactory prowess of a bloodhound and will know if you're lying.)

13. Would you be willing to take a drug test and submit to a background check? (Because you're a stranger and these are my kids and as much as they will MAKE you want to do drugs, you really shouldn't while also watching them because the small one is wily).

14. Do you have any enemies that may want to kill you or anything?


15.
If I were to say, friend you on Facebook right now, would I see any pictures of you drinking Bud Light from a can while making out with someone and/or throwing gang signs and/or showing off your jugs?


Or would I find any posts or tweets like: I'm super late to work AGAIN #latenightwithmyboo
#bonghitsareawesome #sohungover #stillalittledrunk


16. Do you have access to your own vehicle? If so, does it smell like old cheese and dirty diapers? If not, can I borrow it?

17. Do you have references? Note: No, your former college roommate pretending to be a former employer does not count as a reference.

18.
Do you feel the overwhelming need to pick up after kids, fold laundry and/or leave spaces cleaner than how you found them? If yes, please disregard the 17 prior questions. You’re hired.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2012

46 comments:

  1. Yes! I totally meet number 18. I knew the borderline OCD would pay off someday. When can I start?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll hire you, Katy! Please, please come to my house!

      Delete
  2. I think my eyes are failing me, as many other parts of my body are as well, but I can't read the babysitter application :( it's too small. I will try again tomorrow on my desktop (yes I said desktop), bet it's hysterical like everything else! And if you live in central NJ in real life, I'm pretty sure I can keep your kids happy and normal one day a week :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. HI ladies,

    Your application is very difficult to read, even if I zoom in (and I have excellent vision) the bits I could make out are awesome!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I got so frustrated with babysitters that I gave up and instituted a family-only policy, which I promptly broke so I could use my co-worker (we were both caregivers and she raised five wonderful kids to adulthood with no major problems- her son called her once to admit having a paint-exchange accident with another car and I almost asked her how she managed to reprogramming him). Now that she's gone I'm back to family only and don't get out much.

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  5. Having been a full time live-in and then live-out nanny for 15 years now, I LOVE this post. Thanks for the smile this morning! :) I absolutely agree, your kids should get messed up in the way YOU want, not how I would do it. lol :) I want the same for my kids.

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  6. I'm a childcare provider and I seriously love this application! One of the most common things I hear at an interview is "you have no clue what we've interviewed before you". There are some horrible, nasty, dirty people out there watching kids and it's giving us good ones a bad name.

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  7. You should try to find a local preschool with an "extended day" program where you could send them once (or twice -- have a day off!) a week. There are preschools where I live that start accepting kids as young as 18 months, and their day is 9-3 for the full day (includes nap). This fall, I'm going to send my 2 year old twins for one extended day per week so I can spend a little time on my freelance work without interruption. Bonuses: they play with other kids, learn to listen to and trust another adult besides me, the adult caregivers are also supervised, it makes their world a little bigger, and I will have this sliver of time to myself for the first time in 6 years! I'm getting dreamy-eyed just thinking about it!

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  8. # 6 - chalk outlines - are my specialty. Ask my three year old. Who then turns them into monsters, mermaids or princesses. Depending on Mommy's behavior.

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  9. If I ever have to hire another sitter outside of family I am gonna steal this, but would need to add a section about diapers... Bad prior experience of a sitter not changing my then one year old diaper...

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  10. I had a "nanny" a few years ago who swept my porch, cleaned windows and always left the house cleaner than she found it. Oh how I wanted to marry her. She is a nurse now..... in another state. I think she ran away from me.

    ReplyDelete
  11. 16.- Just washed and detailed. You can borrow it.
    18.- Love doing laundry and folding :)

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  12. I NEEEEDDDD a babysitter! The hubs and I haven't been out (outside of school hours) without kids in so long, I literally cannot remember when the last time was! I'd love to be able to go out to dinner and enjoy myself without being constantly interrupted and totally annoyed and feeling like I'm going to lose my schmidt! I'd just be happy to find a babysitter who wouldn't burn the house down or rob me (not too much anyway)!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Best. Babysitter. App. EVER.

    #8. So many I lost count :)

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  14. Hahaha, this whole thing is perfect, but #8 really hits home!

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  15. I actually had a sitter apply from sittercity that listed one of her qualifications as being pretty. Because everyone knows, looks make you a better babysitter...I politely told her that she was advertising herself as a daddy-stealer and that she wouldn't be working for me anytime in the future.

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  16. I am not a fan of playing outside, but I will sit outside and supervise. Chalk outlines, of course! Those sound fun ;)

    I like crafts, although I am militant about keeping track of writing implements. Only washable paints, markers, etc allowed on my watch ;)

    Have been driven to WANTING to throw back a shot only a million times, but I dont drink wine...and once the kids leave, urge for pizza is more important than booze...


    Have you considered private home daycares in your area? In my town, we have a bazillion, I should know I am one of them ;)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Quick clarification? Does the higher the number I answer for 8 make me more or less likely to get hired? Seriously Guru Louise - LOVE you :) Personally I am trying to start a babysitting co-op for parents in my neighborhood like my grandparents had back in the 50s - each family starts with some time "banked" then earns time via swapping kid care. I would bet it would work great for part time/work from home parents...

    ReplyDelete
  18. Currently in Nanny HellMay 16, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    Just went through this sh*t myself trying to hire a nanny. Our first nanny (who was awesome - a mom herself) stayed w/us for 2 glorious years. She left b/c she wanted to be a SAHM. Who can blame her? Then we hired current nanny who is 21 and "like totally bored" and wants to drive my kids "wherever, whenever" - which was discussed w/her in the interview that transporting my kids around is just not up for discussion. So she just resigned (with a month notice - thank goodness) and now I'm onto Nanny #3. I also put my ad on a major website and got 25 replies, interviewed 3 and hired 1. You have to weed through a lot of crap applications to find a few that just might pass muster.....ugh. I should add that we pay well, our kids are not that bad AND I pay the nanny for days that we still take off work, major holidays AND give a bonus at the 1 year anniversary. #I.Want.To.Work.For.Me.

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  19. As a former FT babysitter/mom myself I think this is fabulous!! It definetly goes both ways though. The parents of the kids I watched were nice but one of the kids was a complete hellion and I had absolutely no support from the parents. So I think if I ever (which I highly doubt because that kid pretty much ruined it for me and damaged my kids!!) babysit again I'd come up with an application for the parents. Something like...

    1. 4-5 References (not family) of how your kids really act. Could be store clerks who've observed your kids, neighbors, etc. People who aren't going to sugar coat how bratty your kid really is.

    2. Is your kid a bully or have the makings of a being a bully?

    3. Has your kid ever been around other kids? Ever?

    4. If I tell you that your kid went up to my kid and hit them for no reason and kicked their toy out of their hands will you:
    a) Apologize to me and let your child know they are in trouble when they get home
    b) Do nothing and just stare at me like I just spoke pig-latin
    c) Apologize to me and let your child know they are in trouble when they get home and offer to give me a raise for dealing with your bratty kid

    I could go on but you get the drift! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes and YES!! My friend wa just having this same problem the kid she was sitting for was making her kids bonkers.. They were running from him and hiding their toys because he was just a little Godzilla. Like he'd never been around other children before. No concept of sharing or playing nice. And he grunted.. Not talked and was 2.

      Delete
    2. #4 - you forgot:
      d) Apologize to your child for the mean lady scolding him, and then lay into me for accusing your child of bullying behavior.

      LOL!

      Delete
  20. No lie, if I was looking for a nanny job and saw this, I would do my darndest to do everything I could to immediately be your new nanny. That's hilarious, and I think it gives a really great insight to your personality and how your household works.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! I always wish I could have my own application process for potential nanny families, but just seeing this application would make me feel better!

      Delete
  21. I LOVE it!!! I'm feel like I'm in this situation all the time as a FT working mom!! I hate daycares but have no choice. So I find it completely reasonable to grill every one I tour and interview to make sure they are the best! I couldn't imagine hiring a complete stranger to come to my home to care for my kids!

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  22. I once heard an interviewer on NPR refer to childcare as unskilled labor! Are you kidding me, how many people in this world can play a game of chess while singing along with the Backyardagains and changing a wiggly one-year-olds poopy diaper. Unskilled? I. think. not.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Awesome! One of our nanny applicants said " Well I get off work at the casino at 4 AM, but I can totally be at your house from 8-5..." Whuck?! Then we hired the one who said " I can bring over my didgeridoo sometimes if he likes music." She took him to the farm supply store the other day to look at baby chicks. I didn't know that even existed! There was a lot of wading, but we found someone awesome in the end.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh thank you!!! I have been in prospective childcare he!! for the past 3 months. I've posted, perused, screened, vetted, interrogated, hired, cussed, rehired and still could NOT find a nanny/babysitter. One even quit via TEXT with no notice to take a better paying gig. Our main issue was the amount we could pay. Apparently $10/hr is still not good enough...If I made $10 an hour babysitting, I would never have quit...no matter how other people's kids annoy me...

    ReplyDelete
  25. After 5 years of daycare we recently added #3 to the mix and now a nanny makes more sense. We had great luck with Care.com. We posted a job and got over 40 applicants. You tend to get a pretty high quality applicant since the caregivers pay to be on the site. The site also does background checks for you. A "job" doesn't have to be a full time nanny situation either - you can post a short notice babysitting job or a regular twice a week situation. I highly recommend it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have found successful nanny jobs on that website in the past. Finding a nanny for my son was more challenging. After firing one for turning off the baby monitor, letting my 6 month old lay in his crib screaming while she laid in my bed (at least we're pretty sure that was going on) and having a second nanny be a no call no show when she knew it was a really important day at work for me, I decided to stay home full time.

      Delete
  26. # 9 in our house, all the time - the dog is going to eat that doll, lego, snack cup, slipper...as soon as you leave the room, that's okay with you? I didn't think so!

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  27. I won't watch your kids...I do however like talking to them. But I LOVE to fold laundry! So I'll be over about 7:30...:-)

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  28. Nothing beats the time we interviewed potential nannies and one of the applicants was a retired porn star. Needless to say, we did not hire her.

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  29. Oh, yeah! I love the castrated boyfriend question! Although, wouldn't a "yes" answer be a little creepy. also? LOL

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  30. This is PERFECT!! As someone who has found all previous babysitters/daycare ladies from local classifieds, I can completely relate to the stress of finding (and trusting) someone new!

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  31. If only you lived in my area! I'm looking to nanny like, one or two days a week! lol I'm not a mommy yet, but I grew up in a daycare, and then started working there. I was also a nanny for 6 months until they were unable to pay me and started writing bad checks. I haven't worked for the last four years, so I don't have very many references, but 18 does fit haha. If only if only. Good luck finding someone! My parents had a really hard time finding someone for me, until they ended up putting me in daycare, but they both worked full time. Again, good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  32. We are going through this same process right now, using Sittercity, and I am honestly disappointed with the process. I posted a job and have only had 2 applications for a Date Night and one day a week gig. I also put that I would like the sitter to be current on Pertussis and Flu shots since we will be having a new baby in a few months. Maybe that is what is keeping applicants away?

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  33. Bwa-hah-hah! I'm a nanny and if I lived nearby I would totally apply! {It's best to work for parents with a good sense of humor}. After years with little rugrats, none of your questions seem all that odd. Good luck!

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  34. Awesome nannies exist. Not to toot my own horn, but TOOOOOT! I did dishes, vacuumed, laundry, cleaned the kitchen, did the grocery shopping, and baked. We watched one parent sanctioned show a day and the rest of the time we played or went to the library or for a walk or did art. I even picked up dry cleaning and took the dog to the groomer. Now that I am a Mom, I would slap a nun right in the chops to get help like that. sheesh.

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  35. In the interest of full disclosure, when they were DEEP in sibling rivalry I would get in the car at the end of the day and bang my head on the steering wheel and then go home and eat a pint of Ben and Jerrys.

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  36. Perfect! And, as usual, pee pants funny.

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  37. I'm sitting in an airport waiting for my flight and had to contain my laughter. Thank you for this post. Absolutely hilarious and also very true!!

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  38. This is the third post of yours I've read and I think I love you. :)

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  39. Do you really care what 3 is, if I can get Sharpie off things?

    Do I get extra points for 8 and 9?

    Do I get super extra credit for 9 if I HAVE DONE IT, secretly putting a bit of pantyhose over the vacuum nozzle, but just as effectively traumatizing the children into cleaning up.

    Let's define 13. Do T-boxes count as a drug? If I wait till you walk back into the door? If I have them chilled and waiting for you?

    ReplyDelete
  40. Mommyland Babysitter Application
    1. Name: Bad Mommy

    2. Age: 31

    3. Age of your actual maturity level: 20

    4. Number of years caring for children: 22

    5. Number of years caring for children who drove you to drink wine from a box: 13

    6. Do you like to play outside? If so, are you willing to lie on the sidewalk while my daughter draws a chalk outline of your body, making you feel like a homicide victim? Yes and Yes, as long as she is willing to play CSI with my Demons.

    7. Do you like to do craft projects? How good are you at getting Sharpie off things in my house? Yes and Yes. How do you feel about coming home to a Viking Boat made out of cardboard boxes?

    8. How many Wiggles albums have you smashed or ‘accidentally’ thrown out the car window? 0

    9. How many times have you threatened to vacuum up all the stray toys left on the floor? 0

    10. Do you have a boyfriend? If so, is he castrated? Fiance. Vasectomy.

    11. If a sex offender approached my children while they were in your care, you would:
    a. Go all crazy tigress and rip him into small chunks- And once the kids use hinm as the sutopsy subject in aforementioned CSI games, there'[s no chance of ID.

    12. Do you smoke? (Bearing in mind that I have the olfactory prowess of a bloodhound and will know if you're lying.) Outdoors only.

    13. Would you be willing to take a drug test and submit to a background check? (Because you're a stranger and these are my kids and as much as they will MAKE you want to do drugs, you really shouldn't while also watching them because the small one is wily). Yep, yep, yep. And I will pass.

    14. Do you have any enemies that may want to kill you or anything? Nope.

    15. If I were to say, friend you on Facebook right now, would I see any pictures of you drinking Bud Light from a can while making out with someone and/or throwing gang signs and/or showing off your jugs? Nope.


    Or would I find any posts or tweets like: I'm super late to work AGAIN #latenightwithmyboo
    #bonghitsareawesome #sohungover #stillalittledrunk Nope.

    16. Do you have access to your own vehicle? If so, does it smell like old cheese and dirty diapers? If not, can I borrow it? Yes, no, and as long as you bring it back with a full tank of gas.

    17. Do you have references? Note: No, your former college roommate pretending to be a former employer does not count as a reference. Yes. I also have children. You can interrogate them and bribe them with jellybeans for answers to anything you want to know.

    18. Do you feel the overwhelming need to pick up after kids, fold laundry and/or leave spaces cleaner than how you found them? If yes, please disregard the 17 prior questions. You’re hired.
    I have kids. And siblings. And a cat. If you have a dishwasher, we're golden, and your house will be clean.


    Now if only I didn't live 20gazillion miles away.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Damn... exactly my answer.. if only I didn't live a gazzilion miles away!

    ReplyDelete

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