Am I Asking Too Much! - Mesa,AZ

Updated on December 31, 2011
E.M. asks from Mesa, AZ
28 answers

Every other month my husband and I try to go out to dinner/movie which is usually 4 hours or so. I usually try and rotate asking my Dad/Stepmom and my inlaws so that neither is doing it too much. My mother who works part time never has the time and only watches them about twice a year if that. My Dad and Stepmom usually say yes 1 time out 3 asking so they probably watch the kids 3 times a year. My mother in-law watches my son every morning for a couple hours and takes him to school so she already does so much for us. But when my family says no, which is most of the time we either don't go out or if its something we have to do we end up asking my inlaws and they usually move stuff around to be available to watch them. I feel terrible, sad, and embarrassed that my family is always too busy that I hate even asking them. Does anyone have any good suggestions for finding a babysitter so I am not constantly putting out my in-laws. We have two adorable kids age 5 and 2.

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T.K.

answers from Dallas on

I stopped the teen girls on my block and asked if they babysit or know people that do.

I asked all my co-workers who keeps thier kids.

I have found a drop-in child care place.

I have networked with the pre-k and kindergarten moms to see if any of them babysit.

I have also talked to all my neighbors with small kids and offered to trade childcare with them.

WIth all those options in my phone, I can usually get it covered one way or another. You have to have lots of go-tos and back ups.

4 moms found this helpful
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P.K.

answers from New York on

Find a high school girl. You can do this thru word of mouth or putting up
a note at the school in the guidance office. Some schools have a board
for people looking for sitters etc.

3 moms found this helpful
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P.G.

answers from Dallas on

Referrals - I got a great young girl who lives about 4 blocks away by asking my friend who has kids - they're grown, but she's still plugged into the neighborhood. If you have friends with kids, ask them. You'll have to pay, but it sounds like it's better to pay a bit then to deal with the stress of family stuff. Good luck!

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☆.A.

answers from Pittsburgh on
5 moms found this helpful
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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

Some grandparents, just do not like, for whatever reason, to baby sit.

Like the previous responder said, you can hire a babysitter.
www.care.com is another place to find babysitters.

Or, just speak to your Mom, calmly, and ask her why she does not prefer to babysit.

4 moms found this helpful
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B.A.

answers from Chicago on

Set up a trade system with a group of other parents. A point per child per hour so if one couple has 3 kids and you watch their kids for 5 hours while they go out that is 15 points and you have 2 kids so if you went to a movie for 2 you'd use up 2 points that you have earned. No one is allowed to go in debt more than 20 points and points must be reciprocated within 3 months. They can buy out of the group if they are in negative point by putting 15.00 per point in the pot. The pot can be left to build by all and once a year the parents all go out together and the pot is used to pay a couple of sitters to watch all the kids at one house.

3 moms found this helpful
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L.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

We started a babysitting "co-op" with 2 of my son's best friends from preschool. About once a month or so one of the parents babysits all of the kids for the evening (~5pm to midnight) and the other 2 parents get a date night. We rotate so every 3 months or so we've got a total of 5 kids to watch (since siblings are included) but then we've got date night for 2 months in a row. It works well for us since my in-laws have passed and my parents live too far away. Maybe talk to the parents of some of your 5 year old's friends?

3 moms found this helpful
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T.M.

answers from Tampa on

Apparently, they think you are asking too much. I would just assume that they have no desire to watch your kids and move on. When they complain that they don't have a relationship with their grankids, just get this baffled look on your face and say "Well, I used to ask you to watch them every so often and you always told me no".

Frankly, we just don't go out all that often. I think that if you really want to go out, then you are going to have to find sources outside of family....

3 moms found this helpful

L.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Call your local high school and ask to speak with the teacher who teaches the Early Childhood classes. She'll know which teens are the most responsible and best with kids. Then interview them and have them spend time with the kids while you are at home a few times before you leave them alone with the sitter. Expect to pay for the sitter's time while she is at your house (whether you are there or not) -- the better you pay, the more likely they are to come back and sit. If you pay well, the sitter will move her schedule to accommodate you if you need someone at the last minute. :-)
YMMV
LBC

2 moms found this helpful
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H.J.

answers from Minneapolis on

We don't have the option of Mommy's or Daddy's to watch out kids so we have always relied on babysitters. We have people from church who help, and we met a great girl from summer "Y" camp that watches out three a few times a year. We also are a part of moms groups and we rotate and help each other out when needed.

You have to remember that they have their own lives also and the top of their list is not to babysit for you and yours!

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R.F.

answers from Dallas on

Are your kids in daycare? If so, see if any of the employees there can babysit - that way you and your kids already know them and feel comfortable with them.

2 moms found this helpful

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

We have no family around us and when we had our daughter (17 yrs ago) we continued weekly date night because it was a priority in our marriage.

We had references for high school or college girls in our neighborhood, word of mouth is a great way to get a good one. We guaranteed $40 for the night and then added per hour on top of that and paid cash. Each week our sitter was $60-$80. We always had a good sitter because they liked the pay.

Move ahead, our daughter is now 17 and she has been sittiing about 3 yrs. She averages $12-$15/hour cash. She does not sit on her behind... she is active with the children such as arts/crafts, mani/pedi, this holiday season she took gingerbread houses and they made them.

When you find a good one, hold on... People pay to keep them.

The average pay is $10/hr. My daughter has never set rates, she is glad to accept the jobs because she loves the children.

Another source is a mom's group, your church,preschool, school, teacher's high school children, etc. Our neighborhood has a secured website and babysitters can advertise on that.

Good Luck. It's too bad your family feels like you are asking too much. It is not like it is weekly and gees... those little ones will be grown before they know it.

2 moms found this helpful

E.D.

answers from Seattle on

I set up childcare trades with my girlfriends. For example, my girlfriend watches my two children (3 and 4) every Wednesday night for three hours, and I take her kids (3 and 6) overnight twice a month. I do this with a few different families and it's really, really helpful to all involved - especially the kids who get to hang out with their buddies!

2 moms found this helpful

C.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Is there a drop-in daycare place near you? Around here there is one called KidsPark, and it's great. Licensed daycare, but drop-in and hourly, so you can do things spur of the moment without having to try and find a sitter. For 2 kids, it's around $12 an hour, so it's not a bad deal.

Aside from that, are there any teenagers in your neighborhood? Our daycare provider has a teenage daughter who sits for us from time to time, and the teenage daughter has several friends who have watched the kids too. Once you find one responsible teenager, you'll have access to all their friends. :) Ask your co-workers who have kids, too. In the past, my daughters' kindergarten teacher even babysat for us! (She was fantastic.) A friend of mine worked out some kind of deal with her neighbors (who have young children also), where they alternate Saturday nights. One weekend, she watches the other family's kids, and the following weekend, the other family watches her kids - free childcare every other weekend.

I know what you mean about your family not wanting to do it, though. We actually relocated so we could be closer to my family, and they were *always* too busy to help us with the kids. They babysat maybe 3 times a year. Oh well...

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R.O.

answers from Albuquerque on

We are military so live 2,700 miles away from family and have lived in 3 cities in the past 3 years. We use Care.com. It's $30 a month BUT you can sign up, find a fee sitters quickly and cancel easily. It's worked really great for us everywhere we've been! In fact we still talk with our sitter from Tucson often via Facebook!
Good luck- date nights are important!!!

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C.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

No you are not asking too much, but not everyone does well with children. Just take it as bonus they are honest that they don't want to.

My mother says she will watch my daughter anytime. She knows she won't be around forever and spends as much time with her grandchildren as possible. She goes to see my nephews rock concert which is way too loud, goes to her great grandson's football games, although she is not an outdoors person, and goes to my daughter's ice skating competition and freezes her buns. None of this is her style, but her kids are.

On the other hand, my in-laws never even see their granddaughter and seem to be okay with that. Her grandmother stops by for about 45 minutes (never a whole hour) and that is about twice a year. She travels through Vegas all the time. The last time my MIL watched my daughter she was 2 years old. It was an option to visit with her as opposed to taking her to day care. She opted to watch her and then called me at work and told me to come get her. It is upsetting, but rather than get too upset, find someone else and quit asking.

It looks like the other posters have already mentioned the places I would find a sitter. Does your 5 year old have a friend (parents) that you could swap sitting nights with?

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P.:.

answers from Phoenix on

Some of our best babysitter have been kids from church. I also use the daughter of a co-worker and I ask friends who their babysitters are. Recently we traded babysitting with friends. This was free, our kids were the sames ages and had a great play date too. They recently moved out of state though. :-( I would love to start something like that up again. With as many families who would love to. We live in Gilbert and my kids are 8 and 4, both boys.

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J.B.

answers from Boston on

Yep clearly it's time to hired paid sitter. Because you have a child in school, I would start there - ask other parents who they recommend. Someone might have a teenage neighbor, older child or niece or nephew who is an experienced sitter. Be aware that if parents have a really great sitter and go out often they might not share their secret, but if you find some other parents in the same situation (where they also have younger kids and therefore don't go out often) you might be able to pry a name or number out of someone. And when you ask, let people know that you only go out a few times a year so that they don't have to worry about losing their regular Saturday night sitter to you. All of our sitters have come from word of mouth - a daycare teacher looking for extra income, my realtor's daughter, a generous friend's regular sitter, the daughter of a business associate, etc. There is probably a teacher at school who has a teenage child too, so ask in the office if they can get the word out!

And once you have someone...use him or her and enjoy your time out! I know it's an added expense, but the guilt of not having to impose on family (again!) was well worth the $50 we paid for a night out.

1 mom found this helpful

K.M.

answers from Chicago on

Sittercity.com is a good source. To be honest, my father is not the sitting kind and I want his wife no where near my son w/out me there anyhow. My mom told me flat out she is not a babysitting service, she is Grammy; if she wants him overnight or for a few hours she will ask me if she can take him otherwise unless it is an emergency do not ask (plus both my parents live in other states - wonder why I moved to my in-law's state?). My in laws (soon to be officially) LOVE to take the kids - we call her "Super Grandma" she is just one of those people who worship their grandkids and are there are their beckon call. We do what we can to not take advantage but she often calls and say's I am picking up my grandson Thurs or Friday (your choice) and you are going out to dinner. Then later that month something comes up that we really want to do and she still takes him, half the time she takes him and then calls her other kids to ask for some of the kids to come over as well. She LOVES it. There are stories of my FIL coming home from hunting to 11 or 12 kids strewn all over the house because all the kids and cousins and whoever else came over and stayed the night. In short, yes you may be asking too much because you are putting YOUR idea of a grandparent on your parents and not finding out what they think thier role is. If your inlaws are happy to do it just make sure they get something extra special when it is appropriate. I like to drop off dinner and the kiddo sometimes my FIL loves my chili so I take a fresh batch for him with my son or my MIL loves my Turkey Spinach Mini Meatloaves so I bring her some but when I REALLY want to say thanks I make them my home made southern style Chicken Fried Steak with all the fixins fresh and home made.

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L.F.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi,

I would try sittersplace.com or care.com to find a good babysitter. You need to find someone else so your MIL doesn't get burned out and ends up saying no. She sounds like she has bent over backwards for you--you want to be respectful of her too. I am sorry your family is so busy that they can't watch them! That is really hard. I have a similar situation--- Hang in there and good luck with the babysitter!

M

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A.

answers from Albuquerque on

For your own mental health, stop asking them. Start or join a babysitting co-op or ask around about sitters and just budget in the sitter cost to your dates. Also look into local churches or even gyms or elsewhere that have parents night out type programs.

1 mom found this helpful
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G.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I would say ask your friends who they use. If you go to church ask some of the youth about babysitting, ask local YMCA's if they have a list. Call local child care facilities, sometimes one of the staff might need some extra money and be willing to take on some after hours care. Child care workers are usually put through several background checks and have CPR/first aid too.

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M.C.

answers from Cincinnati on

My family ranged from 5 hours to 20 hours away since my son was born so I was never able to consider using them as a "regular" sitter. I have a friend a few years older than me that had a daughter pretty young..so her daughter was actually old enough to babysit by son (16). She is one of 5 kids and fantastic. We all love her. Eventually, we met my sitter's first cousin who was the same age and also fantastic with my son. We used only these two girls to watch him. We moved from FL to OH in April and I have not used a sitter yet. My son goes to pre-school/aftercare and just this week, I asked one of his teachers if she sits. She does. My husband and I received concert tickets for Christmas for the end of January and we will be using this teacher that he knows, likes and we trust. It is hard finding someone you trust. If your child attends preschool/daycare, check with the staff. Perhaps if they don't sit, they could at least recommend someone good for you. Good luck.

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Sorry about your family, my own mom never wanted to babysit so I know how you feel :(
Make sure you let your in laws know how much you appreciate them, my in laws are awesome too!
I would look for a high school or college student in your neighborhood. Ask around, call the local schools and look at community bulletin boards, often students will post flyers looking for baby-pet-house sitting jobs. We always used teen/college age sitters, both female and male, my kids liked them a lot more than the older lady type sitters, they are more fun (and now both of my teens babysit too, including my son!)
Another option is to trade sitting with another family. We did that frequently when our kids were infants. Again, the kids have fun playing with their friends and the best part is that it's free!

N.C.

answers from Rockford on

I always try to find someone who has used or knows a teen/college student who has experience and is trustworthy. Word of mouth is the best advertising (I have never in 9 yrs had to "advertise" my daycare because I get so many referrals.) I'm so sorry that your family flakes on you so much...it is their loss not to get to spend as much time w/ your kids...and sadly, as your kids get older, they will see it too.

Just make sure to let your MIL know how much you appreciate her and how lucky your kids are to have her in their lives. Best of luck...keep those dates, they are important!

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G.A.

answers from Phoenix on

If you lived in Phoenix I would offer the services of my teen daughters.
One drives but has never driven that far out.
You can keep them in mind if you would like too.
Dawn in AZ

J.W.

answers from St. Louis on

I usually found sitters in the neighborhood just talking to the other families. Our parish keeps as list as did the parish school. Kind of strange that the public schools don't keep lists like that, probably a liability issue.

C.O.

answers from Washington DC on

No, you are not asking too much. it's a shame that your family doesn't want to be more involved in their grandchildren's lives. That is THEIR loss.

i would try sittercity.com and put your zip code in.
Or http://www.care.com/babysitter

I think it's great that your ILs help out so much!! that is GREAT!! I think it's great as well that you are cognizant of their help!! :)

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