A Guide to Letting Go: How to Prepare for a Sitter When You Need to Take a Time Out

ACMB is happy to partner with Time Out Sitters to share some helpful tips with parents. This is a sponsored post.  

There is that moment as the front door closes where you feel torn. Behind you is a cacophony of crying from your kids and consoling from the new sitter who is assuring you she has everything handled. Ahead lies a few hours of freedom sans dirty dishes, children’s television, and toys strewn across the floor.

Don’t look back, mom! Let that door close behind you. Strut forward with the confidence that your kids are in good hands and the night is as young as you feel in that cute outfit you’re wearing. Time Out Sitters has some tips to help you navigate the conversation with your sitter on your way out.

Your daily routine with your children may be just that: a routine. You take care of it on auto-pilot, and everyone is happy, healthy, and tucked into bed by the end of the day. Remember that your sitter doesn’t know your routine, and everyone raises their children with different preferences and priorities. Ask your sitter to arrive early—we suggest at least 15 minutes—so you have ample time to introduce the sitter to your children and cover the special instructions of your childcare routine before you need to be out the door.

In the week leading up to your appointment, take note of your routine as it relates to meals, naps, playtime, bathtime, and bedtime. Think about what kinds of activities you want your sitter to engage your child in or any restrictions you have, such as:

  • Do you limit your children’s screen time?
  • Are there any dietary specifications or allergies?
  • Is dessert after dinner allowed?
  • Do you have a certain system for discipline and rewards?
  • Are you reading through a certain book at bedtime right now?

Make a mental list of these observations and compile the points you want to go over when your sitter arrives. Besides logistics, make sure you take five minutes to tell your new sitter about your kids’ personalities and tendencies. You already know little Kyle is going to try to get his hands on his phone after screen time is over and that Maggie will flip if all 15 stuffed animals aren’t in the right spot before the bedtime story, but your sitter doesn’t. Include these nuanced details so your sitter can succeed. You want to leave your sitter feeling empowered to not only meet but exceed your expectations.

Once your sitter is confirmed through Time Out Sitters, you will receive:

  • An email including a photo of and short bio about your sitter.
  • A call from your sitter the day before the appointment to introduce herself.
  • The opportunity to discuss what time you can be expected home and the latest time your sitter is available in the event you are gone longer than expected.

You can trust your sitter when they’re provided by Time Out Sitters because we prioritize caring for our clients by caring for the sitters we provide. All sitters are 18 years or older with previous experience and references on file. They have all passed their background check, aced their First Aid certification, and will arrive on time in a reliable form of transportation. By letting us take care of the screening process, you only have to concern yourself with a short conversation about something you love: your kids!

Now that you and your sitter are prepared, it’s time to think about how to get your kids ready for their new sitter. Time Out Sitters has consulted with childcare experts to share some tips on how to make your kiddos feel comfortable when you step out. A few tips:

  • Give your kids time to mentally prepare. Days before the appointment, have a conversation with your kids about what they can expect from the sitter and what you expect from them when the sitter goes home. If the sitter will be leaving the house with your kids, make sure your kids know this in advance too. When they hear the game plan from you first, your kids can form their expectations accordingly.
  • Introducing your kids to the new sitter is the first thing that should happen when the sitter arrives. Allow your kids to be a part of the introductory process so they have some time to warm up to the sitter’s presence while you’re still there as a buffer.
  • Involve your kids in the conversation you’re having with the sitter. For example, while you’re in the bathroom talking with the sitter about the bedtime routine, invite your kids to show the sitter their favorite bathtime toys or that super cool new toothbrush.
  • Write down a simple bullet point list that covers everything you talked about with the sitter and leaves important phone numbers for reference. If necessary, scribble some reminders and nuances of the day. At Time Out Sitters we’ve had this conversation ourselves and know what you need to share with your sitter. Our member portal keeps track of all your info from doctors to dietary restrictions and shares it with your sitter directly so they show up ready to roll with your routine.

You’ll come home to a clean house, happy children, and a successful sit. Time Out Sitters recently released a new and improved member portal with new features that make requesting the perfect sitter easier than ever. Time Out Sitters is now fully cashless for your convenience, so you can add credit cards to your account to seamlessly pay your sitter at the end of an appointment.

 

We love helping our growing San Antonio families with their much-needed time out and are so excited to announce that we are growing too!  We will soon be expanding into the New Braunfels and San Marcos area with plans to open a new market in Waco by late summer/early fall.  Watch out, Chip and Joanna! Some moms and dads will surely be taking some time out at Magnolia Market while their kids are home with an awesome sitter.

If you’re interested in joining our team of super moms, Time Out Sitters is looking to hire a local administrator and a new market manager for Waco. For more information or to apply, click here.

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