When I was growing up I remember having a couple of babysitters who would come over and watch me and my brother. It was always the same faces; the teenagers in our neighbourhood who we knew from seeing out on the street, Christmas get-togethers and when out riding our bikes. It was a very tight knit community.

So when I became a parent and we finally felt ready to leave the girls with someone other than the grandparents, I thought there would be a multitude of babysitters to choose from. I was very surprised to realize that this wasn’t the case. I’m sure they’re out there, but all of our friends have kids the same age as ours so finding teenagers ready and willing to babysit proved to be a tougher task than expected.

We actually lucked out when we got to know our neighbours a little better. They had a very reliable, trustworthy teenage daughter who’s great with kids. We introduced her to the girls and they’ve loved her ever since. She’s been watching them for a couple of years now but her life has gotten busier with school and work and our new schedules demand some later weeknight shifts at times. We realized that we needed to find another trustworthy babysitter to help out on occasion.

But how do you go about finding someone to watch your kids sight unseen? They’ll be responsible for the most important things in our world! Putting out an ad seemed too risky and impersonal. Going on those online sites seemed great but had me second guessing. A personal reference was what I was hoping for; someone trustworthy referred to me by a friend.

Thankfully I got it…a couple of personal referrals actually, which was a huge weight off my shoulders!

We met with one of the new babysitters and the girls instantly took to her, which was a huge relief! It’s already tough enough just to figure out a way to juggle our schedules, let alone trying to find someone who is the perfect fit for our girls and us.

We’ve got a lot of back up options in place from family to neighbours, but finding someone who we trust, who is able to come to our house and work with our changing schedules has us feeling like a huge weight to be lifted off our shoulders.

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