April 9, 2019

rethinking or retooling, but always reloading

Well, this could not look creepier. 
This is Becky's brood and my
tots on a combined outing. 
Yes, that is a 4 kid stroller.
I must admit, I am rethinking my 'career'. While I prefer babysitting for 'normal' families, how do I know if a family is normal or not before I agree to sit for them? I prefer for a family to stick around for a few years or more, but that is not always the case. I had the crazy people leave in December this year and more recently had the fake-financial-issues family leave too.

Too bad rearranging dishwashers full of dirty dishes in order to accommodate even MORE dirty dishes doesn't translate into profitable job opportunities. I would be in high demand.

I worked hard to buy these 3
second hand high
 chairs that fold up easy as pie
 (and sprinkle uneaten goldfish all over
 the place in the process) before
I haul them into the dining room
for the weekend.
I doubt I am going to retire from my babysitting gig. I have all the gear imaginable. I have tons of experience. I have summers off! And, I get to spend lots of time with my good friend, Becky. Becky also babysits primarily for teachers' kids. My little guys and her little guys have a blast when we plan zoo trips, library visits, park rendezvous, and play dates in my basement every few days. Becky and I are on the same page, and we help each other out whenever possible. Who doesn't need a warm body to stand next to a stroller while the other babysitter hustles into the nearest bathroom with the tykes that 'gotta-go'!

I would TOTALLY prefer to write all day and get my manuscript ready to send off to an editor who would undoubtedly be excited and thrilled to receive it (wink, wink - hey, I need a shot in the arm at the moment, work with me here). If it weren't for that damn that college tuition. I cannot exactly afford to forgo making ANY money right now.

Maybe I just retool my school year sitting services next year. Should I take a month upfront and request that people sign a contract? Then if they leave mid-year they don’t get their deposit back.  Hate to do that. I don't want to give new families the impression that they might not be overjoyed with my care.

I know from experience that it takes several interested families to get to the desired number of families to sign on with me. Remember last year? I met with a family who was wild about me, but the mom was BFFs with Self-Taught. Once I fired Self-Taught's dad as my first crappy contractor the wild about me mom jumped ship.

A family I sat for this year is not coming back next year because of logistics - even though they are crazy about me. She teaches at my kids' high school and lives in the city. It will be easier for her next year to bring Billy to the same Montessori school that his older brother goes to. Of course, she is normal (aside from being a fan of the Montessori concept) - so, that bites for me.

Yes, this pic is blurry.  At least I did
not have to hide anyone's faces here.
What would I do if 

I had to pack up all these
 kid toys once and for all?
Other high school teachers are youngish and newly married. Perhaps it is best to be patient and wait for them to have babies. Also, people were still calling me in August looking for care, but my home was busting at the seams with little people.

In the meantime, I have this new baby who was born in October.  He is a tough customer who comes here a few times a week. His tummy troubles cause him to not want to eat.  I have mostly figured him out, and he usually eats for me. The dad texted me recently, ‘You are the best.
Now that made my day - although I don't know that I am 'the best' - unless we are talking about packing obscene amounts of dirty dishes in the dishwasher. In that case, if the title fits!



Beth (A Moms Life) said...

I think retooling how you do things is the way to go. Do other sitters around you do contracts or something similar? That sounds like a great idea to at least insure it makes it a little harder for the families to leave you high and dry at their whims. Also, perhaps with new families you can do an end of the month assessment to get a feeling for how they feel about what you are doing and to head off any early issues at the pass. I'm glad you've got a new family that values your work!

Kari said...

OMG that picture is the stuff nightmares is made of. I LOVE THAT.

I honestly think a contract is a good idea. You need to protect yourself because at the end of the day, you are a business and need to keep that business running.

Ernie said...

I like the way you think. My good friend, Becky, also babysits. She does not do a contract and has had the same families for years. She and I have a very similar style. She is just as flabbergasted as I am. I am leaning towards doing a contract, but I don't want to scare anyone off with 'sign here - because you won't be able to leave mid year - but you will like it here. promise!'

Ernie said...

So creepy! Hee hee! I just started charging part time families a slightly higher rate vs. full time, because it is sometimes hard to piece part time kiddos around other part timers vs all full time. What I am saying, is baby steps. Been doing this 4 years and still figuring things out. Might be time for a contract. One thing is for sure, it is time for summer. I need to fold up those high chairs and sit pool side with a good book!