The shock of having twins didn’t completely wear off until about 8 months after they were born. Even sometimes today, I look at them and wonder how we did what we did that first year. Because we had 2 babies at once who were born premature, I was nearly always with them and if we absolutely needed a babysitter, we would get Nana or Grandy or another family member.
Inevitably, the twins began to grow and the idea of a teenager staying with them was no longer so daunting. It was time to enter into the world of The Babysitter. It was more uncomfortable than I thought it would be. Not because I didn’t trust them. After all, my husband is a youth pastor. I have quality, highly experienced, dependable, loving babysitters at my fingertips.
Then why would I sometimes rather stay home than try to find a sitter? I have recently begun to realize that I have this weird guilty sense about asking a high school student to watch my kids, afraid that they won’t say no if they don’t want to just because of who I am. Or that they have tons of fun and wonderful things to be doing, and I’m putting them in the position of having to come to my house and play “me” for an evening. Granted, I pay them. But still, the guilt.
Can anyone say co-dependent? I have total issues.
But I decided to do something about it. Maybe for you these things are a non-issue. You need a sitter, you call a sitter, they sit, you pay, end of story. But I have a relationship with these girls beyond just babysitting. They are in our youth group, so I’m genuinely interested in what they are thinking and in making things as non-awkward as possible.
Instead of speculating, I decided to break the ice, to dig a little deeper, to go straight to the source. So I sat down with 3 high school girls last week and asked them what they wish parents knew about babysitting. Two hours and lots of laughs later, I realized that co-dependent highway is a two-way street.