Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Who knew finding help would be so hard?

G-man and I were invited to a cocktail party coming up this weekend.  The e-vite went out mid-November, so we had plenty of time to find a sitter, get a hostess gift, etc.

Neither of us were going to need anything new to wear (sans a pair of hosiery for me if I ripped mine).  I got a hostess gift on sale, just needed to be wrapped up.

That just leaves the sitter.  We called our regular girl...and after a period of her going MIA, she finally said she couldn't do it that night.  I asked someone from PTA who has a teenage daughter....she can't do it.  Asked another friend whose step-daughter is in college....SHE can't do it, but our friend thought maybe the roommate could.  Nope...she couldn't do it either.

This brings us to Sunday.  As in, 2 days ago.  In a moment of desperation, I googled sitters, and found 2 sites that claim that you can post a job and find a sitter!  Background checks are already completed....it had reviews and profiles.  And it was free!  Sounded like a good deal.

WRONG.   Yes, you can join for free....yes, you can post a job for free....but if you want to get the CONTACT information for the sitter....THAT my friends, you have to pay for.  How much?  $35 freaking dollars, A MONTH.  That is on top of whatever you would pay for a sitter (which around here is $10/hr).

There was no way we were going to pay $35 for a one time usage of a sitter.  Let alone per month to keep our membership active.  $35, plus probably $50-$60 for the sitter....we are closing in on $100, just for the sitter....plus the gift.....plus the gas to go to the party (it is 45 min away).....good thing we didn't need clothes!  This was turning into an expensive party.

So, we let the couple know we wouldn't be able to make it.  The hostess gift will get saved for another occasion.  And we and the kids are going to make Fairy Houses (fun with popsicle sticks and glue!!  And of course GLITTER!!!)  to hang outside so the Tree Sprites have somewhere to go to get out of the cold (as part of our Yule celebration). 

It will still be a nice evening....just not the evening we originally thought!


  1. Aw. I'm sorry to hear your original plans didn't work. Think of it as a plot by the kids to get you to make Fairy Houses with them. Hope you have a great time.

  2. I cant believe that! Did you check the local high school? At my daughters school they have a board in the counselors office that has babysitting or other jobs available.

    I know my Lauren is booked solid through New Years eve and still getting calls.

  3. @Tanner - Tis ok...we are looking forward to Family Craft Night.

    @Michelle - I know! This is part of the reason we rarely go out.

    @Judy - I called the HS, and they don't have a board like that. All they said was good luck. We decided that it just wasn't meant to be.

  4. I've had the same problem before - when everyone and their three sisters all say "no" and one or two say "OK" but then bail at the last minute. I think you really should not go through networks of people you don't know, anyway. It's better to go through a friend of a friend of a friend if you have to expand your network. I wouldn't use a pay-for-referral system; I'm just too risk-averse and afraid I'd get someone who passed a background check but is not vouched for by anyone known to them or me or even anyone I know.

  5. Wow.. that could have turned into an expensive night. Sounds like a great way to spend the evening, making Fairy houses. My kids would love that too!

  6. i babysat a lot in college and always wondered how couples could afford it because hiring a sitter easily adds at least $50 to the evening.

  7. I never had to hire a sitter because I always had family and then the oldest was 8.5 years older in fact I think the youngest one thinks the oldest is her mother, :) I am sorry about your evening but you will build a memory with your kids.

  8. I'm with you - I find hiring a babysitter to be a colossal effort. It has to be *really* important for me to spend the time & money to book one. We're missing both of our work holiday parties this year for similar reasons. My party actually has an extremely well known band & fab food/drinks, but we're skipping it.

    Enjoy your craft evening with the kids!

  9. The bane of most any parent, finding a sitter.
    When we moved to our current area 11+ yrs ago my kids were 9,7 & 4. We knew no one, had no family here and when we did make acquaintances in the neighborhood, NO ONE had a teenager, just younger kids like ours. We weren't able to go out as a couple for about 5 yrs.
    It's not unusual at all. And if you can find a sitter, it's expensive, especially if you have more than 1 kid.
    Sorry it didn't work out this time. Wish I had a solution....

  10. Any night that involves making "fairy houses" sounds like more fun than the average party to me!