Organize effectively with a babysitter

During my very first post on this blog, I told you a little bit about babysitting, and more particularly how to organize with babysitters, we will go a little further here on the subject, which seems to interest some parents around me. the organization of childcare is a real subject of substance, because on it depends our peace of mind for the other activities of our lives, whether professional or personal. Indeed, if your after-school evening care system is not up to speed, as soon as the middle of the afternoon arrives, you will start to feel stressed, wondering if everything will go well, if your boss will not give you a last-minute task that will prevent you from leaving the office on time, etc. All these thoughts, quite justified, will then have a disruptive role and distract you from your objective of having a productive and efficient work day.I will focus my topic here mainly on the babysitter, which is a subject I know very well. However, many points are equally valid for choosing a nanny, first of all, there are 2 types of research and “services”. The occasional babysitter, to whom you will call for a romantic evening for example. And the babysitter who will pick up your children several times a week at school, go home with them and take care of them until you get back. in both cases you will use competent teenagers, however, the recruitment of a punctual babysitter can be a little more “flexible” than for regular benefits. clearly define the benefit you want, this will result in the profile to be recruited. Basically, if you have 2 small baby tips, with bottles, diapers etc., it is highly unlikely that the neighbours’ daughter, barely 14 years old, would be “calibrated” to manage them would only be one night. On the other hand, this same girl will probably be perfect for babysitting your children after dinner, with a good DVD if they are 7 or 8 years old. It is therefore important to clearly define the task and profile that you think is appropriate. The definition is therefore essential. A babysitter in Nantes and in the big cities in general, is not complicated to find.

Where to find it:

Several possibilities are available to you:

  • word of mouth, ask the parents around you, at the end of school, at the end of sports classes etc….
  • look at the classified ads in local shops, at the caretaker’s
  • websites and specialized applications such as Bsit and many others
  • ask the school in your home if they have a classified board that you can consult or place an ad on.
  • print flyers to put in the mailboxes around your home.
  • Remember to anticipate your search carefully, it takes time to find the rare pearls.
baby and babysitter

How many babysitters do you need?

If you use a babysitter for school outings and early evening activities, there are several things to consider:

  • only comes on time if you have a late meeting or travel
  • comes every night of the week

For occasional needs, 1 or 2 babysitters can be enough to cover your needs. If you need a babysitter every day, it will be prudent to recruit several babysitters, because on the one hand the girls are not necessarily willing to work every day, because of their classes, and on the other hand it allows you to secure your organization, because, as explained in my previous article, you have to plan the hard blow, the day when your young girl calls you at the last minute to inform you of her unavailability. Having several “referenced” babysitters will allow you to quickly reorganize yourself to solve this problem. However, in order for these “referenced” baby sitters to remain available to you, it is necessary that you regularly give them work or they will go elsewhere, for example, you can alternate days, the first for the beginning of the week, the second on weekends, a third on weekends for example. Or every other week or every three weeks. In short, what will be most appropriate in this configuration, the choice of your babysitters will be crucial, so you should avoid choosing people who are in the same school levels. For example, if you choose 2 young girls who are in the first or last year of high school, you can be almost certain that from March – April you will no longer see anyone for exam reasons (French baccalaureate and general baccalaureate). This must be kept in mind.

The recruitment interview:

In your recruitment interview, you should clearly ask questions about

  • the schedule of your future recruit,
  • the date of his exams,
  • school holiday dates (in university or higher education, the holiday schedule does not necessarily correspond to that of the “lower classes”).
  • Ask her to tell you about her experience as a babysitter, about the children she has already cared for, about her younger siblings, about the age of the children she has had to care for.
  • Ask her if she has a preferred age group.
  • Where does she live? Will you have to take her home after her service, can she take public transport, does she have a transport card etc…
  • Can she help your grown-up with his homework? Bathing?
  • Does she have any first aid skills? What would she do in case of an accident?
  • Does she have individual insurance or is it her parents’?
  • The activities she does with other children
  • his “level” in the kitchen.

It is important that you keep in mind or on paper all the questions you want to ask him. Prepare a check list, saved on your phone or computer, so that you have on hand when you first contact the phone

Keep your feet on the ground:

Before the start of the service, it is necessary to put a certain number of realities in mind:

  • the babysitter has not yet been a mother ( in general), do not ask her for a motherly fibre and even less to have the same reflexes as you! She’s probably not going to interpret your children’s crying as well as you do. She must of course be kind and enjoy the contact with children (or she must change jobs quickly).
  • She’s not a doctor or a nurse. Avoid giving him children who are very sick or have a condition that can get worse quickly. That’s your role. In the same vein, if your child suffers from allergies, asthma or other conditions, you must inform the babysitter, tell her where the emergency treatment is, the doctor’s contact details in case etc.
  • She is not a professional kindergarten assistant, nor a camp instructor ( well, not all of them). Help her choose the activities to offer your children. Release favorite movies, favorite games etc… Some are seasoned and come with a wide range of activities but not all.
  • She has generally not attended a cooking school. So we avoid throwing it carelessly “there are vegetables and meat in the fridge for dinner” (raw and to be cooked of course). No, you should plan a simple dish to reheat or cook quickly. Tell yourself that at best, she will be able to cook pasta or even a steak, so there are no unpleasant surprises. But to be validated with the girl. In addition, depending on the schedule, your babysitter may be brought to dinner with your children, so plan ahead. She will probably not be satisfied with the mini portion of mashed potatoes you have planned for your child and a small slice of ham!
  • She doesn’t know your children’s habits. So remember to specify if the youngest one needs his steak cut into small pieces, if he is entitled to ketchup, if there are allergens that must absolutely be avoided etc….
  • She replaces you for a few hours, but does not live there. So be attentive to her questions, show her around so she can get her bearings, show her where the cooking utensils, games, snacks, first aid kit, etc….

When my children needed a babysitter in the evenings after school, I had installed a sign behind a hallway door at IKEA that was very useful to us. I had stored all the first-aid supplies (bandages, disinfectant wipes, arnica) there. But also, the batteries for the games, some essential drugs that had been prescribed to me by the doctor and for which my children had no contraindications ( doliprane, smecta, sweet syrup, vicks ointment). If necessary, everything was at hand. There were also the paper handkerchiefs, the cuddly toy, in short all the small objects that children may need. This organizer is always with us, and he always faithfully fulfils his task for the whole family, in the same spirit, he must have a list of contacts at his disposal. You of course, but also family members or neighbours to contact if she can’t reach you. The family doctor, firefighters, samu, plumber, caretaker of your building. This list, prominently displayed on the fridge for example or on the family board, will also be valuable for your older children.

Respect schedules

Define a notice period in case of cancellation, and especially for you, if you cancel too often at the last minute, expect the same treatment in return. On the other hand, if you cancel very late, do not hesitate to offer compensation to the girl. Finally, if you give him an end of performance schedule, stick to it. A few minutes of overflow may be acceptable but certainly not hours. The same applies to the babysitter, who must be very punctual.

Compensation :

Agree on the amount of her service, by the hour or by the package, depending on her experience and the tasks she will take on. You will find here advice on how to pay and what help is availableDefine the payment terms, the first time I used a babysitter I realized late that she only wanted cash when I had only 10 euros in the wallet and she didn’t want a check….Pay her regularly according to the agreed terms, every day, once a week…

Preserve your privacy and image:

Don’t leave anything “lying around” that could be embarrassing for your baby sitter (sex toys, illegal substances, X movies etc…). A tweet with a pretty picture of your “utensils” can do some damage.

Set the rules:

These are a few rules of life for your babysitter, for example, no smoking, no violent movies if the children are around. Prohibit or limit the use of her phone when she is caring for your children. Do you or do you not accept that a girlfriend (or her boyfriend) will join her in the evening? Be clear about access to your bar, fridge, closet, bedroom etc….

Prepare your children:

It is important to inform your children, so that it is not a last minute surprise. If possible, it is important that your children can meet their future babysitter, especially if she has to pick them up at school. It will also allow you to see his behaviour with them, their first reaction, even if, let’s not kid ourselves, things will be very different once you leave 😉D’ elsewhere, think about notifying the school or recreation centre. Some institutions require a written document, with a photocopy of the babysitter’s identity card. Be extremely clear in your requests, even if it means providing a checklist of what needs to be done and in what order, in order to respect the habits you have given your children, even if in some cases, and especially during an exceptional Saturday evening, it is also an opportunity for your children to have a small evening “without the parents” and therefore with a different schedule than the other Saturdays. Then, bring her in a little early the first time, if it’s for an evening, to explain your home and the different rules that govern your family, and allow her to take a few points of reference. Once you’ve left, it’s essential to be able to remain contactable. There is no point in giving her your contact details if she can’t reach you if she needs to! I had the opportunity to read some babysitter blogs for the preparation of this article and believe me, there are really young girls who find themselves in very difficult situations for their age and especially totally unconscious parents. Then, you have to trust and enjoy either your romantic evening or your work day. Trust is really essential, but we must also avoid “psychotropic” at all costs. If when you return, your children are delighted and harassing you to know when your next outing will be, it’s because everything is fine!

Why organize your meals and menus

The imperatives of modern life such as the logical and necessary evolution of the role of women have made us lose the know-how that our mothers and grandmothers had in the art of preparing and organizing meals and menus.

The positive aspects of menu organization

Contrary to popular belief, organizing and preparing meals and menus is not very complicated and saves time and money.

Organizing your menus for the week simplifies shopping and avoids asking yourself the endless last-minute question “what am I still going to do for dinner? The forecast limits the number of empty fridges or, on the contrary, the number of fridges that must be disposed of of if they have not been consumed before the deadline.

Our grandmothers understood it well, preparing the week’s menus has 6 major advantages:

  • The races are perfectly adapted to the needs of the week.
  • Meals being planned in advance they can also be prepared in advance when there is time.
  • With the weekly menus established, we can go about our business with a free mind.
  • The meals of the week are balanced, at least over 7 days.
  • The menus are adapted to everyone’s schedules.
  • Leftovers can be more easily cooked.

But be careful, organizing does not mean losing all fantasy, freedom and spontaneity. Just because a menu has been established doesn’t mean a last-minute “pizza party” is impossible! The unexpected can be spontaneous or organized. One or more meals can be booked as free. They may be decided at the last minute or entrusted to children.

Races adapted to the needs of the week

The weekly menus allow you to do your shopping in one go and possibly complete with a few last-minute purchases. The system allows you to be delivered or to be less dependent on work schedules to do your shopping.

Plan menus to solve the fridge problem! Which mother has not found herself confronted with the fridge either empty or full of unused and disposable products because they are out of date? Going shopping without clear ideas of the menus you want to make makes you run the risk of too much or not buying enough. With the forecast this type of galley is taking off!

Prepare meals in advance

Today, the family is faced with a major problem: finding time to cook balanced meals that make children want to eat.

The work, the management of each other’s schedules do not allow everyone to cook every day for every meal. It is true, however, that the temptation to systematically use frozen food or fast food is very tempting. Menu planning and a possible alternative.

Meals can be prepared in advance, which makes it possible to cook with the children. Cooking with them is important because it is an opportunity to do a lot of other things. Cooking is about doing math (dividing or multiplying proportions), travelling with food or dishes, but it is also about anchoring the child in a family history and tradition. Cooking with your daughter or son is giving a soul, a story to food and it is therefore helping you to discover food. A child who hears his mother or father tell how he or she used to cook a dish with his or her own mother, wants to taste this dish even if he or she doesn’t like it.

A stew, a pot, a couscous are dishes that are cooked in advance and can be warmed up at the last minute. For the others it is always possible to freeze them.

If family members do not eat their meals together, prepare single servings that you can freeze.

Preparing frees the mind

A priori, preparing 3 meals a day is not complicated, but preparing 3 balanced, varied, tasty and last minute meals a day is not easy. We all tend to cook the same dishes, either our favourites or the fastest, and finally the preparation of the meal becomes a real pain. Knowing in advance what to cook allows you to keep your mind free all day long. We know exactly what we have to do and when.

Knowing in advance the meal of the evening allows you to cook in the dead time of the day all or part of the meal.

Menu preparation and food balance

We know today that it is important to teach children about balanced nutrition. However, this learning is done daily in the plate. By cooking on a daily basis, it is not easy to ensure that the family consumes enough fruit and vegetables, while the forecast of the week’s menus makes it possible to find a balance that takes into account, over the week, everyone’s tastes and constraints.

The menus allow children to discover all the vegetables.

As far as possible, it is good that children can be involved in the development of menus. This allows you to:

  • Review with them what they have eaten during the previous week (especially for those who eat in the canteen)
  • Take into account everyone’s tastes and dislikes
  • Teach them how to compose menus
  • Learn about balanced nutrition