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Author Topic: Baby Sitting/Anniversary vent
Christine
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My 6th wedding anniversary is this Sunday and my husband got us dinner theater tickets -- actually for a lunch time show in this case. A couple of months ago I asked a friend of mine to watch the kids but it was while we were out and I didn't follow up with an e-mail so it was my own fault when I reminded her a week and a half ago and she'd made other plans. I really don't blame her -- and she was profusely apologetic. She said she'd cancel her plans if I couldn't find anyone else.

Remember that line -- it's going to sound repetitive.

So I called another friend, who is going out of town that weekend.

I called another friend, who is going out of town that weekend (it's parent/teacher conference weekend and a long weekend for some people).

I called the teenage daughter of a friend, who is going out of town.

After that, I was starting to run out of people. I don't have any family nearby and those were the people I felt comfortable calling. So, on to people I felt less comfortable calling.

I got a list of teenage baby-sitters from a neighbor. One of the girls never called back, two were at church all day, and one was going out of town.

The neighbor's mother then told us that "if we couldn't find anyone else..." she might be able to do it.

So we kept looking.

I got another list of 6 people from a friend at MOPS. I went through the entire list but unfortunately, they all seem to go to the same church that likes to suck up people's entire Sundays....none of them got out of church before 12:15 and we need to be there by then.

So in desperation, we called an acquaintance of ours with 2 kids that lives way on the other side of town and he said he'd do it IF we couldn't find anyone else. His wife won't be there so it would be him with 4 kids aged 1-4.

Finally, I called one last person, who I don't even know very well anymore although his wife was one of the people who was going out of town that I mentioned earlier. He's not going out of town and when I asked him if he'd do it he said he would if I couldn't find anyone else!

Oh come on, people! Can you do it or can't you? Yes or no. So I told this one that I'd already called a dozen people and I couldn't find anyone else so he said, sounding VERY put out, that he would do it.

And now here I am, not looking at all forward to my anniversary because no matter what I do, I'm going to put someone out. I don't even want to go anymore and I told my husband, who got really pissed at me. But I can't help how I feel. This is insane. I've spent a week on the phone calling and recalling people, some of whom I don't even know and some of whom I am having to beg for a favor. Four people -- FOUR -- told me that they'd do it "if I couldn't find anyone else." What do you do with that?

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kmbboots
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You know that they really don't want to do it and it inconveniences them but they are nice enough to feel bad about your situation and if you are really desperate will do for you something that they don't want to do.

That is what you do with that.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
So I told this one that I'd already called a dozen people and I couldn't find anyone else so he said, sounding VERY put out, that he would do it.
Why don't you call back your friend, your first choice, the one you actually like and called first and who actually committed to helping you (and whose fault, consequently, this whole saga is), to tell her that no one else could do it?
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King of Men
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Well, the solution is obvious: Find some Mormons and offer to pay them an arm and a leg.
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MattP
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Pick one of the "if you can't find anyone else" people and take them up on the offer.

I don't think it's all that unreasonable to say "I'm willing to do this, but it will be difficult for me. If you can't find someone for whom this is not the case, then call me back and I'll do it."

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
Well, the solution is obvious: Find some Mormons and offer to pay them an arm and a leg.

What?
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kmbboots
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Yeah, Tom. I would have gone back to the first person, too.
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MattP
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quote:
What?
I didn't get that either. All the Mormon adults I know babysit for free and the teens charge reasonable rates.
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scifibum
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I know how you feel, Christine. Trying to find child care prevents me and my wife from getting out much on our own, because it's next to impossible to find anyone who actually doesn't mind, and putting someone out just spoils the whole thing.
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MattP
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Yeah, Tom. I would have gone back to the first person, too.

It would depend on the nature of their plans. I think some leeway needs to be given for the fact that the request was made in person a couple months ago without any follow-up. If they were just planning to go to a movie, then maybe ask them to cancel that. If they'd bought concert tickets then maybe not.
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scifibum
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Aren't there babysitting services? I guess the major downside is not knowing the person who comes over.

What about day care services? Do they let you drop off your kids for a short time without it being a regular thing?

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TomDavidson
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Babysitting services are surprisingly -- until you start thinking about it -- rare.
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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
quote:
What?
I didn't get that either. All the Mormon adults I know babysit for free and the teens charge reasonable rates.
Mormons eat babies; well-known fact. Ask anyone. But they surely wouldn't demand a whole baby for just one afternoon of sitting. Hence, an arm and a leg.
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BlackBlade
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The problem with finding Mormon babysitters on a Sunday is that the earliest sacrament meeting bloc is at 9:00am which is followed by Sunday School and Priesthood/Relief Society. It doesn't conclude until 12:00pm. There are blocs often at 11:00 and 1:00pm but that doesn't help.

You'd have to find one willing to just attend Sacrament meeting and skip the rest of the bloc for that particular Sunday.

If you lived in my neighborhood Christine Mrs. BB and I would help you out.

-----

edit: I'd ask the person you like who initially said if all else fails I'll cancel my plans.

double edit: Mrs. BB and I while willing wouldn't actually be able to help you. We work as nursery workers and while one of us missing wouldn't normally be a big deal the nursery leader just moved and so now it's Mrs. BB and me against 14 children.

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
Originally posted by MattP:
quote:
What?
I didn't get that either. All the Mormon adults I know babysit for free and the teens charge reasonable rates.
Mormons eat babies; well-known fact. Ask anyone. But they surely wouldn't demand a whole baby for just one afternoon of sitting. Hence, an arm and a leg.
[Big Grin]
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Christine
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The nature of the first person's plans is that she's planning to go out of town to her aunt's 50th wedding anniversary party. I don't know how close she is to her aunt or how big a deal it is. When I asked her she said that they were planning to go to Springfield sometime soon anyway so this just seemed like a good time to do it -- I'm not sure how big a deal it would be to cancel but it'd definitely NOT something like going to the movies or I'd have already told her to cancel! [Smile]

I don't know about finding more lists of sitters. After you've called 14 people (I just counted...that's how many people I called) you start to wonder if more lists of new people will really be useful.

And I have no idea why KoM made the Mormon comment, but I just remembered a casual acquaintance of mine who is Mormon, very nice, has 5 kids, and probably wouldn't even notice 2 more. [Smile] I could offer her some money for the trouble. I think I'll give that one a try.

ETA: Just read BB's post -- yeah, she'd probably be at church all morning too. Oh well.

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scholarette
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Tell the Mormon she can take your kids to church. [Smile] Imply you are wanting religion for the little ones and they'll never take money for it. [Smile] I am semi inactive- usually miss sacrament because my little one is a terror so I don't see how me chasing her in the halls is any better then me chasing her at home. When I told one of my friends this, she agreed to watch my daughter at sacrament whenever I want, no compensation, no owing, no swapping. Of course, I watched my daughter sit with her at sacrament last week and went, where is my daughter. You handed this child a book and she sat and looked at it for an hour without saying anything. That is not my daughter.
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Amilia
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Would you mind if your kids went to church with someone? Would any of the church going sitters mind taking them?

ETA: whoops, beaten to the punch.

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hansenj
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What's funny about this whole Mormon conversation is that in her first post, when Christine mentioned the people that "all seem to go to the same church that likes to suck up people's entire Sundays", I assumed she was talking about us Mormons. [Wink]
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
Mormons eat babies; well-known fact. Ask anyone. But they surely wouldn't demand a whole baby for just one afternoon of sitting. Hence, an arm and a leg.

It frightens me that I understood this before the explanation.

[Angst]

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Christine
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quote:
What's funny about this whole Mormon conversation is that in her first post, when Christine mentioned the people that "all seem to go to the same church that likes to suck up people's entire Sundays", I assumed she was talking about us Mormons. [Wink]
Nope -- mainstream Christians from the church that hosts my MOPS group. Don't know why I still go to MOPS, actually, since I'm not Christian, but that's neither here nor there. There are a lot of churches that seem to like to go all morning long and a few that have them come back in the evening too. I grew up Catholic and we were always in and out in an hour.

I don't think I'd feel comfortable sending my kids to church with someone. They go with my husband to Catholic mass sometimes but I don't really want them to go to a church where I've never been and couldn't answer their questions.

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scholarette
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Christine- I send my daughter to the Lutheran MDO and I am not Lutheran. I figure it is a good opportunity for her to learn tolerance (though at her age, I don't think she understands that they are different religions).

ETA- I hope this doesn't sound like judgemental- it wasn't meant to be. More saying that you shouldn't feel like you have to drop out because of religion if the group is a positive in your life or for your kids. Like you shouldn't be driven out because of religion- of course, that is assuming that the group is not being mean.

[ October 22, 2009, 03:30 PM: Message edited by: scholarette ]

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King of Men
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quote:
double edit: Mrs. BB and I while willing wouldn't actually be able to help you. We work as nursery workers and while one of us missing wouldn't normally be a big deal the nursery leader just moved and so now it's Mrs. BB and me against 14 children.
So in addition to having a good excuse, you've got your own source of arms and legs. [Evil]

quote:
I grew up Catholic and we were always in and out in an hour.
The Catholics no doubt feel that if you've got it right in the first place, there's no need to waste a lot of time hammering the fact home.
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Samprimary
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Weird. I don't have a kid, but for whatever reason, babysitting services are all over the place here. I guess it helps to be networked — if I had a kid, there would be several playdate opportunities for me to capitalize upon on any given day.
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TomDavidson
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Playdates != childcare.
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Christine
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Bear in mind that I have called 14 people so far. I don't think networking is my problem. [Smile]

I really think at this point my problem is that I just don't want to go anymore. What was supposed to be a fun afternoon has turned into a solid week of phone calls and e-mails, trying to get something set up. The fun is gone. The romance is gone. I'd just as soon get a movie from Redbox while the kids are napping.

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Noemon
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It's too late now, but how come you didn't split the work of finding a sitter between yourself and your husband? That way, the worst case scenario would be that you'd both be on the same page with regard to the whole fun & romance angle.
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kmbboots
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Very good question, Noemon.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Playdates != childcare.

Yeah I mean that if I had to scoot for an anniversary or something there's a billion people who will one way or another make sure my kid does not wander into traffic while I am away.
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Christine
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My husband did call a couple of the people, but the vast majority of them were people I know, not people he knows. He spends his entire day writing code which is not conducive to networking for baby-sitting favors.

quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Playdates != childcare.

Yeah I mean that if I had to scoot for an anniversary or something there's a billion people who will one way or another make sure my kid does not wander into traffic while I am away.
I have not found this to be true in practice. I must know a couple dozen moms but most of them i don't feel right calling. We have no baby-sitting arrangements, our acquaintance is casual and circumstantial at best, and I don't like to ask people for favors. Actually, if I were a little more outgoing I probably wouldn't have this problem but I don't think a personality transplant is something I can get by this weekend. [Smile]
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kmbboots
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I wonder if local high schools or colleges have lists of students who baby sit?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
So in addition to having a good excuse, you've got your own source of arms and legs. [Evil]


Shut up KOM! We have a great thing going right now and we don't need any inquiries!

BTW awesome work with the two in a row.

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MattP
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quote:
I wonder if local high schools or colleges have lists of students who baby sit?
Our ward does. I suspect that's fairly common for LDS wards, so maybe find out who the young women's leader is for the ward you're in and ask them about it.
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theresa51282
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Do your kids go to preschool? I know a lot of the preschool teachers where I worked babysat on the side for extra money. They tend to charge a bit on the higher end but you would know it was high quality care and if its just for a little bit it might be worth it.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Christine:
I have not found this to be true in practice. I must know a couple dozen moms but most of them i don't feel right calling.

I'm not claiming this on your behalf. I'm contrasting it against my situation.
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CaySedai
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My only idea (I don't think was mentioned) was to contact a preschool or day care and ask if they know someone who might be able to do it. It's possible that a day care or preschool worker would welcome a little extra money, and if it's a licensed place, the workers should have had background checks, etc.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
I'm not claiming this on your behalf. I'm contrasting it against my situation.

Your theoretical situation.

I'm curious whether it will actually be that way in practice. Please do check back in a few years to let us know.

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Tatiana
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How about the possibility of changing your tickets to a different day? Is that doable? I mean, it's not absolutely necessary to celebrate something on the exact day, is it?

I wouldn't ask people who say they'd do it if nobody else could. I would feel like I was arm-twisting in that case. I'd be much more likely to change my own plans instead. Who wants to leave their kids with someone who is likely to be resentful and annoyed? Not a good situation.

I wish I had a better solution for you. If you lived here in town I would keep them for you.

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Christine
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quote:
Originally posted by Tatiana:
How about the possibility of changing your tickets to a different day? Is that doable? I mean, it's not absolutely necessary to celebrate something on the exact day, is it?

Nope. Not refundable or exchangeable. We often don't celebrate on our anniversary day so no, that's not the issue. It just happened to come up on a weekend this year and we thought we had someone to watch the kids.

I've tentatively got one of the "if you can't find anyone else..." people to do it right now. I'm not thrilled with the idea, but when I told my husband I just didn't want to go because I didn't want to put anyone out, he kind of got sarcastic with me about interrupting this particular person's afternoon of playing World of Warcraft. Which, undoubtedly, is what he was planning to do, but still, he doesn't have kids and it's his business if he wants to play video games on a Sunday rather than watch mine.

Samprimary: It's nice that you have such an easy time finding friends who would bend over backwards to help you in whatever way they could. Some of us aren't so lucky, though, and appreciate not having this rubbed in our faces. You wouldn't believe the nightmare I had finding someone who might be willing to watch my son when I want into labor with my daughter. Luckily, we ended up inducing and my parents drove in from out of town because if I'd gone into unscheduled labor I probably would have had to take my son with me. If I ever have a child again I'm just going to schedule the induction and to hell with the consequences. I believe I spent several weeks crying around my seventh month of pregnancy. Whenever I got up the nerve to ask someone, they got this deer caught in headlights look like I was asking for their firstborn child or something.

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theresa51282
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Aww I'm sorry you had such a hard time. I live far from our families too. Its hard. I grew up next door to my grandparents and saw them almost every day. They took us at least once a week. I so wish I had that break with my daughter. We have maybe had a sitter 3 times since she was born 18 months ago. I miss the alone time a lot. It even makes me reluctant to have more kids at times. Hopefully, someone will come into your life who can be your mommy friend. They are great to have but hard to find. Just wanted to tell you I get how hard it is.
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BlackBlade
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Christine:
quote:
Which, undoubtedly, is what he was planning to do, but still, he doesn't have kids and it's his business if he wants to play video games on a Sunday rather than watch mine.
Sounds like you have the right attitude about the situation, so don't ruin the evening fussing about an adult who volunteered their services. I'm sure part of them is thinking, "I'd like to play World of Warcraft more than I'd like to watch children, but I also want to help out other people more than I want to be selfish."

Congratulations on helping them be more helpful to society. [Wink]

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scholarette
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I think that there are very subtle different culture norms regarding babysitting. In the location I am in right now, I feel like I would have almost no difficulties in finding a sitter (we went to a U2 concert recently and a friend took my 2 year old overnight and charged nothing- in exchange, we watched half of her kids (2 out of 4) while she went running at 6am. But I have a friend who has amazingly well behaved kids, is super nice, very friendly and where she lives, people just don't do babysitting for others. They charge way high (like the $20 an hour rate). So, while when my friend lived here, she could easily find people to babysit, in her new house, despite living there 2 years, she has yet to find a sitter. If Samp lives in a community like mine, he may do very well, but if he finds himself in my friend's neighborhood, it may be more of a struggle then expected.
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Brinestone
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I'm sorry, Christine. It's lonely feeling like nobody's got your back when you need them to.

For what it's worth, I think you should let yourself be taken care of—even at the cost of someone else—just for a few hours. How many times have you taken care of someone else at the cost of your personal happiness or desires?

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