Kids are one of life’s great joys. Simultaneously, they can be one of life’s biggest responsibilities. No matter how much you love them, it’s nice to have an evening to yourself or with your spouse every once in a while. In other cases, working parents might need help covering responsibilities during the day. Here is how to set your babysitter up for success with an online calendar.
To make a little free time for yourself as a parent — you need to have someone watch the kids make sure they stay out of trouble and continue their nightly routines without parental supervision. Some couples are lucky enough to live close to the family to make this work. Otherwise, you’ll need to hire a sitter.
Whether it’s a family friend or a professional, getting a babysitter can be a little nerve-wracking. You can set them up for success and put your mind at ease by organizing everything with an online calendar. Here’s how:
1. Set Date and Time
Your babysitter needs to know the time they will be committing. Setting an exact date and time allows them to put it in their schedule and block everything else out. For part-time babysitters, especially this will be important.
Once you’ve settled on the time specifics, you can share a calendar event with your sitter. This easily inputs the information in their own online calendar where they can set reminders and easily remember the commitment.
2. Include an Evening Itinerary
Chances are you have a set routine your kids follow to wind down for bed. If bedtime rolls around before you get home, your babysitter will be in charge of accomplishing that. Remembering specifics and detecting the little shortcuts kids will try to sneak in will be quite a challenge for them.
Using an online calendar, you can lay out all of the steps included in your kid’s evening routines. This itinerary can then be shared with your sitter, so they know exactly what needs to be done at what times. The clearer and more precise the list, the better they’ll be able to execute it.
3. Add Deadlines
Do your kids have chores or homework to be done before you get back? Perhaps they need to practice the piano or lay things out for school tomorrow. Whatever it is that’s on their checklist, add some deadlines to the online calendar.
With deadlines assigned to each task, your babysitter will be more on top of helping your kids get them done. Without deadlines, these tasks are likely to get pushed back until as late as possible, ending up being chaotic.
4. Hold a Planning Session
When working with a babysitter for the first time, you don’t know exactly what to expect. To gain each other’s trust and ensure the night runs smoothly, you can hold a planning session together. Your sitter can ask any questions about your specifications, and you can provide some extra clarity.
This planning session need not be a long timeframe. Too in-depth or complicated, and you might scare your sitter off for future jobs. Schedule 15 minutes in your online calendar to sit down with your sitter to discuss the details before you head off to work or for the evening.
5. Schedule an Early Arrival
Don’t just invite your babysitter over a few minutes early for a quick review session. Scheduling them to arrive 30 minutes to an hour before you leave gives them enough time to get familiar with your house and start connecting with your kids. Ensuring everyone is comfortable with the arrangement will make things run smoothly and help your little ones feel comfortable and not abandoned.
You’ll probably only need to do this the first time when your kids and their new babysitter meet for the first time. You can continue to schedule sitting appointments accordingly if you choose, but the longer you work with a single sitter, the easier it will be for everybody.
6. Check In
Parents who aren’t used to leaving their children at home can get anxious. They’ll want to call periodically to make sure everything is OK and that both the kids and the sitter are doing alright. While this is perfectly fine, excessive calling can be a little bothersome to your sitter when they’re just trying to help.
Checking in is a good idea, but with a controlled frequency. Using your online Calendar, you can set reminders to check-in spaced out enough not to be excessive. Always be sure your sitter has access to your number if they want to reach out for any reason.
7. Cancel Promptly
If for any reason you need to cancel a babysitting appointment, let your sitter know as soon as possible. They’re likely sacrificing their own evening to do this job, and the last-minute cancellation will be frustrating. Not only is it disrespectful of their time that night, but sitters who have to deal with frequent cancellations will likely move to other families.
Use your online calendar to record everything there is to know about your schedule properly. This will help you know as soon as anything comes up that might change your plans. Once you know for sure, be sure to contact them immediately.
8. Return on Time
Your first day away from the kids in who knows how long it should be an exciting one. However, be careful not to get too carried away. Your sitter is only planning to be there for as long as you previously arranged. Arrive home super late, and you’re not respecting their time, possibly creating a serious inconvenience.
Plan your evening out with your online calendar to allow for enough time to return when you promise. Getting home a few minutes later doesn’t hurt anyone, but extending your absence by upwards of an hour is a problem you should aim to avoid. If something comes up, let your sitter know as soon as possible. They will understand; we all get stuck in traffic sometimes.
The more you do to equip your babysitter for success, the better the night will go. Start planning your online calendar for your next planned babysitting visit and watch how smoothly the evening unfolds.