Confession: I’m Jealous of My Daughter’s Babysitter

babysitter reading to girl
Image via iStock

I'm a mom to two little girls, and while I love them dearly, I've been eager to start adding more “me” time into my schedule. When I looked into what I really wanted, I realized I missed working. I've been a stay-at-home mom for the past several years, but the thought of going back to an office setting was slightly daunting, so I decided to take some baby steps and start working from our home office a few hours a week. Technically I'm still a stay-at-home mom 90 percent of the time, but it's nice to have a few hours to get my mind flowing again. With that said, in order to get actual work done, I quickly realized I needed a babysitter to watch my toddler.

The gal who comes over a few days a week is amazing–truly, she's every parent's dream babysitter. She's in her late 20s, but is still a kid at heart; she's currently in graduate school, and has a passion for hanging out with young kids; she's been a live-in nanny for several families in the past (and still has a good reputation with them), she's responsible (i.e. she arrives on time, unlike several other sitters we've had who just plain “forgot” to show up before), and best of all: my daughter loves her.

As I'm typing this from my little corner in the house, I can hear both of them squealing with delight. They just finished blowing bubbles outside, and are now playing ring-around-the-rosie. Before the bubbles they were making “burritos” out of Play-Doh while simultaneously participating in impromptu dance parties. My daughter's giggle bounces off the walls and ricochets back into my office–it's the kind of laughter that forms deep in her belly.

So why am I jealous? Because I feel like I'm letting my daughter down; I'm incredibly boring compared to the sitter.

When it's just the two of us (and my 3-month-old little girl), she doesn't get my complete undivided attention. Sure, we play here and there, go to parks, the library, and have play dates, but in truth, I have other things happening, and the TV is usually on as a fallback. I have dinner to work on, a house to clean, another child to care for, etc. She hears the word “no,” or “maybe later,” probably more than she should, and while she isn't jealous of her new sister often, she definitely wants to be held more–which is quite a feat when you're already holding/wearing a baby.

Here are just a few reasons why I'm totally jealous of my daughter's babysitter:

girl and woman at daycare
Image via iStock

She gets complete undivided time with the coolest 2 year old around. ‘Nuff said. 

{ MORE: The 411 on Hiring a Nanny }

kid art
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She's artsy. I can draw a grand total of four things: a fish, a heart, the sun, and a flower. That's it. Our babysitter, on the other hand, is pretty spectacular when she has chalk or crayons in her hands.

swings
Image via iStock

She loves being outside. It's not that I hate being outside, it's that I hate being hot and feeling like I'm in a sauna when I'm clearly not at a spa is pretty much miserable. I'm also not a fan of bugs; particularly those that like to dine on my blood (and I have some pretty tasty blood). This is a huge problem since my daughter likes everything about being outside. The sitter and my daughter spend the majority of their time outside.

girl with blue eyes
Image via iStock

She has the patience of a saint. I'm a work in progress, and one thing I know about myself is that I'm impatient, especially around tiny humans. I'm trying to get better at “slow-parenting” instead of rushing her to go, go, go, but I fail … often.

little girl having a tea party
Image via iStock

“No” isn't in her vocabulary. Of course she puts her foot down when need-be, but she also lets my daughter take the reins for what they do during their time together. I remind myself that even though the sitter isn't a mom, she's done this before with the kids she's nannied, whereas this is my first time parenting. She and my daughter have tea parties with actual water (and my daughter will pour it into the teeny-tiny tea cups). The first time I saw them do this, I immediately realized that's something I never would've thought of, and if I did think of it, I probably would've thought she was too young to pour it herself.

babysittying Jessica Lynn
Image via Jessica Lynn

She keeps the TV off. They are always doing something other than staring at a screen.

how_to_get_toddlers_to_sleep_through_the_night
Image via iStock

She gets to go home. I'm not going to lie, but this is one of the major reasons I'm jealous of my daughter's babysitter. At the end of her 3-4 hour shift, she gets to go home. Perhaps, she naps the rest of the day, binges on Netflix, reads a book (for pleasure), or maybe she gets to go shopping (or to the bathroom) by herself. All I know is that she clocks in and gets to clock out. As a SAHM, I'm here 24/7 (or 20/7 on the days she's here). I may clock out when I go to sleep at night, but I'm still very much on-call since I sleep with my oldest's video monitor on my night stand, and my youngest still wakes up a few times a night to eat.

money child
Image via iStock

She gets paid. There, I said it. I'm totally jealous that she's getting paid to watch my daughter. It turns out that even though I'm working again, the majority of the tiny income I'm bringing in goes straight into my babysitter's pocket.

{ MORE: Squatter or Victim? The Nightmare Nanny Fights Back! }

I'm incredibly grateful and fortunate that my husband's job allows me to stay home with my girls, and I truly believe that by hiring our babysitter and having her come over a few hours a week saves my sanity. Yes, she gets the majority of my paycheck, but I get some uninterrupted time to be alone with my thoughts. I also get to run errands, which means I can do things in half the time as before.

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Confession: I’m Jealous of My Daughter’s Babysitter

Jessica Lynn is days away from popping out her second child—another girl—and is counting down the minutes until she can bend enough to tie her own shoes again. When she’s not dreaming of drinking wine again, she’s trying to keep up with her active almost-two-year-old daughter. She’s an accidental southern girl living in Georgia, thanks to the military; her husband just returned from his sixth deployment, and she’s extremely happy to have him back home in time for the birth. Jessica's ... More

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