My Daughter Loves Her Babysitter Too Much

Mom Moment 23

Best babysitter everI have to admit I hit the jackpot in the babysitter lottery when I found mine. This June we'll mark three years since she first started out as a mother's helper, and she's now more member of the family then "kid I pay to keep my kid out of my hair." There's only one problem.

I think my kid loves the babysitter too much. Now, I know what you're thinking. I'm one of those mothers who just can't bear to share her kid with someone else. Sorry to disappoint you, but that's not it at all.

I'm one of those "the more love, the better" kind of moms. I want her to be loved by the person who cares for her when I'm not around, and vice versa. That love actually makes me feel less crappy about having to work to put food on the table instead of sitting around playing My Little Ponies with her all day.

And the love between my 7-year-old daughter and our 16-year-old babysitter couldn't be stronger if they were actual sisters. They talk on the phone. They FaceTime. She comes over to hang out at my house at least three to four times a month ... when I'm not even paying her.

As a mom, you can't ask for much better than that, can you? Someone who wants to spend time with your kid when you aren't even paying her?

Oh, but it DOES get better.

My babysitter is smart, like wants to go to medical school smart. She's also self-possessed, so confident and sure of herself at 16 that at 30 I look up to her. As good a friend as she is to my daughter, she's an even better role model.

We have stumbled across the elusive creature known in the parenting world as "the world's best babysitter." You can ask for her number, but you will NEVER get it out of me.

So what's the problem, you ask? Well, my 7-year-old daughter FaceTimes and talks on the phone with and loves to hang out with a 16-year-old smarty pants. Any guesses what 16-year-old smarty pants turn into? That's right ... 18-year-old college students.

One day in our not-too-distant future, my second "daughter," the girl who will call my kid up out of the blue and invite her over for dinner just because, is going to leave us. And my real daughter is going to be DEVASTATED. She will be losing her best friend.

Sure; they can still FaceTime. They can still call. But ask anyone going pre-med; she won't have a lot of spare time on her hands. When she does; she deserves to go have college fun when she's in college, right? I certainly can't expect her to run back to the dorm to talk to my kid or come home on weekends for cookie baking dates and sleepovers "just because."

So what's a mom to do? Do I break down one of the best relationships of my daughter's life? I don't have the heart to do it, nor do I really want to. These girls are good together. My sitter is good for my daughter.

So here I sit, instead, fearing the inevitable, waiting for it to happen. Because my daughter loves our babysitter, and my babysitter loves my daughter.

Do you worry that your kid are too attached to the sitter? What have you done about it?



Image by Jeanne Sager

family, child care


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nonmember avatar Mari Stilson

I think it is a good learning problem, with potential to grow. Your babysitter is essentially part of your family, so help your daughter prepare for the inevitable and participate in the sitters activities over the next year and a half that lead to her graduation. Let you daughter plan activities/little parties to celebrate milestones in the sitters life, and help her understand the time line. Maybe that way, by the time your daughter is 9, and the sitter is graduated and college-bound, she will understand that this is the normal path. Yes it is painful to say goodbye, but give her the knowledge of the process over time so it is not an abrupt parting. Good luck to you.

Angie... AngieHayes

Well.... maybe you will get lucky and she will decide not to become a doctor and not go to pre-med school! But, even if she does, it was good while it lasted, and I am sure she will stay in touch with you guys, she sounds like a great person.

kdaiuto kdaiuto

I had a similar relationship with a little girl I babysat. When I started, she was 2 months old, and I was 16. She is now 15, I have two kids of my own, and we are STILL extremely, extremely close. We text frequently, I go to almost all of her school functions (she is very involved in drama and is in at least 3 plays/ musicals a year), and we visit as much as possible. Now she even sits for my girls (who absolutely ADORE her). I was of course much busier through undergad and grad school, then getting married and having my own babies, but we managed to maintain a very strong relationship. I cannot imagine her mom (who is also my great friend) having put a kibosh on our relationship for any reason! It is such a unique and special relationship that your daughter is so lucky to have.

nonmember avatar Sharon

THEN and THAN are not interchangeable. DEVASTATED. Just because it's an internet blog doesn't mean people won't notice or care about misspellings or grammar. The girls will be fine. Someone as smart and dedicated as the babysitter described will find a way to keep the relationship alive. This is also a great way for the little girl to see the value in working for you goals, the sacrifices you make. Be thankful she has such a great friend to look up to.

nonmember avatar LizzieBorden

Heartbreak & separation is part of life; your daughter will bounce back. I remember when one of my older sisters enlisted in the military & shipped out to boot camp, it was painful & difficult at first but I learned to endure. And the visits were fun to look forward to.

early... earlybird11

My baby sitter was around 16 when I was 6 , she attended school while sitting for me , got married and had her own babies when I was around 13, and I started wathing her daughter, now at 14 her daughter is my helper. dont worry so much. It has a funny way of working out. I was at my sitters wedding, she was at mine and I assume we will both be at both our kids ( hopefully !!!) It's a wonderful bond, hard to break !! Now she has children that are 4-6 too and we gladly take our kids to the park together etc

MamaM... MamaMandy56

I have a question for you all, how did you come about your babysitters? I'm a SAHM and am toying with the idea of a helper of the sort.

tuffy... tuffymama

Experiencing the babysitter's transition from ever-present teenager to young-woman-striving-for-a-goal could actually be an incredibly important milestone and opportunity for your daughter. The closeness and big-sister relationship she's had with such a smart young lady could really be worth so much more than the pain of loss when the babysitter goes away to school, and her adult life. And who knows? Maybe having some little person looking up to her with so much admiration and expectation makes it easier for and motivates this girl to stay the course in her own life, as well. They are both extraordinarily blessed.

train... trainlady

Perhaps its time to start introducing your daughter to others just like her sitter. Maybe the sitter has some friends that she could bring around once in a while to show the daughter that there are other people in the sitters life. Maybe the sitter has some younger  friends that could take over her place when she goes off to school. Its time to broaden your daughters field of friends. You still have plenty of time to do it slowly and carefully so that when the sitter has to move on with her life it won't be such a shock to your daughter and the transition will be easy. Talk to the sitter about this and ask her input as to what kind of friends to bring around as future babysitters. Let them take over once in a while so the sitter can go play with her friends. Also, this will aclimate your daughter to interaction with other 16 year olds. You have time and you have the right mind about your daughter's future. Good Luck

piggy... piggy11721

A lesson in life your daughter has to learn......

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