Moms! Dads! I have had a revelation! I got sick this week (because yes, moms get sick too). So what did I do?
I let the babysitter take care of my kid.
Yes, there. I said it. I am the mom who is home and not working who still lets a sitter take care of her kid! And you should too.
All right, let me back up. With two working parents, summer vacation in my house means spending a lot of money on childcare. A LOT of money. I'm always looking for ways to cut that bill. So when I ended up with a stomach bug on Monday night that was still going strong on Tuesday morning, a part of me wondered if I shouldn't cancel the sitter.
It would save us money. And I only hire the sitter to hang out with my daughter because I'm WORKING. So I practically had to cancel, right?
Heck, I was all set to call the sitter when the bug moving around in my stomach did a back flip, and I put the phone down.
I couldn't do it. I couldn't cancel the sitter. It was going to cost me money, yes, but I was sick as a dog, and there was no way I was going to have the energy to go pick my daughter up from soccer camp.
Fast forward to today, and I'm feeling at least a little bit better (the stomach has settled from doing backflips to a tame tango), and I don't feel guilty. At all.
Hiring a sitter to take care of my kid was probably one of the smartest parenting decisions I've made in a long time. Examine the evidence:
1. Sleep. I got it. Actual, honest-to-goodness shut-eye. There was no crawling out of bed to make the kid lunch, no bleary-eyed shuffle to the fridge to pour her milk, no trying to sleep with a TV blaring in the background. Every need she had was dealt with ... by someone OTHER than me.
2. Attention. She got it! There was no crabby Mom moaning for her to turn down that blessed TV, no Mom ignoring her excitement over making a goal during soccer camp, no sitting bored and alone in the living room for hours at a time. She had someone to play with for an entire afternoon.
3. A Clean House. We always live in a state of organized chaos, but things really tend to get out of control when I'm sick. She pulls all her toys out, and I don't have the energy to tell her to put them away. I make her lunch but don't have the energy to clean up after myself. The worst part is that just as I'm starting to feel better, I find myself having to waste my new-found energy on putting our house back in order. Not this time. The sitter actually helped her clean her bedroom yesterday!
4. Quarantine. Sharing viruses may be a big part of being a big, happy family, but I'm sick (no pun intended) of the cycle of being sick. Letting the sitter care for my kid yesterday meant a lot less mom/kid contact ... and so far, although my daughter has complained of some slight discomfort, she seems to have escaped the full blown stomach bug.
5. Stuff Gets Done. Being sick tends to mean all your plans for the day go out the window. For me, they did. My daughter, on the other hand, still got to have her regular day. She went to soccer camp, cleaned her room, even got a haircut last night (thanks to the sitter's hairstylist mom).
Would you hire a sitter to watch your kid when you were sick or would you feel guilty spending the money?
Image via surafire/Flickr