Recently our Moms Council has discussed issues like around Newport, , and .
This week our moms talked about how they get away for some “me” time and their go-to babysitters.
In case you haven't met them yet, let us introduce you to our Moms Council:
- Abby Rowe: Abby is married and has a two-year-old daughter. She and her husband are expecting a second child this spring. Abby is the owner of Stroller Strides of Newport, a fitness program that moms can do with their babies. She is also currently serving as President of the Newport/Middletown MOMS Club.
- Naomi Neville: Naomi is married and has two girls, one who attends Underwood School and one who is in preschool. She is a member of the Newport City Council and also a registered architect in Rhode Island, running a local practice on Thames Street. Naomi has also served as Chair of Newport's Planning Board and was on the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission. She has a bachelor's from Yale University and a master's in Architecture from Columbia University.
- Lynn Ceglie: Lynne is married and has two children at Rogers High School, a daughter who is a junior and a son who is a sophomore. Lynn works for East Bay Community Action Program as a child outreach screener at Sullivan School. She is also a board member and secretary of the Newport Public Education Foundation.
- Nikki Vazquez: is married and has two children. She has been involved in a number of local initiatives, including serving as co-founder of the Newport Community Garden and chairperson for Newport in Bloom. She is also the owner of Ladies Who Lunch, a full service personal chef and events management company. Her son attends St. Michael's Country Day School.
This week's question: How do you find a sitter? Do you enlist help from family members, teenagers or online services?
Lynn: When my kids were little, they stayed either with my mother or our next door neighbor. I can't ever remember using a teenage babysitter.
When my daughter was in kindergarten, my car broke down in Tiverton and I was not able to pick her up at the normal time. No one was able to pick her up so I called Cranston-Calvert to see if she could stay in the after school program until I arrived. They were very accommodating and allowed her to stay. The problem is that she did not want to stay so her kindergarten teacher stayed with her in the after-school program until I arrived at 4:30 - two hours after school dismissal time. I was shocked to see my daughter and her classmates all surrounding their classroom teacher like the Pied Piper as she read book after book after book to them. They were having a marvelous time! This teacher went well above and beyond her duties that day. She told me that it would have broken her heart to see my daughter so upset so she stayed for the duration. I can not tell you how appreciative I was then, and still am now. I will never forget her.
Naomi: My best source of babysitters came from our neighbor who wrote me a list of local high school kids with their phone number and ages! I refer to that list all the time because I don't really have time to sit through trial babysitting sessions. We have also had great luck using Salve's babysitting services, especially for finding a sitter that can come on a regular basis. But even with all these resources, I still find myself freaking out at the last minute trying to find a sitter, my fault because I didn't plan ahead! Does anyone want to babysit this Friday??
Abby: We have been lucky enough to have some amazing babysitters for Adelaide. Several were referred to us by a friend’s trusted babysitter. Basically, we just put the word out that we were looking for babysitters, and took any recommendations we could find! We also found a wonderful sitter using Salve Regina’s Childcare Services Form (http://web.salve.edu/offices/careerdev/childcare/form_childcare.cfm). We got a number of great responses and the babysitter we eventually hired has become a close friend of our family. Adelaide just loves her, and I feel so comfortable with her. My other friends who have found sitters through Salve have had the same great luck. Ultimately, this sitter also recommended a friend who has also become a regular babysitter for Adelaide.
I haven’t ever performed a formal interview with a sitter — we’ve just spoken in person or by phone to get to know each other a bit.
However, before leaving Adelaide alone with any sitters, I have had the babysitter come to the house several times to watch Adelaide when I was around. It has given both of us the opportunity to get to know the sitter and make sure that she was a good fit for our family.
By the time I’ve left Adelaide alone with her babysitter, I think she has been thrilled to see me leave so she can play with her new friend! It has been so important for both us to make regular use of babysitters. She enjoys having the attention of the babysitter, and I enjoy having some time to myself!
Nikki: We have been blessed with awesome neighbors who help out in a squeeze and also there are a lot of really great high school girls in the area who are great with our children. Being a part of a lot of community organizations has also given us a lot of "surrogate grandparents" who love to be with our children as well!
Check back next Wednesday for a new edition of Moms Talk.