By Melissa Batai
As a work at home mom, there may occasionally be times when you need to hire a sitter so you can get pressing work done or conduct a phone interview, for example. Choosing a sitter is easiest if you have referrals from friends, but what happens if you can't find any referrals?
When I couldn't find any referrals, I turned to Sittercity.com, and I found good, quality sitters each time I used the site.
What Is Sittercity?
Sittercity seeks to connect busy parents looking for sitters with available babysitters in the area. (The site also lists house cleaners and pet sitters.) Parents can sign up for 30 days and place an ad detailing their family situation, the hours they need a sitter and what they are looking for in a sitter. Then, sitters apply for the job. Parents can run background checks on sitters to maximize safety.
How to Find the Perfect Sitter
While Sittercity suggests that parents focus on those applicants who apply for the job, each time I have found the sitter we ultimately chose, I looked at the available sitters in my area and contacted the ones I thought might be a good fit.
Before you take the time to interview someone in person, ask them a few quick questions through e-mail. Often you can weed out sitters that aren't a good fit quickly. Then, progress to a phone interview and finally an in person interview. Also, try to interview sitters with your children; the kids can also give you input about what they think about the sitter.
Have a Trial Run
Rather than hiring someone right away, having a trial run for a week allows you to see if the sitter is a good fit. Then you are not committed if she isn't.
The only downside of Sittercity is that you may run into some odd people. I had one woman tell me she wanted to make it worth her while if she was going to get out of bed and come to a job and working only 3 hours wasn't worth her while. Just be prepared to run into some strange people.
For parents without referrals, Sittercity can help you find the gem that will give you time to do your work and allow your kids to have fun.Save 40% off monthly memberships at Sittercity.com w/code WINTER40 expires 2/28
Melissa, a mom to three little ones (ages 7, 3 and 1) blogs at Mom's Plans where she writes about living a fulfilling life on less and focuses on cutting expenses, budgeting, paying down debt, saving money and once a month cooking.
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