See this cute guy? Tomorrow Jaxson graduates from preschool. I know, right? They grow like weeds.
While I’m excited for this milestone, it also means that he’s home with me all day, instead of just the afternoons. I’ll miss my solo mornings at my desk while I bang out as much work as possible before preschool pick-up time. It’s my most productive time of the day as a work-at-home-mom.
Usually I just let him consume too much screen time: playing games on educational websites, Netflix, apps on the iPad. Things that kept him busy, but gave me tons of mom guilt. I’m supposed to engage him in fun, hands-on activities right?
So how do I balance quality family time and work?
Enter UrbanSitter, a service that helps busy parents (like me) find sitters and nannies. Thanks to UrbanSitter, I found Dymond. She came over and played with Jaxson while I furiously worked on some time sensitive work. Why pay for a sitter when I’m already here? Dymond played board games with Jaxson and kept up with his continuous chatter–which means I could was able to work uninterrupted for a glorious 2.5 hours. Gloriously productive and guilt-free hours.
When I described the service to my husband, I jokingly called it the modern Mary Poppins. Instead of writing a song about what I wanted in our perfect sitter, I headed to UrbanSitter’s website. It’s super easy to use. (There’s also an app, but I haven’t tried it yet.)
How to find a sitter on UrbanSitter
- Create a free account and connect it to Facebook and/or LinkedIn. (You’ll see why connecting to FB is important.
- Search for a sitter. You can filter your search results by the neighborhood your sitter lives, availability, if they’ve had a background check, infant experience, and more.
- Research your sitter. UrbanSitter has done all the hard work for you. If you’ve connected your Facebook, you can see which of your friends have worked with a particular sitter. Read each sitter’s profile, childcare experience, and reviews. That’s right, parents review the sitter’s services so you know what to expect. Some sitters even uploaded intro videos to their profiles so you can get to know them.
- Schedule a interview with your sitter. You can opt to interview them over the phone, in person, or have them come play with your children while you observe. In order to schedule interviews (or book the sitter) you’ll need a membership. Once you’ve schedule an interview, you’ll be able to send private messages to your potential sitter via the UrbanSitter site or app.
- Lucky you, I’ve got a code for one free month of UrbanSitter. Just head over UrbanSitter and enter this code: FORFREETRIAL.
- Hire your sitter. Once you’ve chosen the sitter or nanny that is best for you and your child, book them via their calendar on UrbanSitter (and negotiate a rate, if needed). The sitter accepts the job electronically. Dymond actually texted me after she accepted the job just to say “Hi” and give me her cell phone number.
- Pay your sitter. No more awkward exchanging of cash. My husband usually forgets and I have to elbow him to pay the sitter. So awkward and embarrassing. You can pay by credit card via UrbanSitter (the sitter doesn’t see your credit card info). I was able to add a tip for Dymond too. Of course you can pay in cash. I’m so bad at carrying cash.
- Rinse and repeat for your next sitter–or hire the same sitter gain. Don’t forget to leave a review for your sitter!
I know that looks like a lot of steps, but it’s faster and more reliable than asking my friends for sitter referrals because they don’t want me to steal their sitter! You can also use UrbanSitter to find long term childcare too: nannies, mother’s helpers, date night sitters. They’re also perfect for last minute jobs too. Just use the “Post a Job” option on your dashboard.
Have I convinced you to try UrbanSitter yet? Jaxson had a blast with Dymond! I’m definitely using them to find a mother’s helper this summer when both kids are home.
Don’t forget to get your one free month of UrbanSitter. Just head over UrbanSitter and enter this code: FORFREETRIAL.
Not only is UrbanSitter available in the DC metro area, but you can find sitters in San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, Seattle and other metropolitan cities. Head to the site to see if UrbanSitter is available in your area.
How do you find your sitters?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.