As a mom to young kids, I have started to notice a theme amongst parents. Everyone has the “thing” they feel is super important.
The “thing” is what they are really passionate about regarding their kids. Some parents are really focused on things like finding the perfect pediatrician, their babies’ sleep, car seat safety, the perfect stroller, baby-wearing, germs (thus always carrying wipes and sanitizing everything their child may come in contact with). The range of opinions around feeding (breast milk, formula, organic baby food, and homemade baby food), the list of “things” goes on and on. You’ll know when you have discovered another parent’s “thing” because they will become really animated and passionate talking about it and sharing their expert knowledge.
Oftentimes, other parents have opposing opinions (ahem judge). I couldn’t nail down what my parenting “thing” was until my close girlfriends pointed it out for me: I am very picky about who watches my kids.
I am usually a laid back mom (I think). I am perfectly happy with my kids eating off the kitchen floor, but I will get very fired up discussing who watches my children. One of my earliest blogposts outlined 8 steps to find a nanny. To weed out applicants, I created a 50+ question application (you can see it here, scroll to the bottom)! I was methodical about finding the best person to fill the position. We have been incredibly blessed to find the right nanny for us (who is amazing in every way possible and has really become a part of our family), but I know I scrutinize the character of folks just babysitting my kids for a few hours.
I want the moral fiber and character of those interacting with my kids to be impeccable. Additionally, I do not want someone who uses the TV or an iPad as tools to entertain my children. Whoever is with my children should be outstanding, kind, and basically amazing role models for my children. According to this Myers Brigg’s personality quiz, I have strong intuition, so if I don’t feel right about someone, I listen to my gut. Since I carefully vet potential babysitters, I do not leave pages of detailed written instructions for sitters to follow because I expect the person I choose to watch my girls will have common sense and know how to put together a snack or sandwich when the girls are hungry (and honestly, eating junk food is a given perk of having a babysitter over), how to change and dispose of dirty diapers, and brush teeth before bed. I am hyperaware of having my girls in the hands of only those with a stellar moral compass and compassion and I will veto someone who off-handedly remarks they cheated someone out of money because the restaurant bill was incorrect, or a store didn’t ring something up correctly. I do not try to cut corners in this way (bad karma), so I don’t want my girls to think this is acceptable behavior either. For example, we were once accidentally credited $100 from Target when returning an item. My husband corrected the customer service person about the error. The employee was surprised and commented a lot of people would not have said something. Yes, we essentially gave back “free” money, but it would weigh heavily on our consciences. We just don’t need it.
To sum it up, if my husband and I are not with our girls, I want the next best person and having the very best people around my daughters, well, it’s just my “thing.”