Most moms have a lot of information about their kids in their heads. We know what our kids don’t like to eat, what bedtime story might give them bad dreams, and what toy might instigate an argument between siblings.
For the most part, it’s OK if we keep that information, as long as we’re our children’s primary caregiver all the time.
But, if you‘re like most parents, you need time away, even if it’s just for a few hours for errands or an extra special date night. That means someone else will be in charge, and they will be responsible for knowing all of the little details you might be storing in your head.
Before we leave the house, most of us will remember to write down our phone number in case of an emergency, what your kids might like for dinner and what time they should go to bed. But here are a few extra things you might overlook that might be helpful for your sitter to have before she’s on the clock.
- The bedtime routine. You might remember to share the time your son should go to bed, but it also might be helpful to share other details that will improve the odds that he will have a good night’s sleep. Perhaps the night light needs to be turned on in his room, he needs to have a glass of water before bed, or he likes to have a certain book read to him before he can sleep soundly.
- All about the pets. Anyone who has pets knows that they can be as much work as kids, especially if your sitter doesn’t know anything about them. Let your sitter know any details about your pets that might be helpful, including when or how often to let your dog out, whether your cat is allowed to sit on the furniture, or if your dog is allowed to eat food scraps from the table.
- The spare key. If your kids are planning to go outside or to the park when you’re away, make sure you let your sitter know the location of your spare key or garage door code. Chances are she will remember to take the key with her, so you can be sure she and your kids won’t be locked out when it’s time to go back inside.
- Frequently used household items. Think of household items you use on a regular basis and show her where they are, so she doesn’t have to search high and low when she needs them. Items like the First Aid kit, extra paper towels, Clorox, the vacuum cleaner or dishwashing soap might not be in plain sight. They might come in handy depending on what the day brings.
- The Rules. Perhaps your kids already know they have to finish their dinner before they can have dessert, or that they can only have a certain amount of screen time before bed. Your kids might be inclined to keep these established rules without you there. But just in case they’re not, it’s a good idea to keep your sitter in the loop on basic rules, so she can help you enforce them.
Depending on the time of day you’re gone, and for how long, your sitter might not need all of this information. But anyone with kids knows that it’s better to be over prepared than not. The more prepared your sitter is, the easier time you’ll have walking out the door with ease, knowing your sitter has all the tools she needs for a great experience.