Anxiety and Babysitters
In our case, in addition to ADHD and learning differences there is a slight twinge of anxiety that creeps into our daily lives. Our son is really happy at his school and with his school friends. He also is still very close to his best friend from growing up and is always happy to have him over for a play date. Outside of this, anxiety tends to creep in and affect everything else.
When our long term favorite babysitter needed to take extra classes in order to finish college, we needed to find a new babysitter for the afternoons before my husband and I are done work. We ended up hiring two girls from our local college who were very nice and sweet. The change, however, was too much for our son and he proceeded to lock himself in the back upstairs room of our house every day for a month. Not a good situation. We kept hoping that he would get used to the idea and give the girls a chance. We talked about it with him and tried different strategies to no avail. I felt horrible for our son in that this kind of change was so traumatic for him. I also felt badly for the girls and for us. Juggling work, homework, kids’ activities, laundry and commitments on a daily basis is challenging enough. Throw in a healthy dose of anxiety and it becomes that much more difficult. In situations like this, I tend to go through a full range of emotions from sad to supportive to angry.
So when college ended for the year in the beginning of May, we found ourselves with no babysitter and no support in the afternoons. My husband and I juggled everything together and the kids probably spent a little more time in front of the TV than they should have. Neither my husband nor I could face just yet the trauma of finding another babysitter. We also needed to make some decisions about the summer which would determine the amount of hours that we would need from a sitter.
I then had an epiphany when asking a friend about the local college job boards. He joked that they had gotten a response from an attractive male college polo player that we might want to consider. His twin nearly teenage girls and an attractive male college polo player was not a good match for them. I immediately laughed at his joke and we went on with our conversation.
However when I hung up the phone, I thought about a male babysitter. It could work. We had always had female nannies and au pairs. Maybe it was time to consider something different that our son might be comfortable with.
So we met with a friend’s son about babysitting and he started this week. SUCCESS. Our son loves having a male babysitter and looks forward to seeing him every day. (Okay today was only day 3). No running to the bedroom or back room to hide – just soccer, baseball and giggles.
So maybe this solution was not so creative but it did require for my husband and I to think “out of our box” that we had created regarding babysitting! So we have a new babysitter but no anxiety, for now. Hooray!!!! And so I celebrate a tiny success.
Until next time …. Take care.