22 April, 2012
I work part time for a great family, and I supplement that with lots of occasional babysitting jobs. I recently met a new family, dad works full time, mom is a SAHM who just needs a few hours here and there to run errands and such. I spent a day with the two little girls (3 and 4 1/2), and had a great time. The mom asked if she could call me again and I said definitely!
The second time I went over there, I arrived in the morning and the mom was nowhere to be seen. The dad answered the door in his PJs and announced that he would be working from home. WHAT!?!? They didn't even tell me! Because of an incident a few years ago, my policy is to never accept jobs where the dad works at home unless I know that dad very very well. This man was a complete stranger, I had never even met him, and I have to spend the whole day alone in a house with him? This is completely unacceptable. (I say alone because the kids are hardly going to be able to help me fight him off...)
Luckily, it was a nice day out, so we spent most of the day walking and playing at the park. However, I can't count on being able to get out of the house every time. I am wondering if I should be unavailable to them from now on, or if I should explain to them why I am turning them down. At first, I felt like they tricked me into that situation by not informing me beforehand that dad would be home. I assumed they knew that a nanny wouldn't want to work with the dad there, so they lied about it so I wouldn't turn down the job. But now I am thinking maybe they were just clueless. Perhaps they forgot to mention he would be home, or maybe they just aren't tuned in to what is important to the safety of young women. So I suppose I don't really think they intentionally fooled me, but so many people don't consider how their actions will affect others!
So now I am not sure what I should do. If I just turn them down every time they ask me to babysit, they will have no clue what drove me away. I would like to educate them that in this day and age, it is inappropriate to expect a young woman to work alone in a building with a strange man. They may end up losing other babysitters because of this, and if no one tells them they will never learn. But I do not want to insult them, chances are, the dad is like 99.9% of dads I have met and is a totally decent guy. He may be very upset and take it personally. I guess I don't really care if they call me again... which do you all think I should do?
at 7:15 AM