Disclaimer: while I have negotiated a coupon code (use code MOTHERHOOD at hellochime.com for $50 off your first sitting) for all you Motherhood What readers from Chime, I in no way have been compensated for this post. All opinions are my own, and I have been a loyal Chime user since August 2015.
Finding a rotation of good babysitters is a parenting chore that tends to rank right up there with “putting all the books up on the shelf for the 7th time today” and “showering.” Unless you’re fortunate enough to have willing-and-able family nearby, more than likely at some point you will find yourself paying someone else to watch your precious mini-human(s) while out of the house. This requires an immense amount of trust on multiple levels: letting someone into your sacred safe space of your home, and, more importantly, trusting they will care for your little ones in a way you will not only find acceptable but will find comforting enough to actually enjoy your time away.
When we moved to Chicago Wee Connor was about 6 months old. We hadn’t ever really used babysitters in Charlotte because he had been nursing so much, and then whenever we did go out (read as: go back home to sleep for multiple hours at a time…in a row…which is still the best thing ever) my husband’s parents were typically in town so we could cash in on their desperation to spoil their first grandchild. Suddenly in Chicago we found ourselves able to get away due to a more independent child but, more importantly, wanting to get away more. Having that mental break and kid-free time as adults made us able to tackle the not-as-fun kid times (think: teething, sicknesses, crankiness, etc.) a million times better. I also firmly happen to believe it’s a good thing to have my child know that sometimes I won’t be right there, but I will come back, and his world will keep turning. Adaptability isn’t high on a baby/toddler’s personality traits, but giving into his desire for true consistency 100% of the time won’t help him in the long run.
So what did I do when I needed a sitter, didn’t have family in town, and didn’t know where to turn?
I turned to Chime.
Chime is a website/app that connects you to babysitters. You simply pick a time you need a sitter, and Chime will give you a list of 3 sitters available in that slot. The sitters are guaranteed to be available if they appear in that list (read as: no calling/texting/emailing 35 babysitters hoping they’re available). You can view their profile/experience, watch a video of them, and see other parents’ reviews of their experience, then book the sitter you’d like to hire. At the end of the night you pay them directly through the site. No needing to grab/break cash on the way back, no awkward exchanges at the end of the evening, and you can add in extra expenses like dinner or tips directly on the app. Once you have booked a sitter you can gain access to their schedule to book them again directly.
That convenience stuff is great, I know, but what’s actually great about this site? The sitters.
You guys, straight talk: the sitters are all incredible. Chime pre-screens, pre-interviews, pre-does-everything-you-want-done-before-hiring-a-sitter. Not once have I had a bad experience with a Chime sitter after almost 10 months of using the service fairly regularly. Every single sitter has been on time, willing to listen to my requests, ask the right questions, and has reached out to me before the sitting engagement as well. Each sitter I’ve had through Chime has been a sitter I could only dream to find on my own. Their strict interview process clearly works and if there has ever been a problem (usually my problem in terms of not using the site correctly, hashbrown mombrain*) their customer service has been impeccable.
Chime is available in Chicago, Boston, DC, and New York. The rates are standard sitting rates for the cities available (Chicago is $14/hour, each additional child is $1/hour).
And, you know, because I like you all so much, I happened upon someone at Chime and got them to offer up $50 worth of babysitting credit to new users with the code MOTHERHOOD. You can think of this as getting paid to go out on the town. (Again, I am not receiving any kickbacks from Chime for writing this post.) Just go to hellochime.com and enter MOTHERHOOD when booking.
So go out and enjoy some kid-free time and enjoy yourselves as adults! Not only do you deserve it, you probably need it more than you realize. Think of this as putting on your mental oxygen mask first before you can help others fully.
*Extra points if you catch that Kimmy Schmidt reference**
**PSA: In case you hadn’t heard, Season 2 is out on Netflix.