I was in tears while walking away from the door of Unit 13-204. I can hear Anaiah’s faint cries echoing in my brain. Every step further constricts every breathing cell in my body. It was my first time to leave my first born to someone I barely know and who only knew my daughter from stories and instructions from me. The decision of finding a local babysitter for my little one has been one of the hardest decision I made my entire life. I fear of picking the wrong person and in the end hurt my precious princess more. But nonetheless, my husband and I took the leap of faith.
My husband and I are both working here in Singapore and it has been a challenge for us finding someone to take care of our Aia. My in laws cannot stay long here due to visa issues. We also tried applying to employ a Filipino nanny but the government denied us several times. So we are left with two choices: look for a local babysitter or send our daughter back to Philippines, the latter will never be an option for us.
I first looked through agencies like Babysitters.sg and BBnanny but they do not have someone within my specifications. So I searched through Gumtree and Locanto. From there I managed to find several candidates and interviewed them one by one. There are a few things I have considered in picking the right person:
a. Babysitter’s well being. Of course, I checked if she has been sick or if she is mentally ready etc. I prefer applicants who have daughters/sons too. I shortlisted those who are a bit older or the same age as me assuming that the thinking would be somewhat the same line. I looked for someone who I “feel” is patient enough. I trusted my mother’s instinct.
b. Location and the environment. My daughter will be spending minimum 8 hours in day in the babysitter’s house so its important that the place is clean and baby proof. Also, it needs to be accessible for both me and Dax. We did not opt to get a babysitter near our house because we want to maximize the time spend with the little girl. Now, MRT ride is playtime.
c. Someone who is willing to be a “Partner Mother”. Reality is, the babysitter will be my partner in rearing my daughter apart from my husband so I need her to also believe in my parenting style. The babysitter and I will both learn how to take care of Aia in the best way we can. There will be lapses along the way but what’s important is we are both on the same page. Our objective is to let Aia feel safe and loved all the time.
After I picked the person, I drafted the contract and clearly state the fee, timing and rules on the arrangement. I even have a detailed schedule of Aia. I bought all the baby stuff Aia usually use including her baby cot, toys and pram for hygiene purposes. I also got a copy of the babysitters identification card.
To make the grandparents comfortable too, I gave the babysitter’s facebook name and let them contact her in case they want to do a video call with Aia. Its a good thing that the babysitter is willing to send me videos from time to time and photos of my girl and do video calls with the lolo and lolas.
Yesterday, she cut Aia’s nails without me asking.
So yes, I am trusting her on this. Thanks Nurul. Keep it up.