This is a collaborative guest post.
Being a parent of young children and having the time to party aren’t two things which sit side by side. Life is often too frenetic to socialize and with children, getting sleep is higher up the wish list than a night out. This is not always the case if you know how to make beer and party with your friends at home. New Year is just around the corner though and it’s a shame to miss the one night a year when everyone lets their hair down.
If you have decided that this year you’re going to stay out into the small hours, you’ll not only need to know the children are safe at home. Here are some top tips so you can plan the best knees up in recent memory.
Plan ahead for your babysitting needs
If you’ve left it until mid-December to find a reliable babysitter, you need to take action now to book someone. Most parents book well in advance of the festive season but don’t worry – all is not lost. You can now find a trusted babysitter online through a safe babysitting website. While it won’t be someone you know, you’ll have the peace of mind that references have been taken up and that they have professional childcare experience and knowledge.
Everything available on the night
When your sitter arrives, don’t instantly head out of the front door. It’s vital to spend some time discussing your childcare needs. This can include bedtime routines, any food or drink they are allowed, emergency contact numbers, how to log on to the broadband and how the TV works.
Look after your babysitter
Leave plenty of choice of food and drink for your babysitter. Give them a quick tour of where items such as tea and coffee are kept, anything in particular – New Year’s Day essentials perhaps – in the fridge or freezer that are out of bounds and that as they are working, no alcohol is to be consumed. This last rule is about the security of your children, if you book through a reputable childcare agency then you know whoever arrives will be the consummate professional.
Build a two-way relationship
Your babysitter needs to build trust with you in the same way you build a relationship with them. This means having your mobile phone fully charged and available all evening and giving not only your number to the babysitter but a second one in case of poor signal. This could be a neighbour or a nearby relative. The sitter will then have their own peace of mind that should something happen there is someone they can call upon to help or come home.
Very importantly, when planning to go out on New Year’s Eve – say what time you will be home and stick to this. Don’t say you’ll be back just after midnight if you know there’s a chance it won’t be until 3am as it’s not fair on the sitter – they themselves still have to get home. If for some reason you are going to be a little bit later than planned, send a text but ensure you’re home within that hour and honour their commitment to the situation by paying them for that extra hour.
A good babysitter is worth their weight in gold; chances are if you ask your friends who they’d recommend it will be difficult to get any more than a vague answer. They won’t want to share a telephone number – particularly if you’re all going to the same party and all need a sitter. Build a relationship based on honesty and communication from the start with the person you entrust with your little ones and you’ll have discovered someone who will make the New Year a time to definitely celebrate.
If you’re yet to arrange a babysitter, Sitters.co.uk has some tips on how to find a babysitter for New Year’s Eve and information about the going rate.