General Etiquette > Life...in general

The mystery of the disappearing babysitter

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JeanFromBNA:
Some people will do anything to avoid confronting an "unpleasant" scene.

johelenc1:
This is going to sound really weird, but this is my personal opinion based on my own actual experience....hear me out.



--- Quote from: Ceallach on November 14, 2013, 07:02:23 PM ---Short version:  the babysitter didn't show up one day and I haven't heard from her since.    I'm not sure whether to attempt to contact her just to see what happened and if she's ok, or if to move on.

Long version: When my son "Caleb" was 3 months old I hired a "mother's helper" privately through the local craigslist type site to assist me for a few hours a week around the house and with the baby (I live overseas from my family so it was literally my only support/break except for when my DH was home).   She adored Caleb, and her and I found we got along well and enjoyed chatting.    Eventually it got to the point I would trust her to take him for a walk while I was working. She gave us lots of hand me down items and toys from her own son (5 year old).  All was well for 5 months.   Then for two weeks in a row she called in sick on short notice - once was an emergency with her son, and then next she was unwell. Red flag one.  I was fine with it.    Then the following week she contacted me and said that with her new semester of university starting she was feeling quite stressed Red flag two and would rather not commit to anything for awhile, but to please contact her if there were any adhoc days I needed from time to time.

Two months later I sms'd her and asked if she was free Thursday, she said no she was doing prep for the wedding she was a bridesmaid in on the weekend so things were crazy, red flag three but that she would love to do the following week.  I replied that I didn't need next week but in two week's time so would let her know.  She said great etc.   Following week I SMS to see how she was and if she would like to do the next Thursday, she said yes, asked what time, and expressed her excitement and how much she was looking forward to seeing Caleb. We agreed to 12pm and she asked me to bring the pram so she can take him for a walk.   ...

On the day, I was upstairs with Caleb and needed to pick up the pram from the car for her, so about 2 minutes to 12 I called to see how far away she was so I could time when I needed to go out, so as to not keep her waiting.  (Can't see the door from inside).  I got no answer.   Never mind, she was probably driving still or looking for a carpark.   So I headed out to get the pram anyway and then waited downstairs... for 20 minutes.   At which point I sent a friendly SMS just checking how far away she was.   No response.  And I have literally heard nothing since, 2 weeks later.   :o Red flag four

I took that as basically getting the cut direct, that she's decided she doesn't want to work for me for whatever reason, and was perhaps embarrassed at leaving me in the lurch.     But I keep wondering....     should I be making contact to give her the opportunity to explain?  Or just respect the fact that she clearly doesn't want contact?   For the record, don't think it's a safety issue as I know she has a very strong family and friend support, so if anything bad had happened / emergency she will be well taken care of.   And I guess that's another reason I don't want to hassle her if something truly awful has happened.  It feels like such a strange, awkward situation to me.   I don't want to keep wondering what happened, but at the same time, there seems nothing to be gained by making contact.   And if I were to contact her, what would I say?

--- End quote ---

My personal opinion - the babysitter could be suffering from a depressive episode.  I used to be a nanny.  I adored my kids - just adored them.  If she was that into your child, I find it hard to believe she could just disengage that easily.  During one of my worst depressive episodes ever, I did manage to hold it together for babysitting, but the part-time job I had at the attorney's office took a hit.  First, I would call in because I was sick (really just too exhausted to get out of bed) or I was so busy with school (I was also in college).  The times I showed up (I was allowed to set my own schedule) became less and less.  One day, I just never went back.  I just couldn't deal with it.  I felt absolutely horrible about it.  I never called to even say why.  But the longer time went on, the harder it was to imagine calling him up to explain.

Maybe she's just flaky.  But, something about this just reminds me of me and I think there could be something else going on.  If you really liked her and are truly concerned, I would consider making one more call.  If you get her VM, which you probably will because she's probably avoiding you, tell her this, "Hey Nanny, just wanted to check in on you.  Baby has been missing you!  I know I haven't talked to you and it makes me think maybe something is going on in your life right now, so I just wanted you to know that if there is anything I can do, please let me know.  When life calms down for you, if you'd like to see Baby, just give me a call and we will set something up.  Take care of yourself - hope to hear from you soon!"

If she's just flaky and blowing you off - then whatever.  You'll never hear from her again.  If she is going through something, this gives her an out to call you again without being ashamed.  When she is ready, she can call you and since you have opened the door, she may even explain why she acted the way she did.

It's just a thought.  Maybe I'm totally off, but something in her behavior rings a bell for me.

For the record - I did eventually see my attorney again:-)  He's a real estate attorney and when we bought our new house, we called him.  Since then I've become a real estate agent and just did a closing with him a few months ago.  We've never talked about it, but I think I'd mentioned my mental health issues before and I think he had an idea of what had happened.  He's been nothing but gracious and I'm so grateful:-)

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