This post is in partnership with College Nannies+Sitters+Tutors.
Since our daughter was born, I've had the privilege of spending each and every day with her, watching her grow from a tiny, sweet baby into a confident, lighting-fast, almost one year old. We've done everything together these past 11 months: passing out together from sheer exhaustion, breastfeeding in public, crosstown bus rides during rush hour (and nap time), figuring out how to grocery shop with a car seat in the shopping cart, vacuuming while baby wearing, living room dance parties, hours-long snuggles, and generally just having a good time. With family rarely an option for care taking, every day has been an adventure together, just the two of us, me and my girl, mama and baby, two peas in a pod. With all of that togetherness, however, has come a bit of separation anxiety (on her part) and also an inability to get much done (on my part). Enter College Nannies+Sitters+Tutors (CNST).
When I learned of CNST's services, I hoped it would be just the thing to get our daughter more comfortable around other people while allowing me the opportunity to (finally!) get some work done and offering my husband and I the chance to (finally!) get out at night for more than just our birthdays and anniversary. As a first time mother, the process of finding a trustworthy and qualified sitter who could make a connection with our daughter was intimidating but CNST's process and 17 years of experience as an established company provided me with reassurance and peace of mind for entrusting our daughter into someone else's care.
CNST offers on-demand babysitting services whenever or "why-ever" you need them. Their sitters, mostly local college students, are trained and vetted with in-depth background checks. Scheduling can take place weeks, hours, or minutes in advance, depending on your needs, and it can all be done through an easy-to-use app.
Our first step in solving our babysitter struggles was to schedule an in-home meeting with a CNST representative to understand and assess our needs. Julie listened patiently as I described our recent experience with separation anxiety and the fact that without having the opportunity to be exposed to many other caretakers, our daughter's bond with us had become so solidified that anyone other than my husband or me is often met with hesitation and tears. With Julie's understanding of our daughter and home, she created a list of preferred sitters who she believed would be the best fit for us. To schedule one of these sitters, I would simply log in to the CNST app, select the date I needed a sitter, and the available care takers would appear.
I planned to schedule our first sitter during a weekday when I would be home so that my daughter could get comfortable with her while I was close by. The process of scheduling our sitter was simple and efficient. I was able to read a bit about the available sitters' interests and qualifications, which helped me to select someone I felt would be a good match for our family. I shared a bit about the fact that this would be our daughter's first sitter experience with a non-family member in the notes section and crossed my fingers that this babysitter wouldn't cancel on us out of fear of being our guinea pig. Thankfully I received a confirmation notification immediately and began looking forward to responding to accumulating emails without the typos that come from trying to work with a baby in my lap.
Our sitter reached out to us beforehand to ask if there was anything additional she should know and to say that she looked forward to meeting us. She arrived on time (early actually!) and made a beeline for my daughter, sitting on her play mat with her and asking her to show her some of her favorite things. My daughter was so thrilled to show off her favorite striped ball to this new friend that she didn't even notice when I stepped out of the room. As I went through my inbox, I heard my daughter giggling and chattering in the other room, having a good time even though her mama was down the hall.
While I don't expect that we have cured our daughter's separation anxiety just yet, I am optimistic that we are on our way to getting her to be not just comfortable, but happy with someone in the temporary absence of her mama and dada. We are grateful to CNST for that opportunity and look forward to our next sitter experience. To learn how CNST can help make your life a little easier, visit https://www.collegenanniesandtutors.com. Thank you College Nannies + Sitters for sponsoring this post, all opinions are honest and my own.