Babysitters and the Kid with Special Needs

In all of my years of parenting I’ve never really many babysitters.

When my oldest were little we were to poor to be able to afford to go out AND pay for a sitter, so we’d put the kids to bed and have date night at home.

When my younger kids were little my bigger kids were old enough to be able to be on younger sibling patrol for short amounts of time, like when I went walking.

I’ll never forget the time a friend and I were out walking and as we passed my house saw my now 15 year old standing in his window screaming, “HELP!”  “They’re killing me!”

I pretended I had never seen that kid before in my life and hurried on.

Parker’s been a totally different story.  My Mom, who has been through the same trach training I have, is too nervous to be with him by herself.  She’s worried she’ll hurt him, and I understand that.

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I can leave him with Reed of course.  Reed’s big on treating Parker just like all the rest of the kids.  Which may explain why Parker discovered  sitting in the kitchen sink yesterday while I showered.

ahem.

(Actually, Reed is beyond amazing with Parker.  And I trust him completely.  As long as there isn’t a football game on.  heh.)

Other than that, for me to be able to leave the house, Parker needs to have a nurse here.

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I’ve had a couple of neighbors wonder why I just couldn’t set up some kind of list of sitters for Parker.

I could.

As long as they were trained in trach care, trach cpr, knew how to change out a trach, understood the basics of g-tube usage, how to use a sat monitor, and was well versed in how to switch Parker from his trach nose to his trach mask to a vent.  Oh.  And the shaker vest.  Can’t forget the shaker vest treatments and the nebs.

It’s about at this point that my inquirer gets that deer in the headlight look that I sported the first few years of Parker’s life.

Recently I was talking to a few Mom’s of kids with Down syndrome.  The subject turned to finding a good sitter to watch their child so they and their husbands could go out once in a while.  Together.

Seems as though scoring a sitter for even a healthy kid with special needs can be kinda like finding hens teeth.

There aren’t any.

Which can make life really hard.  Especially if Mom needs to work.

So, I decided to come to the experts.

You guys.

And ask you about your experiences finding someone to tend your child with special needs.

Have you been successful in finding a good sitter?

19 Comments

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