"Yeah... Umm, [insert any other mom's name] probably knows of someone. Maybe you should ask her. Oh, my goodness, look at the time! Gotta run, kthxbai"
So when it came to finding a regular afternoon sitter for my two children, I turned to the one place that always has an answer-- the Internet!
I choose an online sitter service which advertised, "Let the sitters come to you". Awesome! I paid the membership fee, harnessed all of my charm and marketing savvy to create a spot-on job description, and waited. And waited. And waited.
I have never used online dating; not even as a pretty, young advertising intern putting in time on the Match.com account. I have nothing against it, mind you. I have a number of friends who have had tremendous success with it. On the other hand, I have many more who have NOT. If it's anything like the maddening process of finding a good sitter, I completely understand why.
I had to try very hard not to take it personally when no one responded to me within the first hour or even the first day. I must have logged into my account fifty times wondering if I should change some of my preferences, provide more fun and quirky details about our family, or upload a better photo.
True to their word, the site brought forth several promising responses. It just took a few days. Then followed the exchange of tentative emails, culling through the shady ones, background checks, and finally arranging a first date... er, interview.
The result has been a parade of hits and misses, each of whom deserve a blog post entirely unto themselves. The good ones are all the same, but the bad ones have been super extraordinarily so.
The worst actually said to me, "I don't mean to sound judgmental but... is there ANY discipline in this house?"
She then proceeded to lecture me on my parenting style, listing all of the ways my way is WRONG. Being that she doesn't have children of her own and recently closed down her in-home daycare because "she couldn't handle being alone with kids", I totally appreciated and respected her input... (smirk)
Note to self: Don't schedule interviews with potential nannies immediately following a fro yo/lunch/play date. Come to think of it, having a fro yo/lunch/play date isn't actually such a brilliant idea either.
A guy once told me that first dates are like job interviews. It so happens that we were on a first date at the time, so naturally I batted my eyelashes and pretended to interview him. He didn't get that I was joking. There was no second date.