For many new parents, leaving their little bundle of joy with a stranger can be a stressful and confusing experience. But since parenting is already a hard enough job, hiring a babysitter has to happen sometime, right? So when Danielle Mitchell, a first-time mom, wanted to head out on a date with her husband, she felt quite anxious about trusting someone else to care for her 10-month-old son.
While having cameras installed in her house should have alleviated some of her worries, that was not the case. This TikTok creator explained how she caught her babysitter sleeping on the couch while on the job, leaving many of her followers with a lot to mull over. At the beginning of the viral video that amassed over 1.8 million views, Danielle asked the viewers if she was “overreacting.”
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Unsure of whether her feelings were valid, she turned to the internet to ask if it is “normal” for a sitter to fall asleep while they’re watching kids. Her story ignited several debates in the comment section with people weighing in on the situation and sharing mixed opinions about her reaction. Scroll down to read how the whole story unfolded and be sure to tell us what you think about it right below!
Earlier this month, a first-time mom Danielle Mitchell turned to her followers on TikTok to ask if she was “overreacting”
Image credits: danimariemit
In the viral clip, she explained that her babysitter fell asleep while watching her child and was unsure whether it was “normal”
Image credits: Alex Bodini (not the actual photo)
Image credits: GKT Electrical (not the actual photo)
You can watch the full video, which got over 1.8 million views, right over here
@danimariemit First time parent problems, I know, but seriously, is this okay? #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #babysitter #firsttimeparent #amioverreacting #isthisok ♬ original sound – Danielle Mitchell
There are no strict rules to prevent babysitters from sleeping while the children they are caring for are taking a nap as well. However, Matthew Taylor, founder of the Kidsit website dedicated to sharing useful information and valuable babysitting resources, explained that doing so is often frowned upon.
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“Sleeping on the job is usually not recommended,” he explained. “You need to be awake and ready to tend to any needs of the children you’re watching. But there are a few exceptions, like if you’re babysitting overnight.”
We humans shape opinions about the world based on our own experiences and the expectations we have developed from them. So when it comes to wondering whether it’s considered “normal” for nannies to doze off while looking after children, Dr. Mundy doesn’t think there can be a blanket recommendation. However, she noted that it’s important for parents to be clear with the sitter about what they expect.
“I absolutely understand why this parent was concerned, particularly as the babysitter didn’t wake up immediately on the parents’ return, but I also understand why the babysitter felt it was OK to sleep given the baby was also sleeping,” the psychologist told Bored Panda. “The difficulty might have come from different expectations so it’s important to be clear with each other before going out and leaving the babysitter to what they might think is normal (which the parent may not).”
Later on, Danielle explained that the home cameras are out in the open and everyone knows they are being watched
@danimariemit Reply to @queenofzilch ♬ BARELY BREATHING – Grant Averill
In another follow-up video, she answered a comment asking if she also sleeps while watching her baby
@danimariemit Reply to @1wasbetterthan2 ♬ original sound Danielle Mitchell
Some TikTokers labeled this whole ordeal as definitely a first-time parent overreaction, but Dr. Mundy told us she wouldn’t say that Danielle went too far. “When we are new to something, particularly something as big as parenting, of course, we may be more anxious,” she said, adding that she certainly was more nervous with her first child than the other two.
“This was the first time the parents had left the baby (except for with parents) and it’s not surprising that they were worried and had particular expectations of the babysitter. It’s hard to relinquish control when we have a little one who we have looked after for so long — and who hasn’t fallen asleep before we went out.”
Of course, uncomfortable and debatable situations like this one could be avoided if people would be crystal clear about what they expect from the person watching after their kids. “The most important thing is to have an open conversation with the babysitter before you leave about your expectations. You need to trust your baby with them and feel that they can offer the care you expect, which in this case included staying awake until the parents returned,” Dr. Mundy told us.
“In relation to our own feelings, we are super-protective of our young children, consistently thinking about them even when we are trying to have a nice time out with our partners,” she said, adding that this is completely normal. “It will take a while to feel comfortable leaving them. It’s always important to reflect on our feelings, to think about how helpful they are and whether we need to cope with them in a different way. But if you have trust in the person looking after your child, you are much more likely to feel less stressed yourself.”
“The parents had clearly thought through what they would be comfortable with — 3 hours out whilst the baby was asleep with an awake babysitter! It is just important that they had communicated this with the babysitter,” Dr. Mundy concluded.
People had mixed opinions about Danielle’s reaction, here’s what they had to say