Why We Don’t Believe in Babysitters…


Oh, don’t get me wrong…
I’m all for using babysitters
and date nights
and time-for-just-the-two-of -us.
And actually we do have a few great sitter options.
And would love more…

We’re in a tricky parenting stage right now with one of our kiddos.
And it means we need to really be here.
And thankfully,
We’ve walked this road before with other children,
It’s not completely new territory.

Let’s just say–
She’s gifted in problem-solving, ingenuity, creativity, boldness, spunk, determination, courage…
But very lacking in wisdom.
And she’s two.
So it’s not that we’re against babysitters,
But it’s tricky to find one that we believe is ready to take on the challenge.

It’s not that she’s directly defiant–
She’s just very spontaneous.
Yesterday she “did her own hair” with half a bottle of olive oil.

When I mentioned that the guinea pig might need a hair cut…
She took care of that for me.

When I was taking a shower during her nap time, she noticed the mailman in our driveway so…
She unlatched the gate on her bedroom door, went downstairs by herself, unlocked the garage door, pushed the correct garage-door-opener-button, and went out to get the mail from him.

(Thankfully we are good friends with our mailman and he stayed and talked with her until I came running frantically out into the driveway.  Since then, we’ve removed the gate and have installed door handle locks for when I just need to know she is in a safe place.  And we’ve also made huge progress when it comes to the staying-in-bed-battle).


It’s not that she’s overtly rude or angry–
But she’s pretty persistent…
The day she figured out how to climb out of her crib (at 15 months)…she did it 27 times.
(Our son kept tally marks).

And she has incredible problem-solving-skills.
When I took her music player out of her room as a secondary consequence to music-player-misuse…
She simply went across the hall, climbed up her brothers’ bookshelf, unplugged the cord from the back of their CD player, transferred it to her room…and used her own cord to plug it back in and get things running again.

And please note…
The whole time I’m typing this I have a huge smile on my face.
This kiddo is a total God-gift.
She has a huge personality and is tender and fun and she is JOY in our lives!

But there have been some dangerous moments as well.
Like the time she opened the child safety latches in the bathroom and drank mouthwash.
Or when she found her sister’s scissors and cut holes in her shirt (while wearing it).
Or when she tried to clean out her own ears with Q-tips.
Or when she ate a staple.
Or when she thought she could jump-fly from our long flight of stairs at the half-way point.
Or when she pushed a chair over to the high-up-hand-rings in our garage and did a flip off them.
Or when she stacked up the toy boxes in her room to reach the off-limits-box at the top of her closet and I found her, clothes stripped off,  covering a thermometer with Vaseline, as she was preparing to take her own temperature.

Thankfully, by the grace of God–
She has not once faced serious injury.
And I fully believe that her incredibly-incredible personality will one day be HUGE for God’s glory.
And we’ve seen some wonderful glimpses of wisdom shine through.

Just yesterday, when she started to lie to me about getting into her brother’s candy box…
She stopped and said,
“I think maybe I just didn’t tell the truth to you.”

And thankfully, by God’s grace–
We have special people in our lives who know her well enough and who love her deep enough to watch her when we need them to.
But, we’re in the thick of it right now.
This parenting journey with this little one.

So what do you do when you find yourself in a–

You keep on in God’s strength…
With patience and consistency and courage.
You cling to His words…
On teaching and training and loving and parenting.

You examine your own heart…
For impatience and anger and inconsistency and doubting.
You fall to your knees…
With deep parent-prayers-pleading.

You take note of small growth…
Of changes and right responses.
You delight in the tender moments…
Of song-singing and book-reading and warm-milk-in-pjs.

You look for the God-gifts…
Unique-hearts made by Him.
You take note of the God-glimpses…
Where prayer-answers are given.

And You look forward in faith-hope.
Faith in results-not-yet-seen.
Faith in each-child’s-unique-design-and-purpose.
Faith in God-who-reaches-little-hearts.
Faith in–
Our God who “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think,  according to the power at work within us (Eph. 3:20).

And you don’t wish it away.
And you give thanks for His good gifts.
Even if it means that for a season…
You have to stop six times while writing a blog post because someone is not napping during nap time.
Even if it means that…
It’s difficult to find a babysitter.

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  1. Stacee T. says:

    LOVE this… and LOVE her!!! What a blessing she is to all you have the privilege to get to be around her!! :)

    • I was cracking up when I saw your email asking for sitter ideas :)
      Perfect timing.

      Um–I’d mostly recomment Aunt Jenn or Auntie (AM) or Aunt Nally or Aunt Muma…
      “Miss Becky” is also a favorite!
      But honestly…”Mr. Buster” is her top choice.
      Cuz they all have “so-much-extra-free-time” to watch our kiddos…

      I need to find some really, EXTRA responsible sitters who aren’t parents with children of their own.
      But–that said–I’m so thankful for our support system of people who love this little one…you are VERY much included in that list :)

  2. Oh Kara,
    She belongs in you family! I do hope you are writing a book as you go! Your children are precious gifts from God!

    • Thanks so much Jan… :)
      I left ya a note on Fb, but Addie was over this week and they had so much fun together.
      Lydi can sometimes “overwhelm” her buddies, but Addie holds her own and it was really fun to watch them together. Just another reminder of God’s goodness in this whole experience…blessing us with friends who also have a heart for adoption and little ones that she can grow up with. Made me feel HUGELY blessed by the connection! :)

  3. Thank you for writing this. I clicked over because your title intrigued me, and I think that most every mom can relate to your words. Your daughter is precious, though, and I so appreciate how you are keeping this “fun” time in perspective. Thanks for the encouragement you just provided for every mom!

    • Thanks for stopping by Courtney and for taking the time to comment…it truly is a fun time and it goes by quickly.

      a few years ago, we lost a little one to a disease, and I think that shifted my perspective quite a bit when it comes to kiddos. I don’t always remember what I learned back then…but deep down…it made me much more aware of how precious each day and each stage is.

  4. reneestam says:

    Your precious daughter sounds a lots like our oldest and youngest little goose :-) They sure are lots of fun!!!!

    *We have a few air cut here resulting from on of our little goose finding scissors like the small one in nails kits!!!!

    * our oldest was 18 months when you sister was born, while I was nursing the newborn,big sister turn all the knobs on the stove on and was standing on top dropping little chunks of bread and burning them that way!!!! Talk about almost having a heart attack!

    * One washed our little wash-room with my slippers with unflushed toilet!!!! (while I was using the other washroom downstairs!!!)

    * most of our walls have very creative artwork on them.

    * in the process of potty training, I can’t tell you of many time I washed their room from stinky artwork, those one that you need gloves and desinfiecting spray!!!!

    Those lively little one do keep us on our toes don’t they?!

  5. Oh my! I forgot how crazy the toddler years can be! ha,ha. She sounds like she is full of life and energy! :) You can direct that for the Lord and she will be unstoppable for Him! :)

  6. Love this! I have boys, and sometimes get that jaded idea that moms of girls don’t get the tiring process of boys – thanks for the reminder that kids are kids and moms are in this journey together.

  7. Oh, do I know what you mean! My daughter was just like this! Now we laugh at all her antics, but then it was quite serious. Thankfully, she is now twenty and our babysitter for our younger boys. She has grown much in wisdom since those early days. :)

  8. Love it! I have TWO of those kiddos! lol…One is 4 and one is 2, but both are incredible problem solvers, and have too much ingenuity sometimes. If my 4 year old sees you do something one time, he’s able to do it himself the next, and as we know, not all things were meant to be done by 4 year olds or 2 year olds…

    • I was just thinking yesterday how much trouble I’d be in if I had two “problem solvers” at the same time…ours were pretty spaced out :)
      But our first three kiddos did arrive 3 in 3 years and even though we had a couple mellow personalities in the mix…that was pretty intense!
      Hang in there and thank you for being able to relate.

      God is good…and I pray for her safety and for Him to channel all this spunk into something-for-His-glory :)

  9. Oh Kara, I couldn’t help but smile at this post! Your smart little cutie patootie does sound like a challenge to take care of! Way too smart! And I see that her inquisitive nature and fearless exploration of the world around her (or because she probably doesn’t know the word ‘danger’ hehe) would make her an extremely intelligent, driven, and strong-willed woman in the future! Your little girl is such a blessing!

    Thank you for this was such an enjoyable read! Take care and God bless, Kara! :-)

  10. thx so much for that perspective check, kara. i don’t want to miss those treasured moments with my son. i want to take them all in — no matter how exhausted i may be at the moment.


    p.s. visiting you here for the first time from the alabastar jar — my first time there, too.

    • I SO understand…
      Sometimes her antics absolutely wipe me out.
      But after writing finishing that post on Saturday, she was really really sick on Sunday, just totally wiped out from a fever and a stomach bug.
      We lost a little one to disease a few years ago and I battle worry often when they are sick…
      It was such a good “reality check” for me…
      To be so thankful for her energy and spirit and health and LIFE!
      But I need to commit to PRAY (even more faithfully than I already do) for her heart to be soft to Him.

      Thanks so much for stopping by Tanya :)

  11. Hi, Kara. I’m here from Michelle’s site. Wow, at two and she has those type of problem-solving skills? You are dealing with a crazy bright child who just may be one of those amazing leaders one day. I can imagine the fear, though. I have one with an adventurous heart and no common sense. But hang on to this ride because she is going to be something else!

  12. Oh, boy! What a cutie pie! She certainly is what we call a “color outside the lines” kind of girl. Our youngest was such a child, but yours is brighter and bolder than ours!

    The good news is that those attributes will stand her in good stead as an adult woman. Our daughter, as much as we despaired of her strong willed traits and the power struggles we foolishly engaged in, has grown into a delightful young lady.

    Like you, I don’t like to “crash” someone else’s post with links, but if you would like to go to my site and do a search on True Colors, Hard Love, and Encourage a Daughter, I think you will find some hope and inspiration for the future.

    Just one more note: I just read your post out loud to this youngest daughter, and she laughed heartily out loud in recognition of the independent behaviors. I also have a friend whose willful little boy was an Houdini, and once unlocked his parent’s front door just at dawn, went to the family truck and drove it across the field and into the woods. He was ok. He is graduating from Annopolis this spring and headed for Navy Seal training.

    Thanks for sharing your joyful daughter with us, and my prayers are with you.

    • Thanks for being able to relate Kim and I pray, pray, PRAY that what you wrote above will be true as she grows older and wiser.
      I’ll have to check our your posts…it’s encouraging to read “down the road” stories :)

  13. Absolutely love this! Especially since I have someone at home with similar ‘skills’! The video is priceless. Although I’m not sure if I’m more impressed by the ABCs or the fact that she has greens on her plate!

    • Ha!
      I knew this would make you happy :)
      Always SO thankful for you Wendy!
      (and that you can relate)

      She actually does love salad and fruits/veggies.
      But she’s a peanut, so we’re always trying to get something a little more solid in her.
      When she had that last stomach bug, I started getting desperate and even gave her frozen-Cool-Whip-on-a-spoon. :)

  14. HopeUnbroken says:

    laughing and praying all at the same time. so glad you can parent with wisdom and joy all bundled into one. and also praying for a supernatural amount of strength and energy for mama!
    blessed day to you, kara!

  15. Loved this! Hang in there!

  16. She is beautiful and sounds like she keeps you very busy! Beautifully written. I found you at The Better Mom.

    • Thank you Michelle…for stopping by and taking the time to comment.
      Besides writing here, The Better Mom is my next favorite place to put words “on paper”.
      Thank you for joining in with the community over there as well.

  17. Healthymommyhealthybaby says:

    LOL right now! She is a spirited child alright! What a gift, and so beautiful! God bless you! Found your lovely blog via A Better Mom today :)


  18. Teshapapik says:

    Thank you for visiting me and encouraging me, you are so very sweet. I can so relate to this post…I am there with you. My three year old girl sounds a lot like your sweet girl. I so appreciate the reminders to keep on doing all that is good. In times of sorrow it is easy to be overwhelmed, thanks for the reminder one day I will see fruit.

    • Oh– my heart broke for you when I read your post…
      Each day, just one-step-at-a-time.
      It’s so hard when you’re in the midst of sorrow, and the grief is so heavy…
      But you have other kiddos and just have to keep. on. with. life.
      In some ways though, I think that is a God-gift…
      The keeping-on.
      Praying He’ll heal your hurting heart and you’ll sense His close comfort and love.

  19. messymarriage says:

    I’m so glad you’re focusing on the blessings, Kara! And some day you will see this beautiful little bud bloom into a breath-taking flower. I’ll pray for you in the meantime–to find a babysitter you trust among a sundry other good things!

  20. soulstops says:

    You are wise to see how God will use all of that incredible spirit one day…I had to chuckle a few times…praying that God will give you all the wisdom and patience you need plus a good babysitter. Visiting from Laura B’s blog.

  21. Kara, I soooo have a child just like yours! Although, he is now 12 years old, but when he was two, I had a 3 month old child and I was living with chronic illnesses (did so for 10 years). My family was hostile towards my Christian faith so the prospect of them helping me out was not an option! God met me during those trying years and molded (still is) me into the vessel that He desires. My boy….he is still alive! Had stitches only once and has yet to break a bone (not sure how that has been possible, but again, all things are possible with our sweet Jesus!)
    He’s got great plans for your little firecracker, just like He does with mine. Who knows, maybe she’ll have many life moments as Esther and mine will have moments as David and Peter!
    Love to you,

    • That’s what I need Jolene…
      Reminders of what He can do with and through this spunky-little-personality.
      Love the way you’re looking with-eyes-of-faith down the road for your guy’s future.
      That’s what I’m praying for Lydi as well.

  22. Love this, you made me smile…you’re attitude about this sweet girl is wonderful! I hope I’ve been learning to have such a great attitude with my little challenges!

    • Thanks Christy-friend.
      I’ve been meaning to come back and comment.
      I love your organization-life-refocus-planning post :)
      And I really appreciate that you took a break to wait on God’s direction and timing.

  23. Ha! I just met you today through Marital Oneness Mondays… and I am so glad I did. My first daughter is 4, and I nicknamed her The Tasmanian Devil. She is quite the bull in a china shop, and it sounds like her and your daughter should never be in the same room together! People keep telling me there is hope for these fireballs, but I think it will ALWAYS be tough… it will just be different issues as they get older. Your attitude is wonderful, though. When mine was 2, I don’t think I was yet so positive. Her first year was a nightmare, screaming colic most of the year, and ‘persistent’ is such an understatement. Hugs!

    Cindy @ Apron Strings and Apple Trees

  24. Hahaha….I have a toddler myself (he will be 3 in June so we are almost out of this stage) and aren’t they so much FUN?!? ;)

  25. Nicolelafond says:

    Wow. You better go ahead and start hiding the keys.


    • Nicolelafond says:

      My favorite quote from the article: “Maxwell said the mother had no reaction to news of what happened to the children.”. Something tells me she was well prepared for that day to come!

  26. smoothstones says:

    Oh, my. This made me feel a little better about the Wild Orange. That video is incredible! Good job, Mama!

  27. You are such an awesome mom! We’ll watch your kids any time :-)

  28. Jessica @ Muthering Heights says:

    She sounds quite like my son…whom I have chased through the woods in my bare feet because he is quite the Houdini!!!

    There types of little ones do require more supervision than most, but the curiosity and courage they show will truly shake the world up one day! :D

  29. I feel the same way. I have a niece who I would love to ask babysit, but I have a four year old who has used peanut butter as sunscreen, figured out all the locks, and is training to be a stunt double.

  30. As a mom of six, I have to tell you I can relate to your post. I am no longer in the phase you are in since my oldest is now 18. I want to encourage you that, this too shall pass!

    Praying for strength, patience, wisdom and a God sent babysitter.

    Visiting from the Better Mom Blog.

  31. Oh, how I appreciate your post. Thank you so much for sharing.

  32. Is it bad to admit that I laughed out loud several times while reading this?! It wasn’t that I was laughing at you exactly, but laughing because it brought back so many memories. I have been there! Our Miss Optimism (who is now a very calm 10 year old) was the busiest, most impulsive toddler. Combining that with her complete lack of understanding over consequences and we had our share of scares over the years. I remember well the time we turned our backs for a second and found her standing in our friend’s pasture surrounded by cows or when she climbed out of her crib, opened her door, walked down the stairs, pushed over a chair to unlock the deadbolt, and left the house in the middle of the night. We found her a block and a half away. That scared us so much that we installed a door alarm on her bedroom door. The time she covered her brother and herself with olive oil or the time the two of them got into honey and mixed it with corn starch on the floor or her enjoyment of cracking raw eggs into the toilet, on the floor, and at other people’s houses on their carpet (ugh!).

    It sounds like you have exactly the perfect attitude for this phase and it comes with so many joys and then is soon over.

    • Can I just tell you HOW much I LOVED your stories….??? :)
      I think I owe you an email.
      Did you email me a week or so ago?
      I found it in my spam box and then last week our computer crashed and we were able to retrieve the photos, but lost all our old emails and contacts. Still sorting all that out…

  33. Tiffany Elkins says:

    the world is a crazy place, isn’t it. We do not have babysitters either. Grandma sometimes (rarely because we have 7 and not to many people want to watch all of them) but now, our oldest is 13 and I am able to run to the grocery for milk or something by myself but it has been 13 years that I have been bringing them everywhere from hours and hours of grocery shopping or cloths shopping it doesn’t matter. I just feel safer with them with me.

    • We’re just hitting that stage…
      Our oldest two can stay home alone, but this little one still NEEDS to come along with me…not ready to leave her yet, but it does change a lot to have the freedom to run to the store quickly and not pack everybody up to bring along…

  34. Dusty Shell says:

    I just found your blog from the Titus 2sdays link up and I have to say that your little girl is just precious! I have a Lydia as well. :) My oldest daughter watched that video with me and we both were giggling at how cute your Lydia was saying her phonics sounds!

  35. Jen Ferguson says:

    I can’t believe she is just 2. But, I love your point — loving in any circumstance. I’m trying to find some light in a semi-difficult situation with my oldest. I think for me as first seeing her as God created her to be, then with all the good stuff in her heart. It makes the sin easier to deal with that way.

  36. Kara, I laughed till I cried; Emily told me I would.
    Either my kids were easier, or it has all blurred with the decades, because None of them was EVER a bit of Trouble. Ever….
    Oh good, someone’s coming with my medication now………

  37. Wow! She is SMART!!! And while her stories are so amusing I’m sure for Mom and Dad they are not! She is going to be brilliant and I agree that she is going to do great things!! She is so beautiful by the way, so adorable and darling!! :)

  38. I think she is just about the most beautiful thing I have ever seen :). Oh, my , you have your hands full. One day she is going to change the world. Or rule it.

  39. What an incredible post; I enjoy every moment of reading it. I think you should send this post to a parenting magazine to be published. I think you have a challenge on your hands but also a child with a strong will; which can be a blessing. In today’s world we need children who are strong and can fight against Satan’s power.
    The pictures were so adorable and I thought your thoughts were awesome. I must say also that I am smiling on this one. She is indeed an amazing two year old.

  40. Well it’s quite obvious that this little one is absolutely brilliant! A parenting challenge indeed!

  41. She is beautiful. Do you sleep in shifts so someone is awake to make sure she is safe? That girl is going to be a real ‘humdinger’ of a person when she is grown. She is lucky to have a family like your so she can blossom to the fullest extent of her ability. May the Lord bless you all and keep her safe.

  42. libertybain says:

    Oh darling – so well said!
    blessings as you walk the 2 year old road!

  43. Bless her and you!! The Strong-willed children our are leaders it’s just our job to train them in the way they should go to be lights in this world. I have a feeling you are doing a pretty good job at that! She’s pretty smart and sharp as a tack, there will never be a boring day in your house :)

  44. Kl_elliott says:

    I completely understand not using sitters. We have friends who don’t understand and family members who think we should get them used to being with other people, but we just see it differently. We will have many years to do all the things we don’t now, but the years with our children at home will be over too soon.

  45. Mariah Magagnotti says:

    Seems like such a sweet girl! Its great that she has parents who appreciate her “gifts” :)

  46. Oh my! I smiled through this entire post:) My two year old is exactly like this! She walks into a room and looks for “trouble”…something to get into or something to taste, touch, smell, and/or take apart. She wears me out!! I love her to pieces though and like you, just KNOW that God has some special plans for her. May God bless you as you hold onto Him through these busy days!

  47. I kept laughing as I read this…. your daughter sounds amazing…

  48. I am so encouraged by your post! Thanks!

  49. Kara, this post is so beautifully written! We have one similar to yours, only she is 5 1/2. She speaks her mind, asks endless questions, and pushes boundaries at every turn. Your words of positive light in a seemingly endless sea of nerves and frustration is awesome. Our little one needs us, and has spent little time with anyone else because you never quite know what she will find next!

  50. Heidi Brachle says:

    Found you through We Are That Family -works for me wednesdays-. Loved this post! It reminded me of stories I’ve heard about my husband when he was a child and now things I’m starting to see in our 18 month old. I also love your broader outlook at it all; leaning on God for grace and strength, looking for new evidences of His grace in your child’s life and giving thanks for it all. Lydia is a BEAUTIFUL little girl and I’m sure she brings abundant joy and laughter to your home. This is the second great reminder of grace filled parenting that I’ve read just today. I linked to the other one on my blog if you want to check it out.

  51. Oh, what a sweetie! And how busy you must be. Wishing you all the strength, peace, patience, and humor that you need.

  52. Wow! That’s hard to believe she’s only 2. She’s already amazing… I’m glad you’re value your precious little one. My sister did back flips out of her crib… no joke! I remember how freaked out my mom was. I loved the tie into faith. May God grant you patience and wisdom with your daughter! God’s blessings!

  53. I know this is old, but I just saw this, and I had to leave a comment… this sounds like my daughter, the one that climbed before she walked. And I mean climbed… The one that people say ” she must be going to go into some extreme sport someday she is so tough”… yep, and she is only 2… I LOVE her personality, but oh boy is she creative!

  54. Michelle says:

    I live in this world too!!!! I can’t leave my little guy for fear of what he’d pull on an unsuspecting person. I also love every minute of it!


  55. This post was so encouraging to me. We are in a difficult stage with our oldest (girl, aged 2 1/2) where whenever she goes to grandma’s house she comes home with the most naughty behavior. It’s hard, because we feel like she needs to be with us all the time for training through this stage but then grandma gets her feelings hurt.

  56. I don’t like babysitters for that same reason…we have a 3 and 1 year old girls…my little messes and it takes a team to keep up with my girls. From rearranging furniture to negotiating naptimes at this point I think that me and hubby are the best 2 for the job.

  57. She is such a doll! I can’t believe her ingenuity at such a young age. It will be amazing to see what God has planned for this little dynamo!

  58. Thanks for this! I know the post is old, but I needed it after this week. A week ago Wed, my 3 yr old grand-daughter put a bobby pin in a light socket, producing blue sparks, and a burn on her finger. Then on Monday, I was almost finished loading 5 small children into the van when a police car pulled up behind me. This same 3 yr old had called 9-1-1, and when asked about her emergency, told the dispatcher she had been electrocuted and had a burn! I was in the bathroom! I had always joked that I can’t even pee when all the children are awake, but now it’s not so funny! At the very least, I have to take the phone with me!

    • Oh Inga…I’m so with ya!
      I’m sorry…but I’m kinda laughing too :)
      It’s good to get to “that place of laughing” and trusting God for the energy and patience to keep up with this kind of stuff.
      You have my promise…all week when I’m on-the-edge I will stop and pray for me…and for you as well. Love, K

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  1. […] Why We Don’t Believe in Babysitters  (this has improved quite a bit and we’re now having weekly-walking-date-nights) […]

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