2012 21/03

Scheduling babysitters is like a juggling act

Me: Hey! Hunger Games hits theaters this Friday. Want to go?

Him: Heck yeah! Call the sitter. Let’s make it happen!

Ugh. Sitter. I forgot about that small detail. Always the wrinkle in my kid-free plans.

I love our sitters. Our kids love our sitters. But scheduling one takes work.

I have to call Sitter #1. Leave a message (or text). Wait for a response (which could take an hour or a day). If she says “no” then I have to move on to Sitter #2. Repeat the process. Possibly move on to Sitter #3. Repeat the process (and beg). When it’s all said and done, it could take me the better part of a week to finally get a sitter scheduled. If at all.

Honestly, the whole idea leaves me disgruntled so I often times hesitate even doing it. We’ll just wait until it’s available on DVD.

So, when I received an email from Splash Creative Media introducing me to Sitter Scout, I was very intrigued. Let’s be honest, if it’s going to make scheduling a sitter easier, thus allowing me to see a movie other than G-rated in the theater, well let’s do this thing!

I visited SitterScout.com and signed up for my free account, which was way easy! {I do so love those no-hoops experiences.} Then I entered in each of my babysitters’ names and mobile numbers, indicated whether they had their own transportation, and which “round” I want to place them in.

Sitter Scout

When I’m ready to schedule a sitter, I simply logon to SitterScout.com, click “Schedule a Sitter”, enter in the details and select which sitters I want to send it to.

Sitter Scout
Sitter Scout
Sitter Scout

Those sitters get a text asking them if they are interested and they are able to respond with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ text. The first one to respond accepting it gets the job! And, if none of those first round sitters respond within an hour, then a text goes out to my second round sitters and on to the third round an hour after that.

Sitter Scout

Once a sitter does accept the job, I get a text telling me so.

Sitter Scout

And then I do a happy dance and try to find something in my closet to wear that doesn’t have spit-up or peanut butter smeared on it.

My sitter even receives a text with a link that allows him/her to edit the details of the job and another 48 hours before the job to remind him/her that if they don’t show up I just might hunt them down. Ok, maybe they don’t get the whole hunting down thing, but you get the point.

Sitter Scout

I was really impressed with how easy the whole process was. You just want to make sure you give your sitters a heads-up that you’re using this service so they don’t get confused when they receive texts from Sitter Scout.

I’m not a huge fan of the system only waiting an hour between when it sends emails to the next “round” of sitters. I’d like to see that customizable. But you do get to select which sitters you send a job offer to. So, if you’re doing a daytime event, your an send that job offer to only those sitters that you know can do daytime sitting.

There was also a small glitch in the response texts sent to my sitter but I’ve sent that info to the company and I’m sure it will be fixed soon (after all, it’s in beta right now). — UPDATE: They just fixed it! Awesome response time!!

Now, while this service does not guarantee that I’ll actually be able to get a sitter when I need one (hello, that app would make you a millionaire), it does make the whole process a little easier. Which means less time trying to call or text individual sitters. Which I’m a fan of!

It’s all about streamlining! And finding something that I can actually wear on a date night that doesn’t scream MOM OF A TODDLER!

You can see more about it all at SitterScout.com.

What is your biggest hurdle when scheduling a sitter?

You should know…this post is part of a compensated campaign with Splash Creative Media and Sitter Scout. All opinions are my own.

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