I have a comondrum (that’s obviously what a conundrum on a Monday is called).
Here is the scenario: You and your partner get invited to a party. It sounds like fun and you decide you’re going to try to get a sitter for your two (or more) little ones. You get a sitter. The day comes and you go to the event. Your friends, your partner’s friends, their friends of friends and some of their friends of friends are there and so are some of their kids. Somehow in the hustle and bustle of the party, you — because you’re a mom — get handed a baby or put in charge of keeping an eye on some toddlers for ‘a second’. It’s cool. But then 30 minutes goes by or 45-minutes or, worse, an hour.
Why is this a thing?!?!!
Listen. I’ve asked someone to watch Matty while I ran to get Bot something. I’ve asked someone to “make sure Bot doesn’t kill himself” while I did something for Matty or ran to the bathroom or the kitchen – or all three. But I know how big of a pain in the ass my kids can be because I live with them; I would never take them to a party or an event with the intention of handing them off to someone else or assuming that just because they’re also parents and they don’t have their kids that that is ironically exactly how they want to spend their kid-free time.
But here’s the thing, does this make me crazy? Because it feels taboo to look at another parent — friend or not — and tell them I’m not particularly into babysitting their kids because I got a sitter for my own. It also feels rude to give someone their kids back when I’m a parent and I don’t have my kids because, yes, “it takes a village”. I mean, would I ever tell a friend or a friend of a friend or even a stranger that I couldn’t watch their child while they tended to their other child or went to the bathroom or whatever?? No. But just because I say yes, does not mean that I want to do it for an hour, let alone longer.
And, yes, it does take a village. If someone’s child was contemplating sprinting into the road or teetering on the edge of the pool, I’d jump in front of a car or into a pool in a split second. If a meteor hit the planet and it was just me and all the kids (knock on fucking wood), I’d call them mine and we’d conquer mother nature as one. But I’m not here to babysit your kids while you meander around, shoot the shit and play games. I’m here to fucking meander, socialize and play games. I’m here watch other people take care of their kids while I drink cocktails and stare gratefully off into the distance and think fondly about my own children because I. got. a. sitter.
If I bring my kids to a party, by all means ask me to watch your kids. If I show up without my kids, you can still ask me (because, let’s be serious, I’m a pushover and I’ll say yes) but be courteous with my time because you’re an adult. And, more importantly, I’m on a GD break — and we all know how nice those fuckers are.
They are niiiiiiice.