Dumpster Diving, Pot Smoking Baby Sitters

So, I don’t blog too much about my personal life, but this is funny, and also leads to some good advice…..

For the past few years my husband and I have had the most amazing baby sitter in the world, really the absolute best! However, it must be true that all good things come to an end, she now has a “grown up” job and just a few to many things going on in her life to watch my little ones. For a few months my husband and I have been missing date night so I decided it was time to admit that I needed to find a new baby sitter. Now for those of you with kids you know that this is no easy task. It could be easier to do just about anything else, finish med school, fly to the moon in a handmade flying saucer, get three children to sleep at a reasonable time, climb Mt Everest etc… really any of those could be easier than finding a new baby sitter. Yet no matter how daunting the task was I knew that if I ever wanted to have a date with my husband again I needed to start the baby sitter search.  I did what any internet savvy mom would do, I turned to Craigs List. I have had great luck in the past with Craigs List. I have gotten jobs, sold baby items, found amazing people to rent our house,found places to sell my art etc…. so how hard could it be?? I placed an ad and the responses started rolling in.  I thought wow, this is great so many kind, responsible, experience people (at least according to their bio they were giving me) all wanting to watch my boys one night a week so my husband and I could get out and actually talk to each other! Now, being the smart internet savvy mom that I am the next logical step in the process was to start googling the names of the people who have responded…. and that is where it all started to go downhill. Let’s just say if you are looking for a pot smoking dumpster diving baby sitter I can now provide you with a list of some great applicants!! Luckly there are a handful of people who according to what I could find on google have the potential to be normal, so let the coffee shop blind dates with potential baby sitters begin……….and that is how my baby sitter search has been going until about 11:30 today when I dropped my middle son off for a play date. I was telling my friend about my baby sitter search, and she told me about the most amazing website EVER!  www.care.com it is a website that for a small (and very worth it) fee you have access to profiles, and photos of people interested in baby sitting your children. Best of all they provide you with background check information! Isn’t that just brilliant. Seriously if you are looking for childcare, pet care, elderly care check out this website, from what I have seen so far it seems fabulous!


2 thoughts on “Dumpster Diving, Pot Smoking Baby Sitters

  1. Hi Dawn,

    I’m assuming I am the dumpster-diving babysitter you refer to in your post (though you must be referring to two separate babysitters, as I am most definitely not a pot-smoking babysitter, nor would anything on the internet indicate otherwise). I would love to share a few thoughts with you:

    1. Yes, I have gathered, eaten, and dispersed food that has been thrown out by grocery stores. Believe it or not, dumpster-diving has become so ubiquitous within urban culture that even Oprah did a television show about it. Organizations of folks who glean food from various sources (farms, restaurants, dumpsters) exist in most cities. I know only a handful of people who live in cities in my age range who have not participated at some point in time.

    2. You may not be familiar with the policies of grocery stores, but large stores have regular orders of produce coming in regardless of how much produce is going out in sales. This means that millions of tons of perfectly good food is thrown away in this country every year, despite the fact that 49 million (14%) of Americans are currently classified as hungry. Many grocery stores, such as the ones that I and my friends frequented, have special containers that are strictly for produce only–no trash, no meat, no prepared foods. The container is frequently emptied by the city’s compost system. Many grocery store workers are sympathetic to dumpster diving, and will often package up good quality food and place it just outside the dumpster, or on top. Essentially, this makes the container a large (and clean) source of perfectly good produce that is going to waste while lots of folks remain hungry. I have worked on and visited several farms all over the world, and I have also worked in multiple restaurants, and I can attest with sincerity that many of the dumpsters I have visited have been cleaner sources of food than the food that I’ve seen sold to grocery stores or served in restaurants. Of course, regardless, we fastidiously sanitize any food gleaned from such sources.

    3. You mention the difficulty of finding a new babysitter, comparing it to climbing Mt. Everest or going to med school. I completely agree–I have thought many times about how difficult that task will be one day when I have children, and my own protectiveness of my niece and nephews make me wary to trust anyone I don’t already know with them! However, I can assure you of something that is far more difficult–that is feeding your child (or yourself) healthy and nutritious food when you are unemployed, underemployed, or underpaid. I have worked in social services for nearly a decade, and I know very well the hardships that families face when trying to find fresh foods to eat. If you had read the article about me dumpster diving in its entirety, you would have seen that the housing community I lived in was part of a community food co-op that made fresh fruits and vegetables (almost impossible to find at food banks and shelters) available for people for free (or for a small cost if they chose to contribute). I am proud that I was part of such an organization, and that I have helped people who are struggling have access to food that nourished them. I am also proud that the 10-20 people in my community were able to raise nearly $100,000 over a ten year period to donate to community projects–and we were able to do so almost exclusively on wages made working at non-profits and social service organizations–usually wages that were less than what you are able to afford to pay your babysitter. We were able to share this money in part because we lived lives of voluntary simplicity, partly by using resources (including food) that would otherwise be wasted by others. I would never be embarrassed to share this information with anyone, including a family I work for.

    4. Your blog posting implies that I am not “kind, responsible, and experienced” because of my background dumpster diving. If you look further in google-ing my name, you will also see that I graduated with honors from my university, that I was given a full-ride tuition scholarship for being in the top 1% of the students in my state–both in academics and community involvement, that I was valedictorian of my graduating class, and that I have been regularly involved in community service since I was 16. I have been a nanny for numerous families over the span of more than a decade, and I have only ever had wonderful experiences. I have excellent references, and am earnest and sincere in my belief that children should be cared for with love, attentiveness, and respect. I am not a perfect human being, but I have a good and sincere heart, and I am a wonderful nanny and auntie and godmother.

    5. I sincerely wish you the best of luck in finding someone great to care for your kids (as I said above, I really believe that all kids deserve wonderful grown-ups in their lives). I hope the nanny agency works for you, but for clarification: I have passed more background checks than I could count, with flying colors–some by individuals, some by government agencies (for social work jobs), and some by nanny referral agencies. Multiple nanny agencies have listed me with them in the past, and have even called me “a perfect candidate.” Dumpster diving is not a screened criteria, apparently.

    I am sharing all of this with you not out of animosity–I know that you are only trying to do the best for your children, which I applaud you for. I am sharing it only because I hope it can shed better light on something that may come up again in your future, and perhaps my words will give you a slightly different perspective. There are many (perhaps more objective) sources available on the internet if you would like to do more research. Again, I wish you the best of luck.


    The Dumpster Diving Babysitter

    1. Thanks again for your intelligent response. I am preparing some questions to email you for our blog interview. If you have any areas that you want to make sure I cover please email me with them.

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