I am being paid to watch another child as a side job. For the past 9 months I have been through many milestones with the little boy from crawling, pulling up, first steps, walking, teething, introducing solids, getting rid of the bottle, sicknesses, nap schedules and his day-to-day care 5 days a week.
He is almost 15 months old, and with summer coming, I planned on taking him along with my two older kids ( 4 years and 6 years) to the pool.
It gets very hot and humid where we live near the ocean in South Carolina, so in the summer, you are either in the air conditioning or the water.
Tonight, this child’s father told me that his wife is uncomfortable with water and doesn’t want me taking their child to the pool unless my husband is also there.
Please hear me out before you side completely with his parents…
Of course, they are his parents and can make that call. I am very protective of my own kids and wouldn’t let just anyone take my kids to the pool.
But, I am a 30 something year old mom with 2 kids of my own. I was a teacher, have been CPR and first aid certified and have spent my life in the water. My oldest swims completely on his own and has been in swimming lessons since he was 2.
We also taught him to swim at home. My youngest is learning to swim and will most likely be swimming on her own by the end of the summer. For 6 months of the year, our neighborhood pool is open, so they get a lot of practice.
My youngest would always wear a life jacket, if I had another child with me at the pool, because I would need to watch them both one-on-one if they didn’t have a life saving device on. I don’t go to the pool to relax and drink in the sun. I play with my kids the whole time.
We play coral reef, mermaid island, shark and any other game we make up for the day. I would never let this other child out of my reach or sight and he would always have a life jacket or swim vest on.
I am very careful when it comes to water and kids. I would never take a risk with any child or put any child in harm’s way at all.
I am also a big user of sunblock. I have researched the different kinds because of the chemicals and the fact they we need to use it so often where we live. I cover my kids with sunblock so thoroughly, that it is a joke in my family. But, you know what, they are fair-skinned and do not get sunburned.
I just cannot sit in my house 5 days a week and take summer away from my children. I will go crazy, and so will they. I need to be outside, and it is too hot here in the summer to go to the park during the day. The slide burns their legs, and the humidity is ridiculous. The only relief is at the beach or pool.
I have taken this little guy to school events, the library, parades, shopping, out to eat, the park, the beach (winter), soccer games, to see santa, egg hunts, bike rides, walks and to play in the yard, but now I’m not allowed by his parents to take him to the pool.
I feel hurt that I am not trusted enough by them. My judgement with him has always been fine. He hasn’t had an accident or had anything negative happen.
I guess what made it hurtful was that there was no discussion. I was never asked how I would handle the pool or anything close to that.
I am giving them a month notice tomorrow that they will have to find someone else to watch their child. This isn’t the only thing that has happened. This is just the last straw.
I do believe it is a parent’s right to agree or not agree to pool time with someone else, but considering the circumstances and all the time I have had with their son, I am angry that I was just told pool is off-limits. I deserved the right to a discussion.
At least, they could attempt to understand my side, and we could have worked a compromise. Or, I would have understood better where they were coming from. Nothing was discussed.
So, you may agree with me, or you may not. Please understand that I do not think every sitter or nanny should take someone else’s kids to a pool, but I do believe this is one of those situations that is different.
What are your thoughts? Should the parents have discussed this with me? Would you let your kids go to the pool with someone else? Who?
This is an original World Moms Blog post by Maggie Ellison of South Carolina, USA. Maggie can be found crafting with her children at home or playing on the beach with them in the low country of South Carolina, USA.
Photo credit to The Crazy Film Girl. This photo has a creative commons attribution license.