Knowing that we needed more help than what we were receiving, I knew I had to do something. While in Atlanta I began to see commercials for care.com. “Who in their right mind would find a babysitter online” I thought. After about 5 consecutive “highly autistic” days and “everything my husband says is nonsense” days, I decided to go online and seek out babysitting services for special needs kids. Most of the information I found was companies that had an extensive “wait list” (sigh). I decided to see what care.com had to offer. I browsed through the site and just didn’t have the guts to go through with it. I allowed fear to set in. Fast forward a year and a half and we had moved back to Florida. It was a better move for MJ and the family (more on this later). Once again we were struggling to find time together. Babysitters were few and far between. I knew we needed consistent help to give us the outlet we so desperately needed. I was going stir crazy, wanted to rip my hair out and was beginning to feel that overwhelming “this is too much” feeling. I researched info for our area and again was put on an extensive waiting list for special needs babysitting (deep breath in, breathe out)…“Care.com”…Should I try it again? After another bout of “highly autistic days” I said a prayer, went on the website, and paid the fee for one month. I thought that I would try it out for a month and see what happens. I wrote a short description about my son and daughter. I made certain that they knew he has autism and that I required an individual that would know about the disability. While looking at potential sitters I came across Ms. J. She had a professional profile bio and pic (not a blurry selfie with her boobs hanging out) and had her background check attached. I sent her an email and she responded quickly. After emailing each other a series of questions we decided to speak on the phone. Yes! She sounded awesome and was able to answer all of my questions. We decided to set up an appointment to meet each other. We met a few days later and I was so surprised when she had more questions for me than I had for her! I felt very calm during our meeting and was very pleased with the information she gave me. We discussed all of the do’s and don’ts for MJ and she took notes. After speaking with my husband, we decided to give Ms. J a try. I set up a date with her to babysit for about 2 hours. I sat my kids down and explained as best as I could that someone was coming to babysit and have a play date with them. Ms. J came to our home early so that MJ and his sister could meet her and get a feel for her. I was SO NERVOUS at how he may react to her! Would he throw his toys at her in disagreement? To my surprise Ms. J was perfect! She engaged both of the kids as soon as she walked into our home. I watched my son smile and say “hi” to her and I knew it would be okay. We decided to go on a quick dinner date. Of course I was still scared and worried, and probably sent her way too many text messages. She assured me that everything was okay. I cried that evening but it was tears of joy. I never thought I would find anyone other than a family member to babysit MJ and his sister. We now use Ms. J every 2 weeks. My husband and I are able to have a date night and enjoy each other. Now Mj is super excited whenever I tell him that Ms. J is coming over! He thinks of her as his play date friend. Thank you care.com and thank you Ms. J.
Mj’s drawing (owl) at the last “play date” with Ms. J