The Blessing of being a Sitter... You should become one.

A few months into my marriage I was approached by my friend Paula Mason, our Pastor's wife. 

She wondered if I would be interested in coming over once a week to hang out with her kids, ask her questions about being a wife and what it was like to raise a family. She had done the same thing with another young married in the church who just had her first child.

Now,  I'm not the baby sitter type.

In fact I don't think I really liked children one on one until I had my own. I could teach Children's church till I was blue in the face... but me... watching children... one on one for hours?
And... not getting paid for it?

Yea, that was one of my nightmares I had on a regular basis.

But, being a wife... that was something I was learning and I wasn't too great at it yet so free advice and wisdom sounded like a really good idea.

So, every Wednesday for the next two years I spent a few hours with three of my most favorite kids.

Hunter, William, Ellie & I in 2009

Bryan & Ellie 2009

Paula taught me how to cook, how to handle meltdowns, she listened to my petty problems and was there for advice at any moment. She encouraged me in my marriage, had us over for dinner... and above all, she trusted me.

Each week she put her three most precious possessions in her existence in my hands and even gave them over to us when they had to go out of town! That's trust people.

I learned that children really weren't that awful and she had set up for me the foundation to have my own children.

I often remember as she would rush out she'd turn, smile and say:

"One day someone will do this for you and you will understand what a true blessing you have been to me."

Fast forward a few years and I have my own little munchkins.

Being a Mother is a crazy ride. It's beautiful and delightful and hard.

It's hard not because children are evil (although some can be) but because it's an overwhelming task.
We are raising little people who will grow up and need our guidance. We are responsible for their education, their safety, their care and we are their first introduction to Christ.

...It's a bit daunting.

On top of that we still have a hubby who wants our attention all the time too.

When I became a mom I attacked it with gusto. I was going to prove all those other mom's wrong that children were not a pain or a burden. When people asked me what it was like to have kids I would sigh with happiness... not sigh with exhaustion and misery.

I believed I should keep them with me 24/7. I had them. They were my responsibility. Pawning them off was not an option. Day care and Mom's day out were for women who really needed it. I was doing nothing... least I could do was keep the little boogers alive all day.

Yet, as with most things, God had a better and wiser plan because I am a full fledged idiot.

When I started having children Bryan and I were working in our college ministry and had the beautiful privilege of knowing some truly amazing young adults.

Young adults... who loved our children like their own. Who walked with me through my pregnancy with crazy excitement and waited patiently till I was secure enough to let them watch my bundle on their own.

They would often call and say,
"I'm doing nothing tonight. You want to go on a date and I'll watch Elliot?'

They taught me early on that my thoughts about my "responsibility" were dead wrong. I was not a bad parent for giving my children over to others to watch (and neither are you!)
I was actually being a bad wife to keep them to myself!!

Young marrieds without children, 
Young college age students, 
Older moms with your children grown...
Let me tell you the awesomeness you provide young mothers when you give up a few hours of your time to hang out with their kids:

1. You give a young mother and father a moment to breathe. We aren't perfect. We are sinners and sometimes when our sin is flaring the beautiful baby we adore becomes something we feel smothered with. Sometimes just an hour away helps a young parent regroup... to refresh and remember what a delight and blessing their little one is. 

2. You bless our marriage. We don't ever mean and shouldn't put our kids first... but sometimes when they can't even feed themselves it's hard not to devote so much attention to them and share your time equally with your spouse. But couples with children need those times to remember what it was like to date. To remember that the person they work with every day to raise a family is also the person they are madly in love with. This little service you do for us helps us stay married and there is no greater gift you could give us.

3. You teach our children the value of marriage. Sure, our kids don't always like it when we leave... but when we tell them that being with Daddy is more important we are setting an example for them of what a truly beautiful marriage is. And Marriage is the best analogy that God uses to help us understand the importance of His relationship with us.
When we teach our children that our marriage is first we are teaching them the value of marriage. Teaching them that it is sacred and something set apart by God... just like they are. 

4. You prepare yourself or remind yourself (for those of you who have kids) about the awesomeness of children. While I thought I was just playing around with Hunter, William and Ellie for two years... I was actually learning how to be selfless, to put their needs before my own and also how to lovingly lead small minds. Kids require practice. You are usually done practicing when they turn 28. If other parents are willing to let you practice selfless love on their kids... by all means. Take it. 

5. You make a friend for life. The world is pretty evil. When we hand over our children to you, we are trusting you utterly and completely. That trust is special. We don't give it out lightly. You become a part of our family when you love on our kids and as a part of our family... we care about you. We want to know your problems and walk with you when you start your own family. I mean... we will kinda owe ya for all the babysitting you gave us.

6. You win over a little heart. It's a fact that any child you watch will NOT remember you on a Sunday Morning when you see them at church. I'm not sure why this is... but it's true. But, they will remember you when it counts. They will remember you were their friend and to them you are the coolest friend they will ever have. It's been almost three years since I've hung out with my Mason Kid crew... yet every once in awhile Paula will message me and tell me that they wished I could come over and play and that I was their favorite sitter ever. And I'll melt with happiness.
It's hard to believe the day Paula always told me about is here. That the people who have lovingly watched, protected and cared for my children... show me a love I am speechless at.

If you watch someone's kids just because it's fun please know the blessing you are to them.

If you've never watched someone's kids cause it's scary and daunting... let this be your courage. Call up your pastor's wife or the couple in your church with those twins...  If they don't say yes the first time, let them get to know you first and eventually you'll be on their speed dial list.

As part of the body of Christ we are called to be in each others lives.
We are ready to teach you what little wisdom we have and trust us... if you play with our kids once and see how awesome they are, you'll be back.

Right now I have to go plan a date for my favorite person because I got this text awhile ago...

Tori is one of the blessings of my life. She was my pregnancy cheerleader and sometimes I think she loves my kids more than I do!

Toto with Elliot in 2011
Toto with Ethan in 2012

Tori with both my crazies in 2013

But may she know... and may all know who have lovingly watched and protected my kids from our wonderful parents to our dear friends in New Orleans whom my children miss to our new ones at TCAAB who lovingly share their time with us...

How truly awesome you are and how I cry with joy over the blessing that is you.
You sitters... you help me be a better mom.

Thank you.

God bless and Much Love,



  1. This was an awesome post. I think it's my favorite. Which is saying a lot because you wrote about me a while back.

  2. Jess! This is so sweet! I'm so glad the Lord has blessed with you with someone like Tori to watch your babies! I love you, and miss you!!!