A first-time mother divided online opinion after she admitted to being upset with her babysitter for falling asleep on the job.
Posting to TikTok on June 12, Danielle Mitchell asked: “Am I overreacting?” The post has amassed over 1.2 million views and thousands of comments from viewers who could not agree if the sitter’s snooze was “normal” or “unprofessional.”
In her post, Mitchell explained that she and her husband hired the sitter so that they could have a “date night,” which ended at 9:30 pm
“My husband and I usually do not leave to go on date nights until he [her son] is fully asleep, “Mitchell explained. That night, however, their son was a bit fussy, so they left without putting him to bed. Thankfully, the sitter managed to put him to sleep shortly after they left.
“She told me he was really easy, just [rocked him for] 15 minutes and then he was asleep and was asleep the rest of the night, “Mitchell continued.
Around 9 pm, however, Mitchell checked their home’s security cameras to see how things were going and saw the babysitter was also asleep.
“She told me that she was going to listen to a book, so I was like, okay, maybe she’s just laying on the couch and listening to her book,” Mitchell said, giving her sitter the benefit of the doubt.
To determine whether or not the sitter was asleep, Mitchell texted her and asked that she let their dog inside. She and her husband watched the cameras to see if the sitter would move, but she did not get up, confirming that she had, in fact, dozed off.
“Internally, I’m kind of starting to freak out,” Mitchell confessed.
Mitchell then tried to rationalize the situation, saying: “I left a sound monitor, so I was thinking she left the sound monitor on loud volume … so she would definitely hear” the baby if he woke up.
“But no,” she continued. “The sound monitor was not on.”
She concluded her video by admitting she did not know what to think and asked viewers if they thought it was “normal” for a babysitter to fall asleep on the job.
Writing for Kidsit, a website devoted to providing babysitting advice for parents and caregivers, founder and father Matthew Taylor said there aren’t any hard and fast babysitting rules about sleeping while children are sleeping.
“Some parents might be okay with you resting while the kids have an afternoon nap. Other parents may expect you to be awake the entire time you’re working, and could also expect you to do other tasks like cleaning or tidying up while the kids are asleep, “he said.
For those who are given the okay to sleep while the kids are sleeping, Taylor said it’s good to keep a baby monitor close by. For those who are expected to stay awake, Taylor recommended taking a nap beforehand, drinking caffeine or walking around to keep from falling asleep while the house is quiet.
Many of Mitchell’s commenters thought it was perfectly fine that the babysitter fell asleep, though they agreed the monitor should’ve been turned on.
“If the kid (s) are asleep, it is normal for the babysitter to fall asleep. However, the monitor should have been on and turned all the way up,” Marissa Bucher Hammo said.
“You’re the parent so you get to decide but this is pretty normal if the baby is already asleep,” Elyse Myers offered.
Dee & Josh added: “I’d discuss expectations in the future but I think this was a normal experience of a babysitter who knew she left the baby asleep in a safe place.”
Others, however, called the situation “unprofessional.”
“I’m torn. On the one hand, you sleep while the baby’s asleep so it’s not a big deal. But who sleeps when they’re at work ?? That’s unprofessional,” one user wrote.
“Mom of 4, and I was a nanny. I’d be so embarrassed if I fell asleep. I’d be apologizing. You’re not overreacting,” said another.
Raiven Brown said: “Watching someone’s kid is a job. If you were supposed to be a security guard you would not take a nap because you did not see anyone.”
Newsweek has reached out to Danielle Mitchell for comment.
In December, a Redditor said she quit her babysitting job on the spot after being berated by one of the parents. In November, another Redditor admitted to firing her babysitter after learning that the sitter called the kids “her babies.”
And in October, a babysitter went viral for revealing that she called the cops on the mother, who did not come home at the agreed-upon time.