Uncertainty/Dates - how best to navigate

For a week in February, I will be on the opposite coast to be with my nibling (sister’s child) as they undergo cancer treatment.

The specific week is being worked out by my sister and her ex-husband as they try to coordinate coverage for the eight-week treatment. Both parents work FT, and they have another child. We live on the opposite coast of the hospital providing treatment, so they’re asking family/close friends who might be able to take a week off to be with their child.

So, should I post the tentative dates, and make it clear that the dates are still uncertain, or should I wait a week or two until I know which week I’ll be away? What’s the best way to manage this?


For our part as nomadic sitters, we have a fair amount of flexibility, so in principle we’d consider applying to a sit we liked understanding that dates are being refined.

That said, I wonder how complicated it would be in practice. Let’s say the HO posts dates with caveat, sitters apply with that understanding, sit is confirmed, then refined dates don’t work. If sitter cancels, I understand that’s a black mark in the system. Maybe the HO could cancel without creating such a mark?

An option to avoid this complexity might be to take applications with your date caveat and noting you’ll only confirm the sit once dates are solid, and meanwhile keep your applicants apprised on how the situation is developing. I think you’d get some sitters applying who can be flexible at least for a while and are okay with that.


Thank you, Michael. Your suggestion of posting with the caveat, and not confirming until I’ve communicated with sitters and know the dates will work is a very good one. Thank you!


I am a sitter who loves last minute listings. I am not a nomadic sitter, and I like to look for fairly close sits available in the near future. I live in DC and a short drive up to Philadelphia is always of interest to me. So, I wouldn’t give up hope that there are many sitters who might jump at a chance to sit for you, even at the last minute, once you know your dates.


Thank you, sledgejoyce, that’s good to know. I struggled with finding a Christmas sit (it all worked out in the end!) so I may be unnecessarily concerned. I’m tentatively scheduled for the week of February 6th, but still hoping for a final word soon.