Tuesday, April 22, 2008

WFMW: Free babysitting

Those of us who aren't lucky enough to have grandparents at our beck and call (or rather, at our kids' beck and call) for babysitting every weekend need another way to have a semi-regular Date Night without having to fork over a huge wad of cash to a babysitter. Nothing against babysitters; we just can't afford one on a regular basis, especially with two kids. Yet we NEED to have some time together without the short and loud people! What should we do?

This is our solution. We have a few good friends whom we know really well, and we trade babysitting with them. Some are just infrequent "can you watch the kids while I go to the dentist" deals which are reciprocated whenever they need help. However, with one particular couple, we trade babysitting duties about once a month. It works particularly well with this family since our kids' ages match up well. The best part is that it's not a burden to babysit because the kids entertain each other. We order some pizza, solve a few squabbles over toys, and have a relaxing evening at home until our friends get back.

Now I will say that I would not do this unless I knew everyone in the home and was absolutely sure that my children would be safe there. So be wise and pay attention to your "mommy intuition" as you make plans with your friends.

That's what works for me. Check out some more good ideas here.


  1. It sounds like you've found a great compromise solution. YAY!

  2. Just checking in to say "thanks" for dropping by my blog for the giveaway. And, now that I'm here, I see that you and I have much in common. I'm saving your site to my Favorites to visit back often.


  3. This is a great idea, I don't know why more people don't do this!

  4. Yes, this is a great idea that I have been doing with a mommy friend that I met 3 years ago through a MOMs club. Our daughter's are the same age so it really is more of a play date for the girls. It is a win-win for everyone. We get to have some alone time with our spouses and our kids get to have some social time too.

  5. One of THE biggest issues with parenting, isn't it? I think you've worked it out pretty well. I ran a daycare centre for a few years and as a result, whew, I do not trust anyone! Except, of coure, the absolutely AMAZING small town centre my kids go to now. In Canada you can actually get quality teachers to stay on long term 'cause they're paid well. As a director in the States I was hired in with a University degree at 7 bucks. Who you gonna keep for 7 bucks? We haven't trusted a babysitter yet, just family.

  6. We do this, although not nearly often enough. Been doing it with our next door neighbors for years. As a matter of fact, we've graduated from date afternoons to date nights to SLEEPOVERS! We've got one Friday. Too bad I haven't planned anything yet...maybe SUSHI!