You watch my kids I’ll watch yours.

Last night was our ward party. While there I talked with a mom in our ward, Sam, who teaches dance classes for young children. Sam starts teaching them at the age of three so I decided I would enroll Lilah. They’re at a nearby elementary school so they’re cheap, just $15 for 6 half hour lessons. Really I just want Lilah to start socializing with other kids and maybe develop some talent or find something she enjoys. We’ll try it out and if she likes it she can continue if not then hopefully we’ll find something else. The classes are one night a week for six weeks. Sam’s husband is finishing his masters this Spring semester and it so happens that the last class he needs is the same night she teaches class and during the same time. She called today asking if I could watch her little girl for the two hours before the class and then bring her with me and Lilah to the dance class. Sam’s daughter is almost three and she wanted to enroll her daughter in the class also. Otherwise Sam’s mom would be watching her daughter and she wouldn’t be able to have her in the class since she would be on the other side of town being babysat. Sam suggested paying for the class or paying me for my time or exchanging babysitting. I took her up on the babysitting. I wanted to do something like this with other moms in the ward. One or twice a month I watch your kids so you can do whatever you need to, or just have time alone and then for the same amount or so, depending on the number of kids, you watch mine. Mostly a switch and maybe there would be play dates and socializing so it wasn’t just an exchange.  I thought this would be good so moms could have time to get the house in order without kids messing it up, or go to doctors appointments with just one child instead of two or three. Most of the stay at home moms that would take this offer have just two, like me, or just one.
Well Sam mentioned date night babysitting or middle of the day babysitting. I said I may save time up and have her watch my girls for a long morning so I could paint or do a large project. She said that would be fine to.
I’m excited at the possibility of getting things done or having time alone to do things. In a way it gives me a little extra motivation because I now know that I have a a babysitter for large projects that I want to do without the guilt of “how can I repay this person for watching my daughters for a whole morning?”.
I’m just happy that this happened. Her daughter is well behaved and my only worry is her daughters anxiety at being in a new place. She is usually pretty friendly after getting situated. Really, Lilah is the exact same way. Also Lilah’s nap is at the very time she would be at my house, but hopefully it all works out

One Response to “You watch my kids I’ll watch yours.”

  1. ambah Says:

    I love babysitting swapping. I’ve got a couple friends that I did this with who’s children were the same age as mine. They were the sort of kids that came over and because they played so well with mine that it was less work to have them here. We swap a lot and don’t really keep track just because we’re good friends.

    Then we have a formal ‘co-op’ where there are nine (and we’re looking for a tenth) women who have 3-5 kids and we swap kids. Everyone has a day of the week and a time period (either 9-12 or 12-3) and you’re committed to watching kids that slot during the week. But the rest of the week you can take your kids so someone else’s house if you need to. I’ve used it to have time to clean my house with no ‘helpers’ or to work on a project, run errands, go to appointments etc.

    Then I have a different group that is for weekend date nights. There are three families and we rotate watching kids. We watch all the kids the first weekend, then the next two weekends the other two families take a turn (there are 9 kids in all) and then the fourth weekend we all pay a babysitter and go out together. It’s really nice because we have 2 date nights a month that are ‘free’. It also makes us go out- which if we have to set up a babysitter every week just doesn’t happen cause we’re lazy.

    Then of course we also have my mom and sister. I do usually pay Angela when she babysits- but my Mom frequently watches the kids while I run around or volunteer at the school.

    Wow- that was a long comment. I think I’m going to copy/paste that into a post. But having ‘swaps’ is a fabulous idea. Mom’s need breaks. NEED. Plus it’s just hard to go places with kids- at least with more then one.