Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Alternatives to Babysitters

As I mentioned in the last post, getting out for dates becomes expensive with kids but in a lot of ways it's even more important. I hate to put the Beehives out of business, but here's some alternatives to paying for a babysitter:

1. Group Date Exchange- Form a group of couples to go out with. Each couple takes a turn being the babysitters while the other couples go out together. You can do this sporadically or on a regular schedule (once a week/month).
2. Temple Playgroup- It's hard to get to the temple when you have kids, especially together. I know the youth are encouraged to babysit for free for couples going to the temple, but I don't feel comfortable asking someone to come babysit without pay. In our ward we have temple playgroup. Twice a month we meet at someone's house and half of the moms will go to the temple and half will watch the kids. That way the kids get to play together, the babysitters get to socialize and moms go to the temple. We do it on a weekday morning for the ladies but you could do it in the evening if you wanted to make it a couple outing.
3. Couple Exchanges- Whether it's for the temple or just a date. Find a couple that will swap babysitting with you.
4. Babysitting Co-op- In my last ward (our church group) we did this and it's the most detailed system but the most fair. Participating moms get tickets to exchange for babysitting (everyone starts with 20). Each ticket is worth one hour of babysitting for one child. Each month everyone in the group picks at least two, three-hour slots when they will do babysitting in their home (morning, afternoon, or evening). Then everyone gets a calendar of the days and times people signed up for. If you need someone during their time call them and bring your kids over. Then pay them with your tickets (depending on how long and how many kids you brought). The more times you babysit the more tickets you earn. This system was a life-saver when my husband moved out to Georgia before us and I was alone with three small children for three months. I had collected a lot of tickets the months prior to the birth of my third child and when he was 6 weeks and my husband was gone and I needed to pack I cashed in on my babysitting. Anyone interested that would like more details on this system, e-mail me and I'll send you more info.


Missy said...

This is a great blog! Thank you so much! I found you through Shayla's. I too hate to pay a babysitter!