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Sitter Swap

June 6, 2011  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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When we moved, we lost something very valuable: our babysitters.  Chris’s brother, Brandon and his lovely wife, Stephanie, eagerly watched little Greta whenever we wanted–and sometimes they even volunteered!  Not only were they family, but they lived right around the corner from us–and they were free, although we tried to throw in a pizza or movie tickets from time to time.  We definitely miss living close to them.   But, they have a newborn of their own and it was time to fork out the money for a babysitter or think of something else.  We thought of something else.

My bff, Meagan, is involved in a babysitting group all the way across the country in Florida.  After picking her brain about how it works, I set up a sitter swap here in one week–just enough time to have our first date in months last Friday–and it was awesome.  
Here’s how it works, in case you want to set one up in your area:

In our swap, there are 4 couples with 1-3 kids each. You need to have at least 4 couples so that one couple can take each weekend a month. The time frame for babysitting is Fridays from 5:30pm-9:30pm (this is just the time frame that worked the best for us). So, you can feel free to drop your kiddos off at the the appropriate house between those times. This means that you have 3 free Fridays to go out on the town!! However, if on one of your free fridays when you aren’t tending the kids and you don’t go out, or you are out of town–don’t sweat it. There may be times when it is your week to babysit and only a couple kids or maybe even no kids show up–it is still your week to babysit–so stay home, just in case someone shows up late–and enjoy a night in.

One person definitely needs to take charge–that’s me for our group. At the end of each month, I will take requests for a week to babysit, or for weeks people definitely can’t, and make a schedule for the following month. All communication is done through e-mail so that everyone is seeing the same thing and we’re all on the same page. Chris and I only knew one couple (remember how we just moved here), so we asked them if they’d be interested and they lit up like Christmas. They happened to know 2 other couples that would be interested and poof, sitter swap. Everyone seems really excited about it, including Chris and I.

We celebrated our first night out on the town in months with a quiet dinner at a local restaurant, Jaxies. Good wraps. Good conversation. And Greta had a great time playing with all of the other kids.  

….and we didn’t take a single picture.  

What do you think?

  1. Leslie says:

    That is such a great idea! Very smart of you. Even though Brandon and Steph can’t babysit as much anymore, I bet it is fun to hang out now that you both have cute kids. By the way, my mom in law reads your blog and we were talking about how cute you and your family are, and how you have soooooo many great dyi stuff in your home. We are BIG fans!

  2. Leslie says:

    That is such a great idea! Very smart of you. Even though Brandon and Steph can’t babysit as much anymore, I bet it is fun to hang out now that you both have cute kids. By the way, my mom in law reads your blog and we were talking about how cute you and your family are, and how you have soooooo many great dyi stuff in your home. We are BIG fans!

  3. Steph says:

    1. I love being mentioned on your blog.
    2. I miss you and Chris. Seeing you yesterday made me light up like a firework (awful Katy Perry song stuck in my head now).
    3. I miss Greta SOOO much. I wanted to play with her yesterday, but it was too hectic. I would still love to watch her. I just need to grasp this whole newborn thing by the horns and once that is done, we can swap!!

  4. Meagan says:

    So glad it worked out!!!! It is such a smart thing. We haven’t used the swap in months, but is nice that it is there if we do want to go out.

    But when it’s our week, after a long week of watching kids, I pray we don’t have any show up…and it’s worked so far!!

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