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.
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.