Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday: Babysitting and Bartering

Really this post should be called Babysitting and Trading, but Bartering is another "B" word so...

I'm sure this is no revelation to any of you other parents out there, but just in case, here is something that works for us.  Trading Babysitting!!

When I was 15, 16, 17, etc. I babysat.  Kids here don't really do that.  We are in a demographic and maybe a time when teenagers have so much work to do in between homework and afterschool activities, that they aren't looking to make a buck anymore and it seems that they don't have to make money to spend money either.  I don't really get it, but that's how it is here.  Is it like that where you live?

Gosh I remember raking leaves for  $ .50 a bag and babysitting every Thursday night for the last 2 years of my high school.  I digress.....

And even if we had money coming out of our ears (Lord willing....), and could find a trusty high schooler or college student who actually wanted to babysit, we honestly couldn't really afford to hire a babysitter, and then go out on top of that.

Out here, we aren't close to any family :-( 
We aren't close to any old family friends :-(
Sometimes it feels like we're really on our own, aside from our friends!  
Our friends.  Our friends who also have young children, and spend most evenings like we do, with kids in bed by 7 or 8 wondering just how many board games, cable t.v. shows (thank God for Lost and 24!) and books we can get into.


This is great.  If you don't do this you should.  If you do, you should do it more.  Matt and I have traded with several different couples that we are friends with. Here's how we do it.  The Date night couple, gets a full date night, someone arriving at their house to watch their kids, who are asleep in their own beds.  It's wonderful!  Who wants to go out and have a great time and then have to go pick up their kids somewhere else and drag them and their STUFF (oh the stuff....) home and put it all away and get everyone settled again.  No.  Thank.  You.  
It's been great.  Trading with friends usually means that I help Matt get our kids mostly ready for bed, and then grab a book or the laptop and go out to our friends house.  I stay there and keep an eye on their kiddos (maybe put them to bed, maybe they are already asleep) while they go out and stay out late late late.  Matt gets some extra work done in the evening, and we look forward to our night out. 

We don't do it all the time, but we do when we can afford to!  And it's just nice to know that if a movie comes out or a party comes up and we want to go, we don't have to throw our hands up in the air at having young kids.... we just pick up the phone and arrange a little trade.  It's like having your cake, and eating it too...and that works for us!

I found this picture when I did a search for "babysitter".  Ha!
Some days, that might work for us too!  


Herb of Grace said...

Ah yes, we do this too. An excellent idea :)

The Liebers said...

I need more friends with kids the same age as mine, I guess. I have been very fortunate to be close to lots of teens from church who love my kids and volunteer to stay with them when I need a break.
BTW, that picture looks awfully tempting some nights!!

Daniel and Kimberly Jordan said...

thanks for the tip. me being "miss logistics" always wondered how that worked w/o having to tote kids somewhere. we may have to work on arranging something like that...

Susannah Forshey said...

I wish I could keep your kids!!! :( I miss you!!!!!

Mark, Kristin, and Eli said...

We're in the same boat here in NC. Thankfully, most of our friends have recently had kids, so this is what we'll be doing too! Date nights are SO important!

La Familia Garcia said...

That's great! We love when God sends little blessings like this. I had to re-read this several times though because I thought it said babysitting and bartending!!! That'd be a hoot too I guess though!