When my kids were little, another mom and I started swapping babysitting for date nights. We could have some dates with our husbands and wouldn’t have to spend a dime on babysitting! It seemed like a great solution and it worked really well for a few months… but it wasn’t perfect. Sometimes I wanted a date night and she didn’t need a sitter for a couple months. I also wanted to swap babysitting at other times, like for appointments during the day. We had a few other friends who were interested in our babysitting swapping idea, but we weren’t sure how to keep it organized and fair. I started reading about the idea of a co-op group (or cooperative) and thought it might work for us.
That’s how my babysitting co-op was formed, about 5 years ago. I got together a few mom friends that I knew from a mother’s group and set up the group and the rules. It’s been running pretty smoothly with very few bumps along the way. The co-op was a wonderful resource for me since I didn’t live close to any family. It helped me to feel a lot less alone in the very tough job of parenting.
Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Here’s how to set up your own babysitting co-op: [Read more…]