Looking for a way to free up some time and occupy your kids at the same time? Swap childcare in a babysitting co-op or among friends and family.
This is Day 7 of our 31 Ways to Get More Done series. To read all the posts in order, visit the introduction post to see the outline for the whole series.
A great way to squeeze more productivity into your schedule is swapping childcare with someone else.
I have two children who are 7 years apart – one boy and one girl. So it’s a challenge to find activities that they both enjoy and encourage my oldest (who is my son) to set aside time to play with his younger sister.
I want him to spend time with her, while also spending time together in a way that they both enjoy. I don’t want him to look back on his childhood and feel like he was stuck with her or always had to play with her.
I DO want to teach him that being a big brother is a priority – and that he should own and enjoy that responsibility.
Until my daughter came along, my son was an only child for 7 years. We had a lot of play dates and typically that involved either someone else spending a day or night at our house and then returning the favor to us.
It was a great way for the kids to occupy each other and for the parents to get lots of things done.
What might that look like? Someone else’s child might spend the night with you on Friday night and return home Saturday afternoon. Then, Saturday night, your child might spend the night with them and return home Sunday afternoon.
The kids get two great days together and the parents don’t have to host both times. I personally have found it much easier for my son to have company than for him to be home by himself. It seems like they don’t make the “I’m bored” statements when they have someone to keep them occupied.
If you work a part time schedule, you could team up with another parent who works an opposite schedule than you. Then, you can alternate caring for two kids at once and in exchange for time off to:
- have a date night with your spouse
- enjoy some much needed quiet time
- pamper yourself
I’ve read about families who participate in childcare co-ops, which sound like a very organized system of parents in a trusted group who commit to alternating childcare, so that they can free up some time for themselves. You might talk to other parents in your sports teams, school, or family.
Resources to Help You Swap Childcare (affiliate links):
Smart Mom’s Baby-Sitting Co-Op Handbook: How We Solved the Baby-Sitter Puzzle
Sitting Around: The Complete Guide to Starting Your Own Babysitting Coop
What to Do Without the Kids:
Take Some ‘Me Time’ without Sacrificing ‘Mom’ Time
Date Nights: How To Keep the Romance Alive
Everything You Need to Know About Childcare — But are Afraid to Ask
Do you drop your kids off with friends and then return the favor?
Read other posts in the 31 Ways to Get More Done series.
Original Photo Credit via Creative Commons License – guilherme jofili
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