As a busy mom balancing homeschooling, housework and working from home, one of my favorite tips to gain some precious time alone to work, to clean or just to think uninterrupted is to do a babysitting swap with a friend.
A regular babysitting swap makes so much sense for a couple reasons:
- It is easy to provide. When it’s my turn to babysit, it doesn’t require much extra work on my part because my kids will play with hers. In fact, it’s less work than when my kids are home without friends.
- It’s free 🙂 Paying a babysitter for the same amount of time would cost me $40 or more.
- The kids all love it. Playdate!
How to set up a babysitting swap
Make the suggestion to a friend. See if she’d be willing to alternate watching your kids one week while you watch hers the next. Agree on a schedule and you’re all set. You’ll want to make the swap at least 2-3 hours or longer to make it possible to get something done during your time. My friend and I usually alternated taking the kids so we each got a few hours twice a month.
Agree in advance on some ground rules.
Discuss plans for snacks or meals, TV or computer time and how to handle any discipline issues.
Since there will be two sets of kids involved, you will need to stay flexible in case someone gets sick and one of you needs to cancel.
Needing a few hours to work doesn’t mean you don’t love your kids.
Please don’t misunderstand – I love being with my kids! It’s part of the reason I’ve chosen to homeschool. But it’s hard to write or plan with an interruption every 5 minutes. And my kids are high energy! They are BOYS and there are 4 of them – need I say more? It’s hard to think with all that noise.
Don’t underestimate the power of a few hours without your kids to allow you to recharge.
You’ll be a better mother afterward. As moms, we often put our own needs last and we fail to realize how important it is to have some time alone.
Try it and see for yourself!