I have learned (and am learning) so much from and been inspired by other moms in the blog-o-sphere through carnivals like Tackle it Tuesday and Works for Me Wednesday, that I’ve decided to give back to the web, in a way, and join in. You’ve seen two weeks of Tackle it Tuesday so far — that’s for inspiration and accountability — now you’ll see Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by Rocks in my Dryer, for ideas to use at home or with the kids.
Stay-at-home moms of toddlers need a break every now and then, so some neighbors and I formed a babysitting swap. Since I’m not interested in regularly leaving my daughter in a paid childcare situation, like a Mother’s Day Out, and I want Caroline to have fun time with other kids rather than sitting at home with a babysitter, this option works really well.
Four neighbors and I, all with kids between 13 months and 19 months, switch off sitting every Tuesday afternoon. Two moms are “on” each week while three are “off.” We chose one house as the host home, and we bring the kids there after naps, around 2:30. With five moms, we rotate so that you’re “on” one week, and then off for one or two weeks. We plan a few months in advance so we can book doctor or hair appointments during those times. It’s a great chance to get lots of errands taken care of. We’ve all been amazed at how much we can get done in 2 1/2 hours when we aren’t getting a toddler in and out of the car sear, in and out of the shop, etc.
We have a binder that travels each week that has a sheet for each of our “precious ones.” It has the parents’ contact information — mom’s cell, dad’s number at work, home number, the child’s birthday, allergy information (my sweet child is the only one with allergies so far but others have foods they are avoiding), and any other things we need to know about the kids.
We started with five moms, then lost one because her son was having some separation anxiety, but we found another interested neighbor and are back at five. Discipline hasn’t been an issue, really, but may be something we’ll have to discuss in the future. I know some of the other moms use “time-outs” which I’m not planning to use with Caroline. We have given toys time-outs, though, which is fine with me and has worked with two 19-month olds are intent on dominating the toy vacuum cleaner (or whatever.)
I was reluctant to leave my daughter at all, but after having a few Tuesday afternoons to myself, I have fallen in love with the BABYSITTER’S CLUB (and the mommas and kiddos I’m working with.)