• Need a Break? How to get a Free Sitter . . .

    Every parent, at one time or another, longs for a night out with their spouse, with friends, or even alone to regain their sanity. Most parents, whether single or married, also know another Parent that feels the same way. Rather than spend a fortune on babysitters, consider setting up a kid swap.
    On one evening (per week or bi-weekly) your friend will watch your children for the evening (or all night), and on another evening, you'll return the favor by watching her children, for the same period of time.

    Setting Ground Rules are very important, as it is easy with our hectic lives to take advantage without realizing it.

    • Rule #1. Find a Parent, whom you trust, with children approximately the same age as your own children. This helps prevent squabbles and helps your children look forward to having extra playmates.
    • Rule #2. Choose a particular night out that you would like to make your weekly date night, or bi-weekly night. Bi-weekly arrangements seem to work best for those engaging in a kid swap.
    • Rule #3. Determine the amount of time that will be allotted per swap. Will you agree to watch the children for 4 hours, 8 hours, all night?
    • Rule #4. Put everything into writing! Print a Calendar on your computer with the swap dates and times written in. Both families should receive a copy so everyone is clear.

    Can't afford to go Out on your Night Off?

    1. Use your time to reconnect with your spouse, at home.
    2. Catch a movie (from the library, swap with some friends, or rent one)
    3. Enjoy a long walk
    4. Hike a nearby trail & have a picnic
    5. Have a candlelit dinner
    6. Dance!
    7. Go Fishing
    8. Go Geocaching

    Check out our Frugal Vacation, Cheap Date Night Forum for a ton of inexpensive ideas!


    Comments 2 Comments
    1. JuneWeaver's Avatar
      JuneWeaver -
      I love this! My sister lived in California for several years and their town had a play group set up this way. They would group together into families of 3 or 4. Each week the families would meet at one house and the host parents would actually leave and go on a date while the other 2 couples stayed at the house, cooked dinner (or ordered pizza) and watched the host families kids... Then every week you would either be on a date or enjoying friends without the extra cost of a sitter!
    1. Solevera's Avatar
      Solevera -
      I try to do this with my neighbors whenever possible. They have 4 kids (2 boys and 2 girls) and I have just one boy. One night when the girls have plans to stay with friends, I'll have the boys come have a sleep over at my house. Then if something comes up, my son can spend the night over with his buddies. It works out great for the parents AND kids!

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