I’ve heard it said that “happy parents make happy children”. As a parent of two sweethearts, I truly do enjoy our time together.
Having said that, I feel that most good relationships are going to be healthier if there is some small time apart. I also feel that some alone time with the person that you are raising your children with is essential. This is a major team effort.
Other times, you might just need to accomplish something that is either going to be easier or at all possible if you could just have a minute to accomplish it without any distractions (as sweet as those distractions can be.)
I do feel as though I should say that my babysitters have been Awesome, with a capital A. I wouldn’t leave my children with just anyone and we have been extra blessed in this area. Other people have really great babysitters and grandparents, but don’t feel right exhausting their resources by asking too often.
In comes the point: A solution to this scenario has been popping up in many areas of my life. I (and apparently other people) call it Baby Swapping. In other words, I babysit your children while you go out on a date, or wherever you’d like to go, in exchange for reverse services on another day or time so that I can go out.
This sounded really great on so many levels. I can take the money that would have gone to a babysitter and either save it, or put it towards the date. I am not exhausting my current resources, AND my kids get a play date at the same time!
So in the name of research, (oh, the things I do for the readers, right? Haha!) I decided to give it a test drive. My best friend and I scheduled a weekend and some dates. Then the day came.
My best friend needed some time without her guys to plan, shop for, and finalize the details of an upcoming bridal shower. I was way overdue for a night out with my squeeze. We came up with an exchange all in one day. Hubby and I watched her guys during the daytime and then she, along with her hubby, watched them that night.
This worked well for us because our kids get along really well, plus we had naps and a break time in the middle. Some people might find that large amounts of time with the same other children in one day is too stimulating for their little ones. In that case, I say spread out the dates.
The results of my research? I give it 2 thumbs up. Of course, you might be learning this about me, I have found (just a couple) tips that helped me along the way.
1. Set boundaries with the parents you’re swapping with.
Make sure that your time parameters are set and really communicate with the other parent. Discuss food allergies, night time routines, and anything else that you would share with another babysitter.
2. Plan the time.
This is going to ensure thumbs up from all participating parties, including the little thumbs. Maybe your kids are super independent and can decide how/what they’re going to play for the entire date. Ours, being younger and all, needed some guidance for fun activities. With us, we played inside and outside, went for a walk, and had lunch. That night, my friend made our kitchen into a legit pizza kitchen complete with build your own pizzas. Fun times were had by all!
3. Remember: Happy parents can help make happy kids! Or at least it’s worth a try!
Have you tried a baby swap to get some time to yourself or with your honey? What tips can you share?