Well another weekend has come and soon to be on its way out. What did you do with your time? If you’re like most parents whether single or married you had to play the weekend matrix wheel. You know what I’m talking about. The one where you either caught with kid parties or having to decline another invitation of fun.
Yes let me make this disclaimer upfront. I absolutely love my kids. Like I like spending time with them. My friends will tell you when it comes to planning kid activities I’m the go to person. However most of my friends who have kids don’t always come together except for birthdays. The ones who are married without kids well that’s a no brainer, they are out and about.
So what’s a parent to do? Either you stay inside leaving hand prints on the window to let others know you’re alive until Monday or you propose a suggestion I have. My village here in Philadelphia is almost slim to none. What I mean by that is we don’t have a wealth of support in the form of babysitters, etc. We have a permanent sitter who we were blessed to receive. She’s an absolute dream. We work around her schedule for events that are told to us in advance.
Families for both my husband and I are slim in the drop off the kids realm. My family doesn’t even live in the city and my husband’s family all are in the same boat. So for most parents Monday is a day to get reacquainted with adults. I’m proposing building a network of parents in the same situation. Rotate time away with other like minded friends and family. Rotate who watches a set of kids and where. What that does is allow one or two couples time away, allow the kids to be safe, and allows for parents to build stronger bonds. Trust me in the world of children, stronger bonds with like minded people is key.
The biggest trade off. No one in the network has to pay the other parent. Yes I said free. Your pay is your night out when your rotation comes up. The parents that goes out has to supply food and snacks for ALL the kids being cared for. Now unless your new to the parent iniation you know that’s pennies. Now that will not stop you from being able to do random events. For those you either have to decide to have only one parent or no parent attend. However having a little more time away will make parents better.
There are some guidelines:
If a parent agrees to be in the network they must commit. You can’t get your night out and then bail out when it’s time to watch the other kids.
If a parent flakes out they must deactivate from the group for 6 months. Sound harsh but unless a child became ill or there was a family emergency then commit. Some people will attempt to abuse it if you don’t set clear guidelines.
If family members decide to join the network they must abide by the rules set. That means no random drop offs that haven’t been agreed upon ahead of time. Trust me setting this rule will be key.
Establishing a drop off and pick up time. Let’s be courteous of others’ time. Just like with any sitter time can’t stand still. Respect the sitters in the network all around.
Lastly do not include people in the circle you wouldn’t allow to watch your own kids. For me my kids are my priority so I’m not willing to leave them with anyone just for a night out. Everyone must meet and know who is keeping the kids and be comfortable period.
Anyway the holidays are coming and there will be a lot of fancy dinners, movie releases, or just a little boo loving to be had. Create a network to create your own unique village.