Are you a member of a babysitting coop? Do you have a go-to sitter for date nights? What do you do when your daycare is closed?
As new parents without family nearby, and being new to our town, it’s difficult to line-up a babysitter for Avery. We’re lucky if we get out on a Date Night once a month – and that’s only after we planned a month ahead with a friend that so kindly watches the little guy for us for free.
So, we’ve been throwing around the idea of finding a local babysitter. I saw an ad in the paper and there are a few more on Craigslist. But for some reason, I just don’t know if I’d be able to trust someone I found like that. So, while looking for a babysitter online, I stumbled on this site.
Sitting Around is today’s version of The Baby Sitter’s Club. You can create a network of families to swap babysitting with (a coop) or find a local babysitter in your area.
I did some research and it looks like this site launched about a year ago, and because it’s still in it’s beta-testing stage in the Boston-area, the membership is free (as long as you don’t mind seeing a couple ads here and there). They have a facebook page. A couple articles about their launch. A twitter feed. I was almost sold, so I weighed the pros/cons of the coop concept:
- Free babysitting. What’s not to like?!
- Meet other parents in the neighborhood. I’d love to meet other mommies and daddies to swap babysitting, socializing, parenting tips and tricks.
- Avery meets and gets to play with other kiddos. Avery is always on the go and needs to be constantly entertained. When other kids are around, he has a ball.
- Safety/Security. Trusting someone you meet online is scary. However, this site does create a nice interview process, background checks, and encourages group gatherings so you can become comfy with the other parents in the group.
- Time. I have trouble finding time to post on my blog, so adding another site that I have to check will require some attention. They do email with notifications though, so at least I won’t have to check the site until someone wants to join the group.
OK, I couldn’t think of anything else. They seem legit, and the idea of a coop, instead of a paid babysitter was pretty appealing. So, I signed up. What could it hurt? There wasn’t a local coop around me, so I created one. Let’s hope some parents want to join me!
If you’re one of my readers and are located in Boston’s South Shore, join my coop, “South Shore Parents.”
P.S. SittingAround didn’t pay me for this ‘Shout Out’. I’m just sharing something cool I found with my fellow bloggers 🙂
How did you find a babysitter arrangement for your kiddo(s)? Have you tried any online forums or groups that helped you out? Are you lucky to have family and friends nearby that let you get out on a date night or enjoy some ‘me’ time?