Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Kid Swap

Kid swapping works for me. No, this isn't the kind where you sneak out of the nursery with the one that sleeps for 12 hours straight every night and leave your collicky little one behind. This is the temporary kind where you get free babysitting one day a week or so.

I have a friend who has one child in school and two at home. Bingo! Me too! Both of us want to volunteer at the school, chaperone field trips, and be room mothers, but there is always the question of what to do with the little ones.
So we started a kid swap. One day a week I keep her two kids for the morning while she works at the school. The next week she takes my kids and I enter the world of second grade....just temporarily, thank goodness.
It gives us some time away from the house and in the school with our older kids and it gives the little kids a great chance to have a playdate. If field trips come up we work out an equitable schedule for swapping.

I highly recommend kid swapping to anyone who stays at home with their children. All you need is someone else with roughly the same number of kids at approximately the same age as your own. Then you just have to set up a schedule that works for both of you.
When I only had one child at home I used to swap with someone else and we each took the other child for an entire day every week. It was awesome! The boys loved each other and got along great. They took naps at each other's houses with no problems, so it made it easy. It was wonderful to have one whole day every week to myself. I would volunteer at the school for half a day and then do my grocery shopping, take a nap, or read a good book for the other half of the day.
Now, I don't think I could handle having 4 kids around one day every week, so we have set it up on an every other week basis. Be flexible and do what works for both families. Also remember that your swapping partner for this year/semester may not work out for next year/semester. My old partner has both kids in school now, so she obviously doesn't need to swap anymore. My new partner is moving out of town over the summer, so now I'm recruiting for next year.
Anybody going to have one little 2 year old girl around home next school year?
For more great WFMW tips go to Rocks in My Dryer.


Laura said...

I do the same thing with a mom friend of mine, we swap toddlers and go help out in our boy's kindergarten class. It's only once a week, but it helps me feel more involved in my son's class. Good tip!

The Apron Queen said...

I'm up for a kid swap. Oh wait... you mean I have to your kids in exchange. Never mind. Just kidding. Love this idea. Thanks for sharing.

I'm giving surfing lessons today. Come see! :D


Tami said...

Wish I could find someone who would be willing to do this. It sounds great.

Teresa said...

My husband and I do this with another family for date night! It works wonders, and dates no longer cost $50!