Part 1: Kid Swap
The phrase “It takes a village” is one of the most repeated analogies when it comes to parenting but it’s %100 true. Nothing makes my life easier and less stressful than when I can call on someone when I need help with my kids. This is why villages are so important, not only our online community that give us encouragement from all over the country, but your physical mom community as well.
Creating Your Village
While online support is great and (most of the time) fosters encouragement, focusing on your physical mom community around you and utilizing them will make your life way more smooth and helpful in the long-run.
Look for established villages around you, either through Facebook, meetup , MOPS, or a good old-fashioned Google search. Even if you can’t really find one, start your own! Look around your neighborhood and make some flyers. It might be a little hard at first but so worth it in the end!
Once you have that community of mothers, it’s easy to utilizes your friendship and streamline a lot of aspects about motherhood (babysitting, meal swaps, play dates).
Babysitting/ Kid Swaps
Babysitting is both a blessing and a curse because you get what you need to get done (errands, date night) without the worry of watching your little ones, but the hassle of finding a babysitter and paying for one may not be worth it or even in the budget.
When my husband, Tom, and I had our first daughter we were broke. He was in dental school and I was working 3 jobs, so paying a babysitter was not in the budget.
Luckily, I looked around my community of friends and they were in the same boat. So, I took the opportunity and we started kid swaps.
Working Around A Schedule
This is a simple utilization of your village and it really helped when my daughter was on a sleep schedule. So, if we wanted to go on a date night, we would put our daughter to bed, take her to our friend’s house and we would leave her in a pack and play to sleep while we went on a date.
Our friends didn’t have to worry about her and when we were done, we picked her up and just put her to bed in her room. And when our friends wanted a date night, they would do the same to us.
It even works for errands or doctor’s appointments; just make your appointments/errands around nap time, bring them to your friend’s house and let them sleep in the pack and play.
Having a community of moms that I can rely on and trust has taken so much off my plate!
Life can seem too overwhelming when you have kids, but it doesn’t have to be! If you think about how to more effectively utilize your mom network, you can cut some corners in our hectic mom life and focus more on what’s important: your family.