- Find another family with kids around the same age as your kids whom you trust to babysit your children. Make sure the kids get along with each other. It makes it easier!
- Select a night where your friends watch your kids, then you watch theirs another night.
- Agree upon a time limit (for example, 4 hours.) This will prevent future problems.
- Create a schedule, type it up and make it official. Provide a copy to each family participating.
I also used to be a member of a babysitting co-op. This was a great way for me to go to doctor/dentist appointments minus my kids and could have been a great resource for me. Unfortunately, I didn't utilize it much because I didn't really know all the mothers who were part of it and I wasn't comfortable using unknown babysitters. They had monthly meetings but I never went. If I had attended, I might have gotten to know the other partipants. Just because I didn't take advantage of it, joining or starting a babysitting co-op is another great way to obtain a much needed break from the kids for free. When establishing a babysitting co-op, setting ground rules is key. If you're interested, here's a link to a great article about creating a babysitting co-op: