How to find more time for you without paying for childcare.

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They say it takes a village to raise a child. Which is great if you actually, you know, live in a village. The rest of us are all struggling paying for childcare.


But nowadays our society is so far removed from this type of culture that we don’t even carry out simple practices that can work to share the load, give each other a break and save a bit of sanity. I don’t know about you but I often struggle to find balance.  How you find enough time in the day for family, individual, work and couple time is beyond me. Each week seems to only get busier and just when I think I’ve got one aspect sorted out it becomes apparent that the wheels are falling off elsewhere.


This year I am trying to ‘bring back the village’.To not only give me a bit of time to do things that I need (want) to do, but also because I think it is healthy for Eamon to be able to spend time away from me, learning how to play with other little people. Oh and did I mention time to myself?!

So what have I organized?


The Kid Swap.

A friend of ours who lives just down the road from us is a work at home Dad with two boys (1 & 2). Once a week I take his two boys for the afternoon, then he takes Eamon on the following day. We swap after nap time, so no one has to worry about getting little ones to nap. This makes the day you have all the kids no stress at all, in fact its actually more fun, whilst the other person has a couple of hours to do what they please; work, clean, nap… So far this plan is working brilliantly, and I can tell you I enjoyed my two hours to myself today.  I got all my orders for this week finished and even managed to have a shower (without having to share it with a little person!).


Babysitting Swap.

You don’t realize how important having time with your partner is until you have a baby. All of a sudden everything is about the kid and you’ve forgotten the last time you had a conversation that wasn’t about bodily functions, the lack of sleep or the latest funny thing he did. But organizing a babysitter is either expensive or you feel bad for asking a family member yet again. The solution? Swap babysitting time with another Mama (or Dad). The idea is that your partner stays home with your bub whilst you go look after your friend’s bub in their own home. All babies in their own home and routines = a relaxing night for all parents (hopefully) and the babysitter even gets a night out of sorts (supplied DVDs sweeten the deal). Then a complete swap on another night means all parents have time to themselves without expense or anyone being put out.


So that is how I’m creating some balance this year (or attempting to anyway).  I’d love to hear other ideas. How do you adopt a village mentality? Do you ‘time share’?

10 Responses to “How to find more time for you without paying for childcare.

  • Great idea! I think having the other kids around can be easier because your little one has someone to play with and isn’t as dependent on mama to occupy them.

  • Great ideas! Unfortunately, I have no friends with kids, but we decided that on Sundays, that my mother has her day off, me and my husband are going out of the house for a couple of hours. This happens while Nereus is napping, so my mother can do whatever she wants in the meantime. It’s working for now!

  • That sounds like a great idea. Unfortunately we don’t have close enough friends that I would consider doing this, but I do have parents who actually ask to have the kids sometimes!

  • Great ideas!
    I especially like the baby sitting swap.
    A night not in your own is as good as a night out…sitting on someone else’s couch you can’t think about the laundry that needs doing or the fact that the dishes haven’t been done!
    And I totally agree that more couple time is so necessary but so hard to come by!
    Sounds like you have a great village!
    Enjoy your baby free time!

  • Time out is so important, but it’s easy to get bogged down in the day to day and forget about yourself. Seem great ideas, our neighbors are also our close friends. We help each other out tons and it’s such a blessing.

  • dropped in from the followers to friends blog hop, now following on GFC, see you back on my blog 🙂

  • I love these ideas, Bettina!

    Just thinking about how I can implement them now…would have been easier when I only had one little person!

    • Bettina Rae
      10 years ago

      Thanks Angie! Yep it makes it a bit harder, maybe you have friends with more than one also? But don’t discount those with only one. I take two for one, it really isn’t that much harder and still gives me a break.

  • What a great idea. Both the kid swap and babysitting swap. I need to do this more, I feel like I am either at work or at home wrangling kids, never ever out by myself or with husband or home alone! I go crazy…

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