Let’s face it, at some point we all want to get out and away for a night without the kids or even an afternoon.  Some days I would take a mid morning hour away.  It’s the nature of the job.  Parents sometimes need a break in order to continue to be effective. 

So when your time comes, how do you find a babysitter?  One you trust, who you know will respect your rules, and most importantly won’t do something awful to your kids?  It’s something I know several parents have struggled with. 

A good way to start the search is by word of mouth.  Talk to other parents who you trust and find out who they use.  If you attend a church, you can look into some of the high school or college age kids.  It’s a plus if you can get to know their parents too!  I know a few people who have turned to online sitter services such as babysitters.com or 4sitters.com, but I’m not sure that I am comfortable with that at this point. 

My favorite way to arrange babysitting for my kids is a sitting swap.  A close friend of mine watches my kids when I need a sitter, and I watch hers when she needs one.  The benefit of this is that you know your sitter.  Hopefully if they are your friend, you know and love their parenting style.  You know that your friend knows what to do in an emergency.  Your kids probably already know your friend and their kids, so they are comfortable with their sitter too.  No strangers here! And my favorite part?  It’s cheap!  I pay for my baby sitting with babysitting!  I can take that extra cash and get popcorn at the theater, with a side of peace of mind.

-Stephanie Wright

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