6 Easy Rules to Create and Keep Your Babysitting Barter System

Let’s talk about the fundamental rules of the babysitting barter system amongst parents.

1. You should never initiate a barter system with someone you just met.  This appears like you’re out right using the parent when most likely, they’re really seeking a companion for their child. This may also discourage the parent from further interaction with your child in an attempt to avoid you.

2. Don’t be too pushy.  Initiating a barter system can benefit both parties.  The key is not to appear overly aggressive.  Some parents don’t need to be a part of a barter system, others may not feel comfortable.  No matter the reason, the last thing you want to do is turn into a mob boss and begin issuing threats.

3. Remember it’s not about you, it’s about the children.  Yes, you want to go out and have fun or relax, or take an uniteruppted guilt-free nap; but at what cost? If your child isn’t actually friends with the other one, or they are uncomfortable being with the other parent you may want to reevaluate that partnership. Where there’s smoke there’s fire.

4. Be honest with yourself. Ask yourself, “Am I a good babysitter?” If you can’t keep yourself from yelling, swearing and snatching up your own children every minute on the minute, what makes you think that you’ll be able to handle additional ones?

5. Only use the barter system as much as the other person is using it. If you and another parent have agreed to a barter system, then it should be equally beneficial. Think about a Libra balancing their scale. The moment it tips more to one side it’s over and the system will collapse along with your child’s companionship and your “in a pinch” baby sitter.

6. Remember it’s business even when it appears to be personal. I don’t care if you’ve known each other since second grade! Believe me when I tell you watching children can take it’s toll. Always remain courteous and professional when engaged in a babysitting barter system. This is the only way to ensure that the exchange will continue.

If you follow these six easy rules watch your babysitting barter system flourish. Not only that, but more parents will likely want to barter with you. Any parent knows how crucial babysitting options and emergency plans are. Don’t blow it!

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Dust Yourself Off & Try Again

Like many, my past isn’t squeaky clean.  I’ve hurt people and I’ve been hurt.  Over the years motherhood has definitely changed my outlook on life.  Post baby, I’ve tried to be more considerate of others and live by the golden rule.  However, you can’t outrun your past and today my past came calling. 

I’ve remained in contact with this old friend off-and-on over the years but I thought it was an unspoken truth that we would never be again.  I was excited to hear from him and answered believing it to be one of our annual “catch up chats” but I could tell by the tone of his voice that the conversation would be more serious. He began to speak about the old “us” and I feared what was to come next.  Again, I’ve hurt people in my past life.

As I listened intently awaiting my verbal lashing about all the irritating habits or inconsiderate and selfish things I did (yes, I’ve had this talk a time or two before) he surprised me with compliments.  He told me how perfect I was and how over the years he hasn’t been able to replace me or escape thoughts of the old “us.”  He expressed his desire to give “us” another chance, to do it right this time.  He outlined all of the qualities that had kept him checking in with me over the years and for once I was the “the one that got away” (score)!

Although I don’t know what the future may hold for us, I needed to be reminded that I was a good woman and that I had things to offer.   Becoming a single mother was a nearly fatal blow to my ego.  Over the years I’ve put up with more than I ever would prior to having my daughter because deep down inside I felt I no longer embodied the fun, fearless female persona that kept me demanding respect, therefor I didn’t deserve to receive respect.  I was ashamed of myself at times and the men I dated preyed on my vulnerability.

Hearing him speak of all that great things I used to do and how I walked and talked, how confident and passionate I was reminded me of who I am.  Sometimes its nothing like a good ole trip down memory lane to help you regain your focus.  I’ve issued enough second chances to people who didn’t deserve the first one.  Thanks old friend for reminding me that I deserve to give myself a second chance too.    

Lil Reese Beats Up Female

Lil Reese, Chicago Teen, beats up female

Where do I begin? Is this failed parenting at its peak?  Is it angry black male/female syndrome? Is it the beginning stages of genocide?  The most important and disturbing thing about this video was all of the bystanders getting their camera’s ready to record rather than breaking up an unfair fight.  After all, we live in a digital world right? We wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity to have viral fame *shakes head in disbelief*.  I’m appalled and terrified for my child.

It’s not illegal if she/he is 18…right?


Is it me or have we seen an influx in cases involving student/teacher relations?  As a parent I’m already questioning the fate of America’s public school system, I’ve begun to adapt to the idea that when my child is of social media age “cyber bullying” could be a problem for us, and by the time she reaches high school she could very well be carrying on a virtual affair with her teacher’s hologram! Nevertheless, today I’m torn about this situation.

On one hand it’s sad and unfortunate that this woman, her husband, and her children will have to endure such scrutiny on account of her unprofessional and sloppily executed fantasy fun. Haven’t we all learned that sexting and video recordings cannot be denied?  On the other hand, all parties involved were of age and agreed to engage in the said acts.  Does this make it right? Yes, I mean no, kinda?

Thoughts anyone?

Social Media: Friend or Foe?

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When I think of all of the social platforms available to express one’s self on or connect with like minds, at first glance the social allure seems quite tempting.  Whether it’s the little orange box lighting up at the bottom of your screen or the red box in the corner alerting you of mentions and tags, I must admit that the market of social media is almost impossible to resist and in severe cases, down right addictive. However, upon closer examination, I’m left to ponder, is social media all its cracked up to be and if so are these sites friend or foe?

Like any new relationship, the first three months of joining a new social site or following a new blog is pure bliss.  Every five minutes you’re checking your phone to see if you’ve received more of the witty updates about current events that drew you to the site or blogger in the first place, you get a direct feed for Fashion Week behind the scenes footage (you’re there in spirit), you reconnect with lost friends and family and you get to see all the fun times old classmates are having getting married, having children or dining with celebrities.  That’s all fine and dandy the first three months.  After all, this was the reason you joined right?

Then reality sets in; that awkward moment (that you didn’t know was coming) when you see the same types of posts you’ve always seen yet you find yourself annoyed and ready to fire back—“SYPH (shut your pie hole) PLEASE!  I don’t care that you’re extremely happy, I don’t care about your first hand account of liberal or conservative reporting journalism (btw, what school did you attend again?), and sorry Mercedes Benz but I will never be able to afford (or feel comfortable spending) 10k+ on a dress that could only be worn once if at all (as I am currently on a diet and I don’t know that I’ll ever fit sample sizes).”

Yep, just like that relationship that seemed like a match made, you find out that the same habits that once intrigued you are now annoying and dreadfully intolerable *sigh*.  So like the relationship you thought you wanted and realized it’s not something you needed, you begin to politely withdraw.  You stop responding to DMs, you post less and less and you start seeking newer, fresher sites that exercise tact and have settings that filter the unwanted posts, spam, and soliciting *insert Pinterest here*.  Let the cycle begin again.

All things considered, is social media really my friend or was it designed to keep me in a cruel cycle of seeking the unattainable: a simple place to see updates on things that I’m interested in, the news I need to know (A list celebrities covered only), and the exercise tips that I can do without much effort-for now we’ll leave friends/followers out of this. To the new social networking site and expert blogger, please state your business: friend or foe?