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!

Advertisements

Daddy, Where Have You Been?

My guilty pleasures are the following: celebrity gossip, designer shoes and bad reality television.  Recently, two of my favorite worlds collided when semi-celebrity DJ Big Tigga invited Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’s bad girl Mary Jane (stage name) on his show to discuss her very public, very steamy and very sexually fueled episode with a very publicly married man.  When she was asked why she engaged in certain sexual activities with this married man, her response was simple, “he took those vows, not me.”   *Gasps and grabs pearls*…No this b—- didn’t just say that!

As a single woman, this statement is scary for multiple reasons.  First, woman tend to think, no matter how lame, disgusting and deadbeat their guy may be, that you as the single woman are desperate enough to jump his dusty bones.  She just confirmed this theory.  Next, as a woman who plans to marry, it’s crazy to think that another woman will disregard the seriousness of the marital bond that I will share with my husband.  

But wait, she wasn’t finished.  “If he doesn’t respect his marriage, why should I?”  Things just got real. She continued, “My advice is for father’s to love their daughters.  I’m not condoning what I did or what I do but…”.  All of a sudden my chest tightened.  Immediately I thought of my daughters fathers lack of influence in her life.  Of course she has my dad to cater to her every need, but is that enough of a preventative measure to keep her from turning into a gold-digging, husband stealing, side-piece?  Am I underestimating the impact of his absence?

She’s at an age where questions are being raised on his where-a-bouts on a regular basis.  She often will say how she wishes he was here.  I’ve disregarded these things because I don’t fell like financially, her life is lacking.  However, it’s clear that she needs something  more.  She needs his adoration, his affection, his attention his presence.  As much as I hate to admit it, she needs him, just as I needed my father. 

I think I just had a break through. 

 

To hear the interview in its entirety listen here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKHgzaFZapE 

Can I Instagram that heaux?

I always struggle with how much to reveal about my life on social media.  As a mom, I feel like I have a social responsibility to be appropriate at all (photographed) moments.  On the other hand, as a fun, single lady I’m always tempted to show people what I’m really up to*inset evil laugh*.  I confess, as a viewer I am prone to judge.  I judge moms who post entirely too many pictures of their kid(s).  Yes I said it!  I don’t need to see your child daily.  Get over it!  On the flip side, I judge moms that are turning up nightly.  Pause-where is your child?  Then I don’t want to Beyoncé it and post shadows or props eluding to the fact that there’s a mini me floating around somewhere; I mean I’m just not that famous or important to the masses.

So, in a digital world, were social profiles determine your marketability, how should I brand my “mom” self? What message am I trying to convey?  Which side is my “best side” (as I will always want to photograph my selfies from that angle)?  I can’t be the only person with this dilemma, can I?  I want my Vines to be witty and fun, my Instagrams to be artsy yet relatable and my Facebook/Twitter rants to evoke an uproar of unsolicited feedback.

I think the real issue here is that I may be overthinking it.  Even though I judge, don’t judge me.  Maybe I just need to have fun, isn’t that the founding rule of social media anyway? 

The Double Standard

royalty-free-photos-we-love-you-dad-family-21115585

I am a single mother and I want to say Happy Daddy’s Day to all the great men out there taking care of their children and possibly someone else’s.  Now that that is out of the way, let me say this: To all of my single, bitter, resentful mother’s – it is not your place to denounce this day or make your PSA’s calling out the deadbeat you selected to procreate with. 

Spare us the paragraph posts about your pitiful plite and how you are wishing yourself and all the other bitter, resentful single moms a happy father’s day.  Do some dads fall short, yes.  On the other hand, aren’t there some moms that have fallen short as well?  I mean let’s be honest, I’ve encountered PLENTY of unfit single mother’s. So ladies, the next time you feel the urge to bash the next man, pick up a mirror and take a good look at the person who needs to be checked.

-We love you dad and don’t let anyone steal your joy today!

I hate to admit it but I’ve always believed in fairy tales.  Unfortunately, over time, life has had a funny way of showing me that fairy tales may be best suited for the television screen.  Nevertheless, after a failed relationship with my daughters father I still believed that the equally fabulous “single-mother me” could find true love (gags while typing).  Yes, dating is hard, but I was ready.

So I met a guy and he was nice.  He brought me flowers, and a polka dot shirt (don’t judge me).  He opened doors and complimented me when I would get dressed, but I was mean to him.  I wasn’t sure if I liked him or his gestures, after all, guys are always nice during the chase…right? Then I began to assess why I was so mean and I realized I was afraid.  I was afraid of a fairy tale love. Although I liked the idea in theory, I felt that in reality it could never be, mainly because I wasn’t perfect.

I had baggage.  I never felt that I was a bag lady before (I always purchase shoes over bags), but meeting him and seeing how perfect he was began to make me see how perfect I wasn’t.  He had no children, a great job, and a wonderful sense of fashion. Yes, I questioned his sexuality at first, but after close examination I determined he was in fact 100 percent heterosexual.

How could I want, and constantly seek perfection from a spouse when I was flawed? I don’t regret my daughter, and he never made me feel like he had a problem with me having a child, but I realized the responsibility that he would be taking on if we became serious and it scared me straight out of my potential fairy tale.  The thought of combinding my daughters life with another person who had the potential of failing us both was overwhelming and I quickly crumbled.

Eventually he became distant, maybe in response to my distance.  Then I thought to myself, anyone not willing to fight for us isn’t right for us.  Conclusion: I’m glad I waited to see if it was real.  Maybe fairy tales do exist and I just haven’t found my prince yet.

Love-Gives-Us-A-Fairytale

1 Billi Owed in Child Support Payments and Taxpayers are Picking Up the Tab

My stance on child support is equal to my stance on abortion and gay marriage: to each his/her own. While I do feel like there are pros and cons to both sides of the coin, I think the decision to file is best made on a case by case basis. I do not condone parents who use their children as paychecks, nor do I condone non-custodial parents who flee at the first sign of a child care, doctor or dentist note.

Children cost money.  In fact, I strongly concur that God probably was on to something when he recommended a child should be the result of marriage.  Nevertheless, children are still born out of wedlock; furthermore, marriage doesn’t guarantee that bills will be paid and as a result the child will have a better quality of life.

Back to the matter at hand.  To The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, you mean to tell me that there is over 1 billion in bad debt incurred from back payments owed to custodial parents? DANG!! That’s a lot diapers, child care hours, dentist visits, college tuition and more.  I’ve seen coworkers checks garnished and you can look in your local paper and view many people arrested for failure to pay child support.  How much of that is chipping away at this debt?

Is there a better way to collect this debt? Could the child support payments be too high? Is visitation included/required in these payments?  Is this overwhelming debt a form of rebellion from those being exploited? If I am a single mother, why are my tax dollars being used to pay for someone else’s child support? I should be exempt from the reimbursement clause, right? These are just a few questions I have.

Feel free to respond to my questions and concerns in the comments section of this post.  I have a feeling others will want to know if they’re exempt as well.

Sincerely,

Concerned tax-paying, non-child support receiving, single mother living slightly above the poverty line. 

read CNNs article here: http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/05/news/economy/unpaid-child-support/index.html?hpt=hp_t3