Sarah is my reciprositter. She is a mama of twin girls that I met about 4 months ago and she has become one of my closest friends here in CA. She gets it. She knows the struggles and joys of raising twins. Although our educational backgrounds differ, she understands the frustrations of trying to have a career and be the best mom she can be. We have similar styles of parenting and are going through similar milestones with our kids. We are both not from CA - she is from Canada and we are from the Northeast so neither of us has a lot of family that live close enough to help babysit. And weirdly, our twins are very similar. We both have one headstrong, fearless twin and one feeling, observant twin. She is also my twins' Music Together teacher, a class where we have no fewer than 3 sets of twins each week.
So the other day Sarah suggested we trade babysitting. Of course we should. We decided to do an evening sitting swap. She came over on Friday after the kids were in bed, and me and the hubby went out to dinner. For free. She even washed some dishes out of the kindness of her heart!! And then on Saturday I went over to her house after her babies were in bed and they went to see the new James Bond movie. It was the first time she and her hubby had been out to a movie in 13 months - since her twins were born!! It was great because the kids were in bed and all I had to do was pet her cats, have a cup of tea, read my book and eat some of the delicious mint chocolate cookies that she baked me (she is fabulous, BTW). I thought, wow this could be an awesome buiness: matching up families with similar aged kids and parenting styles for evening babysitting. The only catch is you have to return the sitting job and pay me (the business owner) a small fee. I mean, if we get a sitter through a service, we pay 16.50$ an hour plus a monthly fee plus gratuity, and the minimum is 4 hours. So that can make for a very expensive date night! Nowi am not sure how the business model works after you make friends with your recipro-sitter family. I mean, how do you keep collecting a fee? But anyways I thought it was a neat idea!
What do you think? Did you ever have any creative ideas for a business ( I also think there should be drive-thru super-markets and craft studios with child-care on-site!)