What Are Ways To Avoid Hiring A Babysitter?

20 months.

Yes, I’m cheap.

I don’t pay for cable; we have “bunny ears” allowing us to pick up the major networks.

And I refuse to have Internet on my phone because I would constantly be distracted by the thought of what I am missing out on. Plus, I’m too cheap to pay for it.

Needless to say, I won’t hire a babysitter.

This week on my favorite radio station, WAY-FM, they were talking about the average hourly rate to pay a babysitter for one kid being $12.75.

Coincidentally, I heard about a clever idea a restaurant here in Nashville is starting this weekend:

Any parent who drops their child off at The Children’s Playroom will receive a $10 coupon to Sperry’s Restaurant, and after parents redeem the coupon at Sperry’s they’ll receive a $5 coupon for The Children’s Playroom.

The fact that businesses are getting involved to help give parents a way to have a fun night out without their kid is proof that many of us parents A) have a desire to go out and have fun without having to worry about the kids but B) don’t won’t the hassle of hiring a babysitter.

Considering I pay over 200 bucks a week for professionals to watch my kid for more hours per week than I’m actually with him myself, I can’t justify dropping any more “Zack Morris bucks” for babysitting.

The obvious way to avoid hiring a babysitter is to take advantage of the times your family comes to visit. We always plan a date night around these times. Doesn’t everybody?

Another plan we participate in is we have a deal with a friend who lives nearby:

We wait until we put our son to bed at 7:00, then she comes over and enjoys access to our Netflix account on our Wii, which only costs us like $9 a month so I’m not too cheap for it.

While she relaxes and watches a movie on our couch, we get to go out for dinner. Granted, since our son is asleep the whole time upstairs, she’s really house-sitting more than she is baby-sitting. And we always bring her dessert.

Another scheme we have done is going in shifts. If our friends are having a party that starts at 7:00, which as I just mentioned, is our son’s bedtime, then as I’m putting him to bed for the night, my wife will enjoy the first half of the party. When she returns, I tag-team her out.

So we both get to see our friends at the party; just not as a couple. But like it matters, because even if we showed up together, we’d end up talking to different people anyway.

My last idea to avoid hiring a babysitter is to hang out at the house of one of your kid’s friends with their parents. Between 4 adults and 2 kids, you’re never really having to pay as much attention to your own kid as you would if you would at your own house without company.

Whereas normally you’d be at like 100%, in the company of other parents you only have to be at like 35%.

Your kid gets to hang out with a friend and you get to hang out with that kid’s parents; assuming they’re cool.

It’s okay to be too cheap to hire a sitter. Do you have any ideas you’d like to share? I may steal them from you.

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  1. by Kim

    On August 4, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    I Refuse to hire a sitter because I`m SUPER picky about who I leave my kids with. So I make the 30 minute drive to leave them with my mom while I run errands, or hire my sister who goes to school near us. I will pay my sister, because she tends to have to take time off work for it, and usually cleans my house while shes here. We also have some older neighbors that adore my kids and will watch them when they can, and refuse payment. I have tried to pay them, they wont take it!