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Broke-Ass Mom Steps Out

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Although it’s incredibly tempting to put your baby to sleep, go around the corner to the local pub for a PBR, and sneak back before your baby knows you’re gone, you never know what neighbor might be spying on you at that very moment and whether or not CPS has been called. To avoid this potentially embarrassing mess, it’s probably best to find yourself a babysitter for your nighttime travels.

The latest Jude Law film has come out, but you’re too busy doing calculations in your head of what the movie ticket plus a babysitter at $15/hour is going to cost you to actually see it.  Therefore you opt to rent it on Netflix, but you and I both know his bod is much better on the big screen than in your living room.  Even a Broke-Ass mom deserves to go out and shake her ass every now and again.  Just because your baby goes to sleep by 8pm, doesn’t mean you have to sit around twiddling your thumbs every night waiting for her to potentially wake up.  There are ways to still go out on a Friday night and not have to break into your kid’s piggy bank to do it.  Babysitters do exist that you can afford, it just requires a little legwork.

Top Seven Ways to Find a Babysitter:

  1. Neighborhood association – If you have one of these where you live, join it.  There’s nothing better than other moms recommending a babysitter in your neighborhood.
  2. Word of Mouth – Ask other Moms you know if they have a sitter that they like.  If you don’t have other mom friends, keep your ears open while trolling the playground.  Eventually you’ll hear other moms talking about babysitters, then pony up and talk to them.  Most moms are happy to help out.
  3. Websites – Care.com is a national website with babysitters in most major metropolitan areas.  Care.com gives you access to resumes, criminal records, schedules, pay rate, experience, etc all for FREE.  With care.com you can both post a job and let the sitters come to you, (be as specific as possible), or you can search for a sitter and contact them. Another website, currently only in San Francisco, is urbansitter.com.  The good and the bad about this website is that to find a sitter it must be a recommendation from someone you know. Sittercity.com is another website that is very similar to Care.com except you have to pay a membership fee.  With that Sittercity.com gives you some more background checks than Care.com does.
  4. Babysitter swap – make friends with other parents who might be willing to make a swap.  You watch their kid one night while they go out, and vice versa.  Very Broke-Ass Mom-ish if you can swing it.  Free babysitters are the best kind. Just make sure their child doesn’t wake up every three hours, otherwise you’ll wish you had just paid for a sitter.
  5. Stalk other nannies – This is my latest favorite pastime.  Pay attention while you’re out during the day, have you seen a nanny/babysitter that enjoys the same things you do, does she seem fun, affectionate, and trustworthy?  Get her number maybe she’ll moonlight!
  6. Neighborhood kids – High School kids will be the cheapest, so if there are any kids in the neighborhood that you trust, then this is a great option.  Although I would caution that you might want to ask if their parents will be home on the night you go out.  It could be a big bummer if the fifteen-year old is too busy saving her iPhone to remember to grab your kid on the way out of the burning house.
  7. Family – If you are lucky enough to live near your family, dude jump on that shit.  What are you waiting for?  Grandparents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, they should all jump at the chance to babysit for you, even if it is only once in a blue moon.

What you don’t want to do is deprive yourself of some fun and not go out.  Find someone you like, someone you trust, go out and have a good time.  Even if you only go around the corner, order ice cream, and sit while you eat for once, it’s worth it.  I promise you can still have fun going out without worrying about your child the whole time, and there are affordable ways to do it.

Photo by: Istockphoto Patrick Heagney

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Jennifer White - Mommy No Bucks

Jennifer White - Mommy No Bucks

Jennifer has been a bit of a nomad having lived in seven different cities. Her life as a gypsy has settled down for the moment in San Francisco with her husband and two-year old son. Recently, she decided to throw caution to the wind, quit her job as an analyst to be a full-time mom while chasing her dreams (and the Pulitzer Prize). When she's not writing, she's aspiring to be a luddite (although blogging isn't helping), knitting the occasional hat, or running in the park with her son and his secondhand compost truck in tow.