In August one of our favorite families was preparing to move overseas. They have 5 year old twins - the little boy was Gerry's best buddy - and a baby who just turned 1 in August. So we offered to help out by watching the baby one morning while they packed up. It was great - Marisol was so helpful with the baby and even Gerry helped entertain her (he loved playing peek-a-boo with her and tickling her toes while saying "teeky-teeky-too!")
Marisol wanted to buy something on my phone that week for one of her hew apps (Oh yeah, it was the soundtrack from the Disney Movie, "Teen Beach Movie" and the app is called Video Star.) Anyway, she hadn't saved up enough money yet, so I told her if she helped watch Silvy she would earn the rest of the money. And she was so awesome, playing with her the whole morning!
So I thought, what a great thing it would be to offer Marisol's "babysitting" services to a mom with a baby or young child at a really, reasonable rate. And then I would feel really great about helping out another mother too.
The idea sat in my mind for a while, and when we went to a homeschooling park day there were several moms there with babies that I thought about asking if this might be something they would be interested in.
Alas, we haven't made it back to park day since. (We're fried by Friday AND there was that whole "government shut-down" thing - which apparently included Jones Point Park). But then something even better came up. We made friends with someone new in the neighborhood who has a little boy (Lawrence, he will be 3 years old in January) and a newborn (baby Lucy - she shares my birthday!) I hit it off with their mom right away - she's almost 10 years younger than me, as sweet as can be, and always so upbeat about life.
And the best part? Lawrence almost immediately fell in love with Marisol after playing with her in the park a couple of times.
So after talking it over with Marisol we presented our proposal to our new friends. And we've now had 3 babysitting gigs.
There was some haggling over payment at first. I proposed $2 per hour but mom wanted to offer more. We finally settled on $5 for 2 hours and $3 for one hour. Everyone seems pretty happy with that so far.
And, like I told this new mama-friend - the point of it was for it to be a total win-win for everyone, including myself! (so make that a win-win-WIN!) I love helping out a mama with 2 littles (because oh boy would I have loved to have had that myself!) and my kids are actually more occupied with another little person thrown in the mix. Marisol is learning so much and she gets a nice little addition to her weekly allowance.
This is definitely one of my favorite things yet about homeschooling - there is so much to love about this arrangement - the fact that we have the freedom to help a young mother on a weekday morning, that Marisol has her first "paying job", and I love that Lawrence loves playing at our house. It shows how we can build up our tribe and really support each other. It's something so small... and yet so BIG.
ps Want to feel good about another Win/Win? Remember to head over here to check out my calendar project. It includes artwork from both myself and my daughter and all proceeds are going to a great cause! Win/win/(WIN)! (you get a year's worth of inspiration, I get to spread my message through art, and a great foundation gets some moola!)
Or if you know you're ready to buy (you keep meaning to, then forgetting, then I remind you but then you forget again... I know how it goes!) Go ahead and click the Buy Now button below! They're only $15 and it's a great cause.
Wife, mom, information and peace seeker.