Divorce Recovery Advice and Help Divorce = Babysitting Problems
Single Parent Baby Sitting Expense

Harlan Jacobsen Copyright 2003

Babysitting and the divorce budget are two interconnected headaches that plague most singles with custody of the children.

If you could just eliminate your divorced caused babysitting expenses, you could make ends meet, you say.

  • Or, if I didn't have to pay a babysitter, maybe I could afford to go out once in a while.

Then the question comes up -- should you ask or expect your date to help pay for your babysitter when you go out?

This has been batted around for a long time and the consensus of opinion seems to be that the ethics involved call for you to pay for your baby sitter and he pays the date expenses.

  • After all, he is dating you -- not your children and he shouldn't have to choose between dating you or someone. else on the basis of whether you have children or not.

The fact that you have children is not exactly a dating plus in the first place and you shouldn't add to it by expecting him to come up with extra money to date you because you have children.

  • If he just drives across town to see you and drives down to the park, he has two or three dollars worth or car expenses you don't have. If he buys you an ice cream sundae, his overhead already may exceed your babysitting bill.

Most regular dates are movie dates, etc., he has more expenses for the date than you do.

He is probably paying child support that is going in part to pay for his ex's babysitting expenses and he is probably just as strapped for money as you are.

  • Now if you can't go out tonight because you don't have babysitting money and he is loaded and volunteers to pay your babysitting tab -- fine -- but normally don't ask or expect him to pay your babysitting.

  • If he does, he may not be able to afford to take you out again soon -- no matter how prosperous he looks.

  • Remember, that car and clothes he probably bought when he was still only supporting one household.

If you want to cut your babysitting expenses to zero, find another woman that has children of the same age and when you go out, drop your children off at her house and when she goes out, she drops hers off at your place --either picking them up when she gets home or in the morning.

  • The kids have a great time playing together and it gets to be fun for them if you choose wisely.

Another alternative is that when you both go out at the same time, one of you brings your children to the other's house and you split the cost of the sitter.

If you want to cut your costs to zero and you live in a town house or apartment complex, set up a formal baby sitting cooperative.

  • You have a form that you can fill out and sign when some other member watches your children, you sign it and the babysitting cooperative charges you with that many hours.

When you sit for someone else's children, then you are credited for that many hours.

  • There are club rules, of course, that keep things running smoothly but no money ever changes hands.

Therefore you can eliminate babysitting bills by cooperating with other mothers with the same problem -- whether they be married or single.

  • If you would like information on setting up a cooperative (it should be people all in the same vicinity), your library has articles or go to http://ixquick.com/ and enter "babysitting cooperative" and you will get a long list of sites with all the details.

Schedule some dates and take the children along if mutually agreeable.

  • Some single fathers miss doing things with the kids.

You should expect to pick up the tab for the kids' expenses but he pays yours.


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