Humans have been trading goods and services since well before Craig’s List and Freecycle came on the scene. I mean, they didn’t have debit cards when Sacagawea was babywearing, right? Let’s go back to that era and consider what modern exchanges moms can help each other with.
1. Ideas and knowledge. I recently guest posted on Modern Parents Messy Kids, a wonderfully inspirational site for parents, packed with creative play ideas and more recently, organizational tips.
My guest post was Cliff’s Notes for the parenting book, The No-Cry Discipline Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. The idea behind sharing the Cliff’s Notes is that we probably all have a stack of books we haven’t read. Wouldn’t it be lovely if a bunch of friends each read a parenting book and provided you with a one or two page summary? Steph, the author of Modern Parents Messy Kids thinks so, and she’s come up with four other swap ideas to help parents help each other.
2. Playthings. On my blog, Rookie Moms, Steph provided me with an amazing post on swapping busy bags. (Do you sense a theme here? We swapped blog posts!) She suggests that each parent in the swap make up a set of identical bags and then every one swaps them to get a full set of diverse bags.
3. Baby food Sure, there’s a limited window for this, but when your child is between 6 and 12 months old and you know a lot of other new-to-solid eaters in the same stage, you can organize a puree swap. Each participant makes a large batch of fruits or veggies and packages it up, fresh or frozen, for distribution. Meet up for a playdate (or Mom’s Night Out) and swap! In San Francisco, my friend Karen hosted an organic baby food swap for strangers. You can read about it in the New York Times! (Aren’t we crazy in California?)
4. Childcare. This exchange can be simple — you and I take turns running errands once a week and watch each other’s children — or more complicated in the form of a babysitting co-op. My friend Andrea was involved in a co-op where each couple hosted a “kid party” from 4-8 pm every six weeks, and the other 5 couples got to go out. Some websites support a points systems that allow members to earn points for providing care and spend points when they use care. (This is not for strangers; all real-life friends would join the website together.)
5. Clothing. We all get hand-me-downs from friends, right? But gather a whole bunch of people and it becomes a swap. My friend Jennifer in Berkeley is the brains behind Kindercycle. Once a month or so, she organizes an event in a public space, such as a rec center, and moms pay nominal admission to enter and swap clothing. Have you heard of an event like this where you live? Peace.Love.Swap. is an organization that hosts swaps across the country.
Did I miss any other bartering opportunities for parents? What have you swapped?
Read more from source:“babycenter”