Daisy Downs
Article contributed by Daisy Downs, co-founder of UrbanSitter

Most moms wouldn’t dream of sharing their sitters. I kind of get it. It can be stressful and hard to find a sitter, and when you find one you love, you want them to be there for you and you alone.

But, in my opinion, it’s a pretty old-fashioned way of thinking – and in the end, it’s going to backfire.

While it seems counter-intuitive to share your sitter, I have 4 reasons why sharing sitters makes the world go round:

1. Help your sitter and your sitter will help you.
By sharing your sitter, you’re getting that sitter business that she or he would have a hard time getting on their own.  There’s no good way for sitters to market themselves, and they’ll appreciate your help. In return, a sitter might forgo a movie night with friends if you were in a bind and needed a sitter. They might also recommend a friend to fill in if they weren’t available. You could even strike a deal and say, “I’ll introduce you to 3 new parents, and you introduce me to 3 new sitters!”

2. Help a friend and a friend will help you.
There will be a time when your sitter is not available (yes, they do have lives!), and no, this does not mean that you have to stay home. Imagine having 10 great sitters that you could reach out to at any time.  Sound too good to be true?  It’s not. If you and 9 of your mommy friends all shared your sitters, you’d have exactly that.

3. Share your sitter and you’ll go out more often.
“What?” This is exactly why you don’t share your sitter, right?  You’re worried that if you share your sitter they won’t be available when you need them.  But if you follow the logic above, sharing a sitter is actually going to gain you sitters in the end.  And, if you have a bigger community of sitters, it’s easier to find one, and thus you might decide to go out more often!

4. Go out more often, and you’ll help your sanity and the even the economy!
Okay, so maybe helping the economy is a stretch, but I think the sanity bit is definitely true.  As a new mom my heart sunk when I got invited to events because I wanted to go, but couldn’t deal with finding a sitter.  I turned down more invitations than I should have out of laziness or anxiety.  Sometimes I rationalized this decision by thinking to myself, “it’s expensive” – and it can be – but deep down, I knew if it had be easier to do, I would have jumped at more opportunities.

This is the very reason we (two fellow moms and I) started UrbanSitter. Why should we be able to book a dinner reservation online in two minutes, yet it takes days to find a sitter? With UrbanSitter, parents use their Facebook connections and affiliations for immediate access to a community of sitters their friends trust.

Even if you’re not willing to make the leap to share your favorite sitter, it’s still a good idea to “draw from the bench.” Try someone new from time to time in order to slowly build your team of sitters. UrbanSitter allows you to see which sitters your friends have used and liked, which makes it much easier to give someone new a chance.

So go on….extend your team of sitters…and get out more often and bring back your sanity!

Contributed by Daisy Downs, co-founder of UrbanSitter

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