More Adventures in Babysitting

We're the only couple with children, and we can't afford a babysitter every week.

Q & A...

My wife and I are the only ones in our group with children who need babysitting. We also can't afford a babysitter every week, so my wife and I trade off—she attends one week and I attend the next. We're never together in the group anymore, except at the end-of-the-year get-together. Any suggestions?

Child care is one of the biggest concerns in many small groups. It can be a divisive issue that keeps a group from growing, or, if handled wisely, it can be a factor in keeping the group together and helping it to grow. The difference, I think, is how the group handles this concern. The group that sees child care as a problem or a burden—the group that does not talk about child care or only deals with it when it becomes an emergency situation—is bound to have problems. The group that decides to work together to communicate and find the best solutions for everyone involved is a healthy, effective group.

Here is how I would like to see your group think about your child-care concern:

This is our group. So we are going to do whatever we can so this couple can come to meetings together, at least most of the time. We'll all pitch in a couple dollars each week to pay a good babysitter to take care of the children while we meet. We'll pay this person enough that he or she will want to come back week after week to care for these kids. (If each member pays just $2 a week, and if we have 10 people in our group, the babysitter could make $20 for two hours. I bet a lot of teenagers at our church would jump at that chance!) Let's pitch in together for the good of the group. Perhaps each member of the group can take a turn at caring for the children—maybe this will help all of us to grow. These children are not ...

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