You’ve been invited to a great party but there’s one problem: your usual babysitter has been invited to another party, and even your mother-in-law has plans. New Year’s Eve is one of the hardest nights to find a babysitter, and those who are available often charge a premium for working.
You don’t have to turn down the invite though; here are some ideas for finding creative solutions to your festive childcare dilemmas:
1. Find a new sitter
Your usual babysitter might have gone home for their university’s Christmas break but a slew of students will be returning to your hometown and are likely to be looking for some holiday cash. Create a new babysitting job post as far in advance as possible and be specific about how late you think you’ll stay out.
2. Arrange a babysitting swap
Desperate to get your dancing shoes on for New Year’s but happy to celebrate Valentine’s Day on a different date? Ask a friend if she wants to watch your children on the 31st and you’ll take hers on February 14th. You could also offer three nights of babysitting in exchange for this big one. For friends who don’t mind a New Year’s in, it may be worth the swap.
3. Throw a party for local teens
Not a wild one, of course, but you may find some teenage friends who are willing to babysit together. Arrange to go out with a few friends leaving all your children together at one house and provide some party food and drinks for the babysitters. Your children are happy because they’re with their friends, the sitters are happy to spend time together, and you’re out with your friends – a win-win-win situation as long as you are sure that it will not get out of hand.
4. Include the kids
Arrange a family-friendly party and invite your friends’ children along too, the youngsters can play together while you catch up with their parents and try to remember the words to Auld Lang Syne.
5. Throw a slumber party
The problem with getting together with another family is that you still have to head home early to get the children to bed, usually well before midnight. You could think about renting a house, particularly if you are a very large group or there is travel involved to bring you all together, or, designate one house the ‘slumber party’ house and let everyone spend the night. Once you’ve put the children to bed you can continue the party downstairs.
You may not be able to have exactly the care-free New Year’s parties that you enjoyed before the children arrived but many of your friends will be in the same boat and by making a few small changes you can all have a wonderful time and it could become a new tradition for your social circle.
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