Komae: Create Your Baby Sitting Co-op
As busy moms, we put pressure on ourselves to do it all. There is so much on our plate and not enough time to do it in. We have jobs to do, kids to nurture, husbands to support, houses to clean, not to mention meeting our own needs. Having the kids around constantly can make some of these tasks near impossible. The problem is, often times we don’t have people we trust or the resources to pay for someone to watch our kids. I recently came across a new app that solves this problem in a really smart way. Komae to the rescue!
Komae is a new app available for both apple and android devices that was created by 2 moms in need of babysitting. Apparently, in the past there were these things called babysitting co-ops. Moms would get together and agree to trade babysitting with one another. Instead of hiring a sitter, you would reach out to the people in your co-op to see who was available to watch your kids. This gave you a group of people you trusted to watch your kids and free babysitting. You would just need to return the favor by watching someone else’s kids at some point.
While this is a really cool idea, the management of a co-op can be overwhelming. Someone has to keep track of who is watching who’s kids and how many times people are requesting sitters and making sure that they are also watching other people’s kids. It’s quite a bit of tracking involved. This is the brilliance of Komae. It does all this work for you.
How it Works
Once you download the Komae app, you input the information about you and your kids. This remains private until you add people to your village. Your village is your group of friends and trusted babysitters. Once you have your profile set, you can invite friends to join your village either through Facebook or via email. No one will see your info except the people you specifically invite and accept. You can also search for people you know within the app.
Once you have a village of friends, you can start using the app. When you need a babysitter, you put out the day and time to your village. Your villagers can then respond with whether or not they are available. Once you get your responses, you can choose who to watch your kids. The best part about this is that not only do you get free babysitting, but your kids actually get a play date with other kids.
Starting out you have zero points, but you can go down to negative 20, so don’t worry that you have to babysit someone before you can actually benefit from the app. Another cool feature is that you can put down your availability to watch other kids. Let’s say you know you are going to be home Friday night. You can put it out there that you are free to watch kids that night and your friends can go out on a date. You get to earn points for your future babysitting needs, your kids get a play date with their friends, and your friends get a date night out. I don’t think it gets much better than that.
The benefit of using Komae to facilitate your babysitting co-op is that Komae keeps track of all the points and paperwork. They calculate how much a sit is worth based on various factors including the number of kids, the amount of time, and whether it is on a week day or the weekend. It keeps track of your number of points and ensures that no one person is using all the babysitting without actually watching anyone else’s kids.
This app is perfect for any mom, especially those that do not have a lot of family members around to watch their kids. It also prevents some of the awkwardness that can be possible in a traditional co-op when you only trust some of the people to watch your kids. You pick exactly who is in your village. You might have your friend in your village, but they have a different friend in their village that is not in yours. Everyone in your village does not have to have the same village. You pick who you personally trust and the app will handle all the management.
This app is definitely worth checking out! Give your kids a play date and get the shopping done sans kids or treat yourself to a pedicure. The choice is yours!
Emily Bendler is a mom, wife, full-time insurance adjuster, professional dancer, dance teacher, graduate student, and founder of I Hope You Dance, Inc., a non-profit supporting youth dance. Read how Emily used her dance ambitions to become a time management maven. Feel free to send Emily a message using the email me tab above.