0 I Den cirkulære tanke/ Inspiration

Up a Creek Without a Babysitter

babysitiing

Babysitting Introduktion

 Jeg kan stadig huske da jeg som ung mor til to, skulle jonglere hverdagen imellem børn og studier. En dejlig men hård tid, især fordi både min mand og jeg havde forældre, der stadig var særdeles aktive på arbejdsmarkedet og som  ikke havde tid til børnepasning ret tit.

Samtidig overlader man jo ikke sine børn til hvem som helst, så det kan være svært at lave aftaler og få en friaften i ny og næ, hvis der mangler netværk.

Det er hele byens/familiens/netværkets  ansvar, at et barn vokser godt op.

Lidt løst oversat men en smuk tanke om at tage vare på hinanden. En tanke om at vi  alle har et ansvar for at vores medmennesker vokser op, lever og trives.

 

      God fornøjelse

      Jette

P:S Jeg har valgt at indlægget fra Shealin ikke er oversat til dansk. Der forsvinder for mange fine nuancer i oversættelsen.

 

It Takes a Village to Raise a child.

An old proverb says that it takes a village to raise a child, so when you find yourself in the tempests of parenthood without one, life can feel a little overwhelming.

 

We don’t’ talk about it much, but parenthood can be extremely lonely, and for those of us putting down roots in a new place—doubly so. This was certainly true for myself, and for a group of fellow immigrant moms in Denmark, who found ourselves navigating the waters of parenthood far away from our inner circles and trusted family networks.

 

We needed a way…a guilt-free way…to lighten our loads a bit. So, in collaboration with others in a facebook mothers-group, the idea of CPH Babysitting Cooperative was born. We are still in our infancy, but as we grow we remain committed to one really core concept, and that is to create a circle of trust, and share the burden of life far from our own safety-nets.

 

To that end, we are working to build the foundations of trust between us and create a network of parents who are committed to reciprocity in child care.

 

Babysitting could build on Reciprocity

One of the ways creative individuals around the world pursue and promote a more circular economy is by getting back to the basics, so to speak, of economic exchange.

 

Reciprocity—the non-market exchange of goods or labor, is something that whether we know it or not, we are all engaged in almost continuously. In Western society we don’t barter or negotiate immediate trade very often anymore, but we are probably still familiar with the concept of long or delayed exchange. Let’s take birthday gifts, for example, or helping your friend move. While there may not be any formal obligation connected to these two “transactions,” a delayed return is eventually expected to comply with social and cultural norms.

 

Reciprocity is an old, and some might even say, deeply-ingrained concept we share as humans,  so the idea of a babysitting coop is certainly not original to us.

 

Babysitting Coops

The concept really took off the the USA during the 1960’s where groups of families came together and created little micro-economies based on child care.

Some would even use physical currency such as poker-chips or pieces of paper. These represented a certain amount of time spent babysitting or having your child babysat. You spend “points”  when you need a babysitter, and you earn “points” when you babysit another child.

The core idea was deeply rooted in reciprocity within a larger community of families.

babysitting

CPH Babysitting Cooperative

Our main focus is building a community of reciprocity, and we certainly look to successful cooperatives for inspiration. We have a set of guidelines that all members must agree to before joining the cooperative. We also use a points system, and each family gets 20 “points” when they join. In our coop each point is worth 1 hour, with extra points added for extra time, or other circumstances surrounding the exchange.

 

We are very fortunate to live in 2018, and be able to enlist the help of a very cool app called Komae, or “village” in Greek. If you are considering starting a babysitting co-op in your own community, I would highly recommend this app, as it makes all the practicalities much more streamlined and definitely makes my life, as an administrator, WAY easier. Each of the families in our cooperative are linked in to the app, where we can post a need or an availability for babysitting, host events, or suggest playdates. It’s extremely user-friendly and intuitive to use, and covers all the bases as far as practicalities go.

 

Circular Everything

This blog is all about the circular economy, and even though there is nothing “unsustainable” or environmentally threatening about hiring a nanny or a babysitter when you want to go out–I think that what we are trying to create here is something bigger than ourselves–a community.

I love the symbolism of the circle both in its relevance to the world I want for my daughter in the larger sustainability-focused sense of the idea. But also the idea of a circle of friends, a circle of arms around her, and around my little family.

 

Because even in the 2018 with all of our progress and technology….

 

……it still takes a village.

 

If you’d like to know more about how to organize a babysitting co-op, or if you having any questions about CPH Babysitting Coop, feel free to e-mail me at shealin.ferguson@gmail.com

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