How to Find a Substitute Mom

Until you have a clone, you need a substitute mom! Why? Every mom eventually runs into an illness, a scheduling problem, or an unexpected need for back-up childcare. So, first look at our Mom Emergency Plan. Then, here are some guidelines and tips for finding a good substitute mom in your circle of friends with whom you can strike a deal.

1. Look for someone with children of similar ages, preferably in the same school or church. A mom with preschoolers is already in the routine of caring for one, and could easily add yours into the mix if needed. Likewise, a mom whose kids go to the same school already knows the basics of drop-off and pick-up, and could do those things for you with little inconvenience.

2. Agree on the terms of substitute mom usage. We suggest making your arrangement one that is reserved for unexpected circumstances, rather than free babysitting. Save your substitute mom for the day when you have sick kids, are sick yourself, or have some other unavoidable complication. Don’t use your substitute mom to cover your kids while you go get your hair done.

3. Make sure you share basic values and parenting sensibilities. Your substitute mom should be someone you know well enough to entrust your children to for a few hours without worry.

4. It’s a two-way street. If you want your substitute mom to gladly pick up your slack when you come down with the flu, make sure you’re there for her when she has a crisis as well.

5. Make sure you’re comfortable pulling the trigger. If you don’t know your substitute mom well enough to feel comfortable calling on her when you truly need her, it’s all for naught. Make sure you’re familiar enough with her to be willing to pick up the phone and call her into action when necessary.

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