Mom Explains How She And Her Friends Do 'Childcare Swaps' So They Can Stay Connected To Their Partners — 'Doing This Once A Month Helps'

It's important that parents can have a night away to recharge!

Jessica Secrest @applesauceandadhd / TikTok

A mom revealed the tactic she and her friends use to try and avoid parental burnout.

In a TikTok video, Jessica Secrest from Grand Rapids, Michigan, emphasized the importance of having a strong community around you at all times. Secrest explained that she and her other mom friends have come together to make sure they can have just one night where they aren't being parents.

Secrest says she and her friends will participate in 'childcare swaps' once a month.

In her video, Secrest revealed that she was currently at her friend and fellow mom, Emily's, house, where she was taking care of her children for the night. "It's childcare swap night, which means I'm at my friend Emily's house."


"I fed her kids dinner, put them to bed, and now I’m waiting for her and her husband to get home from their date," Secrest said, adding that she and her friends will do this once a month so they can have a night away with their respective partners.



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"I told them [to] stay out as late as possible please, because last time they didn’t. We made them reservations at a tiki bar downtown and then they’re going to the movies.” During the "childcare swaps," Secrest and her friends will watch each other's children. 

“So, I come over and watch her kids put them to bed and do all the bedtime routines. My husband stays home with my kids, and then in the future, she’ll do the same for me," she continued. Not only do they watch each other's children, but they will also tidy up their homes as well during these once-a-month arrangements.

“While we do this, we try to pick up each other’s house and just leave it better than we found it,” she added. “It doesn’t feel like a break if you don’t come home to a cleaner home.”

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Secrest's 'childcare swaps' highlight the importance of parents being able to take a night away from their children.

Parenting can be both a demanding and exhausting job. By taking a break, parents can recharge their physical, mental, and emotional energy, reducing stress levels, which ultimately benefits both parents and children.

A study conducted by Ohio State University found that 66% of working parents meet the criteria for parental burnout. Unchecked parental burnout is associated with depression, anxiety, increased alcohol consumption, and punitive parenting practices.

For mothers, "mom burnout" is incredibly common, especially for women who are the primary caregivers in their homes. The OSU study found that 68% of mothers were burnt out compared to 42% of fathers.

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Secrest also pointed out that simply having a night out to reconnect with a spouse can be incredibly healthy. In data acquired from the National Marriage Project, 75% of couples that go on regular date nights are more committed to their relationship.

"It’s so nice to reconnect with your spouse and be something other than just a mom,” Secrest admitted. “Because I am a stay-at-home mom and sometimes it feels like all I am is waiting on kids, cleaning butts, and wiping noses. I never get to be with my spouse at all. Doing this once a month really helps.”

Having open communication and finding a balance that works can be the key to ensuring a healthy balance for both parents and children.


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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.