Why you should join the YMCA: Cheap babysitting


If you know me well, you will know that the very last thing I am apt to say is “Work out! Feel great! Build some muscles! Take yoga!” Pffft.

I for one, will certainly never be paying someone to help me sweat on purpose.

But, I have discovered an off-label use for the YMCA: cheap babysitting.

And tiny-budding-handball-player asks for it.

“Mommy, I wanna go to da Y. I wanna play with da balls.” With our family membership to the YMCA, we get 2 free hours of childcare, while we’re on-site, every day including Saturday. Saturdays, handball husband takes my handball son to “da Y” and I stay home in the quiet house.

On some weekdays, I drop handball son in the play room with the teachers, and I sit in the lobby with the free Wi-Fi and actually get some work done without interruption. Those of you with toddlers know how valuable 2 hours of productive work time is.

I have theorized, that since membership in the Downtown Y branch in Dallas allows you access to every Y in Dallas, I could then, let’s say, drive up to Town North Y and drop him again for 2 more hours the same day. If I were really desperate. Which most days I am.

Mathematically speaking, the more times per week you let those nice people at the Y play with your kid, the less per hour it costs you, because your monthly membership fee is a finite number. If I just think of my membership fee as a daycare cost, I’m down to about $4 an hour for babysitting. If I threw in another visit per week, it’d be $3 an hour. If ever one needed a logical rationalization for joining to the Y, it helps one to use Mathematics in one’s supporting arguments.

I know the Y wants me to be a healthy mommy.

I firmly believe that means mentally healthy when applied specifically to me, seeing as how I don’t believe in sweating and all.

Every once in awhile, in very cute workout duds, I’ll get on a treadmill for 30 minutes at slow speed, with earphones, so I can catch up on Las Vegas episodes on TNT. But I stop once I start glowing.

I know the YMCA would prefer I stay on the treadmill til I stink like handball husband. But I have decided that mental health is as important as physical health. *Maybe even more so.* And to be mentally healthy I need someone else to chase handball son around for a bit, every day.

And you know what? The Y is okay with that. They want me to write undisturbed, make cheeky comments on Twitter without sticky fingers, contentedly sip coffee (that’s free too), and peacefully listen to Robert Downey Jr sing to me on iTunes.

All the while looking very cute in the workout clothes in which I did not sweat.

Lea Ann Stundins is a creative consultant, shopping strategist, and blogger at Mommy’s Wish List. You’ll find her not only telling people how not to pay for things, but cursing at Photoshop in her glamorous dining room office. Lea Ann is on twitter @mommyswishlist.

(Source: Savings.com)

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  1. northerncheapskate

    2 years ago

    You are not alone! A friend of mine used to drop the kids at the Y so she could shower and sit and the hot tub. You do what you have to do to be a good, healthy mom!

  2. LeaAnn.Stundins

    2 years ago

    You are so right Christina! Just being alone for a bit makes a huge difference. Sometimes kids are very much like the concentration-interruption buzzer in one’s head like in Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron”.

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