Over the past few months, I have spoken to a lot of people about We Are Fetching, and one of the most common responses is “does this really need tech? Surely parents can work this out themselves?”
64% of parents I surveyed at the start of this project stated that they look after other people’s children from time to time, but there are many reasons why they don’t do more.
I don’t want to commit. A stay-at-home, or home-working, parent has taken that decision for a reason. They have structure and routine and the regular addition of another child would disrupt that.
I'm not always in the mood. Even if you have the flexibility to work from home, or leave early, some days you just don’t want extra children in your home.
People take advantage. There are some who will accept favours and deposit their child at play dates again and again without ever offering anything in return.
It's the cost. You probably don’t want to take money from a friend, but you’re feeding their kid every night, so why shouldn’t you? But if you do take money, you should be registered as a childminder, and that takes the arrangement to another level.
It might not work out. What happens when you don’t want to look after the child anymore and choose to terminate the arrangement? Will it affect your friendship?
I will lose my freedom. What if you want to go out, or on holiday on the night you are supposed to look after them?
Here’s what I think...
I want to help out my friends, but only on days when all of the following four things are true:
1. I am working from home (or not working at all).
2. I am feeling tolerant of other people’s children (and my own).
3. I don’t have any other commitments.
4. I have food in the fridge.
Those are my criteria, and when all of those things happen, I am happy to help anyone - and I can pay back those people that have helped me.
Unfortunately, the people that have helped me don’t always need help when all of the above factors happen at once. This is why We Are Fetching allows you to return a favour by accepting a “fetch request” from anyone in your network when it suits you.
By putting hours back into the system you are neutralising your “childcare debt”. That way, no-one has their goodwill abused, and you can earn credits on a day that works for you.
Whatever your criteria may be!