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The Great Sitter Set-up

I used to think the phrase “hitting the jackpot” involved tokens, luck and Las Vegas. Now I know it can also involve babysitters. Because I certainly felt like I’d hit the babysitter bingo after attending a local MommyMixer last month, where I got to meet 30 college-age women who not only love taking care of kids, they all wanted to get started watching mine or someone else’s right away.

The MommyMixer program started in Austin in 2003 as the brainchild of University of Texas grad and veteran babysitter Mary Sullivan Cooper. Her concept was simple: Bring families who need educated, reliable sitters together with college-age women wanting a safe, efficient way to reach out to potential client-families. It was clearly a match, because MommyMixers has since expanded to 18 cities across the country, including Dallas.

Here’s how it works: Moms pre-register at www.mommymixer.com and pay a $100 registration fee to attend events held several times a year at fun spots like boutiques and spas (hello multitasking!).

The biggest perk? Each mom gets to take home her very own robin-egg-blue three-ring binder brimming with bios, schedules and contact information for all the sitters present that night, plus others who couldn’t make it.

The next MommyMixer, set for Oct 7 at the W Hotel’s Bliss Dallas spa, is already sold out. But if you need a sitter ASAP, MommyMixer can still help. For a $150 fee, the company can send you a collection of résumés right now to get the sitter selection rolling.