Mom shares the super smart 'childcare swap' she does with friends to stay connected to her spouse

This is precisely what “It takes a village” means.

childcare swap, tiktok moms, jessica secrest

Jessica Secrest explains the "childcare swap."

"It takes a village to raise a child" is an African proverb commonly attributed to the Igbo and Yoruba tribes of Nigeria. The phrase encapsulates the worldview that child-rearing is the responsibility of an entire community, not just a singular family unit.

The phrase became popular in Western culture after Hillary Clinton's 1996 book, "It Takes a Village," which argued for a societal approach to children's welfare.

A viral TikTok video by Jessica Secrest from Grand Rapids, Michigan, has many thinking that she's the perfect example of what “It takes a village" means. She and her friend and fellow mom, Emily, have an arrangement where they watch each other's kids so they can have a date night with their husbands.

“It’s childcare swap night, which means that I’m at my friend Emily’s house,” she explained to the camera. “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. And I told them 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.”

“We do this once a month,” she continued. “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.”


I love that we started doing this! It is nice to go on a date and spend some one on one time with your spouse without kids on a semi regular basis! #childcare #babysitting #childcareswap #babysitforyourfriends #bestie #bestfriend #momtok #datenight #dateyourspouse #fyp #momsoftiktok #foryou

Secrest also noted that she and Emily don’t just watch each other’s kids during a childcare swap. They tidy up each other’s homes, too.

“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.”


The simple arrangement is a beautiful way for bestie moms to support one another while giving each other more time alone with their spouses. A study from the National Marriage Project found that of couples that go on regular date nights, 3 out of 4 are “highly committed” to their relationships. Only about half of those who don’t regularly go on date nights report being “highly committed.”

“It’s so nice to reconnect with your spouse and be something other than just a mom,” Secrest admits. “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. And I never get to be with my spouse at all. Doing this once a month really helps.”

The comments on the video were overwhelmingly positive, and many of Secrest’s followers hope to set up a childcare swap of their own.

“I wish I had a friend! This would be so nice to do and be at peace knowing that someone you trust is caring for your children while u r on a date,” Alex_7238 wrote. “This is the definition of it takes a village!! Love this!!!" Kaley added.

Victoria thought that Secrest’s thoughts on coming home to a clean home hit the nail right on the head. “'It doesn’t feel like a break if you don’t come home to a clean house' OMG. SOMEONE FINALLY GETS IT,” she wrote.

Secrest’s post shows that when people have great support from their village, it not only helps to raise a child but also creates stronger marriages and happy families, too.


Though this image might infuriate you, know there's more to the story.

We’ve probably all (especially moms and wives) have had it up to here with stories of men not being able to really pull their weight in partnerships.

So when I present to you a story about a husband leaving behind a sink full of dirty dishes for his wife to find, you’d probably sooner roll your eyes and contemplate hopping over to Instagram instead than give this one a read.

But hold on just a second, because this story has a surprising hopeful twist.

Keep ReadingShow less
via The Sun / YouTube

A touching Elton John commercial.

At 71 years of age, iconic singer-songwriter Elton John is crossing the globe for one last time on his farewell tour.

U.K. retailer John Lewis & Partners is celebrating his life and music with a Christmas ad that takes viewers on a two-minute journey through his entire life.

For the past decade, John Lewis' memorable Christmas ads have become a part of the holiday tradition in the U.K.

Keep ReadingShow less

A teacher asked a great question about superintendent pay. Then, all hell broke loose.

Her earnest question about inequality in our education system was met with a grotesque abuse of power.

Why should a superintendent get a raise while teachers in the same district struggling to make ends meet see their paychecks flatline — year after year after year?

Teacher Deyshia Hargrave begged the question. Minutes later, she was handcuffed and placed in the backseat of a cop car.

The scene was captured below by YouTube user Chris Rosa, who attended a board meeting for Vermilion Parish Schools in Louisiana.

You can watch Hargrave begin speaking about 33 seconds in. The situation starts becoming contentious around 6:35 minutes. Hargrave is arrested at 8:35, and then walked outside in handcuffs and placed in the back of police vehicle.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

3 moments that might convince you Edgar Allan Poe was a time traveler.

In the case of Poe, it was his fiction that was, well, stranger than fiction.

I'm pretty positive that Edgar Allan Poe had (has?) the power to travel through time. Hear me out on this one.

It's not just the well-known circumstances of his life — orphaned at a young age, father of the mystery novel, master of cryptology, maestro of the macabre. Nor am I referring to the head-scratching details of the days leading up to his death: how he was found on the street near a voting poll wearing someone else's clothes, and during his subsequent hospitalization, he was alleged to babble incoherently about an unidentified person named “Reynolds."

And I won't even get into the confounding reports of a nameless figure who, for seven decades, would show up to Poe's gravesite in the early hours of his birthday with a glass of cognac and three roses.

Keep ReadingShow less

A doctor specializing in child development shares 5 of her most surprising parenting tips

"How To Discipline Your Child So They Actually Learn" is one of her more popular videos.

via drkristynsommer / TikTok

Parenting is the most important job that most people will ever have in life. Your decisions as a parent will be some of the most important determining factors in whether your child becomes a happy and productive adult or not. It's a huge responsibility.

Parenting is a difficult and important undertaking, but many parents simply repeat the same strategies used by their parents. How often do we hear people rationalize their decisions by saying, "That's what my parents did and I came out OK."

Keep ReadingShow less

Jimmy Fallon of the Tonight Show.

High schools are a perfect breeding ground for weirdness. First of all, you have a bunch of teenagers who are starting to deal with adult problems but they don’t have the experience or the brain development to figure out how to navigate complex feelings and relationships.

Then you add sex, drugs, learner’s permits, the stress of trying to get into college and really bad facial hair to the situation and you have all the ingredients for people and situations to go completely sideways.

Then there are the teachers. High school teachers tend to be a bit more eccentric than those in the younger grades because they are hired as specialists in a given field, such as history, math or science. Whereas teachers in younger grades have to be nurturing and have a more holistic approach to child development.

Keep ReadingShow less