For my longtime readers, you already know I participate in a childcare co-op but I thought I would tell the newest readers about it.
I'm in a small co-op with a few other moms that meets every other week at a local church. We work one week and then get the other week to play. The best part of it all is that it is guilt free because you pay your dues through work. I usually leave our son with my parents but I feel guilty the entire time because I know they need downtime too so I rush through my errands or whatever I'm doing to get back to them. With the co-op, I know I have 3 hours to do whatever I want or need to do. Unfortunately, the last few times I've been able to play I spent my time at my monthly doctor's appointment but at least I didn't have to hire a babysitter so I could go.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with parenting, or simply need a break, contact a friend or two and see if they are willing to set up a co-op. It doesn't have to be a large group or take place at a certain place, it could simply be at someone's house. Your children will enjoy it because they get to play with friends and you will enjoy it because you get some much needed down time.