A wise woman at a restaurant in Rowayton once told me, “get yourself plenty of good babysitters, they are far cheaper than a divorce”. She told me this upon seeing the aggravation we were facing with our toddler who really didn’t want to be there, and my large baby bump at 36 weeks pregnant. We chatted with them for a while and they seemed so relaxed, their three kids were playing at the beach down the street with their babysitter while they enjoyed a nice lunch (with wine).
Brian and I left the restaurant with a plan, we were going to get some babysitters. We actually have my parents who live down the street and they help A TON, but being able to lock in a sitter whenever you want without guilt is kind of priceless. As a couple, we thoroughly enjoy our time together, just the two of us. We love to be active and do things like paddle board, kayak, read on the beach, ski, go for runs, play tennis, etc…and we also love to go to a restaurant and enjoy a nice meal with a couple of glasses of wine. In fact, we went out last night 🙂 We sat at the bar at FISH in Stamford and had dinner. We chatted with some other nice folks who were also sitting at the bar and we just had a great time. We were only out for two hours but we connected and felt like humans in love, not just parents. It’s SO important and if you don’t already, I highly recommend you get some sitters that your kids love, and that you trust, and get multiple.
Now, I realize we are fortunate to be able to afford sitters and if you can’t, maybe you can trade with your friends, kind of like, we’ll watch your kids on Friday night if you’ll watch ours next Friday. And if you can’t afford to go out to dinner, go back to your house without them and be alone! Light a fire, turn on some music, pop a bottle of wine, order takeout, you get the picture.
I hope I’m not coming across like I don’t like to hang out with my kids because of course, we LOVE being with them. I know these years will go fast and we do cherish every moment, and in time we’ll introduce them to all the fun things we can do together, but for now, on occasion, we’ll call the babysitter and enjoy ourselves.
I actually know lots of moms who’ve never left their kids, like at all, even with family, and I kind of don’t understand that. I wonder if they think it makes them better parents? Do they have mom guilt? Do they think their kids will be upset? The thing is, if you go too long without that one-on-one time with your husband, you might forget what it’s like to be a couple and then you’re in trouble. So you might think you’re doing your kids a favor by never leaving them, but really, you’re doing them a disservice. Stay in love with your husband, respect one another and have fun with each other, the same way you do with your kids. They’ll grow up happier and healthier seeing their parents this way, I promise.
Where to find babysitters? Talk to people, see a nice teenage/college student hostessing at a restaurant? Ask her if she also babysits; See a babysitter at the park? Ask her for her number; care.com, sitter-city.com; call the high school and/or local college and ask if they have a list, there are so many out there! We found our babysitter from the swim club we belong to and two others are our neighbors. We try and go out two-four times/month.
Happy Dating and Good Luck!