I have fond memories of the days when I was invited to a birthday happy hour or a holiday party and my biggest concern was what to wear. Now, my first thought is, “who can watch the kids?”
I think it’s important for parents to have time alone and for kids to learn to adapt to caregivers other than their parents. Because I work, my kids have always been comfortable with babysitters. But babysitters can get expensive and they’re not available 24/7.
I got my hair cut this afternoon and I hate to waste a cute blowout (those of you with fine, hard-to-syle hair know what I mean) sitting home on a Friday night. I thought it would be fun to go out on a date. With the holiday party season upon us, we are asking Chase’s parents and our sitter to watch the kids often in the coming weeks, so I didn’t want to take advantage of them or spend the money to pay her.
I texted a close friend to see if the kids could come over to play at her house for a few hours and she said sure, also asking if we could watch their kids for a party they are attending in a few weeks. We’re happy to do that!
Many of my friends had babies around the same time, so we couldn’t really depend on each other for babysitting in those early days. In fact, my friend who is watching the kids tonight had a baby eight weeks after I had Avery. For the first year, watching the babies, a two-year-old Clay and her two older girls seemed like it could be difficult. And five kids in my small house? Yikes!
In the past few months, I’ve realized the extra kids are actually not any harder to care for. Sure, it’s a little more food and a little more of a mess, but they have so much fun together and it is actually less work for you because they entertain each other. I’m happy to take a few extra kids so my friends can go out and have a good time.
I even have one sweet friend who doesn’t have kids yet, who has watched our kids so we could go out to dinner. I will be sure to return the favor when she has babies of her own.
Using your friends for babysitters saves money, gives you time alone with your spouse and lets your kids enjoy time with their friends. Happy date night, everyone!