Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Babysitter Issue

Getting a babysitter for date nights can be a challenge for a number of reasons.  Do your children get anxious and upset if you leave?  Sometimes it seems too expensive if you spend money going out, plus you have to pay a babysitter for staying with your kids.  Or, maybe one or more of you children are really too young to be left with a teen-aged babysitter.  I decided to write down a few ways that help me out with these issues:

1.  Swap free babysitting with your friends or family.  I have done this many times with my other friends in the same situation as me.  I think it is easy enough to watch your friends' kids once a month while they get a night out, and then swap on another night for your chance to get out.  If you want more free babysitting, you can find a couple of friends that want to do this with you, or maybe your siblings and in-laws too!  This is extremely helpful when you have a young baby and you really need another mother that knows how to take care of them well.

2.  At home dates when the kids are in bed.  This works if you have young children that can go to sleep by 8pm.  I do this the most often, and the creative dates I've found for at home are really fun and enriching.  Plus they are really fun to plan!

3.  Spend little to no money while going out.  If you want to get a babysitter, and need to keep the date budget friendly, choose something that is free to do, such as playing Frisbee in the park, or going to a local free event.  Or, getting ice cream or hot chocolate while you spend time talking in a restaurant still gives you time to reconnect without the cost of buying full dinners.  Then, go window shopping and get ideas for upcoming birthdays and such.

4.  A babysitting kit.  Perhaps your children have issues with you leaving them with a babysitter.  Try making a special babysitting kit that can only be brought out if there is a babysitter coming over.  Your child can help you put the bag of games and books together to get them excited and ease the stress of you leaving.  Examples of items you could include in your kit:  play dough, books, games, coloring items, special treats, stickers, alphabet fridge magnets, puppets, movies, and toys. (All these can be found at the dollar store!)

Most of the time it doesn't matter what you do for a date or where you do it, the important thing is that you take a time out with your spouse from the chaos of life and just focus on your love for each other.  It's really important to reconnect with your spouse often, so that's why I think it's beneficial to repeat Love Tip #2 here in this post - it fits perfectly into this topic as well!  You can see where I've used it before here.

Love Tip #2: "Date Frequently. You and your spouse need time together to renew your relationship. New perspectives come with time away from the mundane. That means dating is essential. If you have children but few resources, look for creative ways to go on dates. ...Above all, recognize that a babysitter is cheaper than a divorce."
(Ensign, January 2012, What Happily Married Couples Do, pg. 13)

Do you have more tips when it comes to getting babysitters for your dates?  What other issues do you come across for date nights?  Please share, I would love to hear about them!!!

Happy loving,

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