I firmly believe in dating your spouse.
Once you say “I do” it is still so important to find time alone together outside of your house. Of course, there is a time and season for all thing and sometimes you might have to get creative and have date nights in where you put the kids to bed, order take out and watch a movie with the lights dimmed. And that’s great!
But going outside of your normal every day surrounding is important, too.
If you don’t have kids then take advantage of dating each other after marriage whenever possible! It doesn’t even have to be a fancy date where you spend a lot of money. You can do picnics in the park, roam the mall or find local activities that are free in your area.
Because trust me, once you have kids- date nights get a little trickier to do. Especially if you have to hire a babysitter.
We don’t have the luxury of having a lot of family close by to babysit our kids- so the first time we hired a neighborhood girl to stay with our daughters I was a little nervous!
Since we had never had a babysitter before I was stressing over what to do to prepare beforehand. I have since become quite seasoned when it comes to having a babysitter and have come up with a great checklist of ideas to make sure you feel comfortable with preparing or a babysitter.
Find the Perfect Sitter
This might be the hardest part of all.
We live in an area where we are surrounded by lot of young girls who love to babysit. We know their families and feel comfortable with them. If you aren’t as lucky consider asking around and getting recommendations from family and friends who have used sitters in the past.
You can never be too careful, so asking potential sitters to come to your house for an informal interview could help calm your nerves. You may go through several people before finding the perfect fit so prepare to be flexible and open minded.
Create an Emergency Contact List
This one is so important!
If you anticipate having a babysitter often you might want to type up something formal, but writing something out on a sticky note could work, too. If you type something out you could laminate it and leave a blank spot where you write where you will be. Use a washable marker to update that information each time you go somewhere.
Make sure the list includes the following information:
- Your cell phone number and your spouse’s cell phone number
- Name and number of at least two neighbors close by
- Emergency numbers such as 911, poison control, and local dispatch
- Information on where you will be
- Your address
- Your child’s pediatrician
- Your child’s age
- Known allergies or special health instructions for your children
Extra Information List
To avoid phone calls or texts from your sitter asking how to use the TV- type out and maybe laminate something that has information on how to use the television, Netflix, the DVD player, white noise machine, stove, etc.
Make a separate list with children’s schedule. You would want to include their bedtime routine, where to find extra diapers, blankets, or their favorite bedtime snuggly.
Have Meals Planned
Most parents go out in the evening right around dinner time.
Plan on feeding your sitter along with your kids. It’s an added expense to order pizza every time you have a sitter so know there are a lot of good options you can have on hand.
Decide How Much You Will Pay
How much you are going to pay a sitter is a very personal choice that depends on different situations.
First, consider how many children will be watched, their ages and the difficulty of the job.
Second, consider the age of your babysitter. Most kids begin tending at around the age of 12 or 13.
Some continue to babysit into their late teens or early twenties.
One idea is to pay a certain amount per child/ per hour. Or you could come with a base rate.
Ask around to other parents and see what the going rate is or simply ask the person who is babysitting what they charge and come to a mutual agreement from the start.
Let Go Of Guilt
You shouldn’t feel guilty about getting a babysitter so you can go out on a date or even so you can have some “alone time”.
It is good for couples to get out away from the kids (they know you still love them!) to bond and remember what was like to date each other.
As long as you are leaving them in safe and capable hands, try not to worry- and focus on enjoying yourself!
Kids love having babysitters and it can turn into a fun thing for them, too!
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