One of the biggest challenges couples note when trying to plan a date night is the babysitter. Finding room in the budget to hire a babysitter, finding the right person to watch your kids while you're out, and not feeling guilty for leaving your kids behind while you go out are all things that couples have mentioned are an obstacle for their date nights.
I wrote this e-book for prioritizing date night in your relationship and in it, I shared a few tips and tricks for those couples who aren't able to get a babysitter for date night the traditional way. Then, as part of my Date Your Mate Month, I wrote five different articles for those couples who want to make date night more of a priority but have a hard time leaving their kids with a sitter for one reason or another. Below you'll find a brief synopsis of each topic and a link that will take you to the post on A Prioritized Marriage so you can read all of the tips and suggestions that I had to share.
One of the toughest parts of leaving our kids with a babysitter while we are out on a date is getting out the door. There have been a lot of time when our kids are crying and begging us not to leave. I'm left feeling guilty for the first half of our date night and wondering if we should have stayed home. But we know that our marriage needs date night and we spend a lot of time with our kids and as a family so we don't feel guilty about leaving our kids while we go out. Luckily for us, those nights of our kids crying while we walk out the door for date night are over. Both of our toddlers look forward to the nights that we leave them with the babysitter now. If leaving your kids with a babysitter is hard for you because of the emotions and guilt, these tips will hopefully help relieve some of that pressure and make going out for date night more of a happy occasion for all parties involved. I know that seeing that my kids are happy and having fun makes it easier for me to enjoy date night to the fullest and not feel bad that we left the kids home.
Leaving your kids at home while you go out on a date can be difficult. Making the night with a babysitter more fun for the kids could make it just a little bit easier for you to go out on a date. If you aren't worrying about the kids back at home, you will be able to enjoy the quality time that you have together on your date. There are a few things the two of you can do that will help your kids (and the babysitter) have more fun while you are gone on your date. Your kids will begin to look forward to date nights, rather than begging you to stay home. The two of you will get to go out on a date more often and the entire family will benefit from the effort that you are putting into making date night a priority in your marriage.
In the three years that we've been parents, we've only ever had our nieces, parents or siblings tend for us, but I've still worked hard to make the experience a positive one for them so that they'll want to continue tending our kids. Now that we're looking to diversify our babysitter pool, I have been thinking about these things more than ever. What are the things we can do to make babysitting our kids a fun experience and make our home one that sitters are excited to come back to? These are just a few of the things that we've done or are doing to make babysitting a positive experience for anyone who enters our home.
I know that hiring a babysitter for date night can be expensive, and that those kid free date nights can be far and few between when you're on a budget. That date night time is precious and you want to use it in a way that benefits your relationship. Date night allows you to escape your responsibilities for a few hours and really enjoy your time together. While I'm not against kid free grocery shopping or errand running, and have done a bit of that myself, we really try to spend the majority of our babysitter nights doing something fun and memorable together. If you're at a loss of what you want to do on your next kid free night, here are a few ideas to get you started.
I have wondered on multiple occasions, how much I should be paying our babysitters while we're out on a date. And it's a question that I revisit time and time again. Once I settle on the hourly rate that we pay our babysitters, I start to wonder if that should vary based on the time of day they're at our house, whether the kids are napping or not, if the sitter has to put together a meal, how late at night we're gone and whether or not they had the kids pick up their mess before we got home.
I hope you have great success getting a babysitter and going on a date! We shoot for at least one date night out a month, preferably two and if we're lucky, we sneak out a time or two after the kids are in bed to grab dessert or go on a walk. Date Your Mate Month is coming to a close, make date night a priority in your relationship and get out together this week!
Photography by Sadie Banks Photography