Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bringing Date Night Back...

Last Thursday we wanted a sitter so that Hubby and I could go to the Blazers game.  Simple enough, right?  Wrong! Where does one find a sitter?  I am not going to trust just anyone and since I didn't know anyone that babysat, I was stuck.  I posted this question on my personal Facebook page and I got two main responses.  Use a kid from the neighborhood/church or check with your mom's group.  Hubby and I decided that we weren't going to leave S with a teenager, no matter how qualified, while S was in his evening screaming phase (because even I don't like doing it alone).  Another mom though? What a fantastic idea!  I can't believe I didn't think of it myself.  All of you experienced moms (that is anyone that has a child a day older than mine) probably knew about this already, but for those of you who are new moms too, let me explain. 

The general idea is that you and another mom swap child care.  You go out on a date with your hubby this weekend while your mommy friend watches your kid and then next week you will watch her kid while she goes on a date with her husband.  Simple.  Now in order for this plan to work a few things have to happen.

1. You have to have mommy friends.  So if you are not in a new mom group or play group yet, go out and find one.  Your local hospital should be a great resource.  There are also MOMS groups all over the country and I have heard good things about them.

2. Once you have these mommy friends, you need to chat up the other moms and find one that seems to think the same way you do.  Look at how they interact with their babies, other people's babies, you get the idea.   For me, I want the mom that is actively engaged with her kid(s) and those around them.  However, you might have other requirements and observing the other moms is a great way to know whether you should trust them with your kid.
3. You found a mom to swap with?  Great, now you need to decide ahead of time if you are going to trade evenings or be more specific and trade hour for hour.  Hour for hour was suggested by the doula that runs our group.  This should avoid hurt feelings if you sit for someone for 4 hours and you only are gone for 2. 

4. Set up your nights and bring the date night back to your marriage! 

Easy enough right?  Once you get that down, you can step it up a notch (although even I don't fully understand how to run this).  Your whole play group could create a pool of babysitting hours.  This way if you watch someone's kid for 3 hours and the night you need them, they can't do it, someone else from the group can watch your kids and earn some date night time.  Personally, this seems like an organization nightmare, but according to our group leader, lots of other groups do it this way. (If you are one of these groups, please explain this process further because I am not sure how you keep track of all the hours. Thanks!) 

So now I am giving you all a must find a friend to swap with, set up your dates to swap, go out on your date night, and come back and tell me how it went. 

As far as my date night?  It went really well.  Our friends that have 3 boys watched S and apparently he took a hiatus from the screaming (thank goodness!).  We brought S to their house since it was easier for them that way.  My girlfriend had an appointment that she had to go to so her husband watched S and their three boys for part of the night.  I guess he was a little bit worried about that because he had a friend come over and help him (although I have seen him with the boys and now with S and he is one heck of dad). They haven't set the date for me to watch their boys yet, but I am looking forward to it.  

-Mommy C


Jennifer said...

I would love a date night, it is so hard for me to leave the kids with someone who I do not know very well. Plus my kids have a tendency to be brats.

estefanick said...

We LIVED for date night... and now my Mom friend who did this with us moved away! :( We were exchanging almost every Sat. night- it was AWESOME!!! It also takes a lot of the pressure off... it has to be a REALLY good movie to justify a babysitter at $12.00 and hour!!! :) We're working on another couple to exchange with because it was the BEST!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, we so need a date night. I don't know why, but the babysitting swap just hasn't worked out--yet--with my Mom's group. Maybe it will soon!

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