Babysitters Saved My Sex Life
Don’t worry, this is not a post about dating babysitters. It’s about using babysitters so you can go on a date. My first piece of advice to all moms is this: use babysitters as often as you can, it will save your sanity first, and your sex life second. No excuses.
I was the first among my circle of friends to get pregnant (at the ripe old age of 32). Many of my friends and coworkers offered to babysit, and I tell you, if I had it to do over again, I would have taken each one of them up on their offer then and there. But I didn’t for reasons that will sound familiar to all moms: I thought it was a lot to ask, or that they didn’t really mean it, or that they didn’t think they could handle it, or I didn’t feel like arranging it.
However, every parent fantasizes about having a stable full of talented, reliable, available-at-a-moment’s-notice babysitters, so they can have some privacy and time off from the demands of child-rearing.
That’s not a reality for most of us, so the next best thing is to plug into a local parent’s network and start getting recommendations for paid babysitters, and testing them out till you get two or three you like.
The biggest excuse I hear for not hiring babysitters is money. At ten bucks an hour, plus the price of your dinner and movie out, you can see why many parents talk themselves into staying home. But it is worth it, I promise, because you need a night off to relax, or a weekend off to reconnect.
So first exhaust all your free options: hit up friends and family members you’d trust with your kids. If you know other moms, offer to “swap” nights–you take her kid one night, she takes yours another. (As your kids get older, this is a golden babysitting arrangement because the kids entertain each other). Some parents even start baby-sitting co-ops. But eventually you’ll find yourself needing to hire a sitter on short notice, so accept that and start the “get a babysitter for date night” fund. You might even decide to hire a babysitter on “retainer” because then you’ll have both a regularly-scheduled date night and a reliable sitter. Because I’m a mom who puts her money where her mouth is, I’m going to pass on some money-saving tips–so you can take whatever cash you free up with one of these tips and put it immediately into this fund!
• Find lower interest rates on credit cards and loans
• Get a roommate to share expenses or share a house with another parent
• Buy second hand clothes, appliances, furniture
• Bring bag lunches to work
• Skip the high end coffee drinks, put the money in a babysitting fund
• Sell your car and take public transportation
• Find recurring expenses that you can do without or cut down on: cell phone plans, cable TV, gym memberships, music downloads
• Comparison shop online for lowest prices, special offers, reduced rates, free shipping, etc.
Find more money-saving tips here. Have suggestions of your own? Post ‘em here!
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