How to get a FREE babysitter

Let’s just be real here...when you start bringing little ones into your life those fun and spontaneous dates fly out the window. You tell yourself you won’t stop dating and you really mean in. But life happens. You realize that finding a sitter you trust is difficult and the idea of  forking over the money to hire a babysitter AND go out on a date makes you want to do a google search on “at home date nights”.

With each baby you add, it gets harder to find someone to manage your little family while you’re out trying to keep the flame alive. We currently have 4 kids under 5 years old. Gone are the days of letting a high-schooler watch the kids. Most aren’t comfortable with so much responsibility.

Even if your babysitter comes AFTER all of the kids are in bed (so you can pay half the price), you’re still doling out a gob of cash for someone to listen to your children sleep PLUS paying for that movie and dinner.

It’s no wonder parents of littles can count the number of dates they have been on on one hand...for the whole year! What’s a couple to do then, when they desperately need that time alone, yet they don’t have money growing off the trees in the backyard?

 

Here’s how to get a free night of childcare:

 

 

Swap babysitting duty with a friend!

I had thought about this once upon a time, but the more kids we added, the more I realized that a friend probably wouldn’t want to swap, especially if they had just as many kids as me. Could you imagine the chaos?!

But then my good friend and I came up with a foolproof plan: Put your kids to bed as normal, then have the friend come to YOUR house while the kids are sleeping.

This works out great because both of our kids go to bed early by normal standards. We can be out of the house for date night by 7pm, and we have no obligation to come home early because we’re not paying by the hour. Heck, we’re not paying at all!

 

 

The beauty of this trade off is that whether it’s your turn for a date night, or it’s your turn to babysit, it’s a great night!

 

When I go to my friends house to watch her kids I know that I’ll most likely have a quiet evening to do whatever I want because her kids will already be asleep. Usually I’ll binge watch something on Netflix because I can. Occasionally I’ll read a book, often I’ll fall asleep on the couch.

Swapping with a friend guarantees that we both get a date night at least once a month- without the added cost of hiring a sitter.


So find a sweet friend who is in the same boat as you, and begin dating your spouse once again!

 
 
Posted on March 28, 2017 .

Stay-at-home Date Night Ideas

Maybe you’re tight on cash, can’t find someone to watch your precious crew, or just want to have a date without being around other people.

I get it.

Dating your spouse is important. It’s essential to continue strengthening and renewing your relationship. And you can’t do that if you can’t spend some time alone with your spouse.

We had four kids in five years and it can get crazy! But it can also get crazy expensive to go on date nights once a week or even once a month. The cost of a babysitter is pricey. Add several kids to the mix and you pretty much will have to spend your date people watching at the mall while eating the snacks you brought from home.

So what's a couple to do?

Forget the sitter and plan a fun and romantic evening at home- after the kids are asleep, of course!

It may seem simple, but being intentional and spending some quality time with one another can do your marriage good.

 

At Home Date Night Ideas:

Go traditional: Pop some popcorn, get your favorite snacks, turn off the lights and enjoy a good movie on the couch.

Get Competitive: Find a game for two and spend a competitive evening with one another (some of our favorites include: Settlers of Catan, Monopoly Deal, Twister (just kidding), Carcassonne and old-school card games).

Spice it up: Cook a new meal together.

Get romantic: Dim the lights, put on your fancy clothes, light some candles and have a romantic dinner for two.

Get close: Spend an evening snuggling together in a hammock (you don’t need a tree and rope to make this happen either! Heck, you don’t even need to be outside. We’ve been known to move our hammock stand into the house on cold or rainy days!). Don't have a hammock? Cuddle up on the couch or make a sweet blanket pallet on the floor!

A night of pampering: Treat yourself to some chocolate, get out your cozy robes and take turns giving each other massages.

Get handy: (I said handy, not handsy!) Do a home improvement project together. Sure, maybe it sounds like work. But chances are, in the quiet of the evening, it’ll be fun and rewarding way to spend some one on one time together.

Reminisce: Watch some home videos you took years ago before you had kids, or watch the sweet videos you took when your tots were just newborns. Better yet, go old-school and watch each other’s home videos from way way back!

Play the 'what if' game: Talk about what you would do if you suddenly inherited 20 million dollars. What if you were offered your dream job- what would it be? What if you could move anywhere in the world-where would you go? Just think up different what if questions and spend the evening thinking through various situations (but be careful not to get too serious! After all, it's supposed to be a fun night for you...not start a fight!).

Think homey thoughts: Tell each other how you would redesign your house if the possibilities and monies were endless (I do this to my poor husband on a regular basis. He wouldn’t find it a very amusing date night….but I would LOVE it!)

Do silly things:

     Take a “how well do you know each other” quiz

     Play kid games like Life, Trouble, Sorry, etc

     Jump on the bed and do all the things you tell your kids not to do

     YouTube Karaoke

     Picnic on the living room floor (or in your backyard if the weather is nice!)

     Color (hey, they have coloring books for adults too!)

     Get crafty: Crafts are not my strong suit. But doing a craft, and being silly in the process, can be just what you and your spouse need to liven up an evening at home.


If none of these sound appealing and you really just want to get out of the house, check out this post on how to get a free babysitter!

 
Posted on March 21, 2017 and filed under marriage, dating your spouse.