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 it. 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.