I was not exaggerating when I estimated I have been away from my daughter no more than a combined 72 hours in the first year and a half of her life. Which is why when we found out the rate on both our mortgages was being cut dramatically, and we would have extra money in the bank each month, the first words out of my mouth were, "We're getting a babysitter!"
We are going to establish a monthly date night. Or at least an adult night out. I think it would be very good if we can go out just the two of us. It is important to be able to focus on your relationship and not have everything revolve around your child(ren). But it will also be a great opportunity to be social with people we have not been able to get together with much, if at all, in the last year and a half.
Our budget is not the primary reason we have yet to take the plunge and leave our daughter with a babysitter (though it was a factor). At the age of three months, she stopped taking a bottle. We tried everything (for months and months), but she would only accept the breast from that point on.
I was never able to leave her for long periods during the day. Any solo outing had to be short and planned around her nursing schedule. That time was never about me; it was about getting things done. And no matter how carefully I planned my timing, it didn't always work well. I would often come home to a screaming child and frazzled grandparent or friend (the only people we left her with the first year). Which is why I usually took her with me.
At night, once I had gotten her to bed, the last thing I had energy for was going out. Sleep was far more appealing. We had invitations and opportunities to go out at night, but I could rarely gear myself up for them. Heck, most nights I could barely manage to stay awake to watch a movie on the couch with my husband.
I nursed my daughter for 11 months. I weaned her at that point because I had to have surgery on the wrist of my primary hand/arm. The recovery was longer than expected. And that pretty much wrapped up the first 12-13 months of her life. Why we have not attempted to find a babysitter since then, I really couldn't say.
We have left our daughter with my parents. She has even had an occasional sleep over at their house. While it is fabulous to have them, there are certain limitations. So I decided the time had come for us to find a babysitter.
I have a complied a list of recommended sitters from moms I trust, and am preparing to interview the candidates. I had been told that moms are not willing to share this info. I did not find it to be the case. I am a little nervous about checking these people out. But I am 100% excited about the potential to get out of the house!!!
How often have you and your spouse been able to get out since you became parents? And what kinds of things do you like to do when you have the opportunity?