A date night. My husband and I have not had one of those in a really long time. Sadly, one of the things that we left behind when we moved from Connecticut was our dependable, reliable, loving, and very budget-friendly babysitters. In other words, my husband's parents. Nana and PopPop were always available to take over tending to the little munchkins anytime my husband and I felt like we needed a little "us" time. We had some other wonderful friends and family members that helped on occasion, but our circumstances are different now in that we are in a new city, 600 miles away from our old home, and we haven't had a moment to ourselves in a long time. We didn't even go out for our anniversary! Isn't that sad?!?!
Now that we are through with the "infant" stage, I feel that it is not beyond the realm of possibilities to find a responsible, qualified, and reliable person to care for our children. But this is completely uncharted territory for us. Paying for babysitting is something that (fortunately) we've never had to do. Interviewing a potential babysitter is foreign to us also. Entrusting the care of my children in the hands of someone I haven't spent years of my life getting to know is scary. But I'm gonna do it. I need to do it. I love my children, and I love being with them 24 hours a day, but my husband and I desperately need to start feeling like people again. Not just mommy and daddy.
Perhaps just once a month I'd like the opportunity to kiss my children goodbye, walk out the door, and go enjoy adult things like having a conversation during dinner, chewing my food slowly so that it can actually be enjoyed, ordering an extra drink or dessert because we aren't operating on a 30-minute restaurant time limit, and maybe, just maybe, holding hands because neither one of us will have to carry someone, push a stroller, or drag a whiny toddler by the arm.
I've been browsing potential babysitter ads for months. But no one ever felt like "The One." I read the ad, look at the picture, and think, "Oh there's no way she could handle this circus." Of course I have no idea based on the limited information provided and having never actually met the person, but I get cold feet before hitting the "contact me" button every time. Until tonight. I took matters into my own hands, and put up my own ad. That way no one will apply if they don't think they could handle it. Or at least that's what I'm hoping. Also, I was also able to set forth my expectations, set my own rate of pay that I felt comfortable with, and I feel that I just generally have more control this way.
Upon posting my ad, I immediately checked my inbox. Nothing. Yet. I'm so anxious, excited, and nervous about this. But I'm still wondering if this is the right thing to do. Is it financially responsible of us to spend money just for the sake of going out, plus the cost of hiring a responsible babysitter? I don't know. I'd like to think so. It's an investment in my mental and emotional health. And crucial to keeping a happy relationship. Right? My other reservation is obvious: am I going to feel comfortable letting someone feed my babies dinner, clean them, dress them, and put them to bed? God, I hope so. Being the ultimate control freak that I am, this one is a tough one for me. I'll probably write our new sitter a novel about our children's routines, emergency procedures, special circumstances, situational predicaments, etc. And I'll probably call every 20 minutes just to make sure things are going OK.
Whether we go out tomorrow, next week, or next month, I know it will be hard at first. I'll be nervous. The kids might cry. Their routine will get thrown off because no one will do it exactly like I do it. But they will survive. And I will survive. And My husband and I will be so happy to know that we do not have to wait until the kids go to college to start enjoying our time together again.