My husband and I are both Kansas City transplants. We have a very small circle of friends and even fewer family members in the area who we can rely on to babysit our offspring on a regular basis. Our date nights are few and far between and usually end up being scheduled when grandparents just happen to be in town visiting.
Before our second daughter was born, I figured it’d be a good idea to find a babysitter in our neighborhood. One that the girls could grow up around and be comfortable with in the event that my husband and I wanted to sneak away for
a nap dinner and a movie. The only problem was I wasn’t sure how to go about finding a trusted babysitter. It’s quite the process you know, dating your husband.
Here are the steps I used to find a babysitter in our ‘hood. Follow these steps and YOU could be dating your significant other in no time, too!
- Decide to actually go on a date. Easy enough right? We needed a night out. It had gotten to the point where I couldn’t remember the last time we went on an actual date.
- Decide when to go on a date. Because these things take careful planning. In our case, it was October but I knew my company Christmas party was coming up in December and I wanted to go. The party is always amazing, it was scheduled 4 days before my due date with baby #2 and it would be the last time we’d be able to have a night out before the baby was born.
- Figure out who will babysit. This was our problem, obviously. I know our friends would gladly babysit if we had just asked but that wasn’t the point. I wanted to find a sitter we could trust and use on a somewhat regular basis.
- Forget it, this is too hard. Call mom and dad. My parents only live 6 hours away… maybe they could just drive down and babysit for the night? I was already stressing about leaving my 19-month old with a stranger I hadn’t even found yet and date night was still TWO MONTHS AWAY.
- Realize you’re crazy. Can you say “first-time mom?” My parents do NOT need to drive 6 hours just to babysit so I can go to a party (even though they totally would, because they’re amazing…).
- Start doing research. I hit up sites like Care.com and Sitter City to try and find a reliable recommendation but those sites often times charge a fee to get full access.
- Realize babysitters are charging $15 per hour. WHAT. No. What kind of highschooler thinks they can get away with charging $15 per hour!? Cue all the “back when I was a kid…” sentiments. I know I was never paid $15 an hour to babysit.
- See #4. Call Mom and Dad. Because FIFTEEN DOLLARS PER HOUR.
- Snap out of it. Suck it up. We’ll just have to fork over the dough.
- Back to the drawing board. And, scouring websites trying to find “the one.” This was like dating or something. A rigorous process of reading partial profiles and hoping they weren’t going to be weirdos or bad influences.
- Ask your neighbors. Our neighborhood uses the NextDoor app to communicate with each other. DUH! Why didn’t I think of this 10 steps ago!? I sent an email to our neighbors asking if anyone could recommend a date-night sitter.
- Find sitter IN YOUR BACKYARD. Like, she was there the WHOLE TIME. And really, her backyard and our backyard bump up next to each other. She could scale the fence and come watch our child(ren).
- Meet babysitter. Our neighbor girl had just turned 15 and she and her mom wanted to stop by and meet our family beforehand. Makes sense to me. And bonus, mom brought her younger daughter who is looking to start babysitting, too.
- Hire sitter 17 minutes later and get her booked for said date night 2 months in advance. I liked her. Gracyn liked her. Done.
- Check with sitter once a week to make sure she’s still on for date night. Because I’m crazy and did I mention? We really need a date night.
- Date night arrives but I’m stressing about leaving the toddler. What is it about mom guilt? It always finds a way to creep up inside you and make you second guess things – even a simple night out.
- Just do it! No, not “it.” Well, maybe “it..” But later. First, just go on the date!
- Enjoy the party. And the food. And time with my husband. And more food. Because pregnant.
- Go home to a sleeping child(ren) and a clean house. I can dream, right? Truthfully, though, our new sitter did great. Gracyn was in bed by the time we got home so I was a happy camper.
- Reminisce about the wonderful evening. It really was wonderful. Why was I making such a fuss?!
- Save up the cash to do it all again in the not-so-distant future. We didn’t end up paying her $15 per hour but by the time you do the usual date-night things, it gets expensive.
We’ve continued to use our neighborhood sitter here and there and my oldest has come to really enjoy when she comes over to “play.” The baby has outgrown her fussy evenings so I think it’s high time we leave both kiddos at home an enjoy another night out. And this time, I will enjoy a cocktail at dinner with my husband. And possibly a few more drinks after that. Because not pregnant.