Parents often have trouble finding “us” time. Between working full-time jobs, taking the kids to and from school, soccer practice, groceries, errands, and who-knows-how-many-other-activities-your-kids-are-doing, it becomes difficult to find time to reconnect with your partner. Dinner and a movie sounds super — in theory. Until 8pm rolls around, the babysitter comes over, and you’re so bone tired from the week that you’d truly rather go to bed instead of paying $100-200 for dinner, movie, and the babysitter. And, to top it all off, the babysitter is watching the kids while they are sleeping!
Instead: embrace the weekend morning date. For years, my wife and I have had a babysitter scheduled regularly for Saturday or Sunday morning for 2-3 hours. When both of us are healthy, we go for a long run together, usually logging 5-15 miles, depending on how fit we are. When one of us is injured or we’re less fit than we want to be (seems to be happening a lot more these days), we go for a walk and/or have a lunch date.
Consider the benefits:
- Regularly scheduled time for the two of you
- If running / walking together, a real chance to talk and connect
- If running / walking together, exercise so that you both feel good all day
- A 2-3 hour period away from the kids while they’re awake! It’s not that we don’t love them and want to spend time with them, but that they can be exhausting!
- For $30 – 50 weekly, you get regularly scheduled time to reconnect with your partner and maintain your relationship within that crazy lives of yours
I often get a weekend babysitter even if my wife is on call or otherwise not around. ‘Me’ time is just as valuable as ‘Us’ time these days. It is often on these alone hours that I get to really think and generate some of my best ideas, or to connect with family or friends by phone while I walk.
Have a niece, nephew, cousin or sibling in town who is looking for extra cash? Bonus points! Hire them right now because not only will it be win-win in terms of a trade of money for time, but you will be facilitating long-term relationships while keeping funds within the family.
Our weekly morning babysitter is so important to us that we actually include it in our annual family budget. And, it’s something that I don’t think will be cut anytime soon. Truly, I cannot think of better money spent.
— Thriving Dad