Over the past two years my wife and I have tried to keep regular dates. It is hard to do and even more so with our adoption currently underway. I still feel it is important for Kim and I to have time to decompress from a full week or two with the kids. To this end, we try to get out every few weeks even if it is just to relax at Barns&Noble with a cookie. This past weekend was one of our date nights. Boy was it needed. Unlike many, we had a plan for this night. We were headed out with friends to our yearly Ethiopian dinner. It is served by a local family as a regular fund-raiser for their orphan work in Ethiopia. A great cause, wonderful food, and even better company.
This night was special for another reason as well. It would be the first date, at least in a month or so, where we would be completely childless. Our regular babysitter, Erin, said she was up to the challenge of us leaving our four-month old with the other two. We weren’t about to turn that down! So we had a great time and enjoyed the food and fellowship. When we got home, Erin informed us that Kasia fussed some but did relatively well, although she wasn’t happy about the bottle. We could live with that, after all, it had been over a month since we last tried giving her one. Erin also shared her relief that Kasia was not like Grace, our middle child. I will explain this in a minute. So a successful night with all the kids in bed asleep. Praise God!!
The morning after our dates, my wife and I try to spend some time talking with the kids. We ask them if they had fun and what they did. It is always interesting to hear how the evening went from their perspective. During this conversation Josiah, the oldest, volunteered the following information.
Last night wasn’t much of a babysitting night. It was more of a baby crying night. You left Kasia here and she cried a lot. Why did you leave her here?
All of that to say this. A good babysitter is a blessing from God which should not be taken for granted. If you have a regular sitter, if they love your kids, if your kids love them, you know exactly what I am talking about. So, take a minute to let them know. Give them a card or a bonus the next time they watch the kids or just tell them how much of a help they are. There are lots of ways to show your appreciation. As parents, taking time to focus on each other is important for everyone. It would not be possible without a good babysitter. Regardless of who your sitter is (friend, family or paid), let them know how much you appreciate them!
I love hearing other peoples’ stories as well. If you have a funny babysitter story tell me about it in the comments. Others will enjoy it as well.