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Joined: 01/25/02
Posts: 2023

How often do you go on a date with your so/spouse?

Before the twins we went more often, but still maybe once a month or so. It was much easier to get a family member to babysit so we could go when it was two kids. And I don't think its even the four kids that is the deterrent (so many large families in my family), its the twins. I have offered babysitting swaps with family members and friends, and no one ever takes me up on it. I think babysitting baby/toddler twins is just too much.

That said, we went on a date tonight, my good friend (mother of 5 kids from 10mo-8.5yrs) watched her five and our four. The babes did fine, and I am so grateful to her and her dh for watching them. Next week we are watching their 5 so they can go out. But we have to drive 45min to their house, so its not super convenient, but I just can't seem to get a sitter otherwise.

There are some teenage girls around here that I know are trustworthy, but I worry about leaving them with two babies, if they both start screaming and crying, I just don't know if a teenager would handle it well. There are even a few sisters, I thought of having two sitters, but then I have to pay two sitters and pay for the date, and well, that sure gets costly. I don't even know the going rate for teenage sitters, but it ain't cheap. lol.

So it just got me thinking about it... how often do other parents of large families get to date?? Smile

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

When our first child was not yet a year old, we had two mature 13 year olds who baby sat for us. They loved it! They wanted to be together and asked if they could come together but be paid as a single person. Well sure! Later on, only one of them was able to come and I exchanged French tutoring for her baby sitting. Good all around!

Joined: 07/21/02
Posts: 1007

We do some kid swapping, and with a family who has toddler twins too. There are only 3 of ours and 3 of theirs, but we are both expecting. I know my friend had teen babysitters quite often when the boys were 1 (they are 2 now) because they have no family at all nearby. But she would get 2 babysitters usually--often sisters where 1 is younger than "true" babysitting age and would pay them an extra 50%--and let them split it how they will, since the one was too young to babysit alone anyway, she would likely get the half pay portion.

For myself--there are a lot of teen girls I know who babysit, and some will not sit for less than 8 or 10 dollars an hour. I don't hire those ones. I used to pay $5 an hour, and since we have 3 kids now, i've bumped up to $6....not sure if I'll go up when I have all 4 watched, but I always take the baby with me on dates for a while when they are a newborn so I have a while to decide. We are pretty comfortable financially, so paying a sitter once a month is not too big a deal right now, although we like to swap kids too because we still try to be frugal.

But we probably go out once or twice a month--and some months we skip altogether, and some have a lot go on and we need a sitter every weekend! Especially around the holidays.

Joined: 10/21/03
Posts: 172

I generally swap with a good friend... I watch theirs so they can go out.. they watch mine Smile But we also will pay some teenagers to watch our kids now and then.

I'm also a member of a babysitting coop. We all have 3-6 kids, so everyone "gets" it, lol. But the way we keep it even is we "pay" each other by the time for each kid. So if I drop off 2 kids for 2 hrs, I "pay" for 4 hrs. And so on up/down for however many kids are there. We have little pieces of cardstock laminated with 1 hr/30 min time frames on them. We tend to go on lunch dates during the school year so that I can use the coop for the younger ones while the older ones are at school. We each commit to being available for 4 set hrs, 1 day per week (with 1 Gal committing to friday evenings) and then the rest of the week we just have to let the Gal know before 9 am the day we want to use her. Helps keep babysitting costs down, while allowing us to go out now and then Smile It also comes in handy when I REALLY don't want to take kids with me to run errands, lol.

Oops... sorry, how often do we go out? On average... 1-2 times per month. We tend to pay sitters about 6 times throughout the year, and swap for the rest.

We also subscribe to netflix and have a date night at home once a week.... we put kids to bed, and cuddle up to watch a movie and have a special treat (or I'll feed the kids a kid friendly dinner and we'll wait and 1 of us will run and get takeout while the other puts kids to bed, then we eat and watch the movie together sans kids Lol

MrsSchepp's picture
Joined: 12/30/06
Posts: 496

We go out at least once a month for dinner or a movie or whatever. My entire family lives here and sometimes they literally argue over who is going to get to watch the kids! Ha! We do feel very fortunate for that...

Chimmy's picture
Joined: 08/03/01
Posts: 2776

We actually go out quite often - mostly to sushi lol It's really important to us & thankfully were at a point where we have older kids who can babysit & when they are busy, or not available we have a few neighbor girls who are wonderful with the kids & don't charge us a ton of money. Prior to that when they were all little and needed a sitter we had family & sometimes friends watch them while we went out.

Having twins myself I can relate to the worry, our boys were pretty easy going so it was never really an issue - right now it's my daugther who I sometimes worry about because she can be SUCH a handful lol But almost always she does well. I'm so glad you have friends you can swap kids with, bummer that they are so far away though.

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

We hardly ever get a date out. Finding someone who will babysit 5 kids when one of them has trouble getting around and uses a feeding machine at night is very difficult. The last time we set up a date away (we actually had coverage for overnight), I ended up in the ER and found out I needed to have surgery, so that didn't go so well.

We do try to get the kids to bed early and have time for just the two of us in the evening. Sometimes we'll rent a movie or just hang out together and have adult conversation. It seems to work out just as well as leaving the house (better, actually).

mandi04's picture
Joined: 08/10/03
Posts: 2272

It's rare for us to get out. Our parents don't watch our kids often and we have yet to find a sitter around us. We do have some girls who are just shy of babysitting age in our neighborhood but that doesn't help us right now. I'm actually worried about finding someone to watch our kids when I give birth, let alone for a night out Lol I wish I knew more people with more than 2 kids because I'd love to swap. Not that I'm sure that would help, the reason we don't swap as it is, is because most of the families we know have super involved grandparents who actually want to take the grandkids at minimum once a month Lol not the case for us unfortunately

turtnjay's picture
Joined: 02/24/09
Posts: 2095

We don't do childless dates too often, either. I do have 3 older boys who I trust to babysit but we rarely use that. Last time we did was for Harry Potter and lunch. Wink I can recall the time before that where it was for a date.

We don't live close to any family and I guess I feel weird even bringing up the swap idea. Never even heard/thought of that before. But, DH and I try to make sure we get one on one time every night, even if it's just talking and holding hands for 20 minutes before bed...makes a world of difference to me.

mom2robbie's picture
Joined: 01/20/07
Posts: 2541

Starting when I was about 16 until I was about 20, I would babysit for a family with 6 (and eventually Dirol kids. The mom told me that I was the only person (other then her mom) she trusted with her kids. A lot of times I would not charge them as I knew money was tight and the kids were good.

Funny thing is the oldest is married with 6 kids of her own! (gosh, I am old)

Rachel - if I was closer I would gladly take your kids so you could have a date night. Twins are nothing! I used to look after 2 year old triplets with their 3 year old brother! Plus we have triplet nephews (who are now 12).

Even with only having one we have problems getting a baby sitter. My MIL would take Robbie but for many reasons that is not an option.

Sarah-Jean's picture
Joined: 10/25/01
Posts: 1335

Ours goes in fits and starts, we might have one month were we go out 4-5 times... And then another time we'll go 3 months without ever going out!

We're actually off out tomorrow for a Dining In The Dark experience at a local restaurant! Apparently, they turn all the lights off and just have candlelight to lead you to your table and then you eat the entire meal in darkness! Can't wait!

Joined: 01/25/02
Posts: 2023

sounds fun Sarah-Jean, how was it?

Sarah-Jean's picture
Joined: 10/25/01
Posts: 1335

"rachelrazzle" wrote:

sounds fun Sarah-Jean, how was it?

It was good! I ate stuff I'd have never even contemplated choosing off the menu and really liked everything they served despite having convinced myself since childhood that I didn't like certain things on the menu!

Very romantic - apparently they're doing it again in 3 months time, so I think we're hoping to go to the next one too! They even supply blindfolds at the tables, if you want the complete "I don't know what the heck it is you're putting in my mouth!" experience (I didn't!).... LOL

Joined: 01/25/02
Posts: 2023

something new is always nice, glad you enjoyed it!

mumto4butwant1more's picture
Joined: 08/05/07
Posts: 341

We don't get to go out often, when we do if on our own our girls normally stay home together, our eldest is almost 18 so she is old enough to watch the other 3 who are twins 14 and another girl 9 so they are at a lovely age they can mostly look after themselves Smile They enjoy having the place to themselves they play music and cook Smile

Joined: 11/07/06
Posts: 707

Well I'm a single parent but I try to get out with my BFF or my 2 cousins once a month or so....movies, or lunch/dinner, and every few months to go out to a club. Anyway I am very fortunate that my mom is RIGHT here and she watches them for free.......whether it be while I am at work or when I go out.