So you’re finally getting bold and making the time for a date night with your spouse. Good for you! This deserves a pat on the back.
As you plan for your evening, remember that life on the home front will continue on in your absence. The dog will still need to be fed, and the kids will still need to brush their teeth before getting into bed. While you’re out you’ll need a capable someone to stand in and hold your pins while you put the juggling show on hold.
Whether your babysitter is a grandparent, a student, or perhaps even your eldest child, make sure your temporary caretaker is competent and prepared. You’ll be rushing around getting ready as well as giving last-minute instructions. To avoid an abrupt changeover that leaves children feeling out of sorts and anxious, ask the sitter to arrive at least fifteen minutes before your departure.
Make a list of important details that you want your caretaker to know. Leave the list for reference after you’ve discussed all items in-person.
Don’t forget to tell the sitter:
- List of any allergies.
- Names, dosage, schedule, and locations of any medications that must be taken.
- Bedtimes for each child.
- Instructions for meals: what to eat, where to find it, and any food-related rules (Sally must eat at least three bites of her vegetables—don’t let a night out equate to a “night off” from household rules and routines).
- Important telephone numbers: mom’s cell phone, dad’s cell phone, a third emergency contact, the number of where you’ll be spending the evening, the family doctor, and of course, in case your caretaker doesn’t know, 911.
Comfortably leaving your children in the care of another can be complex—but once you’ve found someone you can trust, someone who knows the necessary details of caring for your kids, “Date Night” can become an easy, painless, and perhaps regular occurrence.