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March 07, 2006

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Melissa

Do I really get to be first? How cool. Yes, we do have date nights. We try for every other week. Generally on Saturday night, as we tend to be too tired on Friday. Dinner is a must. Anything with friends is good. Some nights we just play games at our friends house. Other times we go Bowling, see a movie, take a walk on the beach or go shopping. We occasionally try to have a few sitters and all the kids at one house, because then it is fun for them too. My sitters make like $20 a night. But they are nannies during the week, so they know what they are doing, and we feel safer. I think it's great that BossLady will do Karoke. I am too chicken shit.

Leora

I would LOVE to do karaoke date night with my husband. Sounds like so fun! I've never seen places that have private rooms like that. The only places I've been to were big bars where you had to sing in front of a bunch of people. Gotta look into it. Thanks for the tip, MD!

Kristen

Oh MD ~ So much to say, so little time.

First, you've got to stop the Karaoke - you are perpetuating the what I like to call MYTH that all Asians love the KAROKEEE :) Just kidding ~ but seriously, they do (I'm asian - I love it).

Second, I will NEVER complain about getting a sitter AGAIN considering how much you have to pay - cripey - granted I live in EBF MS - but we pay around $7 and that's high - most of the time at night it's $6 since we put her to bed...

And yes, we try to have at least 2 a month - what's funny is that now I LOATHE any type of work party/function because it really sucks to have to shell out that much money for something not really that fun.

Rita

WOW! I can't believe the market rate for babysitters in NYC is so high. That's mind-boggling! However, I totally agree that it's important for married couples to make the effort and try to schedule some time together away from the kids. It's healthy for you. It's healthy for your spouse. And ultimately, it's healthy for the kids too.

the weirdgirl

We haven't officially scheduled "date nights" per se, because we've lucked out in a couple of areas. First, in the last 6 months we've had lots of social outings just come up, i.e. weddings, dinners, concert tickets. And secondly, both our parents live close by and are usually more than willing to babysit, so we've gotten to go out quite a bit in the evenings. However, if those opportunities start drying up I think we will definitely start scheduling date nights.

P.S. I'm choking at the cost of babysitters!

Stephen

I can't stand my in-laws but I will confess that one of the main reasons that we live close to them is for the free babysitting!

misfithausfrau

Date Nights...I remember those! When we lived in NJ we did them a lot. We had a great sitter who worked at Baby Girl's daycare--we paid her $8.50/hr I think. We usually hung out in Princeton (Triumph Brewing Co. was our favorite)or go to Philly or NYC to see a concert or ate Indian food in New Brunswick. We also did couples stuff. Here in Ohio, we'll catch a dinner and/or movie if MIL is in town. We've used a couple of sitters (we pay them $7.50/hour--that might be high for here.)

clearlykels

I do not have kids, but I am not too many years from babysitting. However, since I graduated from college and deemed myself too old for babysitting, I do not take less than $15 an hour. I remember being 14 and being thrilled to get $5, that seems like incredible inflation for 10 years.

candace

We don't necessarily think of them as "date nights". We just go out and have dinner or hang out with friends. Sometimes my mother will come up for a weekend (and in that case, we cram all kinds of kid-free stuff in two days), sometimes Pete's mother will come up for a weekend, but more often we get a sitter.

People here pay as little as $3 per hour or as much as $10 per hour. We usually pay between $6 and $7, because there aren't diapers in the equation, or bottles, or feedings. I feel like you get what you pay for, so if I want a good sitter (one who will play with the kids and stay off the phone, at least until they're in bed), I'll pay more for one. And since my kids are older, I always know what the sitters have done!

daddy in a strange land

At 16 months, we've yet to make it out the door. We've seen maybe four movies since The Pumpkin's birth, each when we've been visiting one or the other set of 'rents, so we've probably been away from the kid for only 4 or 5 hours at a time. But a romantic night out? La dra. had V-Day and the next day off--we went from -planning a whole night away at a hotel to staying at home (2-3 hours away from our parents, btw) with the little one b/c neither of us could get over our little paranoias about leaving the kid... :( Sad us.

lesbonstemps

Date nights are pretty rare around here. We have a reciprocal babysitting arrangement with a friend, though. It's cake, since the kids go to bed early. I just take a book or magazine and hang out at their house for a few hours while they're out, and my friend does the same for us. If it's a longer evening I might give her a small gift.

Deanna

Luckily, my parents gave birth to my youngest sister when I was 14. Can we all say "built-in baby-sitter"? We do pay her (though she swore to me when she was seven that she would baby-sit for me FOR FREE because she wanted me to have a baby so bad - this was right after I'd gotten married and she offered this incentive to have a baby sooner rather than later), but we pay her a lot less than I would pay a non-family member. And I pay her even less if she's watching the kids at my parents' house because Grandma and Ojichan are there as backup. When we negotiated payment initially for her, she told me that the going rate among her friends is $5 per kid per hour at the very least. I pay her $5 an hour flat, and she knows better than to complain, because I drive and she gets rides to the mall.

Our kids are 2 and nearly 7 months and we are trying to have at least one "date night" a month. So far, thanks to my sister (and my parents, and they all live only 12 minutes from our house), we're achieving our goal of getting out and trying to connect beyond the kids.

L.

I think I can count my "dates" with my husband on my fingers -- and our oldest kid is almost 11. They average less than one a year. He claims dates just aren`t part of his "culture." I know the truth is that he`s a workoholic and has very little free time, and prefers to spend it with the kids because they`re growing up so fast.

So I`ve started accompanying him on some of his Japanse group activities, just to get out to museums and restaurants with him.

LeeMarv...

Hey, MD.

Ah, good ole date night.

We usually go to dinner and possibly a movie...or the bookstore...or bowling.

120 smackers for a sitter for a night....shit, I'd be one of those *people* in the movies wit dey baby cryin' and disruptin' everyone elses movie experience...if I had to pay that for a sitter.

There was a time when we had a sitter come once a week. Her name was george-ann and she was as whacky as her namesake on the MTM Show. We had to let her go because the boys started to take advantage of her.

Now, we we just drop the little one off at grandmas.

landismom

We have a semi-annual approach to dating, I'm sorry to say. When we get a babysitter, we pay about $7 per hour, the rest of the time we rely on the kindness of grandparents.

nonlineargirl

We end up going out about once a month. My parents come to town one weekend every other month and babysit one night. We have good friends who sit for us - the woman is pregnant and they don't mind hanging out on the couch watching movies. When we get a sitter it is $8-12/hour.

We also have people over a lot. Our girl is an early-to-bed kid, so we invite folks for dinner at least once a week.

My man would scream and cry if I suggested Karaoke.

margalit

When I go out, and I DO go out occasionally, I no longer need a babysitter. In fact, my daughter babysits, and she gets $10/hour. But in the days when I did have to hire a sitter, I found people with daughters who were in high school. Most of the babysitters belonged to our synagogue, so it wasn't a difficult time finding them. No taxi's home, either. They HAD to drive. It was a reguirement necessary to a single parent. I've NEVER paid for food. They get to eat what is in the fridge. That's usually more than enough for them. Paying for dinner is more than generous, imo. Snacks, a big bowl of tuna and some nice bread, and maybe some chocolate makes babysitters happy. MOre than that spoils them for other people that can't afford so much!

When my kids were little I went out once a week to a class, and it was my saving grace. Now I have all day to myself, so I can go see movies during the day (cheaper!), and meet friends for lunch, etc. Plus, I can just walk out of the house and tell them not to open the door to anyone, and know that they will still be alive when I get back. What a concept, eh?

GIRLS GONE CHILD

We wait for inlaws to come into town or go to San Diego for the weekend so Arch can hang with my parentals. I have no idea how to go about finding a babysitter here and we don't trust our friends so that's out of the question. Sigh...

Kim

This Friday we're having our second date night since our son arrived 11 months ago. Dinner and a movie.... I have been thinking about little else for days.

We have had a hard time finding a good sitter (obviously). Now that we found her, she's moving out of state in a month. I have thought about ways I could possibly hold her hostage.

This date had better be good. The kid may be in college before we get another one.

Marianne

Date night? What's that? Our little guy is almost 10 months old now, and we've had a babysitter once. On Valentine's day. Well, ok, the day before Valentine's day. One of my colleagues felt sorry for us and offered to babysit so we could get a night out. She got the first season of 24 on DVD as a gift (she never would have accepted money). When we visited the in-laws, we went to the movies a couple of times, after the little guy was asleep. But you know what? It wasn't even that much fun. Maybe it was the movies we chose. Or the fact that it was NW Indiana.
But like nonlineargirl, we'll invite people over or go to people's house and just take the kid with us. They don't seem to mind.

nina

Since Caius is still so young, we're able to go out with him and our friends a lot (even though he's the only baby). I don't know if that'll change as he gets older. But we did go out alone for V-day and a friend babysat for FREE! yay! But I don't think I'd feel good about taking advantage of that on a regular basis. I do know babsitters run between $10-15 in LA. It sucks. When I babysat back in my tweens, I think I charged about $5-7?

For now I don't feel this need to go out with Charlie sans baby as much. Maybe because it's so hard with the constant breastfeeding and because he's still so little and quiet. But I can totally see that changing.

AlieMalie

Damn, I need to raise my rates. $12-15? I get $10. Tops.

With regards to date nights, I wouldn't know for myself as I don't have kids, but I can tell you from being the sitter who watches said kids, I think that most parents need a date night at least once every two weeks. It sounds like your and Bosslady's relationship is secure enough so that you can make it longer. Kudos to y'all.

:)
AM

amy

Fortunately we have grandparents close by, and a very good friend who enjoys babysitting. We also have a sitter we love, that we pay $10/hr, plus tip. We live in L.A. Still, with all those options, we don't go out often enough. I don't know why.

Susan

Our New Year's Resolution was to have two proper dates a month--babysitter, nice shoes, the works.

We've done it once (it's March now, people!) and that one night cost us nearly $200.00. For a mediocre dinner and the sitter. In OKLAHOMA CITY! Yes, really!

Now we're back to fancy take-out and a rented movie on Saturday nights. Not exactly a night on the town, but not $200.00 bucks.

eliaday

we're lucky if we get a date once a month - it's more like once every other month that we get to be alone as grown-ups with no baby.

our baby has only stayed with family - no outside babysitters yet. she's not that used to other people yet. so i'm pretty much at home with her every night.

Matthew

Our baby sitters are more expensive - the only ones brave enough to babysit twins are grandmas. We fly them in every 8 weeks or so and we get an afternoon out having lunch.

Our daycare provider gave us a price list of night-time and even over-night prices. The babies love her so I'm thinking of taking her up on it.

kristied

we get date nite far less often than you, unfortunately. :( We have done the karoke thing, the bar-hopping and we catch a movie every now and then. We only pay our sitter $5/hr. That seems to be the rate around here for one kid. Besides we dont go out til the kiddo is in bed (8pm) so she gets to just watch tv and order movies. Not a bad gig.

jess

we had a date day today at an outdoor spa...ahhhh....

the sweetest boy hung out with his (unemployed) grandma and uncle.

we had a postpartum doula (kindof like an overqualified babysitter) once which ran us $20/hour. a lot, but she attended my birth so we have history, and we just don't have any leads on finding a more affordable sitter, so we just did it.

usually- we just go out on dates and bring our four month old with us. or have a 'date' after he goes to sleep...

rwc

Date night is every other Friday and our babysitter is our first nanny (a very cool modern dance student). Seattle is $10/hr., we always have something worth eating around (we're foodies) and I drive her home since Metro bus service is lame at night.

We also have a pretty cool group of fellow parents that we swap babysitting with about once a month.

mo-wo

One of my very favorite parental memories is the first date after childbirth. P-man and I went out for my birthday to hot new restaurant and I was still a really cheap post-natal drunk! I remember driving home and uslaughing our heads off that we would momentarily be returning to a location where we were somebody's parents! Ludicrous!

We have grandpeople local so we don't pay babysitters.


AdventureDad

You just stole my latest blog subject. We have been doing this for quite some time. Way before we had a child we decided that when the time was right we would have a child AND have a life of ourselves. Most people I see who have a child COMPLETELY stop living and that is rarely a good idea in the long run. That would include traveling (with our son), nice dinners, private time, and time together. I'm happy to report that this is working out excellent. For the past 8 months we have a babysitter coming every Friday and we go out for a nice dinner, drinks, mountainbiking (it's weird bit it's relaxing for us...), or something else. We always have the same sitter and she comes at 6.30 pm. when we leave and she then feeds our son and puts him to bed without problems. We come back around 11 and take over.

We pay 10 bucks an hour and she can eat or do anything she wants in the apartment (internet, TV, food, beer, etc.) I can highly recommend doing this on a regular basis. I find that the divorce rate, and insanity rate, will decrease significantly if some time away from child is scheduled. And it will of course make you happier and look forward even more to spending time with your child.

AD


Sarah

We really try to get out whenever we can (lately about once a month or less). Fortunately, even though we moved away from one set of Grandparents, we moved close to the other set.

With young twins I was afraid no one would want to babysit (that wasn't related) but now I think they are old enough to act like regular people.

We usually just go out to eat and come right back home - because Grandparents babysit for free, and they don't stay up late.

Bill H

"I can't stand my in-laws but I will confess that one of the main reasons that we live close to them is for the free babysitting!"

Leanna

Two words...NEV-AH. We never go out on date nights. Part of the reason is because I'm a SAHM. We really don't have enough money for one of us to stay home but we really thought it was important. Unfortunately, one of the sacrifices was having extra money for sitters or going out. I miss it.

Leta

We are very VERY lucky to have my husband's parents living in the same town. They watch our daughter quite a bit. We also have several friends who will watch her if needed. We've only paid for a sitter once! We could never afford to go out if we had to pay for a sitter every time, or even most of the time. We shared a sitter with some friends. She watched 3 kids and got $30 for 3 hours, but the kids were asleep the whole time. And I live in Indiana.

tuckova

when i was single and the boy was younger, i went out twice a week. now i go out once a week, usually with my husband. on top of that, sometimes i go out with friends and he stays home; he goes out regularly and i stay home (better, because i need alone time almost more than i need social time).

the babysitter now is the younger sister of the previous babysitter, who graduated high school and went through college babysitting the boy and then abandoned us! for a real job! jeez. i pay $2/hour, which is a bit above minimum wage here. she lives two blocks from us.

last question: we play scrabble. i know, i know, it's a little dorky. but we're in a bar, so we also smoke and drink while we play. sweet!

Linda B

Sadly, we don't get many date nights in our household. We have family around, but they are always busy or working so we feel bad asking them to watch E while we go out for the night. It was easier when my MIL was living with us, but now that she's back in Korea, we go on a lot of dates.. as a family. But one of these days soon, we'll have to have my parents watch E after they get back from work so we can run away.. um... go out to dinner ourselves.

The rate for a babysitter in the Seattle area is about $10-13 bucks/hr.

Queen of Ass

Um. Yeah.....so, not so much. And um...sometimes Captain Stinky and I go on dates, but that's about it during the school semester.

Xdm

Babysitter: My mother
Charge: Pound of Flesh* (It's how I stay so thin.)

*And sometimes scotch.

Just Linda

We do, occasionally. Not often. It's hard, I'm sure you know, to be working parents, gone all week, and then to leave during the brief times when you're NOT working. So we probably only do it maybe every 6 or 8 weeks.

What we do, though, it take a trip away from the kids once a year. A whole week! We actually didn't get to do that from 2001 through 2005 (two babies and all that comes with it) and so this past summer we finally got away like that for the first time in 4 years.

Truly a necessary retreat for our marriage and having a full-blown GETAWAY gives us so much more time to reconnect than a harried evening out for sushi and Spiderman or something.

Melinda

Karaoke date night sounds like so much fun! I think I'm developing a crush on both you and BossLady. Can I move to NYC and be friends with you? I'll even babysit!

dupreesgal

I work outside the home while my husband is a stay at home dad. When I am not working, 99% of the time, I want to be with our son. Unless it is a really good date (ie. not just going to dinner), I'd rather all of us be together. My parents aren't far and in 21 months, we've probably gone out 6 times or so. That's often enough for me.

bill

Holy crap. 12-15 bucks an hour. Wow. We Pay 5 here in Orlando. Our date nights are ususally running errands that we would rather not bring the toddler. Date night= Home Depot.

ozone ferd

we havn't been out together in a looong time. We no longer have a babysitter readily available even with mom and pop-inlaw in town now. out kids can be clingy when they want to be. drives me crazy. best i can hope for is a DVD together while the kids roam the neighborhood. for $15 per hour plus food I'll come watch your kid. that's more than an assistant manager at home depot makes.

sb4321

As an experienced babysitter from the Bay Area in California, I always charge $10 to $12 per hour for one child, usually $15 for 2. I guess it is a Californa and New York thing...we are expensive!

Kemp

Date nights are a monthly ritual in my household. We get a sitter, hit the town and paint it a nice taupe (to old to paint it red anymore)

Use my in-laws for babysitting quite often... or my former students who promise baby-sitting services in exchange for a good grade (just kidding).

About $50 per night for a babysitter if it's not family.

AdventureDad

Hey MD

Trying to send you that thing we talked about but my mails to you keep bouncing. Have you blocked me.....??:-))

AD

billi jean

am i the only one who think its totally cool that babysitters are reading your site and commenting, MD? you attract the moms, the dads, and the sitters. pretty soon, our kids will all be commenting here! pretty wild.

jiveturkey

we shoot for once a week here in miami and usually it results in 3 times a month. other than that, with my work schedule i like to come home and chill with the beastie boys and let their mom galavant around town. i have morning duty anyway.

jw

Date nights?! Darn, another reason my marriage failed. Lack of romance.

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