Put your babysitter on a retainer

Think retainers are just for fancy folks like the legal counsel of large corporations? Well, I think if you have a wobbler or toddler at home that they’re for YOU.

Find a caring person you can trust and schedule a regular date-night. I know one family that pays their evening sitter a set amount each month and then plans enough dates to burn through the hours. That’s what I’m talking about!

Truth be told, I think the cost of a babysitter feels pretty freaking expensive when you think of what it used to cost to go see a movie and grab dinner. Or just to have a picnic and hike alone with your mate. And that’s not even factoring in a fancy dinner.

And it stings a little extra to write a check or fork over the $$ if I let myself think she may have spent the whole evening watching American Idol on TiVo while my two little angels slept peacefully… but that’s the wrong way to think about it.

The right way to think about it is to consider Date Night and associated childcare a regular and essential part of each month. Budget for it like you do any other essential expense. And just hope it will save you on therapy later.

Here’s a video Whitney made about date nights:

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RookieMoms co-founder & mom to 3 boys in Berkeley, CA. Bossy big sister and project manager turned blogger helping moms enjoy their first years of motherhood. Find me on my other site on 510families.com or hiding in my minivan eating dark chocolate.