Our first date night in… too long.

We went on a date last night.

This shouldn’t be news (because you know, we’re married and everything) but it is. It’s news because we haven’t actually gone on a 1-on-1 date since Valentine’s Day. I wish I
were joking.


After Clara was born, two short years ago, Tim and I went on a date every single week because my MIL would come over and watch Clara for us. It was glorious for everyone involved. But now that we live in Seattle and she lives in Chicago, date nights are a little harder to organize.

Plus, there’s the whole Isabelle factor. Meaning, I cannot (in good conscience) leave both Isabelle and Clara with a babysitter at bedtime. I can barely manage that fiasco by myself, and I just wouldn’t want to put that chaos on someone else unless I was paying them a small fortune. One day we will hire a more ‘professional’ babysitter who I know would be able to handle my kids better than I could, but for now we hire high schoolers (for just Clara) who will swear off having kids forever if I leave them with both of mine at bedtime.

Actually, now that I’m thinking about this, maybe their parents would pay me to have their kids babysit under this high stress situation because it could be used as a form of birth control!

Well, you get the idea, Tim and I never get out alone. But, the stars aligned last night and we arranged for a babysitter to watch Clara while a good friend offered to watch Isabelle for us at her house so Tim and I could get some quality time together.

This was the most generous offer for me. I almost didn’t take my friend up on it, but then I thought to myself, “Self, you guys really do need a date night.” And off we went.

I even wore a dress. And heels. And it wasn’t a breastfeeding-friendly outfit! And I didn’t get puke on it! Or pee!

We went to The Whale Wins in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle and I cannot say enough good things about it. I had two cocktails and the most delicious food I’ve had in quite a while.

We sat and talked in full sentences and took our time eating and ate food that wasn’t take-out or hurriedly made by one of us… Magical.

And I realized remembered a few things about myself. Like… that I like to eat dinner slowly and without chaos happening all around me. That I still love eating out at fancy restaurants. That I miss dressing up. That it makes a big difference to have dinner and conversation with barely any distractions. That Tim and I barely have any quality time together alone anymore but have a lot of fun when we do go out.

All-in-all, we had a great and much-needed evening. We’ve both been dealing with a lot of stress and busyness and it was so nice to relax for a while and just be with each other.

This date night simply wouldn’t have happened without a dear friend taking it upon herself to make sure Tim and I got out, and I hope to pass along the favor!

I encourage you, if you have friends with young children (or a young child) and they don’t have family (free babysitters!) in town, offer to babysit for them! This small gesture might be exactly what a couple needs.

Just wondering, how much do you pay babysitters? And when was your last date night!?

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26 Responses to Our first date night in… too long.

  1. Sarah Brooks says:

    Woo hoo for date night!!! Glad you two were able to get out!! Our last date was in May for our 5-year anniversary…and that was our first date in a year haha. We also have little ones and another one on the way, so it’s challenging. And like you said, I refuse to leave someone with both of them at bedtime, yikes!!

    We paid our sitter $50 for about 3 hours haha. Definitely “too much” but to me having someone watch our kids seems priceless lol.

    Love the idea of watching someone else’s kids while they go out!! That was so sweet of your friend! 🙂

    And I always remind myself that we’ll have plenty of date nights when the kids are grown. For now we spend as much quality time as we can together in the evenings! Yay for early bedtimes!! 🙂

    • Lisa says:

      YES early bedtime is key! I just wish Isabelle would get on board with it 🙂 I think I’m just going to have to get used to high babysitter prices… and make room for it in the budget!

  2. Heather H says:

    Aww this is so awesome! Glad you had such a great time…and glad you felt comfortable enough to take your friend up on her offer (and so nice of her too!!). We are super blessed to have all 4 of our daughters’ grandparents within a 20 minute radius, so we haven’t yet had to rely on a high school babysitter but we are hoping to this year a few times – our kids are 5 and 2.5 so at a much easier age! I think around $10/hr is what is considered appropriate around here for a teenage babysitter but I would pay them more if it was during the day vs. coming over and putting kids to bed.

    • Lisa says:

      We pay $10 an hour which I’m happy with, but that’s for one kid and for a highschooler so I know it will be more if we need to hire someone different for both kids! Do you think a highschooler would be able to handle a baby and toddler or is that too much? I know it depends on the kid, but I was just wondering! I’m glad it will be easier in a few more years! Light at the end of the tunnel!

  3. We do a weekly date on Saturday afternoon. I agree that I can’t in good conscience leave both kids with someone at bedtime but the afternoon (2:30-5) is *usually* a manageable time. We have a regular babysitter ($12/hr) which is nice because the kids know and like her and it’s not a scramble every week trying to find someone new.

  4. It makes me so happy that you guys got to go out and have some time together- all alone! We don’t have kids yet and I absolutely don’t take for granted the times that we can pop out for dinner or do (essentially) whatever we want on a moment’s notice because no one -except the dogs- are relying on us. Someday that’ll change and I know I’ll look back on these days fondly. Haha!

    • Lisa says:

      I honestly never in a million years thought we’d go this long without a date night! It’s amazing how having kids has made me so busy that I barely even thought about it and then I was like whoa…. we need to get out by ourselves!

  5. “maybe their parents would pay me to have their kids babysit under this high stress situation because it could be used as a form of birth control!” This is hilarious.

  6. I’m so happy that you two did that – you deserve it! I need to check out that restaurant!

    also this killed me “We sat and talked in full sentences”

  7. erinhzauner says:

    oof…it may have been that long for joe and I too, with the exception of some lunch dates here and there. yikes. gonna need to change that, so thank you for the inspiration! so glad you have such a thoughtful friend to do that for you. although, as someone who babysat A LOT as a young teenager, sometimes kids are easier for a babysitter than they are for the parents…so don’t be too afraid to leave both with a babysitter!

    • Lisa says:

      Do it while you only have one! Except I didn’t want to go on dates at all at the end of my (even though we had family in town at the time) because just felt so lousy. Wah wah. Do you think a high schooler could handle both of my girls (their ages, that is)? I really like our babysitter but I don’t want to overwhelm her because I want her to keep coming back! Haha!

      • erinhzauner says:

        I totally think a high schooler could handle it. When I was in high school, I used to babysit 3-4 kids at a time, with ages ranging from 4 months to 10 years old. We used to have a babysitter take care of 5 of us in my family (baby-8 years old) and she was awesome. The key is that they are focusing on the bedtime routine and only the bedtime routine, and they know they are leaving at the end, so for them, the stress of the day in/day out of doing it hasn’t set in. If you don’t know about your sitter, I’d just ask her if she’d be comfortable with it. Could be just my experience, but in my opinion, two kids ages 4 months and 2 years would be something reasonable.

  8. Yay!! It sounds like a perfect night!! 🙂 I’m so glad your friend offered and I’m so glad you listened to yourself and took her up on it. I’m still trying to figure out what we’re going to do to get out for date night this year, especially since we’ll be very hermitified (I made that word up) to avoid any germs that our preemie could get.

    • Lisa says:

      THANKS!! You will totally get out on date nights, you have so many relatives around you! What are your instructions for not going out as much? I’ve never heard of that with the premie parents I know!

      • Because she’s so little and was born right before cold/flu/RSV season, we have to keep her in as much as possible and away from other people and places where she might catch things. Basically, bubble baby… which also means we have a somewhat bubble Bensen to keep him away from exposure to things he could catch and bring home to her and we have to be careful as well. She gets my immunities so I’ve had my tdap and flu shot.

  9. Good for you guys! You def deserve it!!!!!

  10. Mommy Little says:

    Yay for a date night! I can totally relate, with all of our family living in the midwest. Its impossible to find a babysitter for two kids. I’m sure it was amazing to be kid free for a while…. and wearing a non-nursing friendly dress? I can’t wait for that day 😉

    • Lisa says:

      YES! Nursing friendly (and cute) dresses are so freakin’ hard to find and I’m tired of not wearing my full wardrobe! And it was amazing to eat GOOD food instead of take-out. Ahhhh I’m happy just thinking about it! I hope you’re able to go on a date night soon – it’s so hard with family being far away!

  11. Jay T says:

    Well, I don’t have kids so I just going to give you advice based on what my 16-17 year old self did: which was multiple children and usually youngsters! I babysat for families who had multiple kids. Some babies, some tossed, some elementary. I can’t remember ever having problems. I remember feeling stressed if sometimes it was difficult because I didn’t want the parent to think i I couldn’t handle it and then never hire me again! I believe it was $10 flat rate and $2 more per kid per hour, but only if they were awake. Sleeping kids were just a flat $2 extra

  12. edga4562346 says:

    Actually this is the most memorable night for every one and i know no one forget this memory. So thank you so much to write to remember us about this day again.

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