Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Opportunity knocks: FREE date night

Friends, I mean real friends, reserve nothing. (Andromache)

A (talented) friend and neighbor approached us at church last week with an opportunity.  If we'd watch their children on Friday night, they would watch ours in 2 weeks.  With 4 boys, you know babysitting bills add up as fast as a 3 year old can ask questions.  Before you're even out of the driveway you've spent fifty bucks.  I know grandparents also offer free babysitting, but our friends aren't blessed to live close to theirs.

Bonus item #1: Mainbain and I were raised to super parent status because our boys saw it as an opportunity to spend Friday night with favorite friends.

Bonus item #2:  By agreeing we had an automatic Friday night date to look forward to - something it usually takes monumental effort to set up.  Why had we never thought of this? It took us about 2 seconds to agree.

Here's how it worked:  When we arrived, their children were fed and so were we - that eliminated kitchen duty.  While the older children reveled in the last rays of sunshine running through the woods, we took their babies and ours on a walk, chatting and pushing the stroller down the long driveway.  Simple, effective entertainment. We watched a movie, ate popcorn and munched on the fantastic homemade bread they'd left for us to gobble up sample. Bedtime was a breeze because they already have a fool proof system. We even got to give the baby a bottle, which was so sweet I was amazed at how quickly I felt the baby-mama in me spring back to life. (After only one teeny-tiny moment of panic when she wouldn't take it and I had to implore the 9 year old for instructions!)  Lots of silly conversations, chess playing and reading some choices from their unbelievable library took up the rest of the evening.  I thoroughly enjoyed observing the older kids interaction; watching the way their "play" is changing was delightful and provided some valuable insight. 

Put your thinking cap on.  There's got to be a family you and your kids get along with.  Try it out.  You might just find that friends, real friends, reserve the right to trade free date nights!


This post is linked to Kristen's Works for me Wednesday post.


magsmcc said...

This is a quite quite brillaint idea. Now, whom can I approach?!

Jenny86753oh9 said...

We did this 1 time with another couple and LOVED IT...definitely time for another round of date nights.

guitarwife97 said...

This was one night when EVERYONE was happy!


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