Finding a babysitter is hard. I will not leave my children with just anyone, and though we have been fortunate enough to have had some great babysitters, my husband and I do not employ one often. In fact, for the most part my husband and I coordinate our schedules in such a way as to tag-team or do complete family activities. This has been the case from the beginning.
I receive a mixture of concerned sympathy and out right bafflement from people on this issue all the time. When either of us has to decline activities that are adult couple oriented usually what follows is a series of questions regarding why we are unable to attend together. That fact is neither of us has family within reasonable distance, any time we have found a sitter we are comfortable with life takes them in a different direction after about a few months, and those hourly centers are too expensive.
So my husband and I don’t often attend activities as a couple or get a regular date night. The first reaction from so many couples I know is one of pity, like my marriage somehow suffers because of this lack. The truth is that sometimes I think that not having a sitter makes us a stronger couple. We actually have to talk and plan together. No, it isn’t perfect, but this is our life. Our children do benefit from watching how we work together to solve problems and make things happen.
The lack of reliable babysitting services also forces us to be creative with our time. One of the added benefits we have is that both of us work from home. This give us the opportunity to talk and share throughout the day. Sometimes we even collaborate on projects, which I’m sure would surprise many to know that we do quite well. While our daughter attends school, our son is not yet pre-school ready, which means that we are also caring for him as we work. Again, this forces us to cooperate and not just shift all the responsibility on the other.
For anyone who has ever read my post entitled She’s Got the Kids, I should tell you that in the time since I wrote that there has been a shift to a more balanced approach to child rearing and work between my husband and me. Our secret is really no secret at all. My husband and I talk and, for the most part, we do listen to each other. We are a married couple like any other. Nothing spectacular, nothing horrible, just an average couple trying to make a living and raise a family.