A nice thing about being a grown-up is that—with a little help from our BFF coffee—we can stay up late to go out on a date with our beloved any time we want to. Sometimes this is decided on a whim, others it’s planned far in advance. In both cases, it sounds a lot easier than it is, and we completely forget how many steps there are to arranging a babysitter for our kids, ensuring they know everything they should, and actually getting out the door to enjoy the evening.
The moment we first reach out via text (no one makes calls anymore, silly!) to see if any of our roster of trustworthy sitters is available kicks off a countdown that increases in intensity until the moment we finally walk out the door for our date night, and isn’t over until we’ve watched the babysitter safely buckle up in their car to head home. Here are some of the things that will happen once you make the move to hire a sitter, hoping for a relaxing night out.
1. On the morning of your date night, at least one kid wakes up possibly sick but you make them drink a lot of water to get better and beg them to buck up because COME ON YOU NEVER GET TO GO OUT SO PLEASE BE HEALTHY. Please?
2. You text your sitter to thank them again, passive-aggressively confirming that they don’t plan to cancel, requiring you to scramble for a last-minute replacement.
3. You run to the grocery store to pick up the easiest food in the world to prepare to decrease the odds of her burning your house down during dinner. (Hellooooo, frozen waffles!)
4. You run around cleaning up because you don’t want your sitter know how you really live.
5. You realize that it’s not even 3:00PM and you’re already exhausted and have no idea how you’ll summon the energy to go out at all, never mind stay awake another five to seven hours.
6. While you consider canceling, your beloved magically senses your hesitation and calls to make sure you’re not considering cancelling. You laugh all casual-like, “Of course not! Why would you think that? I can’t wait for our date!”
7. You make a very, very strong pot of coffee.
8. You tell the kids the sitter is coming tonight, and ask them to be good.
9. You calm a sad kid who doesn’t want you to go.
10. You write a quick note about what the typical dinner routine is, all while the sad kid clings to you like an adorable barnacle.
11. You add the bedtime routine to the note, too, just in case.
12. You add, like, two more pages of notes to your note because you keep remembering some of the 6,742 thing you do every night for your kids between the hours of five and nine.
13. Oh yeah, and explicitly add that the babysitter is not to share photos of your kids on social media because this is a thing we have to explicitly say now.
14. You run to answer the door only half-dressed with your hair in a towel, welcoming your sitter into the chaos, then leaving them to play with your kids while you search for lipstick in the junk drawer.
15. You whisper-yell at your husband, “Did you seriously not even get in the shower yet??” before running back upstairs to finish getting ready.
16. Once fully dressed, you find the sitter and run through the most important points of the evening, then gesture in a horribly embarrassed manner to the novel of notes you left behind, “with the rest of the details.”
17. You pretend not to see the beginning of regret in your babysitter’s eyes as they peel your one sad kid off of your leg so you can finally leave.
18. You panic when you feel your phone vibrate during dinner, thinking it’s the sitter calling about an emergency. It’s just a cute picture of everyone having fun, allowing you to forget about the kids and have a really nice time out with the love of your life.
19. You also forget that you never got cash to pay the sitter, so have to make an extra stop at an ATM on the way home.
20. You get home to discover that everything went fine, they didn’t need about 98% of your notes, and the kids are all in bed having sweet dreams—even the one who said she simply could ABSOLUTELY NOT IN NO WAY EVER fall asleep until you were home with her.
21. You pay the sitter, knowing that while your husband thinks you’re over-paying. But you’d give them bricks of gold to do this gig if you could. They deserve it.