Monday: Weekly Family Activity—Importance of Spending Time as a Couple and How to Find a Good Babysitter

Importance of Spending Time as a Couple and How to Find a Good Babysitter

I know this is normally ideas for things to do as a family, but I thought I would share how important it is for couple time, next week I will go back to family time :)

Date nights are important for a myriad of reasons.

  • Taking time off from the kids – we’ve got to admit that the arrival of children robs us of our time together. There are cries in the night that awaken us because the child had a nightmare, the chauffeuring around tends to make us bone tired, arguments with teenagers drain our energies, and there’s a string of doctors’ appointments, school activities, the occasional problems with curfew and hanging out with the wrong crowd. These can get us all tangled up inside, forgetting that there’s also a marriage that needs looking after.
  • Injecting excitement into a stale marriage – once in awhile we need to feel that the adrenalin in us is still pumping and is in abundant supply. Do you remember the first time love hit you and you felt that every nerve of your being tingled with excitement? We need to feel that excitement many times over regardless of how long we’ve been married: five, ten, twelve, twenty-five. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with breathing life into a stagnant stream. Don’t ever get sucked into believing that your marriage feels like a “recycled” union of two tired and bored souls.
  • Getting re-acquainted– after several years into a marriage, some of us may feel that we know our spouse like the back of our hand. On the flipside, there are those who complain that in spite of being together all these years, they feel they don’t know their spouse at all. “I’m really married to a stranger” is a declaration often uttered to a therapist or marriage counselor. By organizing date nights, we’ll have a sixth sense into what makes our spouse tick. When we dated the first time, we had a long mental list of things we wanted to know about our significant other. There was consuming interest about what the other ate, bought, thought, felt, and their views on nuclear science, the greening of the environment and the roaring of lions. It’s vital that we keep that interest alive. Curiosity won’t kill the cat, far from it, but it will kill the passions if we don’t exercise it.
  • Confirming love, not rejection – imagine the emotional turmoil that brews when we treat our marriage like a routine activity. It’s the most fragile of institutions, and a union that is so easy to walk away from. The reason many couples divorce is that they neglected date nights, when they actually are the channels where we get to express our love. By making time for date nights, we deliver the message to our spouse that rejection is out of the question, and that you’re committed, more than ever, to make your marriage work despite the odds. (by www.professorshouse.com)

Some Tips on Finding a Good Babysitter

How do I go about finding one?

-Word of Mouth: Ask relatives, friends, other parents in your child’s class/activities. Ask around at your gym, church, maybe even your child’s pediatrician might know of someone.

-Local College: Many college students are looking for part time babysitting work. Check out your local university’s classified section, their bulletin board, etc. You could even go out and make up a flier to post or an add to put in the classified section

-Online Services   4sitters.com   Phone a Babysitter.com   BabySitters.com   Sittercity.com   4nannies.com  eNannySource.com   New Au Pair.com   AuPairCare.com

What to look for in a babysitter:
-Age & Maturity (the American Red Cross advises someone of the age of 11, although lots of other experts say 14)

-Their Previous Childcare Experience

-First Aide Certified (or willing to become certified)

-Try to figure out how she relates to children (ask her what she likes about watching children) and see if she is interested in trying to entertain harder older children.

-Go with your Gut! Even if everything seems ok and you still don’t feel ok, go with your gut, you are their Mom and trust in your feelings.

 Warning Sings to Watch for (I took these from www.babycenter.com)

Your toddler isn’t happy to see the nanny or babysitter and has become anxious and withdrawn. A regular caregiver can never replace Mom or Dad, but a child needs to trust and love his nanny or babysitter completely. Perhaps your toddler and caregiver haven’t bonded, or the nanny or babysitter just isn’t providing the kind of warmth and comfort your child needs. As in every human relationship, having the right chemistry is important. • Your nanny or babysitter seems secretive about the daily routine. How your toddler and his caregiver spend their time shouldn’t be a secret . When you come home, you’re probably eager to hear about your child and what happened while you were apart. If your caregiver isn’t forthcoming about it, either she’s not good at communicating with you or she has something to hide. Even a caregiver whose English is limited should be able to convey the ups and downs of your toddler’s day, and will understand why you want to know.

Your child has been in one too many easily avoidable accidents. A nanny must keep her eye on your child, and know what he’s doing at all times to prevent injury. She may be leaving your child unattended as he sleeps or plays.

You notice your requests aren’t followed.Both of you are working together to care for your child, so a caregiver shouldn’t act as if she knows more about him and childrearing than you do. “I didn’t like my babies to be fed on schedule and I told my nanny so,” says Kirsi Tikka, a professor from Port Washington, New York. “But she insisted on it.” Eventually, Tikka and that particular nanny parted ways.

She seems critical of they way you’re raising your child. Again, you’re supposed to be a team. And you should welcome constructive suggestions from your child’s caregiver — especially if she spends a lot of time with your ever-changing toddler. But if you get the sense that the two of you just aren’t on the same page when it comes to basics like food, sleep, and safety, the relationship might not work out in the long run.

Your nanny or babysitter often shows up late. An undependable caregiver will leave you in a lurch time and time again. Find someone who you know is committed to the job and considerate of your needs. Tardiness and unexplained absences may mean she’s unreliable in other ways as well.

Your toddler often looks unkempt and dirty. If your little one’s caregiver can’t take care of the basics, it may be a sign that she’s not on the ball when it comes to meeting your child’s needs.

Her stories don’t add up. Never tolerate someone who steals, lies, or deceives you in any way. You have to be able to trust your caregiver for the relationship to work.

Remember (can you tell this is coming from a past nanny) treat your babysitter with respect and make her feel appreciated!


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