My husband and I got out for a much needed, long-anticipated date night for our 5th wedding anniversary recently, and it was so refreshing. Delicious dinner, beautiful river views, and a nice (humid, sweat-inducing, makeup running) southern July evening park stroll to top the evening off. We go out to dinner four times a year – each of our birthdays, our anniversary, and an extra if we have a gift card – so when one of these occasions comes up, it feels SO BLISSFUL. Time to have a conversation from start to finish without interruption, an opportunity to wear a dress… food I didn’t cook, food I don’t have to clean up… Bliss.
You know what’s not blissful?
Preparing to go out for a night when you have kids.
I don’t know about you, but this is what a typical date night prep looks like around here:
Babysitter’s coming at 5:45 (DON’T EVEN PRETEND the best part of going out isn’t missing bedtime!), so you start getting ready at 1:30pm, the second the kids are down for their afternoon nap. Surely, four hours will be enough time.
1:30-2:30pm – Clean up the dumpster that is your house. Wipe counters, clean bathroom. Wonder why there is a spoon in the shower. Look in your closet for something to wear. Why do you only own two dresses? Oh, right, you never have a reason to dress nicely. Try them both on. Cry. Put the least hideous one on now because you know you won’t have time to change into it later.
2:30pm – Baby awake. Breastfeed, put her down to play quietly with toys.
Hahaha! Gotcha. Spend the next 2.5 hours picking her up, putting her down to play, waiting four seconds for her to a) start crying or b) put something dangerous in her mouth, and then picking her up again. It is so easy and fun to get things done this way.
2:45pm – Toddler awake. Potty accident. Change sheets, change clothes, wash hands, prepare for battle.
2:45-4:30pm – “Mommy!”
4:30-5:30pm – Surrender to TV. Clean everything again. Answer 548 questions about baby snakes. Put on makeup. Continue picking up and putting down the baby. Set out jammies, diapers. Brush the kids’ teeth because you do not wish that torture upon even the most wonderful babysitter.
5:30-5:37pm – IT’S 5:30PM!?!?! Search YouTube for Easy, Elegant Hairstyle Tutorials for Medium-Length Hair With Postpartum Bald Spots. Attempt. Fail. Messy bun it is.
5:37-5:39pm – Husband comes home, showers, shaves, gets dressed, looks like rockstar.
5:41-5:45pm – Thaw bottle for baby. Scribble some babysitter notes on a notepad, hope you didn’t forget anything.
5:45pm – Notice you have food on your dress. Change into the more hideous option, lose the necklace, greet your babysitter.
Instructions, hugs, kisses, pleas for good behavior, and…
I have precisely zero advice for dealing with everything that happened from 1:30-5:41pm, so you’re on your own there, but I do have a beautiful printable planner to help turn your scribbled mumbo-jumbo into instructions that will make your babysitter’s job easier!
I’ve used babysitter printables like this one before, and honestly, I’ve never stuck it out with one because all the ones I’ve found have been way too specific. You don’t need a space for “nap time” if you’ll only be gone in the evening, or your kids are too old for naps. Likewise, there’s no “homework routine” during the summer months, or if your kids are too young for school. I created these printable babysitter notes to be flexible for any type of outing, time of day, or age of kids.
Download the FREE Printable Babysitter Notes here.
A note on the color? If it’s too much to print this each time you go out, this would work perfectly in a page-protector with a thin dry erase marker! Print it once on cardstock and you’re set!
Let me know how this works out for you!