When was the last time you went out with friends and had a girls’ night out?
If you are like countless young mothers across the country, you probably can’t even recall the last time you went out alone with friends.
Organizing a night out can be overwhelming, especially when something as simple as taking a 5 minute bathroom break can quickly become a group activity if small children are around. Carpools, never ending mounds of laundry, scrubbing bottles, and the continuous cycle of picking up toys ensure that mothers are short on time to focus on themselves.
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Me-Time Is Important
Recent data is beginning to reveal that the modern woman is increasingly unhappy. In fact, research is showing that today’s female population is the most unhappy group of women in the past 4 decades. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean we have to accept our depressed fate. Many researchers believe that a major factor influencing this negative trend might be the lack of “me time”.
Taking time for yourself or getting out of the house can be a difficult task for mothers. One of the most frustrating parts of motherhood is making new friends and keeping them. Everyone is busy, but some time away from the wee beasties can be beneficial.
Mothers, far too often, spend all of our time meeting everyone else’s needs that we forget to take a break for ourselves. We need to make it a priority to foster friendships and care for ourselves. Caregivers will be more productive and invested if they are happy.
Taking advantage of new friendships and arranging a night out will make it necessary to leave your sweet children with a babysitter.
Ensure Fun While Mom’s Away
Here are a few tips to create an enjoyable time with a babysitter:
Let them know what to expect. Transitions can be frightening for children and it is a good idea to introduce the concept of a babysitter before the big night out. Read stories and watch shows about babysitters. Talk positively about babysitters. This will lessen a child’s fear and create a positive environment for the sitter to step into.
Leave with a quick goodbye, hug, or kiss. Don’t linger. Children might throw a tantrum when Mom and Dad are around, but often the minute you leave the child will calm down.
Create a list of rules and phone numbers ahead of time. This will help the sitter know what is expected and how to reach you. It will also help you get out of the door fast to avoid a toddler meltdown.
Stock the fridge with easy favorite foods. Treat your children and the babysitter with easy to prepare foods. Make dinner ahead of time and have it warming in the crockpot, leave money to order delivery, or supply all the fixings for easy meals.
Don’t leave a list of chores. Let your sitter enjoy your children and play with them. If you expect the house to be cleaned, laundry to be folded, or the lawn to be mowed, hire a housekeeper or gardener.
Find a new art activity or craft. Make it a treat to have a sitter! Let them finger paint with pudding, draw in shaving cream, or try out a new play dough recipe.
Introduce a new sitter a few days before the big night. If you are trying a new sitter out, introduce the kids beforehand to reduce anxieties and fears. Both parties will be more comfortable around each other.
Relax on the rules. Agree to let your children stay up an extra hour or watch a long movie before bed. This will make the child look forward to a special night and give the sitter a little wiggle room with the routine.
Create a cheat sheet for the sitter. Compile information about your child in a binder or on a sheet of paper. Include his or her favorite toys, songs, games, foods, activities, and add things to avoid. Knowing favorite stories or things that could trigger a meltdown are always good information to leave.
Find a reliable and recommended sitter. Ask around the community and get honest feedback before you commit to hiring a person. You want someone you trust and who will enjoy being around children.
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Take A Moment For Mom
It is vital to take a night out or arrange for some grown up time every now and then. Those precious hours with adult company can help a mother refuel and will ultimately benefit the entire family. It is natural to feel a little guilty when you leave your children at home, but it is possible to set-up a great evening for your children with a babysitter.
Who knows, your child might gain a new friend and enjoy building a relationship with a positive older role model.