Aaron and I love to go out on dates. Not only do we love it, but we need it. If you are a parent and especially a parent of little children you NEED to get out with just your husband. I've heard women say that they don't want to leave their kids and go out with their husbands. You are doing yourself, your marriage, your family, your husband and your children a disservice by not dating your husband. It is wrong. Your children are not more important in your life than your husband. In 18 years they will leave and go on with life and who will you be stuck with? Your husband. You better date him and continue to date him, because eventually it's just you and him!
Dating started to become hard a few months ago for a couple of reasons. #1 it is downright expensive to get a babysitter each week. We pay $10/hour and that just adds up week after week. When we went to a cash only budget we had money alloted for babysitters, but sometimes that was gone after one date. Then what? #2 reason is because we added two kids via adoption and we just weren't ready to leave them with a babysitter. We would end up going out after the kids were in bed and then be exhausted the next day!
Finally a solution happened! My friend Shawnda and her husband Jason were in the process of moving here when she suggested a dating coop for us. What a great idea! It is such a marvelous thing and we are so blessed to be involved in it! Every Monday night we get all of our kids together at one person's house and the other 3 couples get a date. So, 3 times a month we get a date with no babysitting cost. The other Monday in the month we are the babysitters!
Here is why I love this so much:
#1 – We are still getting to go out at least 3x a month with no babysitting cost. Since we still have our babysitting budget and have some great friends that will watch our kids for free we're usually dating more than just 3x a month too!
#2 – We get to bless our friends once a month by watching their kids. There are 13 kids in this group and we get the honor of allowing their parents to date by watching them. Would I normally love to have 13 kids over here at one time to babysit? No. BUT I love to do it for my friends. I LOVE to bless my friends.
#3 – My kids get to be around the same kids every Monday night. They are starting to look forward to date nights as much as we are. I have lofty dreams of them all becoming best friends for a lifetime because of this!
So, go right now and email or call your friends and set this up. Pick a night that works for everyone. Set a schedule and start this next week! You will not regret it!
Deacon, Karis, Samuel, Micah, Story, Wesley Grant, Sally, Karis, Keziah, Jeremiah, Cayden, August and Amos. LOVE these kids!
Thanks for posting this Jamie! I am definitely going to start one!!!
I so agree. I’ve never understood women that think dating has to stop when the kids are little. Yes it gets more complicated and can be stressful to make it all work; but ALL the MORE reason to do it!!
we have started one ourselves that begins in a few weeks & i can’t wait!!! i think its a fabulous idea.
Yiippee Traci! I love date nights!
We’ve been doing this same thing with 5 families (a total of 12 children if everyone comes) on Friday nights for almost 2 years now. The kids really look forward to date nights and I know that my husband and I do. So glad you’ve got something like this set up!
(stalker of Tara, Kristen, Deborah, etc.)
I am a friend of April Salvant and a fellow Austinite (small world). I just found your blog and I have to say that I love, love, love this idea. We have a 7 month old son and are tight on $$ too. Not living near family makes it sooo challenging to carve out time to date each other. You are so right. It’s so important! Thanks for sharing!!
What a great idea! Holy-Kamoly that’s ALOT of little ones in the pic.
Hi Jamie –
I cannot tell you how important this really is..We moved to Mobile, AL in August and my boys stayed in Nashville. My husband and I are getting used to being alone once again. We did date nights while the boys were living at home and I cannot imagine living with only my husband had we drifted apart while my boys were teens. We absolutely love being together now and doing life together!!
Good tips, Jamie!
I also wanted to let you know about a book called Orphans and the Fatherless. If you want to check it out, go to http://www.orphansandthefatherless.com
Sorry…I didn’t see an email! 🙂
Wow, 13 kids at one time! That sounds like a lot of fun and a lot of work! Its great that you and your friends have this system worked out!! I will file this idea away in my mind for when we have kids.
how do you do this with kids bedtimes? i have friends i’m sure i could do this with but we have early bedtime kids in our group… any suggestions?
Heather you have to find people that do bedtimes about the same as you guys. All the families in our group do bedtimes fairly early too. We are putting our kids to bed each night between 7 & 7:30. On date nights the kids arrive in their jammies and the host family puts them all down all around the house about 7:30 or 8. So the kids are sleeping when you come pick them up at 10. 🙂