It’s confession time. My daughter is over a year old, and I do not have a babysitter.
The funny thing is: I take care of children for a living. Essentially, I am the babysitter. I found my job online, on a website that connects parents who need childcare with people looking for childcare jobs. My employers didn’t know me. We weren’t acquaintances. I wasn’t recommended by a friend. I know it must have taken an extreme amount of trust, on their part, leaving their young children with someone they talked to on the phone twice and met in person once.
Now that I am on the other side, a parent myself, I understand more fully how difficult that process must of been. It’s something I am absolutely terrified to do myself.
We don’t live close to family. There isn’t a teenager next door eager to earn some extra money babysitting. And I feel so uneasy about being the parent on the other end of the Internet, looking for a stranger to occasionally care for my little girl.
Here’s the sad truth: my husband and I have been on a handful of dates in the last year. And only when we have had family visiting. At first, I told myself A was too small. She was nursing and I couldn’t possibly leave her. But as she has grown, my excuses have dwindled. We need a babysitter.
We need a babysitter for our marriage. So often, (and I think this is probably true for many couples with small children) my husband and I both get a little bit stuck in the day to day routine of our life together:
Wake up, take care of A, go to work, come home, have dinner, put A to bed, go to sleep. And on and on.
It’s too easy to get stuck. Not as easy to pull ourselves free. Life with a toddler is wonderful and exhausting. I once read, “The days are long, but the years are short.” And it’s so true. My daughter brings so much love, and joy, and laughter to our lives. She fills our days, and then some! But, we simply cannot let our marriage slip away to the sidelines of our life together. We cannot forget about us while caring for her.
Marriage takes work. It takes effort. And time. Time spent together, just the two of us, is so important. I’d like to have a romantic dinner every now and then. I’d like to see a movie. But more than that, I long for a quiet evening with the man I love, holding hands, gazing into each other’s eyes, and just talking. I’d like to have deep, meaningful conversations, like we used to have, instead of merely discussing what A had to eat or how many diapers she dirtied that day.
We need to always remember that before we were a family of three…
…we were two.
So, we need a babysitter.
*P.S.- This is going to be a series of “Mama Confessions”…so stay tuned!