What’s Next? Couple Time (or What to Do With the Kids)
It seems only yesterday that you couldn’t wait until the next time you saw them. Couple time seemed to last forever and you built a treasure trove of shared memories. Then came the kids. You wouldn’t trade them for the world, but these days you grab couple time in between trips to soccer practice, washing clothes, checking homework and refereeing squabbles over who gets to use the tablet next.
Back before the coronavirus hit, when you wanted a night alone, whether for a romantic evening or just for some delightful peace and quiet, it was reasonably easy. You waited until the kids were at summer camp or at grandma’s or perhaps you followed a time-honored tradition of calling a babysitter. Unfortunately, it’s not quite so simple anymore. So how do you get that precious night off from parenting?
First, it’s important to realize that you still can. You just have to be more careful about it. You’ll want to screen potential babysitters a little more than you may have in the past. Do they participate in activities like sports where they may contract coronavirus? If they have a regular job, is it in an area where they may contact a lot of people? It may sound harsh, but these are legitimate concerns.
If you do decide to hire a babysitter or call upon the services of a willing relative for the night, make sure your house is clean and sanitary. Wipe down all the surfaces before the sitter or relative comes over, particularly surfaces that are likely to be touched such as counters and handles. In addition, make sure that cleaning products such as wipes and hand sanitizer are within easy reach. You really can’t expect Babysitter Bob or Cousin Edna to practice cleanliness if you don’t provide him or her with the right tools. Nor can you reasonably expect them to show up to your door with a cleaning kit in hand. Set expectations for good hygiene practices like handwashing, so the sitter knows exactly what you expect them to do. As an additional note, while you can’t expect a babysitter to bring cleaning tools with them, it is completely reasonable for you to ask that they bring a mask.
The other big option parents chose when they want a night out is a summer camp or maybe something smaller like an overnight activity. These types of activities aren’t as plentiful as they normally are, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t around. Check with your kid’s school and also reach out to your local parks and rec. department.
Yet another thing you might try is another family. In another article in our series, we talked about choosing another family to socialize normally with while maintaining social distancing with everyone else. That family may well provide the perfect babysitter. Just make sure to return the favor when the other parents are looking for a night out of their own.
Yes, it’s still possible to have some quality time with that special someone, even when you’re alternating between changing diapers, fixing boo-boos finishing up the honey-do list. Try these suggestions or come up with some creative solutions of your own, to earn a well-deserved night for just the two of you.