The babysitting debate

We’ve been invited out with friends for an anniversary meal next weekend. We said no. Here’s why…

We have 4 children and I brought them into this world so that I could look after them. Yes, I could look after them. Not my parents, not my in laws, not the babysitting teen down the road. ME.

I’ve touched on it before in my blog. How I was raised, how John was raised. If my parents were invited out without an invite for the children, they simply didn’t go.

We’re all about our little (ok big) family. We love our kids and want to do as much with them as possible. I want them to look back on the best memories with us.

One of my brothers is the complete opposite. Both of my brother’s wives are too. Every given opportunity to get footloose and fancy free and they’re off. Not a week goes by without a babysitter, in the shape of a grandparent or family friend. Not just once in a week either. But that’s just not me.

If course that’s not to say we’ve never had babysitters and never ever go out, it’s just that it’s a rarity and its also hard.

We appreciate 4 children is hard work. Hell, we live with them! Now there’s a puppy in the mix too!

My mum is poorly so I wouldn’t dream of asking my parents any more. We should be looking after her, not the other way around. Not that it stops some asking, which breaks my heart.

The in laws have offered to babysit in recent months and they love spending time with the kids. The only problem is the little comments we then get when they do.

“How long will you be?”, “You’re late!”… it was 8:30pm…

We never ever go out for long, a quick meal and we’re home.

They probably don’t know we take it to heart but we do.

Aside from our parents there is no one else on this earth I would trust with the care of all of our children.

I couldn’t ever trust a stranger with my children either. I know local teens offer babysitting services that my friends use. My children are my life, my responsibility and it just doesn’t sit right with me.

Are we over protective parents? Yes, probably. Are we missing out? No, we don’t think we are. So when we do go out, its rare and its special and we appreciate it all the more.

So we won’t be going out next weekend for our friends anniversary meal. We won’t be going out on our own for a meal for John’s birthday in 2 weeks. We’ll be spending it with our children, like we do every year. We wouldn’t have it any other way.


20 thoughts on “The babysitting debate

  1. I understand you, I’m pretty sure I’d feel the same. But… as a nanny I also see the other side of it. I can’t speak for you but I know so many families just need time as a couple, or just time on their own, for themselves, it’s not selfish it’s a human need…..In the same way children also enjoy spending time with a new face. I’ve built such strong relationships with the children I’ve had the joy of caring for, it’s a very special bond (: So it works both ways (:

    1. I can completely see it from your side too. We had a childminder when our eldest was small as I worked. It just wasn’t for me or my son. It also feels a little selfish to me when the parents are out clubbing every weekend. Perhaps that’s just me. They see friends and family all the time so don’t just have us around 🙂

  2. For me it’s about moderation. You are absolutely right that they are our responsibility and so weekly dates are not an option. We leave our girls with grandparent but probably more like 5/6 times a year. These dates are precious and we really make the most of them. #postsfromtheheart

    1. It sounds like you’re the same as us. When we do go out it’s precious time together that we really appreciate x

  3. We are similar, we come as a family. There are times that we do ask our parents to look after the children, it happens maybe once every couple of months and when we do we go out once the kids are in bed. #TriumphantTales

  4. I love this post, I completely agree! I wish I could speak out more, it upsets me when I see others spending all weekend without the kids when they’ve been at school all week.

    1. Thank you Ruth! Of course I understand that we all need time to ourselves, but the children are little for such a short time. We should cherish our time with them x

  5. Interesting! I’m not a mum yet so can’t really relate but I think I will have a hard time letting other people look after my kids, unless it’s by my own mother!

  6. This is a post that will cause a lot of discussion because everyone has just different opinions.
    I’m very lucky to have a huge family, my son has grandparents, aunties and cousins that will jump at the chance to spend time with him. As much as I don’t “go out clubbing every weekend” I do go out with my husband or friends and ask family to babysit. My situation is slightly different as my husband works 9:30am to late Tuesday to Saturday so if I want a meal out with my best friends mid week for a birthday, I need a babysitter. Similarly, as a teacher, if I have a parents evening or school event to attend, I need a babysitter. Saying this, this doesn’t happen weekly and if it does, through no fault of my own (June saw several school events in three weeks) I feel guilty! Everything in moderation I think! Every now and then is fine and couple time is a must but you can take the pi*s too! #TriumphantTales

  7. This was really interesting to read! I’m not a mum yet (though desperately want to be) and I’ve baby sat for children for years and work with kids everyday, it’s so interesting to hear someone perspective! I totally understand that you had children so you want to be there always , my mum took a nine year career break when she had me and my sisters so I totally get it. But on the other hand I feel you should have breaks and a night out every once in a while would be beneficial for both you and your kids. I’m sure you and your husband could do with some you time and quite frankly deserve it! And I’m sure you little ones would really enjoy the experience of a baby sitter. I know from the children I’ve baby sat it’s been great fun and gives them a chance to do activities that they maybe wouldn’t if they were in their usual routine! This was honestly such an interesting and though provocaking read!
    PaleGirlRambling xo

  8. We’re very similar to yourselves. We do have some help from my OH’s parents who have our two one day a fortnight. That’s to cover me at work though, so it doesn’t leave us time to go out as a couple too. We maybe have two or three evenings a year now and sometimes I think it would do us good to have some time for us, but we understand that this is life as a family and we wouldn’t change it for the world. These times don’t last forever do they. I think it’s nice to make the most of them while we can. 🙂 Thanks for linking to #DreamTeam x

  9. Personally, I think it’s very important for parents both individually and together, to have time to themselves. It’s vital for mental wellbeing as for a relationship too. That said, as my son gets older, I find it harder to be away from him. I usually have a weekend per year where I do something with a friend and that’s it. Nothing more. It’s too hard for me. Thanks for linking up to #GlobalBlogging

  10. This is an interesting conversation starter, I really think that babysitting occasionally isn’t that bad, your entitled to time for you even though you’re still a parent? Your children are a priority but one night every so often isn’t lumping them on someone else? Sorry to hear about your mum being unwell I hope her health improves x

    Kayleigh Zara

  11. Reading through your post, it felt as if I had written it myself. We have 5 kids and we don’t go out often. Especially if they are not included. It just suits us. Even if we do get a night out, it’s a quick dinner and home… I hear what you are saying. #globalblogging

  12. Our nights out together are few and far between. Having said that we have two weddings in the space of three weeks this Summer and Little Man is having sleepovers at my parents house. He loves them, it’s a right little adventure for him. And they love having him. I wouldn’t trust anyone but family with him though. My Mum and Dad know him so well as they have looked after him when I went to work, and I know they look after him just the way I would. Having said all of this, there are no right or wrongs in the way parents choose to bring up their children, it is each to their own. Thanks for joining in with #TriumphantTales, hope to see you again Tuesday.

  13. It is so great to see you want to spend time with your children, but I don’t think you should feel guilty either for wanting to spend time away 🙂
    Great insight into a topic not everyone really discusses!


  14. I liked the article, I can relate. We have 5 kids. They are getting older but that means my parents are getting older. On top of that the youngest has autism. I think ever family is different and sure wouldn’t judge anybody else. Me and my husband haven’t gotten out in over three years and before that it was maybe once a year. What baby sitter funds we have covers our work hours. Our little one with autism is just to much for our parents to watch. I imagine if I just had my youngest son, we would do more maybe have a babysitter more, but we don’t. When they were little there was to many, now there is autism. So we don’t so much chose not to have a babysitter, it’s just the hand we were dealt.

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