The babysitter rejectionistJessie Knadler
Jake and I have been on maybe two dates since June was born, and one of those was to a military academy to hear an army guy talk about the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan so that didn’t count; conception wasn’t on the menu that night.
The reason we never go out alone — aside from the stark marital reality of not always having much to say to each other — is because I don’t want to use a babysitter. I’m gun shy about using babysitters.
We both work full time so June is in preschool all day…from 8:30 to 5 p.m. It is a crazy long day for a two year old. I feel the tug of ye olde “mom guilt” each and every time I watch her waddle off to Montessori wearing her little backpack and holding the hand of her teacher as I zoom off to my office where I spend the rest of the day writing and generally wondering why I didn’t go into real estate.
I am able to snuff out these feelings of guilt because I have a knack for rationalizing and justifying everything I do, even that time a guy drove me all the way home to Montana from Wyoming and I didn’t even invite him in for coffee. In the case of mom guilt, I remind myself this is the guilt that engulfs working parents everywhere; if they can deal with it, so can I. I am tough like that. And money doesn’t grow on trees.
By the time the weekend rolls around, I feel like I haven’t seen June all week. Farming her out to yet another caregiver while Jake and I go off to paint a clay pot together seems and weird and wrong (not simply because painting pots is weird and wrong). The only people I feel comfortable leaving her with are her grandparents, who all live in different states, and a few close friends, who are all busy with families of their own. Is it a coincidence these preferred folks also don’t charge?
So we never go out together. We stay in. We make each other cocktails, eat popcorn and watch a lot of Netflix (we’re on Season 2 of Treme, FYI).
But I have a sneaking suspicion that’s what most parents do…even the ones blessed with grandparents who live in the same town. Heck, that’s what most people do. The Bachelorette has that effect on people.
But that is all about to change. We’ve been invited to an “ugly holiday sweater” party next month and I will not miss it. We must be there! Jake and I live for any excuse to dress up and look ridiculous.
A babysitter must be procured. The hourly rate must be negotiated. We actually have to pay for nighttime child care. We are truly grown ups now…grown ups in really ugly Santa sweaters.
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