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But, is it worth getting a babysitter?
On Friday night my husband and I hired a babysitter so we could go see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. (Check out our review here.)
We joined some other friends of ours who also have a baby and used the same sitter. In addition, we ordered out dinner. And, yes, instead of spending way too much on popcorn, drinks and snacks we snuck in some contraband we picked up along the way. All together, the evening cost each couple involved total of about $75 (this is a pretty good deal since if we had each gotten our own sitter the price would have been $15 an hour per sitter). Given the price of gas and everything else these days, I couldn't help but wonder, was it worth it? This is not to mention all the time and effort that went into planning, traveling and waiting in line. Just what is worth getting a sitter?
The answer may not be so obvious. We hadn't seen these friends in a long time. It's really hard when you have small children to find time to get together for double dates. Scheduling can be very trying, and more often than not getting together boils down to random chance. And this only works out if the sitter is available. That said, anything that gets people out of the house is a good thing. Maybe where you live movie tickets aren't $11 each (like they are in New York City), and maybe you're not paying between $12 and $15 an hour for a sitter, but the price can still add up.
I think dinner and a movie with some friends is worth it. Attending the opening of a gallery or a hitting a concert is certainly an idea. Anything that will keep you out late and forces you to do some sort of planning is worth it. My rule is that if I have to get dressed up--or at least change my clothes--then it's worth getting a sitter. Obviously anything that is not child-friendly or kid-appropriate warrants a sitter. Even just having a quiet dinner with your significant other can be worth it, romantic or otherwise. Heck, I've often thought about hiring a sitter just to get some housework done...or to sleep. Yes, it's crossed my mind. On more than one occasion.
So what about you? For which activities do you think it's worth it (not just necessary) to get a sitter?
Pic of the wrong kind of baby sitter by Olaf!