Last night I had a rare opportunity to go out for the night. Well, we both did, Stuart and I. It was a work event and as it fell on the Thursday before Good Friday we thought we’d get a babysitter and both go. I had already been thinking of getting a babysitter so we can go out for dinner anyway so it seemed like a good idea.
A contributing factor (though of course not the main or only reason) for us moving to Bournemouth was to be near family. We realised how hard it is to bring up children when you don’t have your family near by. And, of course, a big benefit of being near them is the opportunity of a free babysitter!
However, this doesn’t happen as often or as easily as you’d think. Firstly, there is now my brother and family, my sister and family and ourselves all down this way, all sharing my parents’ kind services. I am transported back to being a kid again when I saw my brother and sister always asking for lifts from my parents so I rarely did but when I did it was always on a night they were busy themselves or just wanted a night off to themselves. My parents are wonderful and my Mum will always put herself out to help us when she can and I am incredibly grateful for all she does but I also appreciate that looking after kids when you are at retirement age is hard work. Not to mention, she is recovering from an ankle operation. Plus I don’t like to take her for granted so I hate asking her. I get nervous and fear her saying no. Not because of the rejection but because I know that if she says no she will feel bad herself for not being able to help and I just feel so much guilt!
But it isn’t just down to my parents, my sister-in-law loves having Callum and has always said if ever we need a babysitter to ask. She has looked after Callum a couple of times. But this weekend is her Birthday weekend so I don’t like to ask. Plus, she has only asked us once if we can help out and we’ve had to say no because its our anniversary. I’d really like to be able to offer our services to her before I feel like we are taking her for granted too.
And then there is my sister. I know she will help out when she can but she has 3 children already so I hate to burden her with another!
In addition to all the above and my ‘mental’ issues with each situation, Thursday is a work day. Each of our babysitting options really require us getting Callum to their house…probably for similar reasons to mentioned above. Maybe more my guilt than there inability but if someone is doing us a favour, I like to make it as easy as possible for them. Being as we were working during the day and then we are off on a day trip today, making picking up this morning difficult, it wasn’t going to be a viable solution to ask family.
So,that leaves the familiar method to many – the Babysitter!
We have a benefit over when we were in Surrey as now we have the nursery staff on hand. Great! Callum’s old nursery didn’t allow it. This one, the Managers don’t encourage it, but it is up to the individual nursery nurses if they want to do it so they stay out of it. This is brilliant and I was thrilled when I found out. I asked how much and the lady I spoke to said usually around £6 but, again it was down to the individual.
When we asked the first time, I think we paid £7 per hour for 4 hours then rounded it up a couple of pound to £30.
Last night I made the mistake of forgetting to ask until we were out! I sent the text thinking the worst it would be was about £8. I was wrong…back comes the text….
“Ern, its entirely up to you. I normally get given about £10 an hour but like I said its entirely up to you.”
What could I say…you’ve probably sussed out by now I’m a wimp! Read above again if you don’t believe me. I couldn’t say when we were already out…”actually, we are only willing to pay you £8”.
So, £10 a bloody hour it was – that’s £40 for 4 hours!!!! On top of whatever Stuart and I each pay out for our drinks etc because we are both out!!! Nowadays, if I spent £40 on drinks alone, I’d think I had had an expensive night but now we have the £40 (at least) on top of whatever we spend!! That makes for one very expensive night. OK, I didn’t actually spend much myself…about £10, but assuming Stuart (who stayed out for about 4 hours longer than I) spent £50 getting rounds, food, entrance fee to clubs etc (so a conservative guess) we are looking at £100 for us both to go out for ONE night!!!!
So then there’s the added pressure to enjoy myself to make that money worthwhile.
I’m sat, pregnant, drinking soft drinks, with 95% of the people I’m out with outside on the balcony smoking in the freezing cold, while I’m inside with the 1 or 2 other people being deafened by a live band unable to hear a word the other two are saying.
Was it worth the money? NO! Was I enjoying myself? Not as much as I would like, no!
It was with a heavy heart I went home at 10.30pm (the original plan being to leave at 11.30) and thought of what I’d much rather be spending the money on.
Then I was in bed by 11.30pm thinking about how I’d just like to go out on a date with my husband and no one else! My new year’s resolution was to go out on a date with Stuart once a month. We are now in April and how often has that happened? Zero! A big ZERO times! Everytime we get an opportunity to go out it is for someone else’s celebration and we have to use up one of our babysitting chips.
Also, I haven’t been out on my own without Stuart since about October when I went to stay with a friend. Everytime an event is planned for just me, its cancelled.
I’m feeling a bit over this going out lark! Looks like I’m destined for nights in front of the tv with my fluffy socks and chocolate for the time being! Feeling old and pregnant!