by Joanne Before we had kids, my husband and I actually saw movies in a movie theatre, we went to Montréal for the weekend and enjoyed gourmet meals in the Market weekly!
Boy things have changed – now when we watch the Oscars we might have seen one or two of the nominated flicks. Weekends away have been replaced by weekend taxi duty and I now cook those “gourmet” meals. When we plan to go out for supper we no longer head to the Market but to St. Huberts or Pizza Hut.
With our kids are getting older, we are more comfortable leaving them with a babysitter. But once you pay the babysitter there is not much left for dinner and a movie! We were easily paying over $100 a date night when you add up babysitting, dinner and the movie. A few years ago, my sister and I came up with solution to revive date night and not break the bank at the same time. We started a babysitting co-op! My sister has 3 boys very close in age to my 2 kids. They love spending time together and they often ask if they can have a sleep overs… actually they normally ask if they can switch families and move in with my sister or have her kids move in with us! Our co-op gives the kids more time to play together on a regular basis and us parents get a much needed date night. What we do is, once a month the kids have a sleep over party! Sometimes it is at our house and sometimes at my sisters – we alternate months. The kids get to play and have their sleep over. We get to see movie, go to a party with friends or even tackle a home renovation. Our co-op is “unofficial” we don’t have a contract signed and we are the only two participating families. There are many resources out there if you wanted to set up your own co-op with family or friends in your area. We do a sleep over every month because my sister lives at the complete opposite area of the city than I do. But you can organize it any way you would like. Today’s Parent did an article on babysitting co-ops a while back. It works wonderfully for us! Not only do the kids get excited to stay with their cousins but we get to enjoy a night to ourselves. But we also look forward to having the whole gang at our house too… my baby is 5 so I am looking forward to the snuggles I will get from my 15 month old nephew! Joanne the proud mom of Amélie (8 years old) and Mathieu (5 years). She is new at blogging and you can find her at Our Money Pit.