It was great to get out of the house together, enjoy a movie, eat theatre junk food, enjoy an adult beverage (yes, our theatre serves alcohol and it's amazing), and even have time for dessert afterwards. I may have even turned my phone on silent for the entire movie, although I did check it once. Maybe twice. I never once felt panicked that we needed to rush home, knowing that Sully was in great hands.
Anyway, after we got home that night and while I was laying in bed, I started thinking about a conversation I had had the other day while at a playdate with two of my good friends and their kiddos. We had gotten on the topic of babysitters, when one of my friends asked if we could ever imagine letting a 13 or 14 year old babysit our own child as that is around the age we all started babysitting (actually, I was even younger than that). The consensus was mutual - there's no way we would let a young teen babysit. Now that we're moms ourselves, it seems crazy to think that we used to be trusted to watch young children - even babies! - when we had barely even hit puberty! And we were hired by families that we didn't even really know that well. I used to canvas the surrounding neighbourhoods, handing out babysitting fliers and that is how I got the majority of my baby-watching gigs. It's kind of crazy to think about.
We decided that moms must have been way more trustful 20 years ago. Or perhaps there were less distractions for teens back then - no smart phones, no internet (barely), no social media. I think, for me, it's the distractions of today's world that scares me when I think about letting someone I don't know that well or fully trust, to babysit my baby. (On a side note, our own moms were pretty trustful too, letting us go into strangers homes alone for a few hours in the evening).
The fact of the matter is, there's very few people that I feel comfortable leaving Sully with for more than 20 minutes at a time: his dad and my mom (my in-laws, but none of them live in the same city…). And even then, I'm sure to have my cell phone with me at all times, and my own car (no car-pooling for this mom).
Do I feel this way because I'm a first time mom and my son is still so young? Will my feelings on this change as Sully gets older and I get more desperate to get out with my husband for alone time? What if my mom didn't live close by, would we never get a babysitter down the road? I think about these types of questions all the time, but I can't imagine ever feeling comfortable leaving Sully, at least not until he is able to talk on his own. Or is it a change in the times? With all the scary stuff out in the media today, are the times of hiring a babysitter from a friendly poster on your mailbox gone?
For you moms (and dads) out there - do you hire babysitters for your kiddos? (Day care/day homes aside). What age were your babies when you felt comfortable enough to do this? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.