Ice cream with the grandparents[twitter]We’ve just moved to a new city that’s 1 time zone away from paternal grandparents and 2 away from maternal grandparents. There is no more quick phone call to get them to drive the 20 minutes to look after the boys while we make a Sunday run to Costco. There’s no date night to go and see Date Night.

I’m not saying grandparents are only good for babysitting, but when you have a newborn and a toddler, pawning them off on family is a lot easier than leaving them in the arms of a stranger.

I did a random Twitter poll asking people when they first grabbed babysitters for their newborns and most agreed it was until a year that they were comfortable leaving them with someone else.

What do you do when you’re all alone? How do you recharge your batteries away from your kids and nurture your relationship when there are no grandparents around?

Admit it – sometimes we need a break. Date night for us is now a family weekend breakfast at Dennys. Nothing wrong with that, but its still a family time and not a grown up time. I work the morning shift at a radio station, up at 415a each day, so even the quiet time after the kids go to bed doesnt exist since most nights I’m falling asleep at 8p right alongside them.

We’re in a new city alone. We’ve made some friends with parents in the neighborhood, but haven’t reached that “I’m going for a hair/pedicure/dentist appointment this afternoon, can you watch my kids stage” – it’s all a juggle.

How do yo do it?

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5 Comments

  1. Anthony Floyd April 29, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Yup, definitely sucks. We were the first in our circle of friends to have kids (and still only ones in that original circle — but now we've met other families) and all our family lives 5000 km east. *Plus* we live on the edge of downtown where there's a dearth of kids so there are no “natural” neighbours with kids or teens for babysitting.

    Occasionally family comes out to visit and we get a date night. It wasn't until A was in preschool that we had any non-family babysitters.

    It's hard, and other parents we've talked to have the same issues, but usually there's at least one parent nearby. I envy those parents.

    Good luck finding a baby sitter! Some daycare/preschool teachers moonlight as babysitters, and if they're familiar to your kids, they make for natural (if somewhat expensive) sitters.

    A>

  2. Jessika LaFramboise April 29, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    I agree with Anthony. Lots of daycare providers offer babysitting, but it is against policy in some centres. They do often charge more, but it is worth it because that is their specialty. Good luck finding one.

  3. Stuart Morrow April 30, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Grandparents who are healthy, active and able to look after the kids now and again should never be taken for granted. Both of my parents have unfortunately passed away, and the kids’ other grandparents are too elderly to take them for any longer than a couple of hours a week. rnrnNot having that option available to us puts enormous strain on myself and my wife. We have a night out to ourselves once maybe every six months. When we’re out and about and see grandparents looking after kids while the parents are clearly somewhere else getting some downtime, it’s difficult not to be envious.rnrnSorry, this comment sounds terribly downbeat!rn

  4. Stuart Morrow April 30, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Grandparents who are healthy, active and able to look after the kids now and again should never be taken for granted. Both of my parents have unfortunately passed away, and the kids’ other grandparents are too elderly to take them for any longer than a couple of hours a week. rnrnNot having that option available to us puts enormous strain on myself and my wife. We have a night out to ourselves once maybe every six months. When we’re out and about and see grandparents looking after kids while the parents are clearly somewhere else getting some downtime, it’s difficult not to be envious.rnrnSorry, this comment sounds terribly downbeat!rn

  5. Stuart Morrow April 30, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Grandparents who are healthy, active and able to look after the kids now and again should never be taken for granted. Both of my parents have unfortunately passed away, and the kids' other grandparents are too elderly to take them for any longer than a couple of hours a week.

    Not having that option available to us puts enormous strain on myself and my wife. We have a night out to ourselves once maybe every six months. When we're out and about and see grandparents looking after kids while the parents are clearly somewhere else getting some downtime, it's difficult not to be envious.

    Sorry, this comment sounds terribly downbeat!

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