I love my soon to be nine-year-old daughter with all of my heart. She is empathetic, an avid reader, does cartwheels and back bends, and loves the beach and chocolate just like her Mommy. However, Mommy and Daddy haven’t had a date night since…..since….I swear, if we get one night out a year, we are lucky.
I have no village, I have no babysitters. Honestly, I don’t really want to pay a teenager whatever the going rate is; actually, I can’t even imagine what the going rate is. I kind of need that cash for a night out, or some beautiful cocktails — or in reality, a tank of gas.
Which makes me think: What happened to the babysitters? When my baby was born everyone swooned: “Isn’t she lovely!” “Can I hold her?” “Anything you need? I’ll get it!” “I can’t wait to babysit her and play with her someday!” “You’ll have babysitters lined up all over the place!”
Flash forward a few years, and our life is absolutely devoid of babysitting options. If I was in a crisis, I believe someone would help. But what about all those overzealous offers? My phone isn’t ringing. I’ve never had a family member or friend offer to watch my daughter while we go out for the night.
I’ve tried to build friendships with other moms and families. We always seem to be the ones inviting other girls over for play dates. I keep an ear out while the girls are busily moving throughout our house with movies, popcorn, crafts, or playing with the latest Shopkin/Hatchimal/FurReal toy. My daughter’s friends come over here for four or five hours at a time, which I’m happy to have, but no one ever reciprocates. Help a mom out! Where’s our invite over to your house? Is this reciprocal visiting not happening anymore? You come here one day, and I go to your house the next time?
As much as I hate to admit it, I am so jealous. Jealous of families with villages. Families where grandmothers are part of the daily schedule. Families where kids spend every other weekend with extended family, giving Mom and Dad time to connect. Jealous of friendships we just don’t seem to be a part of.
I don’t want to be jealous. I don’t even need a long list of available child care options. I just want a date with my husband. I want to have some cocktails and flirt with him again. I want to be relaxed and carefree for a few hours, remembering when it was just the two of us. I’d love to be doing something other than watching Bravo on the couch after my kid goes to sleep. I’d love a week on a tropical island, but I’d be thrilled to get just one night out.
If I only had a babysitter.
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