by a professional faculty mom of 2 year old daughter, 4 year old son
My husband and I rarely have date nights. For one thing, we’re both so busy that neither of us thinks about it ahead of time until we’re in the moment that says “oh good god, get us out of this house!!!” For another thing, it’s a financial commitment. A date night for parents ALWAYS runs in the ballpark of $100. The receipt? At a minimum a babysitter costs $20, dinner is $30, and a movie is another $20. See how that adds up fast? Lastly, finding a sitter can be tough. I work at OSU but I live in Albany, so if I get a student to come to my house, I feel compelled to pay for their travel time too. Cha-ching. And searching for local sitters on craigslist is just… less than ideal.
Last week I saw that Howard Behar, former CEO of Starbucks was giving a free lecture on campus (It’s Not About The Coffee) and I thought it looked interesting. My husband was interested in going as well, but, as usual, the lecture was the next night. Could we get a sitter? Mais oui!! OSU just last month signed a contract with care.com so all students and employees get free access to their site at care.com/osu. I jumped on, posted my job for the next evening, said how much I wanted to pay. VOILA! Within the hour I had 4 responses to my job! I reviewed the sitters’ profiles, made sure their background checks cleared, and, (and this was really the icing on the cake,) I GOT TO LISTEN TO RECORDED REFERENCE INTERVIEWS! Care.com hires moms to call the references and records the interviews for parents to hear. I picked a sitter, we talked on the phone, she came over, it was cake. Delicious, calorie-free cake that cleans your kitchen.
Since the lecture was free, and we ate with the kids before we left, the whole night was only the cost of the sitter: $25. $25 bought us two hours of sanity, some mental stimulation, and a clean kitchen. Money well spent. We will certainly be taking many more date nights like this is the future.