The parental paradox (a Sunday morning digest)

Last night, Mr Moi and I went out on a hot date. This doesn’t happen too often  – I think I blogged about a hot date about a year ago, and that was possibly the last hot date we went out on!

This morning I woke up with a pain in my tummy because I had eaten so much. In fact I ate so much that, after dinner when we went to see a movie (minimum four-hour booking time for the babysitter), I couldn’t sit up straight in the seat. I had to recline a little to allow for digestion.

As I said to Mr Moi, in the course of one meal I went from 23 weeks to about 30 weeks pregnant in appearance.

When we got home to our new babysitter – a lovely young girl who works in childcare full time and babysits after hours (good lord, she obviously doesn’t have her own kids) – I discharged her with the $20 per hour that seems to be the cheapest going rate in Darwin.

And here is Part 1 of the Parental Paradox: a night out for a quiet dinner costs more when you combine the costs of the meal and the costs of the babysitter, than going out on the turps to the Summer Hill Hotel ever did, taxi home included! (In fact the babysitter often costs more than the meal we go out to enjoy!) But it seldom happens, so going out once a year is not going to send us broke.

(I can’t whinge too much as it’s our choice to live away from Brisbane, where we have a slightly more extensive support network in place than Darwin, where we have… er… some of my lovely friends from work et al, who do in fact have a life of their own when it comes to Saturday nights!)

After discharging the babysitter, I was still so very awake from all the late night shenenigans of watching a film and eating so much I doubled the size of my stomach, that despite it being the Very Late Hour of 11.30pm, Mr Moi and I went to bed and partook in one of our favourite shared bedtime activities – READING!

That’s right, the reading frenzy is still on and I am finally hitting the interesting bits of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. So up I stayed, reading, reading, reading. And here we come to Part 2 of the Parental Paradox: No matter how young a night out makes you feel, regardless of the late hour you go to bed you still have to get up at 6.30 am the next day.

So not only is the financial debt of a Night Out hight, but the Sleep Debt also.

And boy does 6.30 am on Sunday morning, post-Hot Date hurt. I am typing this through sleep smeared eyes – I can’t even be bothered to pop up the street to get a coffee. That’s really bad news.

I’m just glad that my preggo status means that I didn’t have a boozy hot date dinner night out, because that would add a Part 3 layer of unpleasantness to the Parental Paradox that I just can’t comprehend with a full stomach and a lack of sleep.

How often do you go out on the weekend without the kids? Is it a high priority to have a hot date with your Significant Other on a regular basis?


8 thoughts on “The parental paradox (a Sunday morning digest)

  1. I never felt comfortable charging my full hourly rate for babysitting at night – especially when most of my time was spent studying or watching TV after the kid/s were in bed. The parents never listened though.

    During the day was a different story – particularly when I had four kids under the age of five (all in the one family) to look after!

    Anyhow – I wish to reiterate… You should have called me and I would have looked after Sproglette as a favour! It’s not like you go out often – one weekend evening away from Mr Posy wouldn’t have killed us 😉

  2. well brookle

    although most of our date nights now consist of take away (eaten on our tiny balcony to make it feel like we aren’t at home but in an al fresco restaurant!), i have to admit to being very grateful for the parents/siblings being so close, handy and amenable to taking squilly for us to escape and pretend we still have a life. so don’t have to worry bout the financial issues (or even just the logistics of finding someone you’re willing to leave your precious bundle with.)

    however, experienced first hand the horror of childcare with a hangover. we had a beautiful night out at ecco bistro for mothers day/squilly’s 6month bday which fast became less beautiful the next day when faced with dirty nappies and a baby who has just discovered her voice so even when she’s not sqwarking is still at an ungodly decibel.

    NOT FUN!!!

  3. I wish I could go out more on the weekends when I have the kids, but it isn’t going to happen! That said, now I’m a single parent, I do get an alternate weekend free every now and again!!! Great to see you still blogging after all these years. I just updated my links to you, ’cause you’re obviously not in the Ukraine anymore.
    Ciao for Now, Wes.

  4. We used to go out a lot more than we do now, as we had the brilliant idea of moving interstate away from all family!
    But, I work part time & Hubby is self employed, so while the kids are at school we sometimes go to a movie during the day or grab coffee at a local cafe.
    But I mis nights out… I guess in a few years my kids will be old enough to stay home by themselves… so I’ll just hold on until then!

  5. Whoa – Congrats on the pregnancy! That is very exciting!

    and dates? My husband and I have season tickets to one of the theaters. So, 8 times a year we are guaranteed 1/2 a day to go watch a play and have some adult time (usually dinner afterwards). Other than that – we might get an evening here and there if a parent comes and visits us for a weekend.

    It isn’t so much the money issue – but more of a trust issue. I just couldn’t let someone who wasn’t family watch my kids. However, as the youngest is turning 3, I feel that is changing. I think some mature teen could probably watch the kids now. So – maybe I’ll get more dates in.

    I told myself this year I would find a babysitter – but that hasn’t happened.

  6. We went out last night too and when we left i was sure I was about to give birth my belly was so big!
    And when we got there they staff kept offering me drinks and trying to fill my wine glass! (Clearly it was the dress I was wearing, but 29 weeks pregnant I did not look.
    I can tell you now what once children come along there wont be much of this going out business…
    The cost! $200 pre couple + a BYO bottle of wine (plus more purchased as part of that $200 – THAT I DID NOT DRINK) add a taxi and a babysitter into that and there is no way!
    It is likely to be once a year for us too.
    Although I was advised of $15 an hour babysitting last night… But still…

    Still it’s nice that you had the chance to have a nice night out with Mr. Moi !!!

  7. @Miss Posy – I know I know! But I HATE the idea of asking for babysitting on a Saturday night.

    @Louisa – ha ha! nothing hurts more than a hangover that you can’t wallow in.

    @Wes – the funny thing is, when we have a weekend free – e.g. if a parent is in town – we can’t motivate ourselves to get out.

    @Naomi – yes, hubby and I work not too far from each other so we meet up for lunch once a week, if he’s not travelling.

    @Karmyn – Yes! Due September. Now I just hope I haven’t given Pamela ideas about the going rate 😉

    @Pamela – I’d hire you!

    @ShoeSammie – Just think of this this way – instead of spending $200 going out to dinner every weekend, once you have a kid it happens so rarely that you practically walk through the restaurant door and throw them the money as a tip! HOORAY, WE’RE FREE!

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