Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Going Nuts?

Going Nuts? Go Out Instead

My Time Is Your Time continued...

"We're firm believers that parents should get out at least once a week," says Katherine, who has three children, ages 11, 7 and 3. "When we haven't been able to do that, we feel it."

To find a good babysitter for your trysts:

  • Ask family and friends.
  • Call a university's early childhood education department.
  • Check with the instructor of a local baby-sitting or teen first-aid course.
  • Ask teachers, coaches and others who work with teens, such as members of the clergy or the career counseling department at a high school.

Since a good sitter is hard to find and keep, be prepared to pay top dollar ($5 to $7 per hour for a teen-ager and $7 or more per hour for a college student) and treat them with respect: Return home on time, pay anyway if you have to cancel at the last minute and spend time teaching them what you expect.

Together Again

Family co-ops -- groups that trade baby-sitting services on a noncash basis -- can be helpful, too, particularly since many new parents are tight on cash. But Douglas says to make sure you understand the arrangements (for instance, decide upfront if it'll be hour for hour), and that your child-rearing philosophies and personalities are in sync.

Katherine Oberholtzer found that a co-op was particularly useful to her as a new parent reluctant to leave her first baby. "We knew the other couples had already been through it and they weren't going to panic or give up," she says. They stopped when it became a burden to sit for families with much older kids and different house rules.

If you lose your gumption because your child is wailing at the front window as you pull out of the driveway, take heart. As long as you have a nurturing, attentive sitter, the little one will probably stop crying before you turn the corner.

And think about how you're helping to lay the foundation for your child's own healthy relationships later on. "When parents value each other, are happy to see each other and keep each other's needs in focus, their children learn the importance of marital closeness," says Judith Siegel, a social worker and author of "What Children Learn From Their Parents' Marriage" (HarperCollins, 2000). Give yourself time alone with your spouse or your partner -- and give your kids valuable lessons in intimacy.


Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd