Ok, almost 12 hours. Their Godparents picked them up around 10am and we got home at 9pm.
It was SO. GOOD! Absolutely what we needed.
This was also the first time we passed Gabriel to someone to babysit, other than my in-laws. I must admit that I got cold feet in the days leading up to the actual day.
This baby is always with me. His eyes always search for me whenever I enter the room. He has this only-Mummy-will-do bonding thing with me. I love it most of the time and dread it sometimes, cos it honestly makes it hard to get anything done around the house.
So the following things are what I learnt from this experience. How to release your kids so you can get some time for yourself / with your spouse.
1. Plan in advance
I realized that most people want to help. But they would also like to be able to plan their schedules. So if you want to have some time for yourselves, it'd be best to give your babysitters ample notice.
I started a Whatsapp group just for this day, so that we could arrange a suitable date for all 4 babysitters. It worked out really well because they could send us photos of our kids and what they were doing during that day too. That sorta helped with me missing my kids as well.
2. Trust the babysitters.
They are not you, so they may not do the same things with your kids or make the same decisions as you would do in the same situation. But they love your kid(s) and they would do their utmost best to ensure your child's well-being.
|See how Sammy and Gabe are exchanging eye contact as if to say "Yay! One day without Dad & Mum!"|
|Gabriel's Godparents on the left and Sammy's Godparents on the right|
2. Talk about expectations
I basically gave them a brief summary of what each kid needs. Sammy absolutely needs a nap after his lunch time. Without this nap, he would be fairly impossible to handle by early evening. Oh and he absolutely needs his pacifier when he sleeps.
Gabriel takes a nap in the late morning and sometime in the afternoon. He usually indicates when he's hungry / tired by being cranky and nothing will calm him down.
3. Don't play the blame game
The date day went really well. Both kids napped at the same time and everybody had lovely memories of that day.
BUT Gabriel came down with a 39.2 fever that following night and Sammy fell sick one day later.
They were completely healthy in the days leading up to the excursion so even I was taken aback at how quickly they caught a cold.
I was trying to figure if it might be because they were not dressed warmly enough - perhaps I didn't pack up warm enough clothing for them, perhaps it was too cold to go out....
But when hubby and I talked about it, we both agreed that we had dressed them up just like every other normal day and there was basically nothing that could have been done better to prevent them from falling sick.
It is just the way it is. Kids fall sick. For whatever reason(s). They recovered quite quickly and all was good again.
4. Just sit back and enjoy your time. Stop feeling guilty about leaving the kids in the care of someone else. You'd be a better Mom / Dad if you have some time to recharge
|My Ted Baker trench coat with heels!|
We loved the quiet meal times when we could use both hands to feed ourselves. In fact, when our meals were over, we were so amazed at how much time we had on our hands! It was only 7.30pm when we were done with dinner!
We could walk around town hand-in-hand just looking at stuff. We could talk without being interrupted by crying kids, or spilling liquids, or having to wipe our kids' faces or hands.
We could focus on each other and not go, "Sorry, what were you saying again?"
I've forgotten what it's like to spend time with my HUSBAND. Not just the father of my kids.
And man, do I enjoy this guy! I actually like him! I tend to get so caught up in the daily humdum of life that it's too easy to forget about the romance factor in our marriage.
Thank you Lord for blessing us with amazing friends who love us and our kids enough to take the initiative to force us to go on a date day! (Hmmm... actually they wanted a Godparents day to spend time with the kids but having a date day was a good by-product.) Still, our hearts are truly grateful and you bet we are going to plan more date days in the (hopefully) not-too-distant future!
|Lunch was amazing Japanese food cos it was also around the corner from our massage place|
|We had dinner in a fancy-shmancy Greek restaurant-cum-club|
Going for post-dinner drinks before reaching home at 9pm.
|Chocolate brownie with vanilla ice-cream which turned out surprisingly good!|
What the kids did:
They went to a park at the castle ground in Ludwigsburg
Evidence that Gabriel was well-fed
|After lunch, all 3 kids went down for their naps, during which our friends could have ice-cream in peace.|
And they chilled at one of their houses for hugs, kisses and cuddles!
Where we went to for amazing Japanese food: Hiro Sushi
Very affordable and great massage: Thai Jasmin
Fancy shmancy Greek restaurant-cum-club: Cavos