Who Needs a Sitter?

I was at ‘church’- seeing a band at the historic, grungy club, Metro, a few weeks ago. One of the people I was with, a fellow music worshipper and parent was pondering how to manage a babysitter on a school night for yet another concert in December. The he asked, “Hhmm, I wonder if our parents ever used to wonder if they can get a sitter so they can see a band play?”

We all giggled and then I started to wonder, well, what did our parents’ generation need sitters for?

My sister & I would have a sitter when my Mom was dating a guy. His daughters would sit us, and when they got engaged, it was bizzarre, because now the sitters were going to be our sisters.  

The family I used to sit for would go sailing one day each weekend and I would sit for them all day and night. I was loaded! Sometimes, they would go to parties and be all dressed up fancy. I remember wondering if I would ever get all dressed up to go somewhere fancy. With the exception of a wedding, I’m still wondering that…

We do amuse our sitters when for the Halloween parties, frequently leaving them stunned as we open the door for them. Otherwise, we go to concerts or dinner; sometimes being social, and sometimes actually being alone together.

I asked my beloved Facebook Family where the parents would go when they would sit, and where they go today. I love that these rememberances span several decades (even mine goes back to the ’80s-gasp!)

Keri: Dinner with friends or bowling, typically. It seems to me it was like an every Saturday night kind of thing, but that just doesn’t seem possible.

Emily: my neighbors played in the Elgin Symphony. I watched their 3 kids once a week so they could attend rehearsal together! We’ve never, ever had night out together since we had kids….it’s going to happen soon. We’ll have dinner and a movie, see a play, go to a concert or to the opera… I don’t care which- something! 🙂

Lenee: Dinner (both when parents went out & when I sat), Illini football games, parties at friends

Robin: the parents I babysat for were actors in local community theater so they went to rehersal. We go out for “date nights” -dinner, drinks, movie, comedy club and sadly occasionally to a meeting at school

Jill:  They went out to dinner a lot, usually by themselves for a night out from the kids. (I never got to go out in NYC since we couldn’t afford it:) Now it’s out for dinner with high school and college friends!

Joan: Jack and I had some great sitters. We mostly went to a gathering at someone’s home, a business dinner or function or a special treat of a Broadway show. We never went to music concerts which are so popular with a large age-range of people. For dinners out we usually went somewhere the kids would enjoy too, but they were more rare treats.

Marni: My parent’s only used a sitter for when they went to dances on a Saturday night and it usually was a late night out for them. I don’t remember them getting a sitter for anything else. Now, it is to squeeze some time in for either some Christmas shopping or maybe a movie w/o the kids. Sometimes, if we’re real lucky, we can get a sitter to go to a concert but that’s a hard one to determine the time that we’ll be home.

Eileen: My parents usually went out to dinner if they got a sitter for us, which was not very often. When my older brothers were in high school-they were not out very much at all. Probably wanted to keep them out of trouble! We have awesome parents who have enabled us to get away for mini vacations without the kids. Concerts, Euchre games, and dinners out are things we like to do when we have sitters. We rarely use sitters and have the good fortune of having parents who like to babysit.

So parents with younger kids, I’ve said it before, go get a sitter and be a couple again, if only for a night. Having small kids, you sometimes forget that person you used to hang out with and fell in love with. You’re consumed with poopy and fevers, and sleepless nights. Give yourself the gift of time together and help the economy by filling the pockets of high school kids!


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  • Emily, please leave your kids by us!!!! You need a night out with your man!!!!!!!!!

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