We took a babysitter with us to a 5-year-old's b-day party a couple weekends ago. The issue was that we had two parties that night... the 5-year-old's at 5:30 and then the second at 7, an adults only party on a boat so we couldn't be late (lest me miss the debarquement). Which meant we didn't have time to take the kids home in order to leave them with a sitter, so we had the sitter come to the first party and then she took them home from there while we went on to the 2nd party. Following?
Anyhoo, afterwards I swore that I'm never going anywhere without a sitter again. Oh my it was fabulous. I got to talk to people. And eat food. Seriously. There were crafts at the party and Frances requested that the sitter come do them with her instead of us, and later when Clark was crazy crazy crazy I was able to just ask the sitter to fetch him or make sure he wasn't flinging himself from the porch railing while I continued my conversation with a friend.
Then last weekend we went to a big picnic and I forgot about my previous assertion and I spent the entire time either entertaining one child or chasing the other. Every conversation I had was no more than 3 sentences long. I only ate half my piece of cake. I told Mitch we should have brought a sitter and he just shook his head at me.
The issue is -- what kind of people does it make us if we bring a sitter to a social gathering? Honestly, I think I would look a little sideways my friends if they did it. I would think of it as excessive, as luxurious, and maybe ridiculous. On the other hand, maybe I don't care. Maybe it's worth $20 to be able to enjoy myself socially.
It won't be like this forever. One day, probably sooner than I realize, the kids will be old enough to entertain themselves running around the field with the other kids while I chat with a friend about the chickens she's keeping in her urban backyard.
Does the fact that it won't be like this forever mean I should bring a sitter with me or that I shouldn't? Hm.