Usually when you have children, your life, your priorities, your budget.... they all change dramatically. The younger your child is, the more expensive it all becomes: diapers, childcare, formula... and let's not forget the "price" of sleep and sanity! With all of those added costs (tangible and intangible), how can any parents justify the additional expense and hassle of date night?
For that matter, what really IS date night? Date night, like so many other things, is not as simple as it sounds... it's not just dinner, it's not just added expense or the annoyance of finding, scheduling, and training a sitter... it's an investment, a deposit, into your family's future and into the success of your partner's and your relationship. Without constant "donations" to your relationship, it will eventually lose funding and cease to be able to operate successfully.
Date night does NOT have to cost you a fortune! For the added cost of a babysitter, I'll sacrifice the number of stars a restaurant boasts from 4 to completely unrated... if need be (does McDonald's even have a rating?) If you're like me, sometimes I just want to get away... and I don't care where we go!
Cyndi's Budget-Friendly Date Night Tips
Now, I'm not implying on any level that the occasional date night will bring you back to the "hey babe" - "what's up babe?" stage (which frankly, we never went through and drives me nuts), or the-sitting-on-the-same-side-of-the-booth-like-moon-eyed-idiots phase, but coming together to remember why you chose to be together in the first place can only serve to aid in the success of your long-term relationship goals.
The ism that "absence makes the heart grow fonder" is no truer than in the case of leaving your kids for a few hours to do something you enjoy, something relaxing, only to come back to them to see them with a refreshed perspective and a clear mind.
And, as I always tell my husband, "Date night is cheaper than therapy!" ... although, I never said I was a "cheap date"... *wink*
Before I had children of my own, I always averted my gaze when my fundraiser radar went off... (usually at the entrance to my most frequented retail shops) but, you know, the reality is... fundraising isn't about the product that the child is selling, it's about the cause and the learning experience.
My oldest son Leighton (6) just joined the Boy Scouts, and as soon as I heard the words "popcorn fundraiser", I thought, "Here we go... now I'm THAT person. Do I really want to get into this?" as I groaned to myself as I stared at my computer... (yes, I talk to myself, but I think that's a sign of genius!) Did I duck-and-cover when I saw people with clipboards wandering the streets in my neighborhood? Yes, but unfortunately my kids always gave our position as they swarmed to the door screaming, "Someone's Here!", while I crouched uncomfortably under my desk.
Learning about fundraising from the side of the fundraiser, however, I have come to understand that the funds are raised in order to support operating costs as well as fun activities and (I know this sounds cliche like saying you wish for "world peace") a good cause. In the case of the Boy Scouts Troop 105 in Hermantown, MN where we now reside, they only do one large fundraiser (gourmet popcorn), and it funds the troop for the whole year.
What I find great about fundraising is that it's a great way to teach kids about setting and achieving goals, it's good parent-child bonding time, and any time spent fundraising is usually time spent away from an iPad or the television... and that's always something to be supported!
Well, I think those are pretty great reasons to donate... and that's really what fundraising is... it's donating. It's not about the product that you really don't need; I mean who "needs" more popcorn, chocolate, wrapping paper, water softener salt (yes, a child once tried to sell me some)? Fundraising is about supporting our youth, plain and simple.
People's responses to our children during a fund raiser also teach our youth something about humanity, no matter what your choice is when approaching (or avoiding) the banner-covered table. A short, snide remark sends a very different message than a smiling face who is willing to hear what you have to say.
So the next time you see a kid with a fundraising sheet, or a kid at your local grocery store or Sam's Club... don't do a 180, don't assume "well, someone else will donate so I don't have to" (if everyone thinks that, no one will donate), don't duck and cover behind the nearest vehicle, and don't run zig zagging back to you car (they can still see you if you zig and zag)... find out what they're trying to achieve, and support them however you are able!
And for laughs - click here to watch my son's fundraising video... it will make your day!
Happy Fundraising Season All!
Watch his 2 features on the local news WDIO out of Duluth, MN (below)! Thanks News Team for your support!
Cyndi M. Frick
This lifestyle blog is my outlet to share and advise about the things I love. I always have an opinion!