There’s one topic that comes up all the time, and it’s been coming up for years. It’s a topic that many of us have personally had to struggle with and overcome: Resuming that Date Night or special time with your significant other.
Once you have a child who has sensory issues or some sort of special need, often times babysitting or child care presents itself as a pretty strong challenge. As a parent, we’re concerned about someone who is able to meet our children’s needs while we’re out. A lot of our kids have meltdowns, or peculiar behaviors. They’re picky eaters. There is a myriad of issues going on with our clients. The parents are concerned because they’d like to go out for that “me time” or “us time,” but in the back of their minds they’re thinking about what’s going on at home, is their child having a meltdown, are they not eating, what sort of chaos is going on?
At the same time, it’s important that parents have time away from being a parent, because that grows the family and makes you fresh and ready to be there for your kids. Your kids’ schedules are demanding, and you need that down time.
We’ve come up with a few options you can think about. As with anything, planning ahead is the best thing you can do. So plan for your date night.
1. Stay close to home:
When you first start going out you might want to stay local, so that you are close by. That will give you some peace and comfort. There’s no point in going out if you’re just going to stress the whole time you’re out—that will defeat the purpose. Make your first date something close by. Then you can look at larger things.
So you’re staying local. Then the question becomes, “Who takes care of my child?”
Most families will say, “My relatives will do that.” If you’re from the local area and have family nearby, that can be a great option! On the other hand, we’ve had clients tell us that when their child stays with relatives, the relatives let them get away with things, or don’t draw boundaries the same way, so it’s actually harder on the parent when they get the child back home.
Whoever you choose to watch your child should be able to follow through with your plan. Sometimes the easier thing is not always the best thing for your child!
3. Community programs:
But let’s say you’ve moved here to Texas, and you don’t know a soul. We have some great resources in our community that are available for you. There’s are programs at some churches where they allow you to bring your child and their siblings. This is a great resource! Check out your local churches, and the church you go to, to see what resources they have.
Many times students who are going into the helping professions want to donate their time and learn to work with this population of kiddos. Sometimes your local community can hook you up with these students. You can also check your high schools and community colleges. Look for students who are studying child development, psychology, teaching, nursing, therapy—many of them would love one on one time working with individuals that have peculiar behaviors or sensory issues, or a child with autism. They really want to be able to learn about that disability and how it impacts their whole life.
5. Online resources:
And then there are resources on the internet that you can look at. There are websites like care.com, or Sitter City. You can Google those to find out about them. We do recommend that you be cautious with these resources. We recommend doing background checks, and we would definitely check references.
Like anything else, when you hire anybody, you have to make sure you check references.
Some people have had success using craigslist.org, so that’s another avenue you can try. But again, make sure you’re cautious! You want to make sure you dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s and check that individual out! Please ask us if you need help or have additional questions.