A huge thank you to everyone who chimed in with your answers to my questions. Your answers were highly encouraging to me in that I am so not alone.
1. We have committed to a monthly date night for 2012. Previously we maybe went out maybe 6 times per year, and almost always when we had somewhere to be, not just because. Thank goodness for baseball games, musicals and weddings or our number would be significantly more pathetic than it already is. Babysitting is always a challenge, so this month we’re trying out a babysitting swap with some good friends.
2. We eat out maybe once a month. Part of the reason for that is because we just don’t budget very much for dining out, and part of it is simply because eating out has lost it’s luster. Eating in a restaurant should be fun and easy, and it’s just not. Not right now anyway. This ties in nicely with number three for me…
3. We love to travel. Last year we took our first major family vacation and went to Hawaii. Prior to that we had taken Bub to Palm Desert for the weekend a few times, where we had access to a friend’s house. We’re starting to think about a vacation this summer, and whether or not we want to go as a family, or just with us. Like I said, I love to travel, but I just don’t think my kids are at a age where travel is fun. Our families are local, so there’s no need to travel somewhere. Travel requires a lot of eating out, and we already know how I feel about that. In Hawaii we had a full kitchen, so we ate breakfast and lunch in our room nearly every day.
I think we’re torn between feeling like we should be taking family vacations, and what we would really enjoy at this point. I think we’re both leaning strongly toward going away sans-kids, and maybe taking a smaller vacation with them. We have taken two big kid-free trips (Alaska and New York) and they were amazing. I would repeat each trip moment for moment if it were possible, they were that good.
4. I love that several of you commented that the math on this question was too hard. I get it! Here’s the thing: Bub wants to be entertained. All day long. He wants me to be actively engaged with him at all times. He has an hour of quiet time while the baby naps, and he will entertain himself, and he can be kept occupied with all manner of electronics, but we try to use that sparingly. I’m just trying to find the right balance. This is why preschool is so important for him, because he’s such a social kid. We plan play dates, and go to playgroup activities, and we do a lot of things, but we’re at home a lot of hours during the day. One solution would be to sign him up for an activity, but that wouldn’t really solve the problem, just distract us from it. I just don’t know what a reasonable breakdown of our time should look like. I don’t think there’s ONE answer, but there has to be a happy medium.