Small Changes

When I was young, I liked few things better than going out on a Saturday night with my husband.  It didn’t matter if it was a quiet dinner for just the two of us or we were joining our friends at a party. As long as I was out and about on a Saturday night, I was a happy camper.  The only exceptions were if we invited friends or family over to our house, or if something we couldn’t control (like the flu or icy roads) prevented us from leaving home.  As far as I was concerned, Saturday nights were for celebrating and being with the people I loved best.

Then we had a couple of children and learned that the joys of going out on a Saturday night weren’t always worth the hassle.  We didn’t have much family nearby and reliable babysitters were both expensive and hard to find.  Going out on Saturday night became a rare treat, usually enjoyed only once a month or so.  Not that we minded…we found other ways to enjoy Saturday nights that included the children.  But I’d be lying if I said we didn’t look forward to the nights we managed to slip away for a quiet dinner at a nice restaurant or to catch a good movie.

All too soon, our children grew up and we were once again able to “go out” on a Saturday night without any advance planning involved.  And we did, probably more often that our budget actually allowed.  I guess all those years of having to plan a night out made us feel that we were doing something special when we headed out on a Saturday night, even if we had reached the age when our “big night out” almost always ended before ten.

These days, however, we have a whole new idea of a fun way to spend Saturday night.  These days our ideal Saturday night would be spent in the company of a very little person who just happens to be our grandson.  When we tell our daughter and son-in-law that we would be happy to babysit so they can enjoy a date night, we are only telling a partial truth.  We are happy to babysit for the little guy, period.  That fact that his parents are getting in some couple time is just icing on the cake.


Last Saturday night, we put on our jeans and sweatshirts and headed over to our daughter’s house.  While she and her husband attended a fund-raising event with his family, we took turns changing diapers, feeding bottles, and walking the floor with a baby snuggled on our shoulders.  Whoever didn’t have the baby took their turn petting the family dog, who seems unfazed by the tiny addition to her family.

I suppose my idea of the ideal Saturday night out hasn’t really changed all that much.  Our evening may not have been romantic or particularly exciting, but that didn’t matter at all.  I still spent Saturday night with the people I love the most, and that is celebration enough for me.


93 thoughts on “Small Changes

    • Thank you, Kate! It is not generous, as we truly enjoy being with our grandson. But I was serious when I told my daughter that it is important for them to have their “couple time.” They need to stay connected as a married couple, and not just as mom and dad. And I am more than happy to watch the baby so that they can have time together, just the two of them! As you say, it really is crucial in a marriage!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s funny how some things change and yet, remain the same. I don’t know if any of us who have grandchildren ever really thought about these moments when we were young, except to mention it in a joking way. And then he/she arrives and we can’t imagine life any other way.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, I remember those years! We didn’t have parents in town, just a sister for a couple of years, and no other family. So going out was harder, and that made it more special. And I think that is why I am so happy to be able to watch the baby so my daughter and her husband can have some time together, and so grateful that his family lives in town as well. They will have so much more support than we ever had, and that’s a good thing. Because, as we both know, these years go by all too quickly!


  2. This is lovely. I don’t know because none of my children have children yet but I have heard from many that being a grandparent is way more fun than being a parent. It makes sense… After you baby sit for a few lovely hours with the little one, you leave and can go home to a full night sleep and no responsibilities. I think that for me, the whole responsibility of taking care of children was exhausting and I think as a grandparent babysitting I would still find the responsibility issue somewhat intense. Re Saturday nights, we are more than happy to eat an early dinner and be watching Netflix or one of our favorite programs with no plans whatsoever!

    Such a sweet post.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Peta! I was also one who found the responsibility of small children rather exhausting and a bit stressful, as much as I loved them and enjoyed them. What has surprised me is how much more confident I am as a grandparent…I don’t worry nearly as much, probably because I realize that most of the stuff I worried about didn’t matter! So you may surprise yourself when you get might not be as exhausted by the responsibility as you think!


    • Yes you are at the time in your life when date nights become rare. But later, when you are an empty nester, those nights will come! What has surprised me is how happy I am to now trade those date nights in for babysitting nights. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Anyone who raised a family can appreciate what you said about the importance of ‘couple time’. With our parents in far away Germany we had to get a babysitter for the rare romantic get-away. Thank you, Ann, for sharing your thoughts on this important aspect of marriage!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome, Peter! We had no real family in town for years, so those romantic get-aways were rare and yet so very valued. I’m more than happy to help my daughter and so-in-law have couple time, because I do believe that is important to a marriage. And also because that means I get to spend time with my precious grandson!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! We were the same way, and I know exactly what you mean about the cost of babysitting. Money was very tight when our children were young, so adding the cost of a babysitter to the cost of night out wasn’t something to be taken lightly. Between the difficulty in finding a reliable sitter and finding money in the budget for a night out, there were many years when date nights were a rarity in our house too!


  4. Oh my yes before we had kid s we did the same thing Saturday nights out with friends then our kids came along and the going out on Saturdays where rare now their grown up and they go out we do a bit more now but actually like takeout and a movie at home cozy in our beds hahahaha yes things have changed

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  5. It’s not always necessary to have any super plans for Saturday night.. We can also have fun and enjoy the company of our family too.. That’s more fun to me than a night out.
    We are so busy in our lives that we don’t even share a normal “Hello!” with each other not even with our family.. So why not we make it a family time, talk about funny stuffs, talk about whats going on in our life and at least share a “Hello”… At least to our Parents.. We owe them that much! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a good point! Saturday night as a family night is a great idea…or as a friend night for those who don’t have family living nearby. We used to do that on Sunday nights when I was a kid. We would make pizzas and eat them together. I always looked forward to that!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sounds fun. Well, pizza always makes your day better right? 😄.. and that’s a good idea for those who don’t have their family nearby! We too have a family time on Sundays.. But I don’t usually have for Saturdays..

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I have recently posted something similar myself, I love my pjs, a good book or a film and chilling with my family
    I live on the coast and when I drive by these scantily clad young ladies braving the North Sea breeze I’m not even the slightest bit jelous ! Give me central heating and pjs anyday 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

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