Parenting is hard. Parenting 24/7 will drive you off a cliff (or, at the very least, make you lose your patience after your child rejects the third version of dinner you just made for them). Doing things without the kids around — whether it’s something fun or just something you need to check off your to-do list — helps you be your best self (and a better parent, too). Here’s why a go-to sitter is a must-have for your life.

For some inner peace.
You need more downtime than you’re getting — and falling asleep watching Netflix after the kids go to bed doesn’t count. Little kids are energy cyclones who leave chaos in their wake, and parents have no choice but to keep up. After a while, this can elevate your stress levels and take a huge toll on your well-being. (And if you have three kiddos, you are feeling even more stressed.) Hiring a sitter so you can go to yoga class, browse your local bookstore or even just spend some chillout time on your laptop can do wonders for your mood.

To take care of yourself.
Sure, you’re on top of your kids’ doctor visits, trips to the dentist and vision checks. But remember, you need to be healthy, too — and it’s easy to put yourself last when you always have so much else going on. Get back into an exercise routine to maintain good health. Don’t put off your annual physical and health screenings because you don’t have a sitter. (And let’s not kid ourselves…dragging a kid to your doctor’s appointment usually ends with a broken exam table or a stethoscope in the trash can, right?)

To keep up with your friends.
When was the last time you had a drink with your pre-kid friends and talked for stretches about, well, anything but kids? (It’s common for parents to dump their child-free friends after they have kids…yeah, don’t do that.) Wouldn’t it be nice to get dinner with some of your newer mom or dad friends where you can laugh, vent, compare notes and say all the things you can’t when the little pitchers are within earshot? It’s easy to get lost in parenting and forget that you’re more than someone’s mom or dad; hanging out with other adults helps you preserve your sense of self.

To reconnect with your partner.
Here’s the simple truth: Date nights keep marriages going. Not only do they give you a chance to all the things you really want to do — trying that hot new restaurant, seeing a movie that doesn’t star animated characters — but they also serve as reminders why you and your partner like each other so much (and decided to have kids in the first place!). In fact, studies have shown that couples who have monthly date nights are less likely to split up. So the next time you’re hesitant about booking a sitter, remember — you’re doing it for science!

So your kids can have fun, too!
Having a go-to sitter who your kids love is almost like scheduling a playdate with a favorite buddy. A great sitter brings fresh energy into your home — they’re happy to do puzzles, play tag, get out the board games and keep your littles entertained for hours on end. Sittercity helps you build a team of-go to sitters who are trustworthy, reliable and truly enjoy working with kids — the kind of people kids love spending time with. Ready to find yours?

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