#EmiTogether: Lynn Perkins, CEO of Urbansitter on carving out quality time with her partner

Our interviewee today: As our first guest interviewee, we’re very excited to have Lynn Perkins, co-founder and CEO of Urbansitter, an app and website that’s making it easier than ever for parents to find, book and pay trusted childcare, from date nights to full-time care. UrbanSitter launched in 2011 with a single mission: to make finding a trusted sitter as easy as booking dinner reservations. UrbanSitter is now in over 50 cities. An Internet startup veteran, Lynn served as founder and CEO of Xuny.com and VP of Business Development at Bridgepath.com before founding UrbanSitter. Lynn is a graduate of Stanford University.

Lynn and her team have offered the Emi community 50% off on your first UrbanSitter Monthly or Annual Membership (new customers only).

Redeem at: https://www.urbansitter.com/promo/50foryou

What are some myths about relationships that you grew up with, if any?

I’m not sure if I would call it a myth, but as a child I sort of just assumed relationships stayed constant. I didn’t realize how many iterations relationships go through or how outside factors can really impact your relationship. I know now that relationships are constantly evolving, as are the people within the relationship.

What has been a big challenge in your relationship, and what have you done to work on it?

I think our biggest challenge is around making quality time for the two of us to connect without the distractions of children, family logistics and work. My least favorite couples conversations are those around weekly logistics such as, “I have a work dinner on Tuesday night. Can you be home to relieve the nanny that evening?” We make an effort to hammer out a week or two weeks’ worth of logistics in one sitting, so there is less of that discussed sporadically throughout each day. We used to have a standing date night, which included a regularly scheduled sitter. This was great because neither of us would make other plans that evening and it was a time we could count on catching up. That has slipped since we switched care providers and it’s one of my goals this year to bring that back.

What’s your favorite date activity?

I’m a big fan of the daytime date. I have more energy than I do during nighttime dates and it feels like a real indulgence to spend time together during the day. We will usually explore a new neighborhood or an area outside of the city. Often, we’ll start with a hike or a walk and follow it up with brunch or lunch at a place we haven’t tried before. These activities take us outside of our usual routine and give us a good opportunity to talk and catch up.

What are 3 things you want your children to say about the relationship you have with your partner?

The three things I would like my kids to say are all things we still need to work on. The first would be something along the lines of, “My parents always prioritized their relationship and are always working on it together.” It’s so easy to focus on children, work and everything else going on and then you realize your relationship has been on the back burner. I’d also like my children to say that our relationship felt equitable, in that we both put time into the family, household chores, our careers and everything else. At any given point in time I don’t think we are equitable on all of these simultaneously, but I feel like it balances out fairly well. Finally, I’d like my children to say that their parents highly respect each other. I want my children to respect their partners in the future, while also receiving the respect they deserve and I hope we can model that at home.

What are you excited about most for the next several years with your significant other?

Now that our children are getting more mature and self sufficient it means small changes to the way we spend our time. For instance, we can now leave the kids home for an hour on a Saturday morning to take a walk together. This sounds like a small thing, but it’s one of the things I’m most excited about. For years we’ve either had to tag-team where one of us would exercise and then the other one would, or we’ve had to get a babysitter. I’m excited to be able to have more short, casual periods of time to catch up. I am also looking forward to planning some fun vacations together, both with and without our children.