A date night doesn’t have to be all that complicated. Sometimes it can just be a simple trip to Lowe’s.
I remember when our oldest was born thinking that there wasn’t going to be much in our lives that would change. We would still be able to go out with our friends on a Friday night. We had our first at a relatively young age, for me I was 25.
Fresh out of college and newly married. The late nights I spent studying (I’ll keep telling myself… and my parents that) were still fresh in my mind. Those nights were all the preparation that I needed for the sleep deprivation that would soon come.
I thought it would be easy to find a sitter so that we could go out to dinner kid free. I was fooled into thinking that we would even want to go out to dinner on a night that we didn’t have the kid around.
It is never that easy.
When you have a child, it is easy to wrap yourself up into raising him or her. All of your time and energy is making sure that they are fed, clothed, diapers are clean, wondering whether or not that cough in the middle of the night is something bigger than it is. With all of that worry in your mind, it is easy for you to forget about your partner. It is easy to forget about how you ended up being a parent in the first place… and no I’m not talking about the sex.
When you met your partner, it all started with a date. When you were childless it seemed that you could go out to dinner, a movie, to a bar, Fro-Yo, or in the case of my wife and I, Starbucks every night.
We didn’t have to worry about getting the kids to bed. If we were tired the next day, we could only blame ourselves. There was no one else waking up in the middle of the night. But now, it seems like we are in a constant daze as we drive to work the following morning after being woken up not once, not twice, but sometimes three times in the middle of the night.
The constant awakening can really put a strain on your relationship with your partner. While you are working to remember the last time that your infant was fed or the last day that your 6-year-old had a shower, it is easy to forget that you and your partner are in this whole parenting thing together.
Date nights are important.
Being in it together means that you can not forget each other. You can not forget the importance of going out… just the two of you. Planning a date night might seem like hard work, especially if you do not have family around to be able to watch the kids. You have to find a sitter that you can trust with your children, then add on the expense of the sitter, on top of your night out with your spouse.
Those date nights though are important though for you as a parent. Being able to escape the kids can do wonders for you and your relationship with your partner.
Take this last weekend for example. My wife and I we went to a new place for dinner, then afterward were going to catch a movie but decided that a 9:30 pm show was too late for our tastes and ended up going for Frozen Yogurt. Then if you want to know the real adulting thing that we ended up doing late on a Saturday night, we went to Lowe’s. Yes, we were that couple who were all dressed up, in Lowe’s on a Friday night looking at new drapes for the front windows and building materials for a deck we about to build. It was the one time we could do it uninterrupted by the yammering of an infant or the constant whining to play on one of our cell phones by a 6-year-old.
But if you want to know the honest to God truth about that night. It was one of the best times I had with my wife. Sure, my steak kind of stunk, dinner was more expensive than normal, but being able to spend those couple of childless hours with my wife, gave me the opportunity to reconnect with her and get away from the same-old Saturday night that has now become the standard after becoming a parent.
I do not like to give a whole lot of advice on parenting because it is my belief that there is not one kid who is like the other and what works for my child, might not work for yours. But this is the one piece of advice that I can give parents, both new and old.
Go on a date night with your partner.