Date Night

There are so many different ways to parent. And it's so high stakes and personal that it's easy to have "right" and "wrong" take the place of different choices. Breastfeeding vs. formula, nanny vs. daycare, working mom vs. stay at home, oh the list does go on and it's surprisingly easy to feel judged by the choices you make. Also on this list is when parents feel comfortable leaving their baby with others. The range of experiences is as populated as the number of families out there.

For us, H started daycare at the tender age of 3 months. It was tremendously hard until (months later) I came to believe from experience that she was just fine in that environment. She's still at the same place (now on the "big kid side") and we've had nothing but positive experiences with it. On the other end of the spectrum, we've yet to employ a babysitter save my parents (who live close and are flexible and wonderful). And even with my parents nearby -- full disclosure here -- we've gone out alone together far fewer than 10 times in the two-and-a-half years we've been parents. That's not a lot. And, in several of those instances we scurried home quickly, set adrift by the separation. To me, it makes sense -- our work schedules keep us apart for so much of the week, we like to hang out together when we can. But grown-up alone time also makes sense, especially with the hope of maintaining a relationship that isn't purely based on being parents together (though goodness knows, she's still our main topic of conversation).

Last night we had a date night -- and it was fun. At first it seemed too complicated and crazy (I went from Manhattan to Brooklyn to pick her up and drop her at home with my parents, then back to Manhattan to meet up with David), but in the end we enjoyed dinner and a show and it felt, well, civilized. Maybe there's something to this whole date night thing. We're toying with the idea of making it monthly. That just seems decadent, but why not? Maybe it would be good for us and fun, too. I guess learning to be a good parent is just the same as learning to be a good and fulfilled person. It's a work in progress forever.

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Comments

My husband and I have been trying it fror the past few years with varied success. At first we tried it every wednesday night, but it became too.....cumbersome I guess. So we tried as you did, to space it out a bit more, and with 5 kids, we too agree that it a great time to reconnect.

Also try date days, maybe on a Saturday or Sunday. And taking off half-days from work, or calling in sick, have always been a nice treat as well.

All the best to you on your Date Nights!

Lisa at Lots to Learn
www.LotsToLearn.com

Aww, this is so sweet.. My husband and I always have this Sunday dates.. We go to church every sunday and eat out right after.. the kids? they are with the granparents.. :) We pick em up after.. at least we get to visit grandparents every week... :)

-Kim

My wife and I will do simple things like grab some quiet time after the kids go to sleep in the bedroom with some coffee or play cards on the floor of our living room.

for some cool activities to consider doing as a family check out www.familycapers.com

We have triplets who are now about to be 9. I think that if we had not had our date nights, we might not have survived the younger years! A good friend told me when my big son (now 19) was a baby that we must "fill the well" or we will have nothing to give back to our children. I believe this piece of advice saved my sanity, back then when I was a single parent, and more recently with the triplets. I must take care of my needs or I won't have enough to give them! One of my needs is to spend time with my husband and celebrate our love. We had babysitters from the time the trips were 3 months old and went out at least once a month. No decadence, just replenishment for the soul!!

MY wife and I spend the quiet hours after the kids go to bed, playing cards or snuggling up with a movie. We try and get out at least once a month for a date. Picking some place we haven't been to before or haven't been for a long time. The kids stay with grandma, so we have breakfast the next morning before picking them up.

My husband and I have date night every Friday night. We stay at home (as I'm breastfeeding bub no. 3). I cook a really nice dinner, we have flowers on the table, candles and a bottle of wine, and chat. It's great to reconnect away from the craziness of the kids and if we have something else on, we just reschedule for another night.

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