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Date Night: A Sad Idea?

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Georgie Hockett: When I was kid-free, I thought a married couple's date night was the saddest thing on the planet. Isn't every night (or at least every Friday and Saturday) date night? But then I had a baby and date night has become Christmas -- it's about once a year, there's lots of preparation and I always look forward to it.

two parents on a date

Don't get me wrong, I like going out as a family; I know how to do it now. My Rescue Pack/purse -- overflowing with applesauce cups, Goldfish, Cheerios, at least two books, a note pad and a small box of Crayons -- is firmly pressed to my side as we enter an establishment. Then my husband and I spring into action, like well-trained secret agents: I spy the high chair, he wipes it down. I hold my daughter, as he kills 99.9% of kid-caused bacteria, and gets her psyched up, "We're in a restaurant now with good food you'll love ... you can drink water from the cup; we'll even put a lemon in it!" I whisper in her ear.

But a 'Mommy and Daddy Date Night' is nice because: 1. I can carry a smaller purse, or even leave it at home altogether; 2. I don't have to entertain someone under the age of two, 3. Mama can drink a shiny glass of Shiraz.

It's always good to be reminded how you two became parents in the first place: you love each other so much, you made a person together.

And at the end of the date, driving back to the house, I always find myself excited to see her, hoping to catch her before Grandma and Papa put her to sleep so I can get that kiss goodnight.

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36 comments so far | Post a comment now
Abroad April 17, 2009, 7:17 PM

We never did date night when we were “younger”. But now with the youngest being five and the eldest almost twelve, we have started going out on “dates”. Love it…gives me something to look forward to, like dressing up and not carrying crayons and coloring in books in my bag…
The kids love it too, it is movie night with the sitter!!!

Bella April 17, 2009, 7:55 PM

Yeah, I’m sure a lot on childless people think date nights sound odd and sad even. BUT, the fact is, having kids adds a lot of new challenges to a relationship (as all parents know).

Setting aside time for your relationship is essential and date nights are one way to do just that.

K&C's mom April 17, 2009, 11:23 PM

My husband and I have a date night once a month, even if it’s watching a movie or playing a game after the kids are in bed. We think it’s important to have at least one night where we concentrate on us.

Tara C. April 18, 2009, 1:27 AM

I just had my first baby 3 weeks ago. Weve been staying with my grandparents because of Dr appointments are closer to this side of town. My hubby and I went grocery shopping tonight just for the sake of 45 minutes alone together (only our second set since our son was born [hes worth it though :)] ). It made us happy. And for some reason reading this article made me feel better too. Even if its once a year once we go back to our place, itll be worth it :)

Michele PFM April 18, 2009, 5:58 PM

What’s sad about scheduling a date night? When you bring a child in the world, you are making a commitment to raise that child…a child isn’t a thing that you can tell to wait for you while you spontaneously go out with your husband. I guess it’s sad that part of being a parent is you lose that ability to just go and have fun and be romantic on a whim…but look at all the wonderful things that you get in return! Perhaps, BC (“before children”) it’s difficult to know all those wonderful things that come with parenting because it’s nothing that has been experienced before. What is really sad is spouses who don’t take any time for each other at all because they are so overwhelmed with kids and work and household responsibilities and…. It’s so easy to get into that place…even my husband and I fell into that, justifying that if we wanted to “date” we should not have had kids. That was also the most challenging time of our marriage. Now, all we may have time to do is have dinner together in the kitchen after the kids are in bed, and we may both be exhausted, but even being tired and eating and looking at each other and giving each other that “I know how you feel, but I still love you” look makes me feel so much more connected and secure and happy. We have dinner at home just the two of us once a week, and we usually go out on a date once a month. ~Michele

Thanita October 17, 2009, 7:35 PM

We live for date nights here! We have 3 special needs kids and we have a sitter who’s great but sometimes she can’t make it. So we have at-home date nights. I feed the kids early and shower and movie for them upstairs. Then we have a candle lit dinner for two together with piano music, wine, take out from our most favorite sushi place or my hubby will make something special for us (since I cook everyday/night he does this for me). Love me some date nights!!! -Thanita

Anna October 17, 2009, 9:05 PM

We both work, so sometimes a “date lunch” is a good way to fill in the gaps between evening dates. It’s easier to be a little spontaneous (call each other that day if we have time), and no sitter required.

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