Date nights – these short moments when parents get a chance to spend quality time, without screaming kids or fighting over what show to watch on Netflix. An opportunity to hang out with your loved one, even if just 2-3 hours. Any minute count.
Honestly, these evenings do not have to involve Broadway shows, concerts, or other shows. It certainly helps to spice up the evening a bit, but we just appreciate the chance to sit quietly in a restaurant for an hour, smiling at each other and enjoying a few awkward moments of silence.
When we still needed a babysitter, we planned our date nights based on her schedule. We were at her mercy and took full; advantage when she had time. She is one of the best babysitters we ever had, and the kids love her.
The first time we met her, to interview her for babysitter evenings, she went straight to the kids and started to play with them. She had hardly time to talk to us. Even better, she was studying to become a nurse, and working with kids. Wow, perfect fit!
One time she came to babysit, she arrived very early for some reason, around 4.30PM.
Listen, we did not hesitate and did not turn her away. Instead we ran upstairs, got dressed into some nicer clothes, flew out the door, and headed off. We had no clear plan, so we drove to a local Indian restaurant.
I’m fairly sure we were the first guests at the restaurant. It was just past 5.00PM, and the waiters were still preparing the tables and I was not sure if the kitchen staff had even arrived. Nevertheless, we ordered 🙂
I leaned back, looked at my wife, and smiled … we were finally alone, and we just sat there quietly for a few minutes. It was almost like a first date again, where we both were searching for interesting topics to talk about – that did not involve kids!
An hour later we packed up the doggy bags and went to the car. Again, very early in the evening, so not sure what to do next.
Fear not – parents always have backup plans or at least some sort of idea. You learn quickly when you have kids to plan ahead or to make new plans.
I drove us to a nearby winery, where we ended up spending over 2 hours just sipping wine, eating tapas, cheese, and dips, while listening to some local live band.
We wrapped up the “evening” with a nice coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts, supporting the local business. Not too romantic sitting in the DD lounge, but it was still a date night, and we had some nice hours together, just like when we were younger and just started to go out.
So, why bore you with our love life and date nights? Well, the moral of the story goes as follows.
Take time out with your wife or husband. Even if it is just a few hours on a school night. It is important that you take some time away from the hectic family routines, and talk to each other again.
We get consumed with work, school and parenting duties, and not enough talking about more adult stuff. That is important for both of you. Otherwise your relationship will go stale and that might bring along unnecessary arguments.
Some couples also send their partner away on a guys or gals weekend. These breaks can be extremely healthy for any relationship and offers the person some opportunity to do their own stuff. We all need a little break from the daily routines.
I prefer dates with my wife, but also admit that I enjoy a nice few hours with my mates, drinking a few beers, playing some golf, or scouting campouts with other dads. It gives me a chance to be goofy and laugh about guy stuff.
In the end, you and your spouse need to tell each other you love each other. Don’t be shy holding hands or kissing in public. It feels awesome.
A healthy relationship signals a strong commitment to your kids, and they will learn that we need to respect and support each other throughout. It is important that they see that this is normal, and that hanging out as a family is very cool.
We do not want our kids to navigate the world alone, through the social media lense. Those images are not healthy for our kids and may give them wrong ideas about right or wrong.
It’s a family thing!
The family is super important and provides a stable environment for all. It is the foundation of your relationship, and a solid corner stone for your kids. A place where we always come together and support each other.