December 5

Date Night Anyone?

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We have too much going on to go out on a date!

I know how busy you are, I really do.  That is exactly why Date Night is REALLY important (I'd like to use the word "imperative" but I don't want to be dramatic).  This whole "family" thing started with just two people.  You and your spouse.  You guys talked, you listened, you asked about each others days and shared what was going on with work, friends and family.

Now that you're in the thick of things, it's really easy to go days without talking about hardly anything but the kids.  Homework, sports, what you're having for dinner, what happened with the kids at school that day, etc.  By the time you've covered all those bases, it's time to get the kids ready for bed and after that you're too wiped out to care about discussing anything.  Unless you had a pipe burst under the sink or something.  😮

It's important for your marriage

My girls are grown now, but from the time they were very young until the time they were old enough to stay by themselves, our babysitter would be at the door every Saturday night at 6:00 so we could have Date Night.  One sacred night a week where we could have fun as a couple and remember how we started out.  Because it's so easy to forget your beginnings when you're busy raising well mannered, responsible kids, which feels like you're going against the grain all the time.

Date night is your one easy night of the week.  It gives you something to look forward to (no dishes!) and it's a light at the end of the tunnel on some weeks.

My husband and I have been married 25 years, last month.  There were a lot of very rough years (you can't stay married this long without rough years) and I don't think we would have made it without Date Nights.  It reminded us on a weekly basis how we started, why we started and gave us the opportunity to see that all that was still alive and well between us.

Date night!

We still go on date night - even though our girls are grown now!

It's also a lesson for your kids

Our girls and all their friends say we're "couple goals". 😂 When the girls were in high school, we'd come home from date night and they'd have friends over who couldn't believe that we still "dated" and they thought it was cute.  LOL.  Up until my oldest jettisoned her iPhone in lieu of a flip phone (yes, I am very proud) she posted us on her Instagram story and talked about how cute we were.  Talk about "parenting goals"!

Our girls watched us go through some pretty hard times and don't have any illusions about the difficulties of marriage.  I love that they are so aware of how close my husband and I are now (what doesn't kill you really does make you stronger) and are very purposefully seeking partners who can hang with them even when things get really hard.

So date night isn't just for you, it's for them too.  Your kids need to see you as a couple, not just as parents.  Don't be thinking you can't take time out for yourselves.  It might be one of the most important things you do long term.

Tips

  • Hire a babysitter that behaves the way you want your kids to behave when they are that age.
  • Find a babysitter that will commit to just showing up every week or two weeks without being called. One of the hardest parts about our Date Night was arguing over whose turn it was to get the babysitter (choosing what movie to go to is second).
  • Get a babysitter who is fun!  Our girls looked forward to date night as much as we did.  Our babysitters didn't sit them in front of the T.V.  They played games with them, colored with them and read to them.
Crayon colored picture

Picture that our babysitter Jackie colored for our girls in 2003

Danielle and Jackie's Children

The two little angels on the right are Jackie's little girls.  The handsome young man on the left belongs to Danielle, Jackie's sister who took over as our babysitter when Jackie went to college.  🙂

I found this about a year ago in the girls keepsakes.  Our babysitters (there were only a few of them) left lasting impressions.  Now I get to photograph their beautiful families and if everyone lived locally, my girls could now babysit their kids and give them the same love and attention they gave ours).

So pick a night and start thinking of all the fun things you can do.  Movies, an outdoor concert (weather permitting), wine tasting, a walk in the park, bumper cars, paintball… whatever you used to do when it was just the two of you.

Enjoy yourselves and celebrate your marriage!  Remember how exciting that first kiss was, talk about how you met, remember how thrilled you were when you got engaged.  Keep that stuff alive! 

And in case you haven't heard it today, you're doing an amazing job!


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