One of the many ironies of having kids is the constant quest of finding kid-free time. As parents, we need to maintain and nourish some semblance of our independent selves. As partners, we need to maintain and nourish our relationship of that beyond our children. And it’s remarkable how both of these things can be easily forgotten and dismissed for the greater good of raising children.
Leaving a baby for a couple of hours shouldn’t be such an extraordinary event. It’s dinner or a movie. Or if we’re bold, both. But when you’re a first time parent and all you’ve done is watched, monitored, fed, comforted, cleaned, nourished, scheduled, trained, and entertained this little sweet baby for the last handful of weeks on a 24/7 continuum, it’s no wonder that even two hours away would be an intimidatingly epic journey.
And once the initial shock of successfully escaping the house wears off, don’t be surprised if you suddenly find yourself blushing as you stare into your partners eyes from across a romantically candle lit, white-linen topped table with large glasses of wine. That’s right…blushing! Not in any coy way, but more of a reintroduction-to-your-soul-mate way. Because let’s face it: there hasn’t been time to have any quality connection since baby arrived, so this response is almost that of first date material. The blushing is equally foreign and liberating.
Date nights allow you to reconnect and be present with your significant other. Date nights allow you to be the adults you once were pre-children. Life-altered, more exhausted versions, of course, but adults who can focus, concentrate, and converse with each other without any distractions other than a waiter checking in on you.
Date nights give opportunity to you and your partner to communicate and rekindle romance. Date nights are a prime opportunity to revisit favorite things to do or to try new adventures, meanwhile strengthening your sense of selves as a couple, thus as parents. This display of love and respect provides the foundation of being decent role models to your family as a whole. Which means date nights ultimately benefit the kids, too. Or at least that’s what we can tell ourselves while we attempt to escape their crying clutches unscathed.
Whether weekly or monthly, set standing date nights in those calendars and book those rezzies, stat! And remember to smile, hold hands and love each other.