Date nights and date weekends are something that for the first few months of Olivia’s life when I was all ohmygod-I-can’t-be-away-for-my-kid-for-more-than-an-hour we skipped. We barely did date night and when we did, we brought along the infant carseat with a kid in tow. It was stupid.
Just skip over that and get to the part where it’s like ‘You’re going to watch my kid? Now? and run and put some lipstick on, and go on that date‘. Your kid will be fine, I promise. You will be better for it.
Now? We do date night. Usually once a week. It’s time to refresh, to balance, to get away without the kids, whether we’re doing something simple like a workout class or having dinner together. Sometimes, it’s as simple as hiring a babysitter and heading out to Costco, alone, with time to browse through books that have different characters than Piggie and Gerald.
Date night is an investment in your relationship. It’s an investment in yourself. It’s an opportunity to slow down, pay attention, try something new and be romantic. I read something once that without taking the time to do date night, you’ve got the potential to feel like two people running a day care center.
Date night gives you the chance to reconnect. You can talk about the week, you can talk about the things that you’ve read this week, and more than just chatting about the day to day, you have the chance to have an uninterrupted conversation, in a new environment.
It also gives you the chance to rekindle. “New experiences activate the brain’s reward system, flooding it with dopamine and norepinephrine. These are the same brain circuits that are ignited during early romantic love, a time of exhiliration and excessive thoughts about a new partner.”(here) Has there ever been a better reason to try something like axe throwing or checking out a speakeasy pop-up for date night? (Hint: you can find this inspiration at www.yegdatenight.com or on facebook.com/yegdatenight)
But really, date night is a time to refresh, to fill up your bucket. You can’t pour from an empty cup. No matter how fulfilling it is to parent, and to spend time with those little people, you can’t forget about yourself, you can’t forget about your relationship.
What’s on the plan for date night tonight? The kids are sleeping over at Grandma’s and we’re having a Simon’s shopping date with dinner, than catching up on some Netflix documentaries.
Don’t have grandparents close by? Try swapping childcare or even weekends with friends so you can refresh with a date night. We find a ton of babysitters from Moms in our local Moms groups – but the swapping is a more wallet-friendly option because $10/hour adds up when you’ve got teenage sitters.