During our B.C. (before children) days, there were plenty of self-imposed absolutes my husband and I imposed on our future selves as parents.
“We will always keep our house organized and clutter-free.”
“Our children will never sleep in our bed.”
“We will never be those people that only talk about their children.”
And so on and so forth, we painted a picture of what we believed would make us the perfect parents and our children the perfect children.
I can safely say that by the time our oldest was three months old, every self-imposed parental rule we made was completely thrown to the wind. To be honest, I’m still trying to get my youngest out of our bed.
One expectation my husband and I set for ourselves was to make date night a priority, no matter what. Sometimes we can make it weekly, other times it’s only a few times a month, sometimes when life gets really busy, it’s less than that. There’s no question that when you’re sleep-deprived and healing and hormonal, the last thing on your mind is making sure you spend quality time with your spouse.
However, it took my husband finally voicing his need to spend time with just me to realize how important it was to spend that time with my husband. This is the man that went to three different Mcdonald’s when I was pregnant because I ONLY wanted a McFlurry and the ice cream machine was “broken” at the first two, held my hand through labor, and announced to the world that our darling baby was a girl. He stayed awake with me when nursing hurt and my postpartum moods would swing from Mother Teresa to Mommy Dearest. All with very little complaint.
We are in this parenting gig together, but it’s easy to see how the other spouse gets put on the far back burner while you try to figure out how a human that weighs less than ten pounds suddenly rules your home and your every waking thought. It’s easy to lose yourself and your marriage in the late nights and early mornings and loads of laundry and any other number of things that officially means you’ve entered a new level of “adulting.”
We started out slow with only an hour or two away typically utilizing an event to use as a date night – weddings, fundraisers, work-related events, etc. But the more we (really me) felt comfortable away, the easier it was to schedule date nights that were just that – something for just the two of us to do.
With two school-aged children now, date nights are far easier to come by, whether it’s a stolen lunch or coffee date during the day while they are in school or we find ourselves with two kids sleeping out by friends’ or grandparents’ houses. However, because we made it a priority in the beginning of this parenting journey, I think we have been able to hold onto what makes us a couple outside of being just parents.
Parenting is a lifetime journey for sure, but it doesn’t mean you have to forget about the one you started it with and make your marriage just as much as priority.
Looking for some date night ideas around the city? Here are a few of our favorites from the team:
- Red Chinese
- Paladar 511
- Bacchanal Fine Wine & Spirits
- Marigny Brassiere
- Bywater American Bistro