Date night! When you have kids, date nights are a must! You have to make time to reconnect with your person away from the demands of little hands, and watching a movie at home while folding laundry doesn’t count.
Before we had kids we thought our rule would be that we would not talk about kids. After all we wanted to make sure that we had more to talk about than just kids. We want to stay on top of world events and connect on other levels! Reality check: all we talk about is the kids! It’s impossible not to, especially once you have a few (kids). I applaud those who manage to focus on something other than the kids, but in our family there is just too much ground to cover and topics that need discussion!
Just getting a date night can be challenging. My husband will say “we should have a date night soon”, adding yet ANOTHER thing to my to-do list. Getting a babysitter, finding a night when there’s nothing else going on, and then figuring out what to do and arranging all those logistics. Another factor is that in early parenthood – you’re generally less flush with money, so paying a babysitter and going out for a meal or event on your limited maternity income can be a luxury you might not afford.
Sometimes figuring out what to do comes easy, if there is an event or concert you really want to see it can make it easy to figure out. Otherwise most people will enjoy the classic dinner and a movie. I love seeing movies out, because I am actually forced to concentrate on the movie and not be distracted by the mess under the couch, the laundry buzzing, or children fighting. But it doesn’t leave much room for actual conversation.
Non-traditional dates are good too! Some people will go on day dates while the kids are in school, or do something active like a walk around Steveston Village or even the Grouse Grind. Even a trip to Costco can be a date if you don’t have the distraction of kids. Any shared experience can count if you ask me. The key thing is getting it onto the calendar like we get things like the hockey practice and the parent-teacher interviews and not just leaving it as a vague to-do. Coming up with a system like “every third Friday” can work well as long as you don’t let it get bumped by a case of the “I’m too tired’s, Kid has a birthday party, etc etc” (trips to the ER are the only valid reschedule excuse).
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