Date Night i.e. Why We're Still Married
You know, MY plan in building a family involved a slow and steady approach. One kid at first, maybe another one a few years later. If that first one was working out alright. But. Oh boy. Actually, two boys and a girl. And then another boy. In 2 years. This was how my family of renegades came to be. My husband and I had 4 kids in 2 ½ years. This was not the plan. This was not gradual. I had a mini hurricane of little people swirling around me before I could realize what was happening.
It was after child #4 was born that I realized we needed to approach our relationship with a radical effort. I had post-partum depression (this is real and so serious and more women have it than you know, and if this is you, get help, you’re not alone) and was not happy about a lot of things. Chris would go to work and do his things to make sure we could pay our bills and I was home with my 2 year olds and a newborn...all day...with raging hormones and depression. Not a good formula. I would be mad when he got home.
Where have you been?
At work, he had been at work.
You said you would be home at 5:30!
It was 5:37.
Luckily, I married a good man, who instead of raging with me, he listened. He was thoughtful about my emotions and we both decided we needed date night, weekly. At first we enlisted the help of nearby family to watch the brood, and it’s since evolved into arranging a sitter in our budget the same way we arrange to pay our electricity bill. And with the exception of illness and family vacations, we have not missed a date night in nearly 5 ½ years. Some nights, it has been a trip to Sonic for a milkshake and sometimes we do a Super Date and actually stay overnight somewhere! (Ah, the joy of only worrying about what 2 people are going to have for breakfast vs 6.)
Our date nights have become a sacred ritual for us. Life gets nuts. He has chosen a career path that is not a 9-5 weekday only gig. He travels with his current position and every once in a while it’s 4 days before we can actually have a face to face conversation. Even when he’s not traveling, with the chaos of having 6 people and one dog going in 7 different directions, some days it’s all we can do to not collapse in an exhausted heap after putting the kids to bed. Reconnecting at the end of our week has become necessary and looking back at the origins of these little people coming into our lives, (not trying to be dramatic, just real) I know it’s saved our marriage.
Parenthood is hard man. At least it is for me. I know there are superstar humans out there who breeze through raising kids like NBD. I’m not one of them. I need time to recharge and reconnect with who I am as an individual. Date Night is just one of my many tricks to surviving this amazing ride of motherhood. It’s also nice to remember the man I agreed to marry is hilarious and sexy and we still have things in common and he has a pretty hot smile when he’s not begging kids, for the love of all that is holy, to brush their teeth.
So let’s hear it for Date Night. I stand on my mini soapbox of a blog and encourage anyone reading this, who this is even a little bit pertinent to, go out! Schedule it and keep that time together sacred. Let no whiny child or extra work activity prevent you from going. Your future self is going to thank you.
I want to hear about your favorite dates with your significant other! What kinds of things do you do to make sure you always stay connected?