Moms in Babeland

Date Night: Not As Easy As It Sounds

So, you’ve got a child.

Everyone and their cocker spaniel has told you how important it is to stay connected to your partner now that you’re parents. But no one has told you how.

It should be easy enough, right? Two words should solve all your problems: date night!

Except they don’t.

Now that you are parents, you have relatively few opportunities to escape the house without children. And it’s quite possible that how you’d like to spend these escapades differs greatly from your partner’s preferred activities.

Plus, there’s an added twist no one told you about: obligatory date nights. You see, being a parent does not preclude you from having to go to weddings, adult-only birthday parties and work cocktail hours. These things require a babysitter and tear you away from your children. They are costly and often annoying. Sadly, you still have to go.

So, more than likely, half of your date nights will be sucked up by obligations. These obligatory events invariably happen very late at night in a land over the hills and far away. If you are anything like us, you will both be irritated that you must go to these functions, which does not an optimal date night make.

Then the impossible will happen: an actual, option-filled date night. You won’t know what to do.

No, literally, you won’t know what to do.

Do you try that new place? Go to your old favorite you haven’t visited in months? Bowling? Movie? Do you just get some much-needed sleep? Find an excuse to stay home and catch up on Modern Family? The possibilities are endless.

As it turns out, endless possibilities are not always a good thing.

Recently, David and I faced this dilemma. We got an unexpected option to go out on a Friday night. We had very short notice and no ability to make plans ahead of time. Still, the rules about Date Night stipulate: you have to accept all Date Night opportunities. So we did. We just had no idea what we would do on Date Night.

So we did what any good couple would do. We bickered about it.

We bickered about when to leave, where to go, what to do, who was going to put the baby to bed and when the last time we went out was. There was so much pressure to have this all important date night that we then bickered about just canceling it. We both thought that if the other person couldn’t just pick something, anything, to do, it must not be important to them. Why not just stay home?

Eventually, we pushed ourselves out the door. We didn’t know where we were going. We just got in the car and drove. We decided, in an effort to not bicker, to just go to a restaurant we love. After a tense, 10-minute drive, we sat down in a restaurant at the very late hour of 7 p.m.

Together, we took a breath of freedom.

You see, we were together. We didn’t have to work. We didn’t have someone throwing food at us. We could eat our food while it was still hot.

We could even—gasp!—talk to one another without interruptions.
In short, it was heaven. Our relationship needed it.

Still, next time, we may plan ahead in an attempt to avoid the pre-date bickering. We’ll see if that’s successful.

This post by Kristin Zaslavsky originally appeared on Your Tango

Share you comments or stories during January and February and you’ll be automatically entered to win the We-Vibe, Babeland’s bestselling couple’s vibe. We’ve got tips for making the moods, plus anecdotes on what makes, or kills the mood when you’re a parent. Contest details.

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