A loud toddler, hitting his fork numerous times on the table, while actively avoiding the dinner you carefully selected and cooked for him when deep down he and you both wished you had just given into the macaroni and cheese. Mom sitting anxiously to his side, cringing and hoping a few drops of nutrition make it into his sweet little stubborn mouth. Sound familiar? While this is something that happens on most nights, with a picky eater. Could there be another solution to the repetitive event every night? Of course, it’s called get a babysitter and give yourself a break from the madness.
My husband and I used to go out all the time before kids. We live downtown, so we would always try new restaurants for dinner or even just go out for drinks. Once our little guy came in the picture, it made those easy nights out a little more difficult. While downtown has many kid-friendly options, you long for the times when you could go out to eat without your kid fussing or throwing food all over the ground, and all you’re craving is some quality adult conversation/connection with your significant other.
When he was so little, and I was breastfeeding, it was just easier to either stay in or at least get a sitter to “watch” him after I put him to bed. Basically, just having someone there in case our house caught on fire, or someone tried to break in. But, before scheduling our date nights, I can’t remember the last time we went out without a buggery toddler in tote. And as a full-time working mom, I don’t see my son all day long, until 4:00 rolls around and I pick him up. I have some serious mom guilt not spending every second I have away from work with him. But is this the right thing for my marriage?
My husband and I decided 2019 would be different and we would make time for ourselves and try to get out to enjoy the things we used to do before my son was born. My husband started this idea out on the right foot by scheduling a monthly Indiana Repertory Theatre performance once a month for the next 4 months. This meant we had already paid for our tickets ahead of time, which meant we could not back out or we would lose our money.
Since we know all the dates ahead of time, we can easily line up babysitters for my son. This gives us plenty of time to find family or friends for those times, in hopes we won’t have to cancel last minute on our night out. Don’t make excuses, if you don’t have sitters lined up at your door, planning ahead gives you plenty of time to find a family member, neighbor, friends, or even babysitting services.
Now, I know once a month doesn’t sound like that often, but going from once every few months looked like we were on the right track. Our goal is to get out every other week, making our outings twice a month, but we have to have baby steps to get to that point. We still have room to grow in this area. I am looking forward to the next several months, that I know my husband and I have a special night just to ourselves.
So, how can you make this work for your busy schedule?
- Start now
- Make a list of events/restaurants/concerts you’ve wanted to do/try
- Sit down with your significant other, plan out the frequency of dates for the next 6 months (or 12 if you’re an overachiever!)
- Plug those date ideas into your calendar
- Find a babysitter for each of those nights so you can move dates around ahead of time, if necessary
Enjoy your night out and don’t cancel unless something extremely important comes up. Your relationship with your significant other is important and deserves uninterrupted quality time. Now, go get wild and stay up past 9:00!
Struggling with date night ideas? Check out the links below.