Date nights are a must. I’m not talking only if you remember it every 7 months. I mean a must, as in making an effort to make time for just the two of you. It’s easy early on. The whole relationship is pretty much one big, exciting date. As the years tick on, as work and life and kids enter the scene… well, let’s face it, dates can take a backseat. It happens, but it doesn’t have to. Grab a calendar and schedule it if you need to. Reach out and find sitters you trust. Be excited about that time together.
Just like anything we value and want to succeed, work must be put in to make that happen.
This week we’ve been at the beach. It’s been fun. It’s been exhausting. It’s been beautiful. Typically family vacations with littles doesn’t allow for a lot of date time. Sure, a nanny can come along. We choose not to do that, but we do typically travel with my parents. They always offer to let us go eat while they watch the kids, but we’re suckers for vacay family dinner time…so we do something a little different.
One or more nights they’ll get the kids ready for bed while we walk along the beach. Sometimes we just sit and listen to the silence of the waves. Yes, I said silence. The roar of the ocean can’t top the sound decibels of kids playing or screaming or fighting or laughing or all of the above at one time. Sometimes we talk nonstop in that little window of date time.
Tonight’s topic steered towards flatulence at the souvenir shop we went to after dinner. (I will share this highly inappropriate conversation for the sake of my point.) My husband, who loves to make me laugh, informed me he had to expel a bit of residual methane as our kids eagerly combed through 8,657 aisles of souvenir trinkets. I said, “You didn’t!” His reply, “Oh yeah. Souvenir shirts blew, 4 hermit crabs died, a few kids clung to shelves, a picture frame broke and there was a code brown by the airbrush station.”
You see, my husband speaks in a very monotone, matter-of-fact manner, plus he rarely speaks on this topic, so with all of that combined, tears rolled down my cheeks from laughter right there on a seat in front of the ocean. A laugh I’d needed for days, a laugh he knew I needed… and that’s why dates are a must.
We usually go out to eat or to a movie. Sometimes we’ll throw in take out and Netflix, because we’re cool like that. Honestly, it doesn’t matter what the date is… as long as it happens. It gives us time for grown up conversation instead of the typical, “wait until 8pm to talk about that.” We give our undivided attention to each other. We say, “hey you, it’s been a while… how are you?” We hold hands. We dance. We pick back up where we left off… and that’s why dates are a must.
It doesn’t have to be fancy or even romantic…(Refer back to the 20 minute beach date from earlier.) … but we did go on a restaurant hop date recently and that was very fun. (In case you’re looking for an idea and haven’t done that.)
We chose 3 local restaurants (because it was a Thursday and we weren’t up for traveling, but that would be fun too!) The first place we ordered an appetizer and split it. Then we walked around Sam’s while we waited for the sushi joint to open…again, because we’re cool like that.
After we each got a sushi roll (which we picked because it’s not a large, heavy meal) we went to our final stop, dessert. We got dessert and coffee and even took a few bites back to the kids. I’m not going to lie here, that part was hard. Mama loves a good dessert.
The whole night was fun. Deciding and agreeing where to go, ordering just one thing at each place, enjoying the atmosphere at three different places. It was just a great night and we’ve already decided we’ll do it again.
If you’re newly married, married and buried under the avalanche of life or been married for decades…make time for each other. Grab a coffee and chat while the baby sleeps, walk through the park holding hands, tell ridiculous stories to make each other laugh, light a candle with leftover mac and cheese and have a carpet picnic.
It doesn’t matter what happens, it just matters that it happens…and you’re together.