For many, date night is a big #fail. Finding the time, energy, babysitting, activity, clothing…the WILL to make a date night happen…well, it is challenging. And because it is such an endeavour we forget about it. We go on with our lives and loads of laundry.
We rush to get in the shower. Rush breakfast down. Rush to get to work/play/school/drop-in/grocery store. Rush to tweet while the kid’s show is on. Rush to make dinner. Rush to clean up dinner. Rush to bed.
And one day (and we all come to that day) it hits us and we ask ourselves “where did my life go?!” Date night is an important pause for parents. Time to focus on YOUR interests. To de-stress. To reconnect. To grow adult relationships. It’s important to take time for yourself.
“Date night” doesn’t necessarily have to be with a spouse (there are many single, divorced, widowed, not-looking-right-now parents out in the world). “Date night” can be a night out with a friend, group meeting, French lesson, etc. Date night can be whatever you want it to be.
Consider these date night ideas:
* Makin’ bacon! (not the slang definition). Spend an evening cooking together. It can be fun and also a tangible activity. Either out at a meal assembly kitchen, community kitchen or at home.
* Movie night. What was the last movie that you saw? (Please note: Disney and Pixar films do not count). The Oscars are a good starting point of date-night-worthy films.
* Makin’ bacon! (yes the slang definition). Your sex life didn’t die the moment you gave birth. Intimacy is a good thing.
* Join a class together. A weekly class is something you put on the calendar. (hello?! If it’s on the calendar it’s an obligation – you have to go).
* Book club. A monthly book club meeting is a great social outing (plus, it makes you feel like you know something greater than Yo Gabba Gabba).
* Reservations for 2 please. A grown-up dinner, out in the world, can rejuvenate the soul. (Please refrain from reaching over and cutting your date’s green beans)
* A walk to remember. Go out for a walk together – in the city or on a trail. Build energy from the open environment around you.
* Cha-Ching – go shopping. Any parent who has shopped with whiny kids knows what a pleasure it is to shop with just non-whiny grown-ups.
* Live tonight. Whether it be community theatre, the national ballet or a concert – live events are fun.
* Uncork a bottle. Go to a wine tasting or screw off – if need be – at home (I meant the bottle).
Not taking time to re-connect with a “date” can be very negative. It can nurture frustration, animosity, depression and anxiety in yourself and in those closest to you.
It is a wonderful thing to be a parent but bigger than that – you are a PERSON – someone who needs and deserves attention and focus from another grown-up. You need it for mental stimulation, for energy, for support and for entertainment.
Date night won’t happen unless you make it happen. Call the grandparents/aunt/friend/neighbour/sitter and schedule a date. Choose an idea (bookmark this page for reference). Invite your date out. Give yourself permission to abandon the laundry basket. Make you next date night a big #Win.