Here in our house, we keep our marriage strong and commit to each other’s needs through all the ins and outs of life. (Oh dear, that is just down right dirty) One of those valued and treasured acts of love for each other is capitalized during any given “moment” that we might think the kids are engaged and oblivious to our whereabouts. Life with little kids is surely a challenge for the mom and pop to have a love life, isn’t it? Oh yes, there are those highly celebrated but few and far between date nights without the kids that gives us the opportunity to really enjoy each other…..but what about the busy, mundane, day to day life that we float through as the weeks pass by?
My hubby and I started realizing this newfound need as soon as we had our first… desperate times call for desperate measures. Oh, if our baby could really see all that we did in her presence! (Okay- we’re not weird people, so don’t let your imagination run!) We started to “craft the art” early on, as our world started to open into this new existence we embarked on with children. Gone were the days of lingering hours of loving exchanges…ah those wonderful selfish ‘all about us’ days are dust in the trail of parenting. Now there are about 50 things you need to do to get your own time to linger without the kids. Here are the outlines of our 5 steps we take to get our date night needs met. There are about 10 to 20 “to do’s” that usually go under each.
- Find a babysitter. Must be cheap or better yet, free. Can’t deal with paying when money is tight and grandma is down the long country road! Trying all relatives and friends…
- This may take months….Grandma is working. Grandma out of town. Grandma sick. Kids are sick. Too many activities for kids going on. Mom is sick. Dad has to work. Aunt is busy. Friends have lives of their own. Kids are sick again…Months
- Re-arrange schedules according to everyone’s needs and activities and cancel accordingly which ones will be sacrificed for this extraordinary event.
- Start to work on kids behavior and issues with wherever they may be going and make them understand this is what daddy and mommy need.
- Pack up kids bags with whatever snacks, clothes and toys they may think of to call and ask for while they are gone.
By the time you are all alone in your blissful state, you are exhausted, but feel compelled to make this the reenactment of your long gone honeymoon days…. After all you did to earn this time, the obligation is clear and the commitment is on. You WILL have the most wonderful, relaxing, exciting and passionate time because you worked too hard to get this. Game on.
But as the days and weeks pass by without the “date night” extravaganza, we make do…. One word:
It’s much easier and gets the job done.
Time management and effective planning are the key.
If there is an interruption in the process, the word “quickie” starts to loose it’s meaning…
Although you may have the “art” down good, there are always those times it backfires on you. Then you either jump ship or forge on….
Our most recent “quickie” was quite the challenge I just described. Without going into too much detail, I will share how it played out and see if you can relate.
It’s getting late and kids are winding down with a show on TV. (yea, whatever- we do it. I could lie and say “reading a good book” but who are we kidding?) They have had their snack and brushed their teeth and bathed and all is well in the home. They seem engaged in their show. (DING DING DING….key word: engaged. I go upstairs to take my long awaited wash off the day, Calgon moment, steaming hot shower.
Drying off, the moment beckons….a quickie.
“Honey!!!!! Can you come help me with this upstairs??? I could really use your help!”
Running up the stairs like a kid at the fair going to the biggest and best ride of all… he knows.
Two minutes later…well into our first quarter.
“MOMMY!!!! WHERE ARE YOU?????”
Back ten yards.
Pitter patter up the stairs to the bedroom door that is locked.
Back another ten.
Slamming hands on door and violently wiggling our faulty doorknob that can open at any time.
Time out. (me running to closet while husband holds on the doorknob with his supernatural strength.)
“Honey, daddy is helping me with something. PLEASE go back downstairs and I will be down soon! Promise!”
“But what are you doing???? Why can’t I come in??? WHAT ARE YOU DOING??????!!!!!!” Her shrill of angst and intense horror are not only unquestionably my daughter, but truly a passion pincher if there ever was one.
“You are FINE!! Get downstairs now and finish your show! NOW!!”
Hmmm…. Game on? Really? Okay then! Here we go! We can do this!!!!
“MOMMY!!!!” (pitter patter….up the stairs)
Half time show cancelled.
Both scurry to our positions: me the closet and him the door jam.
“Ummm….well…she’s being mean and hogging the couch downstairs!”
“Tell her she will sleep outside if she continues to hog the couch.”
Pitter patter down the stairs… “YOU WILL SLEEP OUTSIDE TONIGHT!!! MOMMY AND DADDY SAID SO!! HAH HAH HA HAH HAH!” (You know that tune)
Game cancelled because of unexpected weather conditions?
Nope. We are forging on. NOT jumping ship. Wow, are we tenacious!
Fourth quarter….games a doozer! Many set backs but playing hard. Players are sweaty, tired from a long game that was supposed to be an easy win. Just need to score the touchdown!
“MOM!!!!! (now crying real tears…) Why are you in there so long? Why can’t you come out?? Please mommy!!! I don’t understand!!!”
To the sidelines….again. Moan.
Game cancelled. Weather just turned into a funnel cloud of discouragement and defeat.
Scurry to get dressed, open door and counsel young daughter full of questions…
You see honey, mommy wants a little time alone with daddy because we love each other and we want to kiss and talk and hold each other, while daddy helps rub mommy’s neck and head. Is that too much to ask? Can’t we have a few minutes to ourselves? Would that be so bad? She gets it. But she apparently did not want to share me… The ever-so-needy first born at her best.
Kids are now in bed and we share our humorous defeat with each other laughing and realizing once again, that we need a date night. It will be worth all the work.
The game just went into overtime!!!