Corey and I struggle to schedule regular dates. Nursing babies make it difficult to sneak away for any length of time, and paying quality babysitters to watch four kids while we go out gets expensive. (You know it's bad when you pay more for child care than you do for dinner.)
(And yes, I know if we found a 14-year-old to watch the kids, we could probably pay less. But we have FOUR KIDS ages 0 to 9, which is the Mount Everest of babysitting. Our babysitters are all college graduates who can handle the chaos that is our family. We pay them accordingly.)
But one of my goals for this year is to go on a date with my husband once a month, minimum. We are starting to emerge from the infancy haze (which we've essentially been in since 2008 -- two babies in four years will do that), and we are desperate to reconnect and reinvest in our marriage.
So. Date night. It's a reality at Chez Love Well once again.
But here's the thing. Date night rarely used to end well. Our kids don't go to bed easily for other people, so we usually just tried to get home by bed time. But by then, the kids were overstimulated and hyper. By the time we wrapped up good-byes to our sweet babysitters, got through the bedtime routine and restored order to the house, Corey and I were exhausted. It was nice to have a break for a few hours -- but it felt like there was an extra high price tag attached.
So a couple of months ago, it occurred to me -- who said date night has to be at night? What if we planned a date morning? Or a date afternoon?
Bah-bing! Light-bulb moment! I can't believe it took me almost 10 years to figure this out.
So for the past few months, Corey and I have gone for our dates from 2:00 in the afternoon to about 7:00 in the evening. It enables us to do something (usually run errands without the kids -- last month was Home Depot, woo-hoo!) and then to catch an early dinner before heading home in time to put the kids to bed before they've hit the metaphorical wall. Bonus? Eating dinner at 5:00 makes it easy to score reservations at nice restaurants, even last minute, and we often catch the back-half of happy hour, when appetizers and drinks are half price.
It was been wonderful to reconnect with Corey, even in this small way. Our relationship has intentionally been on the back burner for the past few years; I think it's just a reality that goes with birthin' and raising' young ones.
But next week (NEXT WEEK!), Kieran will turn one. I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel, and it is my husband.
Date afternoon? You are awesome.