Joe and I went on a date last week…to buy a car. To buy a car?! That's what we're calling a "date" these days?!
I recall pointing that out to him as we waited for our 70ish year old salesman to test drive the car. Unfortunately it felt like we were on a date with my grandfather watching us from the back seat. Believe it or not, we had a lot of fun. We spent three uninterupted hours together, no one was yelling "mommy" or "daddy" every 14 seconds. Joe got to tease me as I obsessed over car interiors, and we even held hands while walking the car lot. Romance was in the air! Though it wasn't my idea of a dream date and we didn't come home with my dream car, we had a really enjoyable morning together, and it reminded us that we're a good team. Besides a yummy bottle of wine, what else could you ask for from a date?
Our date nights were a bit different pre-kids. I was living in New York City when we met. Joe, having grown up in NYC, was a pro at finding us new spots to try. We were surrounded by crazy and kidless friends and had no cares in the world. Waking up to a crying baby after a few too many glasses of wine? Not us! All we had was free time and what felt like free money, so we made the most of it. I get tired (and a little sentimental) just thinking about our wild late nights out on the town.
Post-kids, life has obviously changed and sometimes it's just easier to stay in rather than prepping kids, coordinating with busy friends or finding a sitter (and paying a sitter…ugh!). Last Friday night, I ran out between baby feedings to buy our favorite cheese and wine while Joe waited for our dinner delivery. Laugh all you want, but it felt like a special night, and we both managed to stay up past the kids to enjoy a few minutes together. I may have traded in sexy outfits and trendy restaurants for sweatpants and take-out, but with two kids under the age of three at home, this is our reality. And truth be told, I wouldn't want it any other way.
Someday we hope to return to wild date nights in New York City. I will once again spend my entire Saturday resting and prepping for our night alone. I will buy new outfits just because we're going out, and I hope to someday leave our house without baby spit-up anywhere on my body. Until those days return, we will continue to "date" when and where we can, be it at the grocery store, the mall, or wherever our busy lives take us. We will remember to make time for ourselves and to pretend we don't have any responsibilites for those few hours away. Most importantly, Joe will promise to always get up with the kids the next morning (right, Joe?). We still have a great time together, so as long as we can laugh and come home with a few good stories from our "dates with the car dealer", I'll consider that a success!
How do you and your significant other find quality alone time now that you're parents?