I think we all know how important date nights are once you have children. Gone are the days of being able to swan off for romantic weekends away and spontaneous meals out whenever you please. Your time together now is more precious then ever. Your whole life has changed, and date nights are no exception! You can put on your favourite dress and your partner can spritz his favourite men’s perfume, but things still won’t be the same as they used to be. Here is how date night changes once you are a parent:
When you are just a childless, carefree couple in love, there isn’t really any such thing as ‘date night’. Every and any night is date night. You have fun together wherever you are whether that’s just watching your favourite box set on the couch or jetting off on a spontaneous weekend away, it’s always date night.
‘We should have a date night soon’, ‘When did you last have a date night?’. Suddenly ‘date night’ is a thing. In fact it is the thing. The thing that will hold your relationship together when there is a tiny human threatening to rip it apart. Someone offers to look after the baby to give you the chance to go on a date night – you take it, you run, and you don’t look back.
If you were heading out for a romantic dinner, you took your time to get ready. You shaved your legs, put on some fake tan, spent extra time and effort doing your make up and choosing the perfect outfit.
You apply your eyeliner with one hand while holding the baby in the other. The eyeliner definitely isn’t ‘on fleek‘ but it’s on and that’s what counts. You choose your outfit from your limited selection of ‘clothes that I can fit into, are clean and not too uncomfortable’ because comfort is key these days. He’s seen you give birth so as long as you’re looking more glamorous than that – you’re good to go! Your partner finishes in the shower and you both leg it out the door before your babysitter has time to change their mind.
Maybe there’s a film you both want to see. You go for a leisurely drink beforehand, grab some popcorn and then sit back and enjoy your film. Afterwards maybe you’ll head out for a meal or for another drink or maybe you’ll just head home and carry on your evening there. You’re in no rush, your time is your own.
Date Night only comes around once in a blue moon so it’s now vital that you cram about 10 dates into one evening. A quick meal, off for a drink, no time for a movie at the cinema you have plenty of evenings watching telly at home these days. Maybe a quick stop at the museum or art gallery, a walk through the park or on the beach, onto a bar or a casino, anything to make the most of your time away from the mini dictator who now lives in your house.
Why would you count drinks? You’re here to have fun with the one you love, let loose, live a little. If you wake up with a hangover the next day, you can have a chill day on the sofa, watch some Netflix, order a Dominos, no problem.
Once you’ve experienced the horror of parenting on a hangover once, it’s not a mistake you make again! You’re almost certainly more of a lightweight these days anyway so once you’ve reassessed your limits, you stick to them – religiously. There will be no sleeping off a hangover for you in the morning, instead you’ll be woken up at the crack of dawn by a toddler demanding juice and Paw Patrol, who has no mercy for the fact that mummy has a sore head.
If one of you is ill, tired or something comes up that means date night has to be cancelled, it’s okay, there’s always tomorrow. You have every day, evening and night together so it’s no stress to rearrange or cancel plans.
Nights off parenting don’t come around all too often. It doesn’t matter if one of you has the flu, a broken leg, a migraine, if date night is planned, then date night will happen. You have to appreciate this precious time you have together. Even if you’re being held together by painkillers and caffeine, you will go, and you will make damn sure that you have a good time.
How has date night changed for you since becoming a parent?