This blog is not for the light-hearted or easily offended. If either one of those descriptions applies to you, i would suggest you start drinking before you read this blog. A sense of humor is suggested. If you don't have one that sucks for you … find one and get a life!

In which i discuss Date Night

Hello all.  I’m having such a hard time writing lately.  Not because I have nothing to say, but because I actually have TOO much to say.  It’s true.  I’ll think of one topic and start organizing it and then, out of the blue, another topic will intrude and pretty soon I’m thinking of that topic and then I can’t remember the first topic.  I feel like I have little synapses in my brain having a boxing match.  Or the little guy from Star Wars yelling in my ear, “stay on target, STAY ON TARGET!”  So yeah, I’m having a little problem focusing.  As a result, I have made a list of possible things to write about and eenie, meenie, minie, mo…I’m going to discuss … Date night!
 
As the authority  on all things good and interesting, I will tell you that Kevin and I have had what you might call an official “Date Night” ever since we had kids.  Before the kids, I suppose that we had Date Life because we could do whatever the hell we wanted and didn’t have to worry about taking care of anyone else.  We had moved back to North Carolina to be near my parents and they were hardly babysitting material.  My parents’ philosophy was that they had already been through the parenting thing and that as grandparents; they should only receive the “best” of everything.  The “best” didn’t include changing diapers, feeding kids or the like.  The one and only time they ever baby sat was when I took Keely to Tumblebee’s and they agreed to watch Andie, who was around 2.   I guess she was hungry (or looked hungry, I don’t know) and my parents decided to give her a big fat pretzel.  Huge mistake.  HUGE MISTAKE!   She choked.  Of course she choked.  They called 911 panicking over practically killing their granddaughter and by the time I got home with Keely, I was informed that they would NEVER watch their grandchildren AGAIN. So yeah, I needed a sitter.
 
At any rate, when Keely was born I was pretty sick and anemic and by the time I recovered, I was already bored to death with having an infant.  They can’t do anything.  They just lie around and look cute. And yes, Keely did look cute.  She was a BEAUTIFUL baby!  But any way, I needed some help and found a college student majoring in some teaching/childcare type program and she sat every Wednesday afternoon and every Saturday night.  This was a perfect arrangement as it allowed me to play racquetball on Wednesdays and Kevin and I got to go out on Saturdays.  So, Charlotte (that’s her name – shout out to Charlotte!) would come over around 6:30 and Kevin and I would go out to a 7:00 movie and then out to dinner.  We would usually get home around 10:30 or 11:00 and then Charlotte would be able to go out at night with a few spare bucks in her wallet.
 
Now this may sound selfish to you, and it is, but I think one of the reasons that we have such a healthy marriage is that we have managed to retain our sense of ourselves as a couple.  When you have little kids, the transition is so stressful that you can lose sight of yourselves as a couple.  You are a mom or a dad, a parent and a disciplinarian, a teacher, a role model but you can quickly forget that you were once part of a unit that started the whole process.  In my marriage at least, the beginning of the kid stage was the most difficult.  Kevin and I had been raised VERY differently so finding common ground and a common vision to raise the kids wasn’t always easy or smooth.  For example, I had been raised by a disciplinarian so I was determined that my kids not be afraid of me.  Kevin wanted more discipline than I did.  This was the stage where we fought the most and weren’t aligned on some very important issues. 
 
Beyond that, Andie was a very sickly baby and between the ages of 1 and 2 she had six major asthma attacks as well as pneumonia.  The stress can eventually start eroding all that is good with the relationship.  So yeah, date night.  It was an important part of our marriage and we could go out, have some fun and laughs and talk … really talk…about the things going on in our lives.  My life was obviously very tied up with my kids and my parents while Kevin’s life was tied up with his new role in the business.  These nights were important ties to each other’s existence.
 
Many years have gone by and now my kids are 21, 19 and 17.  We no longer need a sitter and with two in college, only the 17 year old is left at home.  Kevin and I still go out on Saturday nights but without the daily stress in our life, it’s not the only time we can communicate anymore.  We invite Daniel along frequently but he rarely joins us and we still go out for a movie and a beer.  Communication is what it all boils down to and sometimes, you need a date night to achieve that.  So, all you moms and dads out there with little kids; grab a sitter and go out and have fun and TALK.  You won’t regret it and you might just find that your best friend has been sleeping next to you all along…you just forgot!

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31 Comments

  1. cathy
    December 13, 2010

    sweet, lucky you!

    • Lynn
      December 13, 2010

      Hey there. Thanks for commenting and reading the blog Cathy!

  2. Karla Telega
    December 13, 2010

    We did square dancing and bowling nights, not exactly conducive to conversation. Maybe that’s why me and my second husband get along so well. The kids were grown when we met. Regrets, I have a few.

    • Lynn
      December 13, 2010

      Well, sometimes when you get married very young (which i DID NOT), it’s more difficult to figure stuff out because you’re still growing up. We were lucky with our communication, not to mention that we could afford a sitter. Don’t have regrets…go read my post on how i don’t believe in regrets! DO IT! RIGHT NOW!

  3. Katie
    December 13, 2010

    LOL, Are you talking directly to me in this post?! My hubby and I have a 2 year old and I can’t remember the last time we went on a real date. I’m making him take me out asap! Thank you for the reminder of why dates are so important to marriage! :)

    • Lynn
      December 13, 2010

      Well…i’m glad i could make an impact. I DO see that the couples that survive and thrive are still friends…not just lovers and spouses. My husband is my best friend and i love spending time with him, just laughing. I hope your date is awesome!

  4. Kim - Mommycosm
    December 13, 2010

    I don’t think that getting a sitter is selfish AT ALL. It took me about 5 years to realize that no one was going to freely give me time to myself. I had to speak up, take the time and make it happen. People joke that when mom’s not happy, the whole family suffers…but it’s SO very true.

    Good for you for keeping time to yourself and date night. I am good with the me part. We need to get better about date night. Sometimes it feels like my husband and I are ships passing in the night.

    • Lynn
      December 13, 2010

      date night was really important for us. My husband worked with my family in a business and sometimes, it just needed to be the two of us. Having a regular sitter for the kids was a treat too because they loved her. She even went to the beach with us! Get a sitter…go on a date…DO IT!!

  5. Theresa Sonoda
    December 13, 2010

    I believe in date night. My kids are grown but my partner and I are busy people and often see each other in passing. Saturday is our Date night, or day, depending on what we do, so we don’t usually plan anything with anyone else. We’re older and we’ve gotten so set in our ways, and each of us have different ‘ways’, so we don’t communicate very much anymore. Saturdays make that possible. After all, we’re stuck with each other all day….may as well make the best of it. So it works for folks without kids too.
    Good post!

    • Lynn
      December 13, 2010

      Thats a good point. Sometimes you just need to get out of the rut and go do something else. It’s just really about communication. Thanks for commenting…sounds like you have a good situation.

  6. Christopher
    December 13, 2010

    I have to say I am a big fan of the date night, if not just to have some time to regroup and catch up with each other. However, I am upset that Charlotte gets a shout out and not the one of the best/coolest sitters you ever had. I am speaking of myself of course (haha). I am glad to see that the girls are going into careers that best fit their aptitudes, rodeo clown and pre-med. Tell the family I said hello.

    Christopher

    • Lynn
      December 13, 2010

      OMG Christopher! Its so awesome to hear from you. Of course, you were amazing and we wouldn’t have survived without the Mayhalls. I wrote about your mom the other day but haven’t posted it yet. I miss you and always think of you when we watch Monty Python.

  7. Lynn
    December 13, 2010

    OH MY GOD. Of course YOU were the best. I actually wrote an entry about you guys and your mom the oth day and it hasn’t been posted yet. Man, we totally miss you guys. Your little Peanut is still a gigantic pain in the ass! How are your kids? Christopher…I always think of you when we watch Monty Python!

  8. vodkamom
    December 13, 2010

    Perhaps if Tightwad had done ANYTHING with me these past 20 years, the story might have had a happy ending.

    xxx

    • Lynn
      December 13, 2010

      Yeah…there’s no doubt that date night helps. I must say it helps to have the time and cash to have date. However, there are still no assurances. You ok?

  9. Kirsty (Shamozal)
    December 14, 2010

    I love date night. I also love date night with a sleepover…it barely happens at all but every time we make the effort to organize an overnight sitter we spend the entire week onwards saying we need to do it more often, and by “it” I mean sleep in a bed without a toddlers bum in your face or knee in your back.

    • Lynn
      December 14, 2010

      Hahaha…yeah. I know what you mean, or at least I used to. I never had kids sleeping in my bed… EVER…but the waking up early thing was for the birds. An overnight is excellent. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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      December 20, 2010

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      December 21, 2010

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  14. Lady Estrogen
    January 16, 2011

    Wonderful post ;)
    We have to start making an effort to do date night!

    • Lynn
      January 16, 2011

      Yes, you do! How old are your kids?

  15. Ilana @ mommyshorts
    February 20, 2011

    My husband and I really need to get out more. We are terrible making time for ourselves. But now the baby is 14 months and it seems like now is a good time to establish a regular thing. Thanks for the wake-up call!

    • Lynn
      February 20, 2011

      I’m glad I could be of help…one day, your kids will be grown and you don’t want to wake up next to a stranger!!!

  16. Katja Brown
    April 11, 2011

    As a mom of an almost 11-year-old son and an almost 10-year-old daughter I can attest to how important it is to have some time alone with your husband every now and then.

    We don’t have a regular babysitter but we are fortunate that both sets of grandparents are willing to watch the kids for a weekend or, in the summertime, even weeks at a time. For my side of the family, this includes flying across the Atlantic to Germany.

    • Lynn
      April 11, 2011

      That’s awesome…i’m glad you have that. It’s amazing how many people don’t!

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