April 12, 2012

Date Nights Should Be a Mini-Vacation

Since Gwyneth was born we have gone on a handful of dates. They usually happened when my Mom came into town and forced us out of the house. The dates consisted of conversations over expensive meals about money, the baby and general crap you’re expected to not talk about. While they are enjoyable and a nice reprieve from the normal nightly routine, they are more often than not forced.

Now don’t get me wrong, any excuse to spend alone time with my husband is more than welcome. But when times are difficult, spending that extra money on a date is hard to make a priority. And working out the logistics? Please, it’s just so much easier to order takeout and enjoy it after the baby’s asleep.

So naturally, when the opportunity to see a concert arose we quickly wrote it off with a laundry list of excuses: the tickets are too expensive, we couldn’t get a babysitter, etc. All of these excuses were slapped from our mouths as soon as my husband won two tickets from an online contest. We found a babysitter no problem, thanks to our large family, and off we went.

As we met our friends and listened to the opening band it became clear this wasn’t going to be our typical date night. It was even better. A couple of beers and the headlining band made the entire world melt away. Suddenly I felt 19 again, flirting with my husband, sharing those steamy glances that only concerts and a couple of Miller High Lifes bring out in you.

We rolled through the door at midnight and resumed our roles as parents. Instead of being tired and worn down like we had expected after a late night, we woke up the next morning rejuvenated and ready to embrace our daily routines.

Our concert date had opened our eyes to what it truly means to get a break from being a parent. While it is easy to go through the motions of “dating your spouse” are you honestly disconnecting from home and the stress that comes with it? We definitely haven’t been. Thanks to that awesome concert we realized not only the importance of going out on dates, but using them to escape reality.

Don’t get me wrong, our life is pretty sweet, but everyone needs a break. Since we can’t afford a full-blown family vacation to Hawaii, date nights should be used to fill that void. It's a pretty profound idea that we had never thought of before. Moving forward, we can not wait to take advantage of the time we set aside for ourselves and our marriage. I'm sure we'll be a better family for it.

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