Date Night, Shmate Night

By on May 29, 2012

“What do you want to do?”

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“I don’t know. What do you want to do?”

“I dunno.”

“Movie?”

“Too late.”

“Gym?”

{shoots daggers}

“Bike ride?”

“Not in the mood.”

“Dinner?”

“Ok.”

“What should we eat?”

“I dunno.”

“Thai?”

“No.”

“Sushi?”

“Nah.”

“Burgers?”

And so it goes, week after week. We’ve dropped off the kids, we have the house and the evening to ourselves … and we have nothing to do. Or rather, we don’t feel like doing anything, but we know we should – know that we should take advantage of this weekly gift, this time to ourselves, this opportunity to connect, but sometimes, it’s just too much pressure.

Date night has become a bit of a chore.

I know! You want to shoot me just for saying that, but the truth is, we are spoiled, and we know it. But sometimes the pressure to have a great evening just because the kids are at my sister-in-law’s means that we will end up having anything but.

Part of the reason that we moved out to the cornfield was to be closer to a bigger support system, and that support system has turned out to be more than we could have hoped for. We are grateful, and when my husband’s brother and his wife told us, way back in September, that they want to take the girls once a week, from after-school time until bedtime, we were THRILLED. We had barely ever had a date night, let alone the promise of it being a regular, weekly event. For months, me and the huz would go out for dinner every Wednesday and then go to a movie, or do some errands at Home Depot, or go for a coffee or go for a walk. Sometimes we just stayed in (ahem). It was amazing! We reconnected! We talked without interruption! We got shit done!

But lately, there have been weeks when Wednesday has come around, and one of us just hasn’t felt like eating out, or seeing a movie or whatever. And we end up feeling tremendously guilty, as though we were squandering not only an opportunity to do something together, but also an obligation to take the time to strengthen our marriage.

And then we had to miss a week due to work schedules, and my sister-in-law texted me to tell me how much she was missing ‘her girls’ that night.

And then of course, I thought about it. This wasn’t about me and the huz getting a date night, this was about the kids spending time with their aunt, uncle and cousin – time that they will love now and cherish for the rest of their lives. This was about building traditions and relationships that will only benefit us all. This is about my girls having another trusted adult in their lives, an adult that they can call at 2am when they are teenagers and need somebody that is not their parent to help them out.

So this week, we’re going to drop the girls off, and then head to the driving range to shoot a bucket of balls. Or maybe we’ll just go for an ice cream and sit around. Or maybe we’ll stay home and I’ll fold laundry while the huz plays video games. It really doesn’t matter, because it’s not date night. It’s aunty and uncle night. It’s cousin night. It’s kids’ night out.

And I’m guessing that they haven’t yet run out of things to do on their night away from us.

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Comments

  1. Louise says:

    love this, karen. extended family, the village, the trusted people for 2am phone calls. all of it so important.
    Louise´s last [type] ..PHOTO BOOTH: On a Path of Her Own

  2. Angella says:

    I’m SO envious that you have that. We have grandparents who live in town, that the kids only see on major holidays, or special events…

  3. Brandie says:

    I think it’s awesome that you have found a way to reframe this to take the pressure off. If you end up, like you say just folding laundry some night, or sitting in the same room reading books, or whatever, this weekly tradition will benefit all, whether you feel like heading out on the “town” or not.

    • Charles says:

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  4. Laura says:

    This is really a great blog .. I live with my parents and its pretty much same here ….
    Laura´s last [type] ..xbox 360 hdmi

  5. Coffee with Julie says:

    We’re lucky if we get 2 date nights a year. I wish I was joking.

  6. Shiela says:

    What a lovely post, it was truly great and inspiring… :)
    Shiela´s last [type] ..Veggie Diet Plan

  7. jennifer says:

    It was truly indeed, thanks for sharing this with us… I really enjoy reading…
    jennifer´s last [type] ..How I ranked in 4 weeks

  8. Francisco Yarbrof says:

    I think it is great that you have a such a big support, so that you can get help. You should take advantage of this, and do something fun when you do not have the kids with you. Every mother deserves a break andshould treat themselves to a bit of fun, there is nothing to feel guilty about.