Date night. It’s that special night you get to wear a cute outfit with non-mom friendly shoes and paint the town with your significant other. You can venture to a new restaurant that doesn’t have a kids menu. After dinner, you can stroll through the city, watch a late movie at the theater, visit a coffee house … the opportunities are endless because it is just the two of you.
Wait … who am I kidding? That’s not date night when you’re a few kids deep! The reality is you may still wear a cute outfit and definitely that white sweater you can never wear around your kids. You may even wear some wedges because that’s the perfect balance between ‘we’re on a date, but I’m still a mom and my feet haven’t seen heels in years’.
But, now, you don’t really care where you eat just as long as they don’t have a playground or ask what dip you want with your chicken. There’s no way you’re staying awake for a late movie and the thought of getting some errands accomplished without kids sounds a whole lot more appealing than strolling through the city.
Honestly, date night has new meaning after children. Just keeping all the kids healthy enough to leave them, finding an available sitter, and having nothing else on the calendar in order to execute a date night is a task in itself. Once you get to the actual night, you’re so exhausted from life and organizing the date, that just walking out of the door together into the quiet is sweet enough.
Obviously, I don’t have fairytale level expectations for date nights, but there are those prized things that I genuinely look forward to, the ‘bonuses’, that come with an evening away with my husband. Bonuses like:
1. Not wiping little bottoms while I’m eating. Seriously why does someone always have to poop while I’m eating? Continuing to chew food while wiping a bottom (without gagging) isn’t a skill I thought I’d ever possess, but it’s something I don’t think twice about anymore.
2. Not cooking. Can I get an amen? Again, I really don’t care where we go, as long as I’m not the one responsible for purchasing, preparing, cooking and serving the food. And really, if there is a complaint about the meal, I’m not the one in charge here.
3. Choosing the restaurant. We get to pick where we want to eat without five other opinions involved. We also don’t have to consider wait times at restaurants because we don’t have any kids with us, so we can wait and wait and wait.
4. Eating my own food. I get to look at a menu someone else devised, pick what I’d like, and eat it all myself. And I can eat it while it’s still hot! The only thing I have to cut is my own food. I mean, can we just sit for a minute and let all of this soak in a bit? Eat. Your. Own. Food. Food that’s hot.
5. Uninterrupted conversation. I can converse with my husband without constant interruptions. Maybe we have to overcome some background noise in the restaurant, but no restaurant can match the noise level at my kitchen table.
6. Limited bathroom visits. I don’t have to get up five times during one meal to escort someone to the bathroom where I inevitability have to wipe someone’s bottom. (see point number 1) On top of that, when I need to excuse myself to the ladies room, I can just go alone without having to hold it until everyone else is situated. Did I mention alone?
7. Walk away. When dinner is finished, I get to walk away. Walk. Away. There’s no figuring out who does which after dinner chore. No washing dishes. No packing leftovers up. Walk. Away. Now I will confess, I do organize the dirty dishes on the table for easier clearing. I may be on a date, but I’m still a mom.
After dinner, there’s a 99% chance we will round off our date with a trip to the grocery store. This is the best gift ever for a mom with an empty kitchen. We can manage the store with coffee in hand, have wonderful conversation and a full pantry at the end of the night.
So, yeah, date night has transformed over the years for this mama and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I get a break from everyday routines, an evening out with my husband and a greater appreciation for my comfy, mom shoes.