Date Night AC (after children)

You have booked a sitter you trust, so you don’t have to waste time worrying about the kids. You’ve consciously decided on a place to dine that you normally wouldn’t bring the kids to (Fancy-pants? Hole in the wall bar?) and made sure the dinner reservations allow you enough time to eat casually and do something else afterward. You know, something spontaneous, because you never get to leave the house after 7p anymore!
On your mark, get set… DATE!

Date night has been on your mind all week. Every time one of your children threw a fit, hit their sister, refused to eat, didn’t poop, pooped too much, said “I HATE YOU!” in the middle of a crowded store, cried for candy before bedtime, etc… you thought “Date night is Friday. I can’t WAIT!” But is the build-up excitement? Or a shitload of pressure to have fun? Can it even live up to the expectations you’ve put on yourself?

Probably not.

I try not to have high expectations about much anymore. I’ve been let down too many times, so I do my best to focus on the positive and live in the moment. But for some reason, when I do get the opportunity to do anything without children attached to me, I feel obligated to have as much fun as possible. And, if it’s not quite the level of fun you had pictured in your head, well, disappointment is imminent.

It’s sad, really. Because it’s the pressure we put on ourselves that drives us crazy. It’s just another night. It will not be perfect. Shit will happen, or nothing will. Sometimes, it’s worse when nothing happens. Some couples feel they have to place certain topics off limits, like work or the kids. I understand, to a degree. I mean, life has changed, and you either accept that or live some shadow of a life. You fell in love with this person, you plan to spend the rest of your life with them; here is your chance to reconnect over dinner without a child screaming they won’t eat that mac & cheese, listen to loud music in a smoky bar, or simply share a movie in a theatre that isn’t animated.

Regardless of what you do for date night, try to remember that your partner probably feels just as much pressure to have fun & make the most of the night as you do; if you have a goal to simply enjoy each other, no matter where you are, every night can be special. Inside or out of the house… even if you can’t stay awake past midnight anymore. 

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