It was a perfect, mosquito-less Tuesday night and we had just put our tired baby girl to bed. Later than planned, of course. This was about the time where we would usually toss around reasons why we shouldn’t just go to bed ourselves. Since when did 8:00 feel like midnight? It was that realization that stopped us in our tracks. It is 8:00 P.M. and were about to call it quits on our day.
The exhaustion of parenting on top of work was enough to squash our night, well, most nights really because if we weren’t turning in early, we were sitting on the couch watching mindless television. Further realization while standing in our kitchen led us to discuss the fact that we didn’t really talk anymore. By really talk, I mean there was lack of significant conversations. As it should, our world revolved around our baby but so did majority of our days, nights, outings and chats. We were consumed by caring for our child that we lost focus on what got us to become parents in the first place.
We were missing out on our marriage. It was then, at our tiny island that we made a promise. A promise to make the time, tired or not, without television or phones, once a week (because even that seemed far-fetched) to go on a date. This was totally feasible though. We started doing date nights at home. Mostly because at that time, we were first time parents and the outside world had a tendency to make you feel like having a non-biological adult watch your child was unacceptable.
Once we got past that irrational sense, we started leaving the house and the more we did that, the easier it became and the more freeing it felt. Mind you, my husband and I are very fortunate to have family nearby, willing and ready to jump at the opportunity to watch our babies. However, if we did not have that luxury, I can promise you that we would have found a person capable of childcare or just continued on with our in-house dates.
In fact, most of our favorite conversations happened in our backyard over a bottle of wine and our baby monitor. It doesn’t matter the location, the ambiance or the timing. What matters is, is that you’re freeing up time to get to know your person better.
The years go on, quickly I must add, and we are all changing. We find ourselves liking new things, altering our thoughts and rising in our abilities as parents and all of these things should be shared with the person you lean on. I have found that the more growth we have as a couple, the more growth we have as parents.
I once read a quote (I am a big quote fanatic) that said “Dates got you to a place where you wanted to marry your spouse. If you want to stay married, keep dating your spouse” and I couldn’t agree more with that. Dating your spouse is essential to your marriage. It keeps the love alive, projects a healthy relationship to your children, shapes up your mood and the bonus here is that it’s fun!
The promise my husband and I made to each other that night was nearly four years ago and we haven’t broken it. We date, we laugh, we set goals, we dig deep and it happens more often than not as time goes on. I strongly encourage every couple to do the same. In fact, when is your next date night? I’d love if we could share some date ideas with each other.
I’ll share this picture with you. It is one of my favorite spots from our old house and it’s the spot where we first started our once a week date nights at home. Lots of wine, good conversation, prayers and hand holding happened over that fire and that is instantly what I remember when I look back at this photo. I can only hope that every person is as IN LOVE as I am because it truly is the greatest gift.
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