Marriage…and dating. 

I know what you are gonna say because I’ve said it all. Childcare is too expensive. We don’t have time to go out to dinner. We don’t trust babysitters. We don’t drink or party. We reserve our free time for family.  We are TIRED.

I get all those. I’m a mom. Married to a mom. We “mom”.  That’s what we do. What’s more is that we had a ready made family so, unlike most marriages, there was no time when we were “pre-kid.”

Date night!
Kids change marriages. No matter how good your marriage is or how much it may need work, it’s just a fact. No matter how much you love your kids or how much help you have, the dynamics between you and your spouse will change. But your marriage doesn’t have to take a back seat. You have a relationship independent from your children. If you remember that and give it half the attention you give to the needs of your children, you are on a great road to a happy and long lasting marriage.

Childcare is expensive. We know this. Some people scrape up all their extra cash just for daycare costs. It’s insane. The last thing you probably want to do is throw more money at someone at the end of the week so you can have dinner out with your spouse.

Do it anyway.

Save up. Take a sandwich to the office and put back that lunch money. Cruise past Starbucks without stopping. Give up something insignificant and temporary and put it towards something that can last a lifetime. I know I just referred to coffee as “insignificant.”  This is a lie. I can’t function without it!! But you can make it at home for pennies. Do it. It’s worth it.

A zombie parade qualifies as a date!
Time. Who has it? Not a mom! Whether you stay at home or go to an office, or especially if your home IS your office, time is a fantasy to most moms. Add in multiple children and the idea of free time makes you snort with laughter. Again, this is relative. Most people can find a couple hours in the week to spend together if they structure it well. If not two hours, an hour. Go have one drink at a bar up the road. Take a long walk around the neighborhood.  Have a late coffee at the Starbucks you crushed by this morning. Just get out and do it alone-together.

I know the idea of leaving your precious punkins with anyone, even for a few hours, makes some of you break out in hives and a sweat but I promise, there ARE people out there qualified to supervise your children. It’s true that no one will love them like you do but someone out there can keep them safe and alive. Ask people you know and trust. We have a girl who comes occasionally and helps out so we can get out together. We know her family well. Do your research. There are good sitters out there.

I love the nightlife. I like to boogie.

Not really. I haven’t liked the night life in a few years and the only boogie-ing I do is to the tired-ass songs on my baby’s electronic toys. Ok, and in the car with J.T.  Date life doesn’t have to be night life! Sometimes we get out on Saturday mornings. The sitter comes, we head out and have a nice breakfast together and do some things we enjoy, like estate sales, antique shopping or the Farmer’s Market. We do these things with the kids sometimes, also. But it’s nice to get out and be able to really focus on one another and our thoughts and ideas without worrying about diapers, snacks, someone needing to pee or petty fussing over who sits where in the car.

Visiting a grown up arcade at 4 in the afternoon qualifies as a date!
It’s hard enough to find free time these days. Many people like to schedule their leisure time doing things as a family. That’s what it’s all about right? That’s why we do what we do. It’s why we work so hard. It’s why we don’t have time in the first place because we are providinge for our families. So because we spend so much time providing, we want to take what’s left and give it back to the ones we have taken  it from.  We love family time, too. Once a week we have a movie night with the kids with popcorn and the works. We also try to take weekend excursions every few months or so. We go to lots of festivals and take walks together.  But the marriage is the root of your family. The foundation. It has to be kept strong or there might not be a family to reserve time for. The most important investment into your child’s future, in our opinion, is a healthy marriage. Turmoil or disconnect in the home can cause extreme stress in children. Making sure you save a couple of hours a week for your spouse isn’t taking from your children. It’s giving to them.

You’re tired. We know. We are tired, too!! Parenting can be exhausting. But if you can push yourself out the door, you might just feel more energized. This is where to Saturday or Sunday morning dates can come in so handy. You are all coffee’d up, kids are watching T.V anyway, looking crazy with their bed heads. Waiting until night time could be a recipe for disaster. By the time dinner comes you will be ready to sit down with a glass or nine of wine, which isn’t going to be uber relaxing with the kids around. Call the sitter. Get dressed. Kiss the cartoon zombies.

Tell them you’ll be back for lunch.

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