I can’t believe we did it, actually! After oh so long, we bit the bullet and hired a trusted sitter so we could have a night out….just the two of us! What a concept!
Sure, we’d had friends watch our little so we could attend a memorial/funeral service or the hubs’ work function, but not for an actual date. All I can say was, it was well worth the investment just to be able to finish a thought, much less share in a conversation, eat and actually enjoy our meal while it was still hot, and wander in and out of stores WE like to go to.
I realized that even though we’ve been married nearly 15 years, and spent nearly 12 of those years pre-child, it is vital to have quality time together. It’s easy to put the child(ren) first above the spouse, and that is just not healthy. I’ve personally witnessed good, committed marriages go by the wayside while the couple were raising children or once they became empty nesters because they didn’t put a priority on cultivating their marriage.
The concept of placing such emphasis on “the child(ren)” was somewhat foreign to me until we became parents. Granted, these offspring naturally demand more attention once they come along, and it takes concentrated effort to keep them from taking all the time and energy. Like you, my brain cells are few and far between and I’m easily distracted by the immediate “needs” of my child calling after me constantly, “MOMMY!!!!”
For instance, what seemed like ‘just the other day’, was actually a week’s time! For some reason (you expect me to remember why?!), I was following my husband in his truck and noticed that his passenger tail light was out. I made a mental note to tell him once we got home. Well, I’m sure you can guess what happened next…one interruption after another & one “MOMMMMMMMMMMMY!” after another, ’til that important piece of info drifted out of my brain for an entire 7 days mind you, until out of the blue while driving down the road together, I happened to remember I hadn’t told him about his failing light. My husband was astonished I’d forgotten to tell him for an entire week. Ah, so goes the life of a Mom.
Before my husband and I had a child, we would offer to keep friends’ children for them so they could go out and enjoy a date night without having the extra expense of hiring a sitter. It was something we felt we could do to help out and minister to our friends. It also gave us practice being around kids more. I now can understand why our friends didn’t go out more, even with our offer of free babysitting….it’s not always about the money; sometimes it’s just easier to fall in the trap of “doing what we always do” and take the kids along or hauling the kiddos to and fro for their activities because “it’s just the new normal” and we buy into the lie that we don’t need to take time for ourselves; that somehow it is only a luxury.
So, I’m/we’re committing to planning a date night once per month in order to invest in our marriage. Now, I’m not saying we’re going out on expensive dates mind you. It may be a couple hours for a quick bite to eat and hitting a few antique stores. Or, it might be coffee and hanging out in a local bookstore. Still yet, it could be sitting out at a park for a picnic and hitting up a food truck for an ice cream. The point is, taking time to invest in our marriage. I sincerely believe this conscious effort of getting out alone together will pay off in spades for years to come, long after our child is grown!
C’mon! I dare you to do the same!