'It's Saturday night do you where you know where your children are?'....Hopefully, they are not sitting next to you on the couch - one deep in group texts with her classmates, and the other chasing angry birds on his Galaxy Tablet. Oh wait- those are my kids....but I digress.
Is this a regular occurrence in your home? If so, grab a chair and let's talk about it.
As the owner of two childcare businesses, I come in contact with many parents, both married and unmarried that express how long they have gone without an night out either alone or with their significant other. They complain about being out of touch with their inner friendship circle, their spouse, or more importantly themselves.
They feel out of touch, mainly because they don't believe they have the time once all the children, work, & family obligations are met day to day.Can you relate?
I remember when my husband and I were first married, we vowed that we would always set aside 'Me Time', 'We Time' & 'Family Fun Time'. Well that me time wasn't so hard to attain, the family fun time pretty much happened by default because we just always happen to have our children around.
The 'We Time'...well, let’s just say required a few simple things: prayer, a trusted responsible, non-smoking, first aid/CPR certified, sitter over 18 with at least 2-3 years childcare experience and reasonable rates, a safe insured vehicle, valid driver’s license, and finally a sense of humor. See...just a few simple things!
My husband & I looked forward to any and every opportunity we had to get dressed up and get out of the house. Then we finally remembered that we actually enjoyed each other’s company long before the kids arrived. So after some honest, overdue dialogue, we implemented "monthly date nights".
We agreed that each month, we would take turns planning the next date night, and it would remain a surprise to the other for as long as possible. Our dates nights would range from dinners and a movie, to music concerts at Madison Square Garden, to him 'teaching me' how to play pool, to a simple quiet candlelit dinner at one of our favorite places - the living/dining room!
Although a date at home in your living room, doesn't seem sexy to most, the emphasis should never be put on the extravagance of your date, but rather the end result:
- Learning something new about your partner or yourself.
- Experiencing something or somewhere brand new-together.
- Laughing harder on this date than you have on any other.
- Feeling giddy to engage with your partner as you did on your first day.
- Dressing to impress your date.
We are not encouraged by society to take time out for ourselves as parents. We are told to spend every waking moment making our children happy, whole and comfortable - no matter the cost. Unfortunately, many of us don't realize that if we (as parents) aren't comfortable, happy and whole, then we are doing a disservice to our children.
It wouldn't be a bad idea on occasion to allow our children to see us being loving, playful and even little selfish with ourselves as well. The lessons for our children, would be immeasurable. They would learn to appreciate seeing their parents celebrate and enjoy each other. They would learn to acknowledge that their parents are more than just ’those people who hang around the house waiting to do their laundry and prepare their meals'.
Take the time to figure out how and when you can make the time for yourself and your partner. This sends a message loud and clear to your partner that you are willing and eager to create more and more channels in which to share yourself while getting to know them better.
Here are a few tips that may help to get a successful Date Night rolling:
- Join or create a babysitting pool with some friends that have children whose ages are similar to your children. Take turns babysitting so that childcare is never an issue.
- Host a couples game night with other couples who are seeking some "adult only fun" as well.
- Trust and PAY an older sibling or teenage relative to babysit in your home or their home if you feel more comfortable having some close-by adult supervision.
- Research a childcare company that hires qualified and verified sitters.
- Try a "Date Day" as well. Coordinate a short romantic local activity while the children are in school hours.
- Stay away from discussing the kids! Try to keep the moment strictly about you and your date.
Lastly.....KEEP IT UP! Don't let small hiccups, deter you from spending time with the one you love!!!
Simone Ross is wife, mother, and CEO of Lil' Tux N Tiara's Event Sitters & Entertainment™
Follow Simone on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LilTuxNTiaras