When I was pregnant with our son, a lot of people gave us the advice, make sure you take time for yourselves as a couple, have date nights, etc. etc. This is great advice and I pass it on to every parent. However, it is easier said than done.
We live in a city away from family, our closest set of grandparents is 1,370 kms away, approximately. They would all love to take care of their grandson or have him over for sleepovers but proximity is kind of an issue! We have a lot of great friends who offer to babysit and we do take them up on the offer every once and a while but they’re busy and have lives of their own. Asking a friend to give up their evening, especially on a weekend, isn’t as easy as asking your parent who loves spending time with their grandbabies and has passed that “going out” phase in their lives.
So here we are, getting the odd date night in and even making our own date nights at home occasionally. We give our kiddo some supper, put him to bed and than cook together and set the table all fancy to enjoy a meal without a mess! Another thing we’ve been doing is having family date nights. Make no mistake, this is not the same as a date night without kids, but it’s still nice!
This week we went to Kinjo’s, our favourite sushi restaurant. It’s family friendly, but not full of kids. Our son loves it, he doesn’t like rice but he has miso soup, tempura vegetables and chicken katsu. They gave hime a pair of practice chopsticks so he can be just like mom and dad and he loves his complimentary fruit platter with the orange jack-o-lantern! We went early so he wasn’t sleepy, he behaved perfectly (this isn’t always the case!) and we had some great quality family time! …and a break from cooking and cleaning with a change of scenery!
It’s so important to take time for yourselves and your marriage. It’s too easy to put your kids to sleep and collapse, exhausted, in front of the tv, checking the time to see when you can finally justify going to bed yourself. This is something my husband and I often find ourselves in the habit of. A marriage or relationship takes work and when kids are involved, you have to work even harder. So be aware. If you find yourself in a slump, do something about it. If you can’t get out due to resources or finance, make your own date night at home. If you want to get out of the house but don’t have a sitter, make it a family date, it’s better than nothing!