As a relatively new mom (I’m only 18-months into this and still learning a lot), I have wondered how other parents had achieved this infamous “date night” I’d kept hearing about. The only time we’ve had a night out was if our amazing friends or family offered themselves up for the taking, or it was a special occasion (birthdays, a wedding, etc.).
So how were regular date nights ever going to happen?!
Full disclosure: For a LONG LONG time I did not want anyone else watching my babe, other than me. That’s family included. It was nothing against any of my family members! My postpartum journey left me rippled with intense guilt, causing me to feel extraordinarily protective and stricken with agonizing anxiety, fear, and worry over our daughter and myself, any time I had to leave her.
Now I can say with solid confidence that I neglected, at times, (read: too often) myself, my marriage, my spouse, my work (housework, work-work, blog-work, all. of. the. work.)… all for the greater good: my amazingly challenging, thoughtful, curious, and stubborn 18-month-old daughter.
Of course, my postpartum journey was what it was. I’m not going to write it off as though I should have done “this” or “that” differently. Like any other new mother’s journey, it was my unique experience, but these experiences set me up for a pattern of behavior that I am no longer comfortable with.
I am no longer satisfied neglecting these cherished parts and relationships in my life and I’m making a change.
And when I say “change,” I mean it! My work-work schedule is changing, which I am very excited for; however, this led to our family’s need for a long-term, part-time sitter. After lots of research, I came across a fellow DMMB-Mama, Leah’s post about Babies to Boomers and thought I’d check them out. Let me be clear that my purpose for going with them was strictly work-based; however, after a much-needed family staycation to FairPlay, I realized how much of the above-mentioned neglecting had been going on for both me and my husband. I was craving time with him, as he with me. The last time that we had the opportunity to have dinner alone was close to 2 months prior, and prior to that it was 6 months! So it was during our staycation that I decided to “dare” myself.
Dare myself to make the effort. Dare myself to make the time. Dare myself to make a date night happen!
I stood firm, confident, and proud! I was making a conscious choice to put my marriage, my spouse, and myself first. It felt refreshing! As a surprise to my husband, I booked tickets to a concert since two of our favorite bands, Thrice and Deftones, were in town and playing at the Pepsi Center!
A Friday night. A concert. It’s what dreams are made of! And it was AMAZING!
The concert alone was amazing! Music has always been a way for both my husband and I to sooth our souls. Having the opportunity to see each of our favorite bands was thrilling, and hearing them play live, was incredible!
Yet, the concert was not just the exciting part about the night. It was the first time, in a long time, someone other than me or my husband was giving our daughter a bath and putting her to bed. It was the first time, in a long time, that I was getting to have a meal that was not interrupted by toddler chatter (read: multi-volume, inaudible chatter and disjointed demands). It was the first time, in a long time, I didn’t have to be responsible for food spilled on the floor, cleaning up dirty dishes, and keeping to a bedtime schedule.
Our meal was simple: we ate standing up at the hot-dog stand. Hot dogs and beer. Is there anything more simplistic and delicious?! It was fast, it was filling, and it was full of laughter, intimate chatting, and giggling. It was exciting to just be together, alone, chatting about life and seeing these amazing musicians.
Being a parent is hard work. Everyone who is a parent understands that. Yet, often we forget that in order to be the best version of ourselves, whether that’s a spouse, parent, employee, friend, etc., we need to take care of ourselves and our relationships. So, do me a favor, and dare yourself. Dare yourself to connect, dare yourself to engage, dare yourself to be you and have fun!