Before I had children I use to roll my eyes at those over tired parents who had no time to date.
I mean really? How hard could it be to call up a babysitter, put on some lipstick and heels, and take off for a few hours?
Turns out REALLY hard. I apologize for my pre-child self. She was a little judgmental and rude.
Last month I actually jumped at the chance to write about Date Night. Easy and fun. Just schedule a night on the calendar. Dress up. Eat yummy food. Look the love of my life in the eyes for more than two seconds. And then write something cute and annoying about how much we love each other and how important it is to prioritize marriage.
But then. Our calendar filled up really quickly. Somehow kids’ activities, and kids’ parties, and work deadlines invaded every free space.
But hey, no problem.
We aren’t new to this parenting gig. Put the kids to bed early. Light some candles. Turn up the music. Cook dinner together – maybe steak and shrimp. We got this.
And then our furnace broke for an entire week.
And then my husband caught pneumonia.
And then my girls got sick.
And then one kid decided to pull an all nighter.
The normal exhausted version of ourselves became walking zombies. We were barely surviving life. We had barely any energy to parent, let alone date.
Romance? What’s that?
I’ll be honest in saying that I felt pretty sad about it for a few days. Every attempt to date was foiled. I love my spouse, and in the chaos of real life, I missed him.
And then it dawned on me.
We didn’t have to book a babysitter. Or make reservations to a fancy restaurant in order to connect.
We just needed to meet each other where we were at. Sick kids. Pneumonia. Exhaustion.
So spontaneously on a diaper run to Target, I threw a couple pints of our favorite ice cream into the cart and sent a quick text.
“Date night? PJ’s? Favorite shows in bed? Ice cream?”
I quickly received a text back. “YES!”
So late that night, when the last big kid finally turned off their light, the two of us snuggled under the covers and ate ice cream until our tummies hurt.
There were no candles. Just some laughter, a box of Kleenex and a bottle of NyQuil. It was a different type of romance. Cozy and sweet.
So sweet Mamas. Date your spouse. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Chances are, if you have kids, dating will look different. Maybe it’ll be spontaneous and simple. But that’s ok. There are no rules for how a date night should look. Just do what works for you. Heels or pajamas. Either will be amazing.