We've all been those tired parents on Saturday afternoons – who count down the minutes when they can go to bed. But Tom Hogan from our Workplace Solutions team urges us to rally – for the sake of our marriages, and our kids. Do you think he has a point?
My wife, Elena is the most important person to me. There, I said it. If I had to rank the people in my life in order of importance, she would be highest on my list -- over my children, parents, siblings and friends. I don’t have any shame in that. She is the love of my life, and that has only grown stronger after seeing her as a mother.
But let’s face it, being a parent is hard. And it takes your relationship to another level. A better, stronger, level. And while it’s full of sweet smiles and cuddles and incredible memories, it’s also exhausting and stressful. Elena stays home every day with our two little ones. She works hard! Harder than I do on most days. And she barely gets a break. Here’s a text I received from her yesterday…
“OMG, he has been picking his nose and whining for the last 15 minutes…Finally I made him accept my help... A HUGE raisin from snacktime just came flying out”!
Ladies and gentlemen, this woman needs a night out!!!
This is why date night has become so important for us. It’s our time to reconnect as a couple – without the kids. And there’s something about doing this outside of the house – where laundry, iPhones and taking forever to find a movie on Netflix – get in the way. Let’s face it, there’s not a lot of romance eating take-out and watching a movie, even if you are cuddling on the couch. So when I heard that nearly half of parents said they took less than three date nights in 2014 (15% took zero!), I was shocked – but also really sad for them. Because I feel like a couple that takes time for themselves -- is a very strong couple.
This is what I love about Date Nights with my wife. I love when she gets out of her play clothes and into that dress she hasn’t worn in forever. I love when she smiles at me and says “I can’t wait for it to be just us tonight.” I love when we go to a restaurant we’ve never been to before, and share a bottle of Pinot Noir. I love when we belly laugh at the hilarious things our son says, because we think he’s the funniest kid on the planet. I love when we talk about our baby girl and how incredible it is watching her do new things. I love that we just had the most exhausting day, and we rallied, and somehow fresh air has been blown into our sails and now the day seems like the best day ever. I love that this new scene, these new clothes, this table we’re sitting at that doesn’t need clearing for some strange reason just made me feel even more love for my wife and my family.
We’ve all been there. 5 pm comes on a Saturday night. You are 2 hours away from kid-bedtime. It’s the homestretch. And you just want to crawl into bed yourself. You actually snooze a little during story time. And you and your spouse start talking like cavemen:
“What are we doing for dinner?” “Doesn’t matter.”
But when you’re finally out of the house, you feel like it’s the best thing you’ve ever done. You start flirting again. You start smiling and talking about your future -- together. There are no cavemen at the table.
I know I’m only speaking for myself, and my marriage, but I feel like date nights keep our relationship strong. And keep us grounded. We are the people we married – only better because we are raising these two beautiful human beings. The people we were on that wedding day are evolving, but it’s important to stop, soak it all in, and grow with it.
So for all of you who haven’t taken a date night, I urge you to consider it. It doesn’t have to be every week, but find the time to do it… and soon! Yes, someone has to watch the kids and it will cost you more money than you may like, but let’s face it, you and your #1 need a break. So take one. It’s an investment in the two people who are raising your kids. And I’m proud that my kids are growing up watching us make this investment in each other -- and in our family.
P.S. Here’s a video we made about common parent romance fails. Can you relate?