Why I Love Date Nights

Each month my husband and I try to have a date night. A night that I cherish and look forward to so much. I feel guilty sometimes that I pass on and 'burden' my parents with our children and note that some other parents may not do it as often as us, so question whether I rely on them too much. However, I look at what date nights give us and realise how important that they are to us, our family and our marriage.

When we first had our eldest, it was a good few months before we had a proper date and spent the night away from him. It was such a scary concept and still to this day I am constantly texting my Mum for an hourly or so update! 

Despite my worrying, date nights are a monthly tradition now and I hope always can be. Last summer just after we had our youngest, we didn't have date nights for about 5 months and being completely open and honest, our relationship did suffer. We had a lot of stress going on in our lives at the time, various personal difficulties to overcome but that lack of quality time together, time to just be us, took a burden on our relationship. We bickered more, was more short and less understanding with each other and parenting became this big stress that it needn't have become.

Once we'd realised how long it had been since a date night and how much we could do with one, we had one. We went for a meal and took a walk along the beach and it was so refreshing, fun and care free. We talked like we were just dating, giggled like we were teenagers in love and forgot about the woes of food going everywhere at meal times and poopy nappys. We were just us again. I think it is easy to forget the person that you are underneath the parent. To me, I'm a 'Mummy' now and most of my decisions, if not all are based on that persona and responsibility. So take the kids out of the equation for a night and I am just me, I have no nappies to change, no mouths to worry about feeding, no bedtime routine to follow. I can be free and have fun and instead of giving my orders to Aaron of "watch him, take the rubbish out" (all followed with pleases and asked nicely, of course) I can talk to him, about anything and everything. We can laugh, stay up late and watch a movie, be young and free- after all we are only 25!

Date nights always allow myself a bit of 'me' time too which is so rewarding. Once the children are gone I blitz the house and get it super tidy, a chore that is almost impossible when children are around, I can sit and watch a bit of Netflix that doesn't involve Fireman Sam or Peppa Pig. I can then run myself a bath and drop a bath bomb in it, without worrying about the kids walking in and trying their attempts of 'washing me'. Its much deserved peace and quiet. Then the husband gets home and we can be the married couple spending quality time together which is so important I believe. Then naturally, my body clock will wake me up at a fairly early time still in the morning and while the husband sleeps I can just lay there. Awake and in my own bed, snuggled up feeling comfy and cosy knowing that little feet won't just paddle in and demand some TV/ Cucumber/ Water/ Chocolate bar NOW. I can lay in peace and get myself up and get myself ready. Simple things that are so over rated to the everyday non-parent but are experiences of bliss and a treat to any parent. To go to the toilet in peace and have a shower thats longer than 5 minutes!

We always alternate date nights in and out. We like to go out to the beach, dinner, film, bowling, even the occasional late night shopping, or we like to stay in get a dine in or a take away and watch a film. Sometimes we even blow up the air bed and sleep downstairs just because we simply can. And it is the most amazing feeling falling asleep watching TV knowing there are no night feeds tonight. Just a wine headache to ease in the morning.

Whatever we choose to do though, we always end up wondering about the boys, laughing and showing each other photos of them we've both seen a thousand times. I would say Aaron and I have a fair bit in common, but the best thing we end up talking about is what we made together and what we have devoted our lives to, despite having the occasional night off, our gorgeous beautiful intelligent and funny boys.

The best thing about date nights too, is always what follows. I always can not wait to be reunited with those smiling faces I missed all evening and night. I am refreshed and ready for the tantrums and hyperness from actually sleeping during the night. If we've been out or sometimes if we haven't I feel the need to bring them something, always small, usually chocolate- just incase they reject our return which has on occasion happened.... or they've looked up and carried on their activities. My youngest frequently won't come to me for the rest of that day, he will curl up against Grandma and hit me and shout "NO" when I come near.... I take it as a compliment as it has meant that he missed me and hated me for leaving him.

Date nights are my fuel, like a coffee is after another sleepless night. They keep me going, keep me strong. They keep our relationship not just ticking over but very much alive and kicking, like we were all those years ago before the thought of children even entered our minds. I am so lucky to be able to trust my parents enough to watch over them for me and I am so very lucky to have a husband that I can still go on dates with, after 4 years of marriage and still get those butterflies. 

I am so excited for my next date night! 

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