Your kid is suspended from school. “Knee deep in laundry” is no longer figurative. Cue the husband walking in the door, rescuing you from the chaos and helping the kids with homework, finishing up dinner & getting the bedtime routine going. I fall asleep with the kid having a meltdown and he ends up sticking on the Packers Game in the living room. When I finally make it down stairs, he’s into the game and I’m too tired to have an adult conversation.
We are both there, but not really together.
We have realized if we can miss each other today, that can quickly turn into weeks and years if we aren’t careful. One of us needed to make the first move. We were in a season where we didn’t even like each other very much, only 5 years into our marriage. Dates were going to have to be a new routine. Our relationship needed to come first and we had to get intentional to figure out how to pursue each other and make this whole marriage thing work.
We quickly realized the pursuit would be expensive. At the time, we had two kids and now we have FIVE. A night out can quickly become a $100+ commitment — babysitters aren’t cheap these days! So, we get creative.
A date can include tickets, maybe to see a comedian or a show, but more often than not, we are just hanging out at Colectivo playing cards and enjoying the warm ambiance, amazing coffee & treats. (Cowboy cookies and warmed cinnamon rolls there will change your life.)
While we enjoy the entertainment, we realize connecting is much more vital to our marriage. We’ve found that our best conversations typically happen when we go out to dinner. No cooking, no kids, no dishes. Just a meal together. We have some of our favorite spots – Juniper 61 (AKA flatbread heaven) or Asiana out in Pewaukee for some mouth-watering hibachi.
Wherever we end up going, our goal is to focus on checking in with each other. We try to talk about things that didn’t work this week and how to communicate better. The kids certainly come up, but they aren’t the focus.
We brainstorm ways to help each other. He reminds me that it is hard for him when I correct him in front of the kids. I ask him to come home with a calm voice and body language. We relate, we discuss, we listen. It is my favorite time of the week because we are more than two adults raising our kids. We are a partnership; a team.
In a perfect world, dates would spark a desire to serve each other constantly and get along every day. While this is not always the case, it makes a huge difference. Every time our babysitter cancels or we can’t find anyone to come, we can feel it. Getting on each other’s nerves takes no effort. The stress level in our whole home increases. We have become dependent on our time together.
Now, when one of us is doing the laundry at 9pm, the other one stops our show to help the other. Instead of rolling my eyes, we laugh about how horribly my husband folds bed sheets. He comes up with plans for our upcoming dates. We dream and plan getaways. Then, we remember why we chose each other in the first place.
So, we are always on the lookout for new places to date. Share your favorite local spot to date your spouse! Any happy hour tips to share?! Help a mother out!