Why You and Your Spouse Need a Date Night … NOW!
Overcoming my mommy guilt to ditch the kids for a night out.
Melissa Chapman, www.marriedmysugardaddy.com
I always thought taking our kids along with us and rarely leaving them with a sitter was proof of what great parents my husband and I were. Rather than leave them to LANGUISH in the care of a virtual stranger, and be relegated to watching TV while said STRANGER talked on her cell phone, let them pour their own apple juice and get their little hands into the secret stash of chocolate, we were good parents because we’d never allow such a scenario to take place. Yep — we were those parents who schlepped our kids with us to sushi restaurants, or we simply didn’t go out. We couldn’t bear the thought of leaving them to their own devices. I mean, how could a parent leave their kid with a babysitter?!
Of course, you know at this point that this whole fear of leaving my kids with a babysitter was influenced by my very strange experiences with babysitters as a child. As soon as my mom waved goodbye, said babysitter would spend the rest of night ignoring us, inviting her boyfriend over and literally sucking his face off on our couch while my sisters and I sat on our stairs and watched, both enthralled and slightly frightened all at once. Clearly my parents should have done a bit of a background check, but it was the eighties and how could they miss their weekly dancing to the Oldies at the Golden Gate Inn motor lodge with the free buffet and … well, times were oh so different.
So of course when I had my own kidlets I made a vow. I would be that parent who would never, if I could help it, escape the tedium of parenthood for a night out with my husband while my charges were left at the whims of a teenager heady with power.
But last night, after an impromptu decision to bring my kids over to my sister’s house (they’re just two more to add to her menagerie of little people roaming around, and I know she will lavish them with attention and love, in between shoveling food into my so-skinny-I-don’t-know-how-he supports-his-head son), my husband and I dropped them off and proceeded to drive home under a clear blue sky with the convertible’s top down, like two young lovers.
I know it sounds so sappy and yet … I could not stop BLASTING Journey’s Open Arms, and we talked, and we gazed at each other, and then we went out for dinner by ourselves. There were no mouths to feed, no cranky wails of I’m hungry!, I don’t want any more1, my belly hurts!, and no I’m bored! statements to contend with. It was just the two of us and well, it was GLORIOUS. And for that brief moment in time I felt almost transported back to the summer of 1997, when we first met and there was so much possibility and excitement in the air.
And I realized I need more of these moments in my life and in my marriage.
So readers, I beg of you, I implore you … run — don’t walk — and get yourselves on a Date Night … NOW!
Melissa Chapman blogs about her marriage and everything in between at http://www.marriedmysugardaddy.com/. Her work has appeared in The Staten Island Advance, Care.com, ABC News, BlogHer, Baby Center, Momtourage, Lifetime Moms, Babble, The Washington Post, Time Out NY Kids and iVillage.