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In Need of a Date Night… I Think

A husband? What’s that?

I catch myself asking that question from time to time over the last few months. I know what a baby’s daddy is. I have one of those–Actually, I’m quite convinced I have the best one. But between work, and my daughter, sometimes it’s hard to remember I have a husband who needs attention too.

Being back at work seems to be getting a little bit harder every day. I do have my good days, where time flies and it’s time to see my baby again, but overall it’s really hard to be away from my daughter so many hours every week.

The positive is she has a great daddy at home who manages to go to school, work on my days off, take care of our daughter, and take better care of the house than I ever did. How he does it, I have no clue. But I’m grateful.

When I come home from work my daughter is happy to see me but her eyes never light up as much as they do when she looks at her daddy. Why that is, I have no idea, but she thinks he’s really funny. Even when he’s just standing there.

Both of us have put the needs of our daughter before our own but I’m torn because I feel like we need US time too.

What’s a husband? I have one, but I don’t always act like I do. No, I’m not talking about flirting with other men–Who has time to cheat?!–What I’m saying is we don’t spend much time alone. And, we haven’t been on a date just the two of us since our daughter was born–three and a half months ago! We’ve each been out and had alone time, and we’ve gone out as the three of us, but it hasn’t been just the two of us (besides one trip to Costco, which I don’t count).

What’s worse is I don’t really feel that bad about it.

I don’t miss it being the two of us, or miss having quiet time alone. But I feel like I should. Like maybe it would be healthy for us to get out alone, to nourish our marriage.

Confession: I always told myself when we had kids we’d go on a date at least once a month. Heck, I didn’t think it was a stretch to have dinner together once a week. Now I laugh at that thought.

When Lil’ J is in bed and we have time to catch up, we interrupt ourselves constantly asking “is she crying?” (we still need to invest in a baby monitor).

And remember that letter I wrote? Yea, still a problem.

I don’t think our relationship is suffering from living this way, but I can’t help but wonder if it’s one of those things that could build up and form something bad. A big fat tumor on our marriage. I don’t want to give our marriage cancer, and if a date every once in awhile is the antibody, I’m all for it.

How long did it take for you to go on a date sans baby after birth?


Miranda says:

Hi…I stalked your blog I think way before you even became prego…got bored and stumbled upon you again. And look at you now…a Mommy. Congrats…what a wonderful blessing!

Dates are S.O. important!! Honestly…my husband and I have had a date E.V.E.R.Y. Saturday night. My kids come to expect it. Our baby girl was born on a Friday (I stayed until Sunday) and we went out the following Saturday (babe and all…she only sleeps). Its always for dinner. We started leaving her with a babysitter at 3 mos and now at 4 she expects we’re leaving on a Saturday night and wants to know who gets to bbsit her.

Yes, hubby needs attention and there’s still “the two of you” and the relationship you had before baby. She’ll see how important it is to nourish a marriage, etc.

Jennifer says:

My husband and I wasted no time to go on a date after my son was born. We went out quite a bit actually – until I went back to work full time. Now that I’m only working part-time and we have less income and he’s working two jobs…well, things have changed a bit. We try to purpose to spend quality time at home with each other even when we both want to veg in front of the TV at night (and sometimes we do). I think as long as we aim for frequent date nights, we’re going good. Even if it can’t or doesn’t happen. And I think it’s easier to decide how things will be before the baby arrives….when you’re in the midst of it is completely different than when you were just planning for it! (o:

Snarky Mom says:

A date? Without children? Alone, just me and him? Does the labor and delivery room count as a date? No? Then I can’t remember the last time we went anywhere alone. Maybe our 12th anniversary…2 years ago LOL! There just isn’t enough time in the day or the week anymore when we have kids in sports and activities plus a newborn and a fiesty toddler.

Our marriage changed after we had kids. We were married almost 5 years before our first and we were the fun couple who did all kinds of things and had parties, etc. We totally became homebodies after we had kids. We like it. We like what our marriage has evolved into. We’ve decided we don’t need to go out to have a strong marriage, we just need to connect. We watched a movie together and shared popcorn the other night at 2am after I got up to feed the baby. We just had to get creative. And the libido? Mine didn’t come back until I stopped nursing after my 2 year old was born.

Natalie says:

You don’t have to leave the house to have a lone time. You just need to connect as husband and wife. Your child is important but you also have to spend time nurturing your relationship as husband and wife. Me and my husband get away often now (ours is 2 now) but we didn’t used to get away that often. We did and do always go somewhere for our anniversary though. That is the one night a year that we make sure we get away ALONE!
We get into bed a lot at night with a bowl of popcorn and watch a movie. We cuddle and talk and make sure that our little one makes it to bed at a decent time so we have the evening together.
Its hard still. You have to find balance though. It is still early it has only been 3 1/2 months. I didn’t feel like getting “frisky” for awhile after my baby.
Things will work as long as an effort is made!

Jenna says:

I don’t know, I think Carson was 6 weeks or so? That’s what a breast pump is for. And you have a TON of milk, Mama. Get thee on a date!

Seriously, though … date night is so crucial for our marriage. When we don’t go on dates, we fight, we don’t want to be around each other, we get irritated, we don’t have sex. Date night makes me feel sexy and loved. Date night makes my hubby feel like Prince Charming. And Date Night doesn’t always have to cost a ton of money, either. Or be a ton of time. Two hours is about right with a newborn.

I really, really advise you to find someone you love and trust, leave the baby with them and go on a date. You will thank yourself.

melifaif says:

Okay, I have a video monitor I will send to you to have! I cuddled it for about 18 months and now there is just NO need for it…hook me up with an awesome giveaway and it is ALL yours! Kidding. I mean, about the hook me up part. And Layla is 3….we still don’t or ever had a date night. We live in Houston…no family. ‘Nuff said. Good luck with all that…and send me your addy!

Ro says:

Ummmm yeah wheres that 10 foot pole? I feel like cant touch this question… still trying to figure this out myself and E will be 1yo this month sooo… yeah. We have become more homebodies too… we used to have parties and we used to go out but with moving to Fla and losing all our NYC friends.. we just kinda stick to movies in or movies out. but we have never been a “date night” couple. We have always been a group/couples night out couple… which I loved and miss…I guess you just have to find a rythm that works for you all..a way to connect beyond just physically going somewhere together.. xoxox

FSD says:

This has been one of the toughest issues with my hubby and I since our daughter, Zoe, was born Feb. 2009. We didn’t have our first true “date” w/o her until Dec. 2009 (10 whole months!). She’s 20 months old now and I can probably count the number of dates we’ve had on one hand. Sad, but true. We don’t have family in the area, so that just makes it tougher to get away because it takes time to find someone you really trust with your most precious possession.

As some of the other commenters mentioned, you don’t have to go “out” to reconnect with your hubby. After Lil J goes to bed, put away the computer (no blogging, no tweeting, etc). Do something interactive that you once enjoyed as a couple or discover something new. For my husband and me, sometimes that means playing a game of Scrabble or even Uno. It doesn’t have to be anything at all other than just talking.

The libido thing is tough. I still struggle with that and now I’m pregnant again, so we’ll see how that goes.

Good luck striking the balance between being a mommy and wife. Add a job to the mix and it’s the ultimate juggling act….trust me, I know. You’ll figure it out….baby steps.

My husband and I didn’t have a real date until I think our daughter was about four months old…I am telling you, she is now two and a half, and it doesn’t get any easier! Between finding a baby-sitter, paying for one, and then paying for a date on top of that, it is just too much sometimes.

However, I think date nights are very important. To make it easier, we have some swaps that we do with friends in our ward…we will watch their kid (or kids) for a couple hours one week, and then the next week they will watch ours. It doesn’t have to be anything long or fancy that you do, but you can at least get out for dinner or a movie, and no extra cost for a baby-sitter!

Let me know what you figure out…and sometimes it is really fun to just do a “family date” and do a picnic or something with the little one in tow. 🙂 Good luck.

YUMMama says:

I’m still waiting to have some alone time with my hubby and Moo is almost two. I wouldn’t feel bad about not missing the alone time. You guys are still in awe at having a new being to care for. I think that as long as you keep communications open and check in to make sure nobody is feeling neglected everything will be fine.

My mother always said ‘If it’s not broke don’t fix it!’ I like to say that some of the best alone time me and hubby have had since having Moo is when she’s sleeping. We have date nights right on the couch. We order a movie and I cook us steaks and pull out the sparkling grape juice and it’s love at first sight all over again. Don’t sweat this.

Hello,
My daughter is three, and Me and my hubby didnt start going on dates or time alone til she was 2. But that never really bothered us, because we always made sure she was in bed by 9. so we had a good 1-2hrs of just us every night. You dont need to have a date night you just need to talk to each other about other things than your daughter, You need to continue to keep things in common….If you lose that thats when your in trouble.
Date night is fun though and I do think that you need to have that just because.
And as for libido…Hunny I still havent got mine back…and I hate that. That is probably mine and my hubbys biggest problem…But you learn to make it work…try new things..keep it exciting..

B says:

Ok, this is the embarrassing comment where I admit that Ava is 9.5 months old, and we’ve yet to have a date night. Not for lack of need, just lack of family in town to watch her and not wanting to find and interview babysitters :/

And as for that letter, girrrrrrl me too. Breastfeeding is a HUGE libido killer. So is exhaustion.

It takes time to catch your grove back after having the baby and then once you’re back to work, the debate of quality time over sleep is a tough one. For us, we just had to make a conscience effort to really get out every other week. We try to do something one day as a family and then one day as a couple. It definitely helps you to remember “oh, yeah, I am married!”

[ker-AND-uh] says:

Seriously, husband and I still get some time to each other bc we have excellent babysitters, but it’s still hard. I don’t think we’ll ever be the same carefree couple that we used to be. Life has totally changed. We can go out to dinner or a movie ,but we end up talking about our life as parents a lot of the time. And about that letter, it’ll get better. I promise. It took me forever, but I’m back [a little bit]. Good luck though…becoming parents really does a number on a relationship.

LookingUp says:

My baby is just a few days younger than your Lil J, and the hubby and I haven’t been on a date yet. But we’re going on one tomorrow to celebrate our anniversary. I’m feeling horribly guilty about it, even though I know my son is going to get great care from my mom-in-law. How in the world could we go out and have fun without our little one?! But I’m swallowing those feelings, ’cause I know a strong relationship with my hubby will make our overall family stronger and better.

Jennifer says:

I think one of the hardest things after having a baby is staying a couple. The good news is that you are aware of this and are thinking about it. Now? Cut yourself some slack. You have an INFANT and a JOB and you are TIRED and your life is COMPLETELY different. This is a really big adjustment and it takes time, but you’ll get there.

One of the main things I noticed after our first baby was this new connection I had with David. I could look at her and see that she was a part of both of us and it was something so great. That greatness sustains you until you can reconnect on a different level and get things kinda sorta back to how they were before. Or at least as close as they will ever be.

I feel like a date night is very important. It helps to remember that you two are not just roomates but married as well. And like other commenters said it doesn’t have to be outside of the home. I’ve been on date night since Lil Man came and honestly I feel like those nights just make us as a couple stronger.If any of your m.i.l. live close by or you have a friend who you trust to babysit can come over and just give you 2 some alone time, I def think you should take it. or even when the baby is asleep, both of you make time for each other.

Lynn says:

My first born son was 5 weeks old when my parents literally threw money at my husband and I and kicked us out of the house. My mom said that I would thank her later. I SOOOOO did thank her later. If it wasn’t for them making us do that early on and realize that being separated for a little while wouldn’t kill us or our kids, then I think I would still be a slave to my house and kids right now – 5 and 4 years later. My mom used to never go out with my dad and even as a little girl that struck me as sad because my mom was awesome and I knew that she knew how to live and not just care for kids all day. That’s why I make time for the husband and myself now. Cause in only 15 more years its going to just be me and him again and what will we talk about – the kids? We better not! :o)

My best, Lynn

Jessie Evans says:

Jason and I went on a date when Norah was about 4 weeks old and it was SO needed. But, we have my family 15 minutes away and they are more than happy to watch my baby. Also, if I were working as much as you are, I’d be a lot more hesitant to leave her as well. I’ve only had to do two 9-hour days since she was born and being away just about killed me!

For me, I had a case of the “baby blues” and going out just me and my husband helped a lot.

I feel ya! I still have some of those feelings! We have been trying to be better about getting someone to watch him and go on a date once a week, but we maybe get it in once a month. It’s hard to juggle being a working mom, a baby, a husband, a cook, a maid, etc, etc. We went on our first date without baby when he was 5 months old and my mother was here to watch him. Then it took us another few months to get the courage and find a babysitter to watch him one night so we can go out. We do try to find alone time even though it’s hard. If you need some fun dating ideas or even just ideas to help keep the romance every day my friend from my ward started this blog with her friends. http://thedahlingdatingdivas.blogspot.com
Most of them are moms (one is a mom of triplets and 2 more). Enjoy!

Nichole says:

we haven’t had more than 1 date – primarily because of work and school schedules right now. but i agree with the “get creative” comment. what matters is that you reconnect somehow. that’s our plan for now, but formal date nights are on our wish/goal list!

Portia says:

We waited till our little girl was three months before we had a date. Now she’s almost two, and still don’t have regular dates- although last month we started a weekly small group with our church. Little girl LOVES to stay with her grandmother one evening a week!

I do have one question I don’t really want an answer to myself- how does your husband feel about the absence of couple time? It just seems like that’s the first thing a couple should discuss. I know when I first had my daughter, I was crushed when the realization hit that my life was going to be about her, and I’d probably never get the quality time with my husband that I enjoyed pre-baby.

Now, of course, we do pretty well with the time after she goes to bed. But there are plenty of days where his job was stressful and I didn’t get to talk to an adult all day, and we just need quiet. I think I’m coming to the place where I need “friend” time almost more than I need “husband” time…

Lindsey says:

We waited awhile before a date but only because I really had no one to turn to for help. If you have someone, you definitely should give it a try! The only thing is that you might find you’re thinking about your baby a little toooo much the first time, lol.

And hearing “phantom cries” as I call them is normal when you’re sooo in tune to your baby. I used to wake up in the middle of the night SO sure I had heard her cry, go to her door, and nothing. It’s just part of being a mommy, I guess. 🙂

Salt H2O says:

I’m right there with you sister, in every element. Especially since I’m not home with our little girl during the day so on the weekend the last thing I want to do is leave her with a babysitter.

We have settled for dates from 8-10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, after our little girl has gone to sleep. We usually just eat icecream and watch show’s tivoed through the week.

Rixa says:

We still haven’t figured this out entirely after having 2 kids and another on the way! What’s hardest for me is that after a full day taking care of kids and all that goes along with it, I don’t have any emotional energy left for my husband. I also tend to recharge by being alone. My husband, on the other hand, recharges by being with people and interacting and touching. Basically the opposite of me. We have about 2 hours of quiet time in the evenings. The kids go to bed around 8 and then I start heading in around 10 pm. But that’s also the only time to clean/check email/blog/read/etc, so it’s hard for me to not do those things and instead spend time with my husband (who also has lots of reading and grading to do most evenings; he’s a college professor).

And to be honest I haven’t had much desire for sex since I’ve had kids.

alexis says:

I know you said that you don’t feel that bad about the lack of alone time, but you’ve thought about it so at least you care. I’d be more worried if you didn’t care at all. But seriously? Make time for the guy. He’s probably going to be ok without it for a little while, but he’ll really start to miss you and chances are, being the nice guy that he is, he won’t say anything about it. But you guys NEED alone time! I just think of date nights as an investment in my child’s future. Even though it takes time away from them now, it’s time well-spent because a strong marriage is the most important thing I can give my children.

And I agree with what someone else said: cut yourself some slack! You deserve a pat on the back for everything you do.

Oh sorry, this is long but I just wanted to say one last thing: sex? Important. I had zero libido after having both my kids, and it was part of the PPD so I just rationalized it, but for (most) men, sex is a huge part of intimacy. I think for my husband, going without sex feels like what going without holding hands or hugging would feel to me. Totally different ways of expressing love, but we crave it. I make it a point now to reserve at least a little bit of energy for some kind of intimacy as often as I’m able to. It always ends up being a good thing. But at three months postpartum, I was still not necessarily in the mood, so it might take a little time for you too.

Mrs. K says:

Wow, I am learning so much from reading your blog–especially from reading other ladies (mommies) posts. It sounds like the consensus is that although it is very important for you to love and care for your child it is also important for you to love and nurture your marriage. I’ll keep that in mind especially since I don’t multi-task well. LOL

I’ve heard that some husbands feel neglected when the baby comes so if that’s the case you def need to show him some attention. It doesn’t seem as if there is only one way to do this. If going on a date will work best for you guys then do it, but you can also let him know how appreciative you are and make him feel special in other ways–for ex. stopping after work and grabbing something you know he would like, getting him flowers :), using that “stripper pole” you bought months ago. Just kidding (but that post was so funny).

Anyway, best of luck–I hope you find balance soon…oh yeah and get your libido back 🙂 LOL

Maria says:

My son is 16 months old and we haven’t gone out alone since before he was born. 🙁 My daughter is 5 1/2 and we’ve only gone out maybe um, once or twice a year since she was born.

Jessica says:

When my daughter was two weeks old, my husband and I went to Olive Garden for Valentine’s Day. Since then… (cricket..cricket). It’s sad. We are just so busy! I hope to, one day, be able to more regularly schedule date nights. We’ll see…
-Jessica

Mackey says:

In the early days of our lives as parents we did not go on many “date nights”. As the years have chugged along and we have added more kids to the mix we understand and relish the opportunity. As for the when, try to have a night a home after li J’s down and reconnect over a card game or an impromtu “Would you Rather” type game. Your libido WILL return….eventually. Every one is different mine usually returns somewhere around the 3 month mark. And sometimes I don’t ALWAYS feel like it…BUT I go ahead and DTD so that my husband feels loved and appreciated. Okay, so I know the whole self sacrificial loving can be one sided, I must admit I often find myself enjoying it and realizing that I actually wanted it more than my brain allowed me to believe I did.

A date???? Let’s see my oldest is 15 and I think once a year we get to go on a date. Between work and sports any free time is spent being a couch potatoe and who even has time to be one of them? But if you start now with a routine of a date night, keep it going. Don’t wait until she gets older, do it now. Kids love to see their parents all lovey with each other and they do appreciate you more as a couple who love each other and realize that its not just about them. So i say, go for the date night gurlie. Make the time for it now.

Hi, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog site in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, amazing blog!

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.



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