Making date night a priority

I love my daughter, but boy do I love my husband.

One reason I wanted to wait so long to have our first child is because I wanted to have a strong foundation with my husband. Especially since we were practically kids ourselves when we got married, and we had a lot of growing up to do. Add to that the fact that we had known each other for six months (hey, when you know you know) and a little extra time together didn’t hurt.

Who should come first? Your child or your spouse? I think this answer is a little different for everyone, but something I’ve always been pretty sure about myself.

In normal everyday passing a request from my daughter may get answered before a honey-do request from my husband. Mostly because we can get things done faster that way and avoid the nagging from our demanding two year old. But overall, when it comes to quality time and attention, my husband has an edge.

Despite my stance on this, it doesn’t mean I give MORE time and attention to my husband, because in actuality I don’t. I can’t. The way our schedules work we’re sometimes like two ships passing in the night, he comes in at midnight and I’m our the door by 4am. We both get a lot of time with our daughter, and all together as a family, but time alone as a couple is hard to come by. So when it does come by, I jump at the opportunity with little hesitation.

Last Friday, I anchored the morning show and was off by 11am. He had the whole day off, so we played hookie from our toddler… Sent her for a day at pre-school while we went to Dave and Busters.

I was looking forward to this all week. No need to hire a sitter… Her school was open til’ 6:30, and we had hours of fun while she painted, played napped and learned.

20120716-003415.jpgBefore having my daughter I said I’d still have a date night with my husband, twice a month minimum. That’s almost laughable. But we’re getting better. Over the last several months we’ve met up for mid-day lunches, gone out for a couples massage, done dinner and a movie, and now this. I’m trying to do better at making date night a priority.

Sometimes it’s tempting to pass on some one-on-one time and just do something as a whole family instead, but we have a lot more opportunities for fun family time. My friend Jenni inspired me to make date night a priority. And if this woman with six kids (for some reason I have to mention the fact that she has 6 kids every time I talk about her) has managed to keep the tradition her entire marriage, I can too.

He’s the love of my life, and we deserve us time.

This was one of my goals to work on before #2. We unfortunately don’t have family around to watch Lil’ J whenever we want to get out. But a friend and I set up a babysitting swap where we’ll not just babysit, but also put each other’s kiddo to bed so when date night out is over, you can continue the date inside without interruptions (if you know what I mean).

I am treasuring these moments because I know they’re hard to come by when you have a tiny one around. I guess thats a perk to not being pregnant yet and another reason to be thankful and remember everything happens for a reason.

It took some time for me to feel comfortable going out without Lil’ J. I still have a guilty conscience that screams at me when I’m not at work and not with her. But the way I see it…

Spending time with her daddy and making sure we’re good–that’s an investment in her future too.

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Amanda says:

It’s so true, you have to make your relationship with your spouse a priority. We try and make sure we can get at least one quality date night a month. When school is in session the kiddos have religious ed once a week, so we get a bonus date night every week. It’s awesome.

Date nights are a must for us. I enjoy family time, but alone time is important. If it wasn’t for us, the kids wouldn’t be here so we have to reward ourselves! We usually do a weekly date night outing and then a weekly movie night at home when the kids are sleep. It also helps keep our sanity having a day without the kids. When we all reunite, we are refreshed.

“If it wasn’t for us, the kids wouldn’t be here” <— love this. Great point!

GK says:

You are absolutely right. It IS an investment and a way to add strength to your marriage. I also remember feeling guilty when I’d leave the little one for a date with her daddy. Now? Please. I’m like “We’ll see you when we get back, baby!” My man deserves my time, too.

So good for you and the hubby. Y’all are adorable together.

Teems says:

I am constantly reminded by other on how important the marriage is. With our newborn, I make sure that my husband isn’t left out. We are looking to incorporate a regular routine to regroup and focus on just us.

I learned a long time ago how important Date night was. My grandma had 17 kids and always had date night at least once a week with my grandad. My mother and dad had date night once a week and they are happily married 37 years later. I make date night a priority. Every sunday, I have one of my family members come over to watch my lil one, and we do it. we enjoy our time, and it feels so good. It definitely has made us much closer.

sarah bryant says:

I love this! The sentiment is so true. I think the husband should always be #1, because if the marriage is not solid, and it is unhappy, the kiddos end up unhappy too. Dads often feel left out after baby comes, because mom is so focused on the little one. Some of that is inevitable because baby (and toddler, and big kids even!), need more immediate attention, time and tlc than dads do, but all too often, moms put hubby on the back burner and leave him there.

I have heard it said by moms on many different occasions that the last thing they want is for their husband to touch them after a long day with the kids. They literally say that they are so overwhelmed from being climbed on and and loving on their kids all day, that they are, “all snuggled out”. How sad is that? How very discouraging it would be to be a husband and a father and to know that when you come home you won’t get any love because your wife already gave it all to the kids. 🙁 That breaks my heart just to think about it.

You are a good wife and mom for recognizing that even though your precious little one is super important, and needs plenty of time with her parents, your husband and your marriage is also just as important and requires it’s own special time. And regularly. Now if only it were easier! But you seem to be doing an awesome job making that work. I get so hung up on the conventional date night concept and when that never works out, I never consider anything else. Thanks for sharing ideas on how to get around that!

Brinlee'sMommy says:

But when do most mommies feel okay leaving little one? My baby girl is almost 8 months & I just cannot make myself leave her. The most I’ve been away from her was for 4hrs & she was home with her daddy. I understand couple time is extremely important…BUT I just dont feel ready to be away from her. Just the thought gives me so much anxiety.

mk says:

This reminds me of when I was a teen and would (fondly) roll my eyes when parents would call just to “check in” when I was watching their babies…and they would especially call when they hadn’t really been out that much or if it was a tiny baby.

The first few times my hubs and I went out post-baby, I honestly didn’t have that much fun. The entire time I just thought about the baby and worried. I still text to “check in” with whomever is watching him. But if your girl is 8 months, you definitely need to start going out! It can be tough the first few times, but you will eventually really enjoy that time. I promise!

Brinlee I felt the same way, trust me. It was hard at first. I think it took us close to 6 months before we went on our first date, and it was when our family came to town to watch her.

It’s hard at first but so worth it for your relationship. Last night when we went out, she waved goodbye and had a good time. I love that she sees us going out together and knows that her mommy and daddy get time alone too.

Of course, if you aren’t comfortable you can always stay in and put the baby to bed a little earlier so you cna have date nights at home 🙂 We do that a lot too!

It’s a positive thing for J to see her parents working hard to make time for each other and maintain the spark in their relationship! Your relationship with J’s dad is going to be the one that has the most impact on her relationships in the future.

Jessica S says:

I just posted about this (sort of). Although we don’t get date night as often as we like, we feel it’s really important for the kids to see mom and dad make time for each other and love each other. It’s our job to show our kids what a healthy relationship looks like, and we take that seriously. Good for you!

YUMMommy says:

Date nights are a good investment in our kids’ future. Glad you all are working harder to set aside some alone time.

TOI says:

That looks a great date. i believe having time for your hubby is good for the family, ourselves as person and relationship. I hope i will be able to leave AOI with someone and have a time for a date with hubby some time soon.

Bella Rose says:

Date nights are so important! We are definitely overdue for one. Happy parents who are in sync will make for happy children 🙂

kira says:

James and I go on on a date each week. I’m not bragging-I don’t have children so we are at the advantage, what I *AM* saying is… We’ve made it a priority too. Actually we have our sum of problems (as does everyone), but I think this is the one thing that we excel at very well. For us-Life gets distracting and so it’s always brought back to the perspective of what’s really important. The fire never has a chance to get too dim because we are constantly lighting it again. Good Goal! I’m happy you had a great night, and that you have friends to help out with watching that cute little girl of yours!

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


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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