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Caught Off-Guard: Date Night Tonight

"We're going out tonight" read the text message from my husband.  We've been talking and talking for a while about how to squeeze in a little time together without the kids, but life has been busier than ever for us.  It all came to a head this week when I confessed feeling so distant, given the various commitments, our respective work/school needs, domestic chores.

Wtih the generousity of nearby family, we suddenly have a couple of hours away tonight.  But: what to do?  Go to a cafe and talk?  Maybe take a walk?  Go see some art or spoken word and get inspired?  Go to a bar and ...  hang out?  Find some live music?  Feeling indecisive, I am inclined to just stay home and catch up on sleep.

If you had a couple of hours, just you and your partner, what would you do?

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Go to a totally new (for you) neighborhood restaurant in a different neighborhood and different cusine for wine and happy hour food. How about Caldera's Public House near 60th & Stark or Acadia on 13th and Fremont? We love trying new places in new spaces.

Oh, If I could go on a date I'd try Wafu on Division. I hear it's wonderful. Sigh, maybe someday.

Having the same dilemma! add to the queries: what will I wear? Do I have time for a shower? what will the kids eat? Will I get to do my hair? Oh the stress of a date night - did this used to be easier? I don't remember! (y'all have fun, though, ok? ;-)

Oh and one more question: Should I drink some coffee now so I don't fall asleep? Ahhhhh - parenthood :-)

We just did this last night. Seafood dinner and movie. A rare treat.

Come to Sellwood: Music @ The Woods, dinner @Moreland House.

Our daughter is 8 months old. I think at this point, both my husband and I would vote for staying in and sleeping. But if I felt the need to get out, I'd definitely go see a movie and go out to dinner at some place fun with music.

We sometimes just go to the gym together, especially if the kid-free time strikes in the middle of the day.

Low-cost ideas: cook dinner together and then bundle up and go for a walk; do a craft project or label photos together; go to a high-school play; go to a high-school sports event; ride bikes to Powell's and browse; build a fire and snuggle in front of it; put on some dance music, light candles, and boogie!

Date night? What's that? Ohhhhh, right. I remember. For us, it's one of us picking up a Redbox flick, then returning it, unwatched, days later because we never did get the time to enjoy it. Sigh.

We try to avoid movies on date night, because we have so few opportunities to just sit and talk without being interrupted. We usually aim for trying a new restaurant or going somewhere for a few cocktails. Then we sit and look at each other across the table and try to remember what we used to talk about before it became all about the kids.

These answers are slightly depressing...

Our first baby is due any day now, so we're about to enter the club. Although we're prepared to hunker down for the first several months, we've made a promise to make sure that we regularly find quality time with each other and nurture our relationship. We think this is really important for the health and happiness of our family - but is it really that impossible?

One of our goals is to find three other families in our neighborhood to join a "family date club". Each household claims either the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th Friday of every month to take care of all the kids, while the other parents get a date night.

So... every month you're guaranteed at least 3 nights alone, free of charge. It sounds great in theory... I'll have to post again next year and let you all know how it goes!

Emily

I was pretty exhausted that evening, but somehow we powered through & enjoyed four hours out! We left after the youngest was in bed around 830-9. We got a drink & snacks at a loungey place, then walked around outside for a bit then found ourselves at a neighborhood bar, sitting around talking to other regulars. It felt a little foreign, but refreshing! Next time the opportunity arises: I wouldn't mind bringing some food & drink to enjoy under the moonlight. And a big blankie.

Whatever you do, DO NOT WATCH 'DATE NIGHT'

to EMily: yes, these answers look depressing. but, often it's not that it's impossible to set up date nights, it's that dates fall to a lower place on the list of priorities. you know, in the heirarchy of needs, dates come in behind an extra couple of hours of sleep, or a leisurely bath. for us, sometimes it feels like getting ready to go out is one more chore on a long list. if you make date nights a priority, they'll happen, but in 6 months you might not care about date nights as much as you do now. for now, i cherish every uninterrupted conversation with my sweetheart, i plan occasional dates, and i know that things will be different as kids get bigger. your idea about finding neighborhood families to trade nights with is a good one, and maybe you'll set up the perfect trade.

It does get easier once they're older. If you don't have family around it can be hard to find someone willing (and trustworthy enough) to care for an infant.

It might sound silly, but instead of dinner and a movie do dinner and bowling or mini golf! You get to do something but you can still talk- like Sharon, we usually avoid movies on our very infrequent date nights because we want to be able to communicate and catch up and be present with each other. PDX's bowling alleys usually have a bar so you can have a drink while you are there, too. And the black light pirate mini golf downtown under the Hilton is fun!

The movie "Date Night" is hilarious--my husband and I loved watching it with a bottle of wine and dessert on our in home "date night" recently! I'd say watching a comedy that both of you can relate to and laugh at is always a good idea! Consider it.

I don't really like date nights. It feels like pressure to have fun. My husband and I try to meet up by day when kids are in daycare/school, because it feels like extra special time instead of planned fun-time. But when we do, we walk around a new neighborhood together. It's fun to see a new area and explore a new restaurant or shop.

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