By Beth Morris
Every Friday, like clockwork, I send my husband a giddy text or email that goes something like this:
“DATE NIGHT!!! What should we do? Can it involve margaritas?”
Almost every Friday since our son was born a year and a half ago, we have ended the work week by leaving our son with his grandma for a few hours (yes, we’re lucky to have local family), going out and spending time to reconnect and refresh for the weekend, just the two of us. I’ll get to the mushy date part in a minute, but there are several practical advantages to this, simply on a personal level:
1) It ensures I shower that day, and I usually even shave my legs.
2) It ensures I don’t have to cook or do dishes.
3) It ensures I must stay awake later than 8:45pm on a Friday night, thus making me pass for more youthful and energetic than I usually feel by the end of the week… Fake it until you make it. We even take Uber when we need to feel extra cool.
My husband runs a company and is typically completely exhausted by the end of the week – tired of managing people, tired of convincing people to do something or buy something, tired of making decisions. I usually end up choosing where we go because it’s beyond his decision making capacity by 5pm on a Friday.
This all to say, sometimes we don’t even feel like going on a date. Even though we have a babysitter, even though we know we’ll be glad we did, even though we’ve looked forward to it all week and I’ve sent the giddy texts. Getting mentally and physically spruced up for a date, can still somehow take work.
There have been a number of times when one of us has looked at the other on a Friday and said, “Want to just order a pizza?” But we can’t and that would be lame because we already have his mom at our house.
We kick ourselves out. Every Friday. And that works for us, and we’re grateful to be able to do it. Maybe that doesn’t work for you for reason x, y or z. Maybe your time to connect is watching the recorded Seahawks game while your baby naps, or binge watching Scandal every night after your child’s in bed. Maybe you meet up on your lunch break, or have coffee together in the morning, even if it’s only for five minutes.
Just find something that works for you, that the two of you look forward to, and make it simply, sacredly yours.
One thing I’ve learned through my own experience as a parent, and from the dozens of parents I’ve gotten to know through the PEPS groups I’ve been a part of – is everyone needs to feel connected, first and foremost, to their partner. You are the foundation of your family, and when you’re good, your kids are likely to be good, too. Kids just pick up on this sort of thing.
So listen to each other, learn each other’s love languages, and find something that can become a habit for how you connect with each other, however small or simple.
The grass is greenest where you take the time to water it. And margaritas, in my experience, are like Miracle-gro.
About the Author
Seattle native Beth Morris is a PEPS Newborn Group Leader, writer for this blog and her own (writeasrainblog.com) and stay-at-home mom to 1-year-old son, Anderson. She enjoys salty margaritas and can sing a mean Shania Twain karaoke cover (definitely in that order), and wishes life were more like the TV show Friday Night Lights.