This is probably a term most people would not have used for married people a generation ago. I certainly do not remember it while I was growing up. Date night was for those young people spending an afternoon getting ready to go out that evening, with someone very special, and you wanted to look your best.
I want to take a different spin on this…get away from the books telling you how awful you are if you don’t do this for your marriage once a week. Honestly, life is difficult enough…why are we reading books that put more pressure and guilt on us about the way we should parent, run our marriage or just generally live our lives? Let’s just apply some good old common sense for a bit.
When we marry and decide to spend the rest of our lives with one person…we are making a HUGE commitment. When we add children, whether one, two or twenty to the relationship…we take on more responsibility. People used to understand that. They realized their lives were going to change and you would not have all that you had when you were foot-loose and fancy free…mainly freedom. To do whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted with whomever you wanted.
So now you are married, with ‘blank’ number of children. This IS your life, and in most instances, it is what YOU decided to do. So make the best of it and be happy! Yes, you CAN and SHOULD do this!
Now, before you ‘unfollow’ me or hit ‘unlike’ or even tell me I’m nuts…please hear me out. I am not saying you should never go out or go away with your spouse. I am not saying you are tied to your children 24/7. But really, quit EXPECTING this is your RIGHT. Again, YOU made the decision to get married and have children, now make a life for you and your family that is liveable, enjoyable and fun.
Now, some solutions to this. I had five children, and my husband drove over-the-road for many years. Until our oldest daughter was a teenager, there was no leaving. Because of that, I learned to live my life in certain ways.
A married couple DOES need time to themselves. If you prefer to call it ‘date night’ make it happen. If you need it once a week, once a month, etc., make it happen. I put my children to bed early, around seven p.m. I was always guaranteed a few hours in the evening to do what I wanted without caring for children. Yes, parents DO NEED this little break each day to get ready for the next day. Spend this time with your spouse and make it special. Make your bedroom special…not the congregating place for the family, if at all possible. Congregate in THEIR bedrooms. Plan a special meal, eat slowly and talk. Pop some popcorn and watch a movie. Make that person a priority in your life, make them special. And you can do this without leaving your house.
Again, I am not trying to give anyone a hard time. But each of us needs to remember that we are able, and should, decide what our lives are going to be within the boundaries of the decisions we have made. Don’t run from them…embrace them and make them enjoyable. This post is for me as well. To encourage, build up and give the freedom to make your life what you want it to be. Love the people that you have chosen to spend your life with, be thankful for what you have. There is only one ‘go-around’ at life. Experience it to the fullest in the best way possible. Now, go out and have a FANTASTIC day!