There’s an idea out there that becoming a parent means saying buh bye to your social life, your date nights, and adult fun as you know it. Well, I’m a mom and I still go out and have fun. Not waking up with bar stamps on your forehead, going out for 4th meal fun (okay, sometimes) but good old fashioned, taking a break fun. It seems so normal and natural to me, but the more I listen up to other moms, I find it’s unusual to set aside this kid-free time.
I lived it UP in my 20’s and early 30’s. My friends and I had all of the fun, took all of the adventures and had all of the time in the world to sleep it off. I found my social and outgoing match in my husband and the party continued for a few more years. One day I woke up and just had to have a baby, so we did. We knew that adding a little one to the mix would change things. We were ready for the next phase of life and all of the family fun that comes with it. But we also knew that we weren’t about to become totally different people just because we took on the lucky roll of Mom and Dad. We each fell in love with the up for anything, just say when version of ourselves, and we wanted to be sure that element of our relationship stayed alive and well. After all, it’s a big part of who we are.
So we go out. Once a week. Almost every week. We go to concerts, bars, the movies, once we went to Home Depot because that’s all we had time for and it was glorious. We’re lucky that we have a lot of help, a perk of living in the same zip code my whole life, so finding a sitter is usually fairly easy. We pride ourselves on balancing work life, family life, and our social life. It’s as much a priority to us as other things that keep us healthy like going to the gym and getting enough sleep (did anyone else laugh at that?). It helps us stay connected as partners, build and maintain friendships and continue to have common interests aside from the common interest we created who is, of course, our favorite conversation topic.
We have kid fun too, that’s the other 6 days of the week, but one night a week if just for us. We dress up, pick a spot and show up for each other because it matters. Sometimes it’s just us for dinner, sometimes we gather a crew for Sunday Funday Football, but we make sure it happens. Is this one night a week we take for ourselves selfish? Sure, you could say that, and in fact, I’ve heard plenty of people go that route. I say no. I’m a mom, but before that, I was a friend (still am!), then a girlfriend, then a wife and those roles matter too. I’m better for everyone when I’m happy doing what makes me, me.
So what, right? I know it’s expensive to go out, expensive to pay a sitter (if you can even find one), your kids will miss you, the reasons not to do it are endless. But I promise, the shared time together and just being part of the crew with your friends is invaluable for us. We have recent fun memories to draw on when things get a little hairy at home, inside jokes to keep us laughing when parenting gets way too real. I’m not saying you need a social life to be happy, but I’m saying it’s been really good for my house. If there’s a part of you who maybe misses this part of your life, give it a shot. Mark a date on the calendar, find a trustworthy babysitter, shimmy into your skinny jeans and have some fun with your adult people.
Do you find time for regular date nights? What motivates you to get dates on the calendar and keep your commitment to having fun together?