I decided recently that if I wanted date nights to actually happen, it was my responsibility to make them happen. Sean and I have been married for 2, almost 3 years now. Relatively speaking, we are still what I consider newlyweds. I plan for us to change each others diapers when we are 98-years-old, so two years… we’re still babies. We are still in the phase of all the fun, and all of the romance right?
We decided to start our family, technically before marriage, but we decided to expand our family before celebrating our one year wedding anniversary. Before our second anniversary, we had three children. Obviously the sex, can’t keep our hands off each other, aspect of our relationship is well intact; even with three children. But, having three children under the age of 5, having a husband who works long days, and with both of us being exhausted at the end of each day, dating isn’t a priority all the time.
I have a problem with that. Sometimes we go so long without a date that by the time we do go on a date Sean says things like “Oh I do still like you,”.
Really? Do you? Because I don’t know if I still like me… I swear somewhere past all of the bitching about toys and shoes and clutter there is that fun girl you met who didn’t care whether the room was clean she was too distracted by how much she wanted you. I swear somewhere underneath that two day old makeup, the spit up on clothes and goldfish cracker cheese dust there is that sexy woman you met that day in college. I don’t always care about schedules, and routines. There is a tiny part of me that wants to drop it all and run off with you. Obviously we are fertile; we can just make new babies later.
Just kidding. I would never say that about our girls.
Okay, it’s not a tiny part…. It’s a huge part of me.
Anyway- if I want something to happen, like in the next year, I have to plan it myself. Sean means well, but he has these plans and like a letter to Santa, he must write it down and send it off thinking now someone will complete the task for me. Hey asshole, I’m Santa. So I skip that step and I schedule a WEEKLY date night for us for the next month and a half. Yes, weekly. That’s a commitment, a weekly date night. I told our sitter it can be any night of the week. It can be at 1:00 on Sunday, or 10:00 on Tuesday. They can be back to back on Sunday and Monday for all I care, but we will spend one 2-3 hour period of time as a couple, every week. I’m not sure if Sean didn’t believe me at first, but last night when our sitter arrived he laughed at me with my crazy eyes as I rushed to put the kids to bed and leave for our date night.
Let me lay this out for you, I had just returned from Yoga so I was in workout attire (which is not unlike what I’m wearing 99% of the time I’m not doing yoga, but this time I really had a reason to be dressed that way) and my short hair pulled back into a pathetic little ponytail. Ok, me, hot mess, Sean work clothes- button up, slacks. We get ready to leave and it kind of looks like he’s my dad so I ask him to change. He changes into a t-shirt and now looks like a hipster in a t-shirt, dress pants, and his thick black rimmed glasses. So now he looks like my dad, but maybe a cool dad. We get into our minivan and I explain the parameters of our new date nights.
“We can’t go out to eat every week. We should do different things, fun things. I don’t want to spend a bunch of money every week because then we will stop going,” I explained.
“Ok, how about we try…”
“I want Taco Bell,” I interrupted. “I am going to order a quesadilla AND a gordita crunch. I’m going to eat both, and they’re gonna be hot!”
Sean looks over at me a little disappointed knowing that I probably am more excited to go to Taco Bell than to be on a date with him. He’s only partially right.
“How about chipotle instead of Taco Bell,” he negotiates.
And so it begins… as couples we do this. Why? Why is it always so hard to choose where to go to eat? This is why next time we will go to a mall, a food court. Where we can both order from different places and eat at the same table. A place where it is ok to be different and still come together.
All I’m really trying to say is I really wanted a hot quesadilla that I didn’t have to share. Some cold Baja Blast to wash it all down without hearing Evie beg for “One sip momma, just one sip”.
I concede and we go to Chipolte. It took us seven minutes to eat our food. We stared at each other from across the table.
“Where to now momma,” Sean asks.
I don’t know asshole. You decide. I got us this far.
“How about we go shopping, I could use a couple tops for summer and maybe some jean shorts.”
Shorts that say I’m a mom, but I’m not old, but I’m also not trying to air out my goods.
Sean rolls his eyes and off we go to the strip with Kohls and Target. I watch as his hand carefully moves to overtop his pocket holding his wallet. Without having to say anything at all, I know exactly what he’s thinking… I thought we weren’t supposed to spend any money…
Once again, I probably could have just done this without him, but I don’t get a lot of time away from the girls. Maybe he will like watching me try stuff on and we can do it in the dressing room.
After several shirts, several pathetic comments about how I don’t like this or don’t like that about myself, I decide for Sean that he thinks I’m not sexy anymore and we should probably never have sex again. I shake my head disagreeing with his positive comments about my body and let him off the hook for lying.
It’s now been less than an hour since we left our house. When did we become this? Two people, in love, crazy for each other, who don’t know how to be with each other? We talked about… the kids. I thought about… the kids. I know we used to have fun. I don’t know why his silliness annoyed me last night. Usually, I’m frustrated and stressed because he’s being fun cool dad while I’m trying to keep the children alive and grocery shop. But we didn’t have the kids, so his silliness shouldn’t be annoying. I had no one to keep alive other than myself (Sean you’re on your own), the kids were home sleeping, I had no stress. I should have been able to let loose and have fun. I should have been able to join him and dance to Michael Jackson in the aisles of Kohls, but instead I smacked him and walked off in the other direction. I love Michael Jackson, I love dancing in the store, and I love him! Have I become so engrained with survival that I’ve stopped living? Stopped smelling the roses? Stopped dancing in department stores?
Weekly date nights are a good thing. I will stick with them, just like I had to stick with yoga. You have to get used to it. I have to retrain my brain to be able to switch from mom to wife. I have to retrain myself to go from wiping someone’s ass, to hey check out my ass. Next week I will relax, and let my old self free. I won’t go into next week with rules. If we are hungry, we will eat. If we want to go to a movie we will. We are finally in a place where we have enough money that we can spring for that second taco; I know we are practically like the Gates family. We used to have fun together because we used to just let it happen. I never had to force enjoying time with him, because the truth is… I do just enjoy him. We are together for a reason, and no it’s not just because we are fertile. He’s my person. The perfect match to my craziness.
There will be one rule though… don’t get pregnant. That seems to always happen when we just enjoy eachother…..
We left the store and decided to grab an ice cream cone on the way home. We laughed and ate our cones on the brisk spring night. We didn’t worry about the kids or talk about our schedules. There, leaning into my husband with his back against the van, we remembered we do like each other.
Next week when we get in the car to leave for date night: