|Once Upon a Time on Our Last Date Night...|
Time and again, I have been advised "Make time for date night. It is the key to a good marriage after having children." And I totally agree. Date nights are important, and they should be prioritized. However, sometimes the circumstances make it somewhat tricky.
Currently, we are breaking this sacred parenting commandment. L and I haven't been on a date since last year. There are a lot of factors that have played into this. My mom has been our "go to" babysitter and a lifesaver in many situations. However, she has been dealing with some sudden and scary health issues. She is still a big help, but it is very important that she gets her rest, and asking her to watch K and hang around until late at night is out of the question.
I have hopped on and off Care.com so many times, studying potential babysitter profiles, but have never pulled the trigger. I get close and pick out a few profiles that seem to stick out from the rest, but something always distracts me from following through. I have gone the word-of-mouth route, and gotten names of trustworthy babysitters from other moms, too. Again, haven't followed up on any of those.
Part of the reason for not pursuing a babysitter more fervently is K's separation anxiety. L and I actually went on more dates during K's first year than now! K is not an easy going toddler, especially when I'm not around. She is used to going everywhere with me. She's my little buddy. I know this is not really good for her. We need to practice being away from each other in preparation for pre-school...and life. But, it doesn't make it any easier when she's clinging to me like a monkey, and I am trying to do all the "right" things like tell her goodbye and attempt to close the front door while she's screaming her head off.
Another factor is money. A sitter in this city runs anywhere from $15-20+ per hour. We've got some wiggle room in the budget (see: Spending Freeze) to afford the occasional date night, but shelling out all of that money isn't exactly incentivizing us to go out.
All of this and we circle back to the fact that procuring a date night has not been easy. I do miss having time alone out of the house just the two of us. We need to be more committed and creative about finding ways to hang out alone. However, we are making it work. Life goes on, and a marriage goes on (with or without date night). For now, we cherish the time spent after K goes to sleep at night.