The last two times my husband and I have tried to go out as a couple have ended in failure. A week ago we booked a sitter so we could go see The Hobbit while it’s still in theatres, but an hour before she arrived our daughter whacked her head on the bed frame necessitating a trip to the emergency room and three stitches.
Then, on Saturday, our son spiked a fever five hours before the babysitter showed up. We cancelled. The really annoying part of this particular date foiling was that I’d spent three hours at the salon that morning going back to blonde. My new lustrous locks and subsequent blow out was wasted on a sick five-year-old.
It’s all very deflating and makes you wonder — what’s the point of date night? Should we make an effort to get gussied up to go out on the town (and spend a bunch of money) when we might have to cancel at the last minute? Or, should we just lounge around in our P.J.s and watch Breaking Bad together after the kids are in bed and call it a date? Romantic, I know.
A recent story in the Globe and Mail lambasted the concept of date night, calling it a forced domestic chore that puts added pressure on couples. After our last two sad attempts, I can relate. In the run up to date night, you invest a lot of energy into looking forward to it, relishing (and idealizing) the idea of time away from the kids. But sometimes the movie sucks, or dinner is just okay, or you have to cancel and then imagine that you are missing out on the best night of your life.
On the other hand, there are times when date night works and you return home feeling reconnected with your partner after talking about things other than the kids and schedules. I wrote about date night’s benefits in a Calgary Herald story awhile ago.
Personally, I’d skip the date nights altogether if Blake and I could have regular date weekends. You know, dump the kids off at Grandma’s house and hop a flight to San Francisco or Montreal for a blissful escape exploring a new city. After all, the Globe’s argument wasn’t that couple time isn’t important, but that it’s better spent discovering something new together, or being spontaneous.
What about you? Date night — yay or nay?