My wife and I both think it is important to make time for ourselves as a couple even though our shared family responsibilities have gone through the roof. To that end we have tried to establish a date night at least once/month. In 2008 we did pretty well and managed to go out as a couple 9 times. This year has been tougher and we only had one outing which was for Valentine’s Day.
Given that the deck seems to be stacked against us, it may be time to consider “Date Afternoon” or possibly “Date Morning.” It seems like our kids have more of a routine in the daytime than during the evenings. Night time is busier because we have to contend with dinner, baths and going to bed. Daytime is often easier because there are numerous day care options and generally just less going on.
The service industry has recognized this as well. Matinee features usually begin around lunch time and nice restaurants are increasingly open for lunch. Unfortunately the options for breakfast just aren’t there yet, but a morning of reading the paper and enjoying bagels can be a pretty relaxing time at Panera’s.
The unfortunate reality is that these time slots when the planets align are going to be even more difficult as time goes by. On a positive note, once the kids are older we can establish a local baby sitter. Our older daughter has already graduated from her fear of strangers. It will be a delight to have a sitter come by at 6:00 PM, feed and put both kids to bed and us to arrive home at 10:00 PM with nothing to do except pay the baby sitter and go to sleep.