It’s cold outside, you’re tired and you don’t have much money to spare this month. You feel like staying home instead of going out on the date night you promised your spouse. The only problem is he’s really looking forward to a night out alone with you, focused on conversation that doesn’t revolve around baby poop or sleep schedules.
Should you cancel like you did last month, or should you go out even though you’re not feeling like it? If your spouse wants a date night and it has been months since your last one, you may want to take one for the team. Here’s why making time for a date night is a good idea.
You and your spouse need private time to remember you are a couple, not just roommates.
This should be obvious, but it’s easy to lose sight of that when you feel like you are being pulled in too many directions at once. If you’re feeling crunched for time, you’ll tend to shortchange your spouse instead of your baby. That’s perfectly normal, but you need to realize that to have a healthy relationship, you need to make time for each other, at least occasionally. Tag teaming the dishes doesn’t count as quality time.
You don’t need to book a hotel room for the night or go on a weeklong vacation without your child – grabbing a cup of coffee and just talking for two hours might be enough to tide you over until you can have a proper date night.
Date nights show you want this relationship to work.
No one likes to be blown off, and if you repeatedly ditch date night, you’re sending a message to your spouse that he’s not important. You need to show your significant other that he is a priority too, and the best way to do that is by carving out some time for him.
Date nights offer important socialization time for your child
For the few hours your child is away from you, she must learn to tolerate another human being – one who doesn’t know her every quirk and preference. That can be a good thing for your child. You want your baby to be comfortable interacting with others because it’s a skill she’ll need throughout her life.
Remembering who you were before you became a mom is good for you
Yes, you’ll still be constantly watching your phone to make sure there’s nothing wrong with your baby. That’s to be expected. But what you might not expect is that you’ll see a glimpse of the person you used to be while you’re on your date night. You may see a flash of your old spontaneity, and you’ll probably wonder why you waited so long to have an adult night out.
Happy parents make for happy children
The stronger and healthier your relationship is, the happier your child will be. If date night is the glue that keeps your relationship together or stops you from fighting or taking each other for granted as much, your child will be better off because you made the effort.
Shannon Serpette is a mother of two and an award-winning journalist and freelancer who lives in Illinois. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.