A few years ago, I heard the term “date night” and thought, ‘Do you really have to schedule it in? Things must be dire if that’s the case!’
I was a carefree lady and my boyfriend (now husband) and I could pick up and go, whenever we decided to enjoy an impromptu dinner & drinks or night out on the town. Our connection and the sparks as lovers was shining brightly!
Fast forward a few years and we’re now big fans of “date night”. In the midst of being parents, working full time, raising a child, running a business and having no family around; it’s a crucial part of what keeps us going as a couple. Otherwise it was very easy for life to get in the way and precious couple time disappear.
When you become a Mum, the enormity of the responsibility and attention required to support a little human can be overwhelming and all encompassing. Weeks and months pass by where your focus is entirely focused on this and understandable nothing else.
However, it’s important to you to reconnect with all your other identities; Partner, lover, friend, etc. As parents, it’s easy for us to get caught up in the functional, organising lunches, paying the bills & sorting stuff. It can be easy to lose track of the lover’s part of your relationship.
Before you know it, you’re bickering over who forgot to get the groceries or leaving the kitchen a mess. The fun, joking around part of you has all but disappeared and been replaced with seriousness. The spark has become fireworks but not the good kind!
Date night is a way of reconnecting firstly as friends, having some fun together which builds to stronger lovers. Regular intimacy and a good healthy sex life is always good stress relief! Laughing, enjoying each other’s company without the burden of running a busy household. It’s uninterrupted time to focus on you two again. Time to reconnect with what makes you feel attractive and attracted to each other. A chance for a woman to put on some clothes that haven’t got sticky paw print all other then. A chance for her to embrace that fun, flirty side of her. To remember that she is someone to be desired and reconnect with that desire and love for her partner.
Taking regular time out for a date night continually anchors these feelings and links to that part of you. This then builds to little signs of affection in the everyday chaos. The little cuddle whilst cooking dinner, the stolen kiss as you walk past to grab a cuppa, the snuggling on the couch whilst you collapse in a heap after a hard day. The love and respect flows as you are closer. There is a lightness to you. Issues are easier to resolve as you are a team.
Without this regular date night occurrence, it becomes easy to feel “forgotten” or “taken for granted” in your relationship. None of it is intended. However, if you’re not regularly filling up your love tank, it’s going to run dry and resentment likely starts to build. Things get heavy and serious.
And why does this matter to your kids?
They see the love and affection between you and it makes them feel safe. They see you as a solid unit. They form their beliefs of what a healthy relationship is from observing you. If they see a couple that is comfortable cuddling, kissing, joking around and working through issues together.
Sometimes things may get a little heated resolving issues however overall, they experience love and affection and they feel safe. If they never see you as a couple taking time to focus on you as a couple, they will assume that’s not necessary to do so when they are older. Like your health and fitness, you need to invest energy and time into your relationship to keep it healthy. Our kids need to know it isn’t a set and forget. They learn everything from us.
Your kids also learn that they are not number 1 in your world. No question, you love them and take care of them. However, they learn that there is more to Mum. That they have to share her. There are many parts to her identity and there is no reason to be threatened by that. In fact, when Mum is fulfilled by being all that she loves, she is the fun, happy Mum that they love and adore. They see this woman who takes care of herself, who is openly adored by their Dad (or partner) and they realise that you are so much more.
So, embrace date night!
Give yourselves some time to reconnect with each other and why you fell in love in the first place. I promise you the effects of investing in your relationship will ripple throughout the rest of your world.