Thursday, May 23, 2013
My husband and I almost never go on dates anymore. At least not out of the house. Part of it is financial. We can't afford to get a babysitter usually, so we just don't. My inlaws are great about spending time with our daughter, but they are aging, and clearly not really up to most babysitting, and prefer us to be home too (though they don't frequently admit it). My family is less helpful about hanging out, and I don't feel completely safe leaving her with my parents anyway.
The other part is practical. We don't go out for religious reasons from Friday night sundown until Sat night sundown (which in the summer takes out both Fri and sat nights). I work a normal full time job (usually starting at 6am) and Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays I work until after 11 PM. When I have a break between jobs, I want to spend it with my kid. It's just hard to find ideas of what/when to do something kid free.
We do things together (without the kid) at home. We play games, garden, talk, and play fantasy football. We are (I think) fairly happy together, and I feel grateful for that. We come home each day happy to see one another, and I think both try to say nice things to each other regularly (and do little things for each other). I am proud that my daughter has pretty much never heard us raise our voices in anger at either her or each other. So I kinda take the relationship for granted a bit, and assume as long as things seem happy, I don't really need to do anything else.
I did get a bit of a shock recently when a friend started having marital problems. She confessed that she felt that she had nothing in common with her spouse, and she started to have a little relationship on the side because her spouse wasn't giving her what she needed from a relationship (emotionally). As she described her situation, I realized that I need to devote more time and effort to my relationship, before we have problems. Because it just seems like it spirals out of control SO QUICKLY.
But that leaves me kinda stuck. I forgot how to date. Most dating activity involves food (which I'm trying to be more aware of). Other dating activity seems strange to not do with my kid. Like I'd love to go pick strawberries, but that's a really fun toddler activity too, so I don't know how I would do it without her. I guess we could go to a movie, but it doesn't seem like that's a great bonding activity, or noticeably different than just watching tv at home. Anyway, bottom line I have no good date ideas, or practical solutions. Ideas welcome.