7 Reasons Date Night Never Works Out for Parents

Image source: Thinkstock
Image source: Thinkstock

Like many wives, I am pretty familiar with the concept of how important date night is.

Every couple needs some alone time, they say. It will be fun to take some time for each other, they say.

And like many wives, I nod my head and think inspiring thoughts to myself such as, they’re right! It would be nice to have a date night! I mean, how hard can it be? Book a sitter, enjoy eating a meal I don’t have to cut into tiny pieces four times over before I can eat a bite myself? Sign me up!

But then, like many wives, my well-intentioned plans for date nights always seem to fall through. And here are a few very valid excuses for giving up (as I often have) on date night:

1. The kids get sick.

Tell me, parents of the Internet, that I am not alone in this. My kids will be healthy 364 days of the year but then, without fail, will fall prey to the most mysterious of illnesses exactly within 12 hours of any predetermined date night. The illness always involves one of the following: excessive amounts of puking, a fever of unknown origin, whiny complaints, accompanied by vague hand gestures from completely unhelpful toddlers.

2. The babysitter gets sick.

Even if the heavens and the stars align and rainbows are filling the sky and you and your significant other are on the verge of joining hands and skipping merrily through a flower-filled field while music plays joyfully behind you, you had better check your phone one last time for the fateful text from the sitter: “Sorry, but I’m going to have to cancel tonight. Not feeling very good and wouldn’t want to get the kids sick 🙁 .” There aren’t enough emojis in the world for this one, are there?

3. You are unable to formulate any plans.

There’s pretty much a fail-proof script for how this one will go down:

Spouse A: So, what do you want to do Friday night?

Spouse B: I don’t know — what do you want to do?

Spouse A: (shrugs) I don’t care, it’s up to you.

Spouse B: Well, if something sounds good to you, you can choose.

Spouse A: Really, I don’t care, I always choose …

Spouse B: …

Spouse A: …

And somehow, Friday night will magically roll around and you will have made precisely zero plans. Again.

4. You get in a major fight.

You know, the type of fight that will prompt me to declare to the husband-I-married-who-has-never-once-planned-anything-his-whole-life that I am on a date night planning strike, dammit! You can book the babysitter and plan where we go! I just want you to want to plan a nice night out with your wife, is that too much to ask for?

And around and around you go, until you’re both too sick of each other to even think about going out on a date night.

5. You’re having a fat day.

Us at-home parents don’t get sick days, so I’m just going to go ahead and grant us all ten (number negotiable) “fat day” passes to use each and every time we are having one of those nothing-fits-why-did-babies-ruin-my-body-and-I-know-I’m-supposed-to-love-my-rolls-but-still-I-wish-I-could-button-my-pants moments.

But — and this is a big but — you only get a few passes a year, so next time, you will have to suck it, realize life doesn’t magically start when you’re the “perfect” size, and go out and have a good time, OK?

6. The kids were all up night.

I swear my children can sense that we’re trying to escape them, because they will always make the night before a date night a living hell. It’s like they are trying to both punish us and ensure that #7 will happen:

7. You’re just too darn tired.

Hands-down, this is what happens in approximately 99.98% of all of our much-anticipated date nights and honestly, I’ve just accepted it. The thought of the effort it takes to keep my house clean all day in anticipation of the babysitter coming, try to have all kids fed and bathed when she comes, hope that 1-6 don’t happen, and then prop my eyeballs open long enough to see my husband, let alone stimulate some brain cells to have an intelligent conversation, AND do the two-hour prep work that goes into getting dressed and ready? Shudder. Thanks, but no thanks.

Sometimes, the best date nights happen at home, with our babies tucked safely into bed and us dreaming of being rudely awakened in one and half hours by the sounds of them screaming.

… And you thought I wasn’t a romantic.

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