Let me set the all-too-familiar scene for you: You’re making dinner, your children are hanging off your limbs for dear life, toddling near the scalding stove and grabbing for sharp objects on the counter, your spouse is firing questions in your direction, none of which you can hear over the screaming and buzzing and chaos that is your life now. Clarity hits. It is a thought that says I would give anything for a date night.
Once in a blue moon you may score these elusive date nights by bribing a family member to watch your brood for an evening or saving up all month to pay the exorbitant amount that is the babysitter’s fee these days.
But try as you might to replicate those hot nights out on the town, your date nights wind up looking less like those of singles in love and more like this:
The failure to find anything that fits.
What few going-out clothes you still have are from 1998, and even if you didn’t mind looking like a Backstreet Boys groupie, none of it will even fit over your right thigh, let alone cover up your “problem areas.” Sure, you could go shopping at a grown-up store and find something a bit more age- and size-appropriate, but as you’re likely to only wear that outfit maybe twice before the next decade hits and it’s out of style, you have a hard time justifying the splurge.
Plus, you’ve got to save that money for the babysitter who, incidentally, already has clothes that fit and are of this century.
A serious lack of sexy-time underthingies.
Reliving a time when you were hot and heavy for each other means donning some seriously scanty undergarments. Problem is, the most scandalous things you own are black Spanx instead of white ones. Even when you do manage to squeeze into a push-up bra, the damn thing tends to also push down, giving you a serious case of underboobage, no amount of which is remotely sexy.
The constant battle between wanting to live it up and knowing what awaits you tomorrow if you do.
Nights without kids are so rare that you’re tempted to go all out, drinking and eating and doing all the things until you retire in a late-night stupor of alcohol-and-fun-induced glory. But you know — know — if you do let your hair down, there will be hell to pay when the baby starts screaming at 5 AM and the older kids begin fighting over who gets to stick chocolate syrup in the light sockets first.
The inability to go five minutes without turning conversation back to the children.
Try as you might to have a completely kid-free evening, you inevitably remember that you forgot to tell your partner about Suzy’s dentist appointment on Wednesday or have been meaning to discuss the teacher’s concerns about Ben’s acting out at school. EVEN WHEN THEY’RE NOT WITH YOU, THOSE KIDS ARE ALWAYS WITH YOU.
The urge to pay more attention to your phones than to each other.
You never know when a catastrophe of deadly proportions will hit, striking fear in your hearts that the babysitter may not be able to contact you if she needs to. So you keep those phones out, constantly checking and rechecking them in the event one of your little monsters has decided to set fire to the house or put his younger sibling in the dryer on high.
The temptation to stop at the hardware or home goods store “just for a second,” you tell yourselves.
Except that second turns into hours as you scour the aisles for things you need without having to also keep little ones from jamming nails in each other’s eyes and using the potty for the first time in the display toilet of the bathroom renovation aisle, until eventually, you’ve used up your allotted time out without so much as stepping foot in a romantic restaurant.
The inevitable crash.
Even if you do make it out and enjoy yourselves, that attempt at hot, passionate sex upon arriving home looks less like a 50 Shades scene and more like a dutiful missionary shag or, more likely, a quick change into sweats and a tee and an equally quick zonk out on the couch or bed. At 9 PM, no less.
That’s because date night after kids isn’t really date night at all. It’s a moment away to just breathe, even if only for a second. And despite its obvious lack of glamour and glitz, you’ll take it anyway. Hardware store and all.More On