Friday, July 31, 2009

date night

So here goes, confession time. DH's birthday is just around the corner. (So is Charlotte's 1st, and our 5th anniversary.) I have been asking him what he wants for a party, was thinking a bowling night out, since he loves bowling and we never go. He came home from work yesterday and stated that he figured out what he wanted for his birthday. Two dates with me, sans baby.

So, not a big deal, right? Kind of nice, huh? Well, my heart kind of stopped and I felt really anxious. The only place I have left Charlotte is in the nursery at church and this is under the clause of "as soon as she starts crying come and get me"! Bless the ladies who work in the nursery, because they totally respect that and don't make her "cry it out". (Which some people do, I'm not saying it's wrong, just not for us.)


I babysat a kid once who was 2 1/2 - 3 years old, his parents were going on a date for the first time since he was born. I think I was in uni at the time, probably 19 years old? I told myself, I would NEVER be like that, my hubby and I would be going on dates like crazy, right? I would be so comfortable leaving my baby.... because I just would!

It's not that I don't value my husband, or our marriage. Some of my most relaxing moments of the day are at 10 pm, with a small snack, curling up on the sofa to watch the latest "So you think you can dance" and snuggle for a few minutes before we both drift off.

It's just..... I value attachment parenting. For us, that means nursing Charlotte on demand. Responding to her every need as soon as she has one. Trying to respond to her toileting needs as well (which is more difficult than anticipated... another post for another time). Carrying her in a sling... a lot. Co-sleeping when necessary (usually around 4:30 - 5 in the morning). Nursing her when she wakes up in the night (usually multiple times). And not being stressed about it. Going with her flow.

My struggle is combining this type of relationship I have with my daughter with hot dates SANS daughter. And we do go on "dates". Just with her! We went out to the pub after church for lunch, just last Sunday. I thought all was well in the "date" department. Not so (according to DH). And then I watched "Do you have a date night?" by the Momversation ladies. And the guilt set in. Date night is a N-E-C-E-S-S-I-T-Y according to these ladies. And probably according to most married couples.

What do YOU do? How to reconcile babe + hot date with hubby? I need to figure this out, as I said before, DH's birthday is just around the corner and I would be nice to surprise him with a planned night out.

(pictures are pre-Charlotte, taken by our talented and wonderful friend, Shanie)


  1. I think the biggest theme in that little book of tips to motherhood the ladies wrote to you at Charlottes baby shower was to put your marriage first!
    I think date night is good thing especially if DH suggested it over a party and bowling! ;)
    Though I am a little biased as Im really hoping that talented and wonderful photographer of yours will get to baby-sit sweet little Charlotte while you are on date night! Did I ever tell you how I use to babysit my nephew and cousin and NOT put them down the ENTIRE time their parents were gone? She definitely would not cry it out at our house! :)

  2. Okay, as Grammie, I would suggest that you leave her with me. I would love to have her for an hour or two or three. I can't wait to see my precious jewel. Only one more sleep!!

  3. Shanie - you are right, I forgot about the theme of the comments in that little book! I totally trust you with Charlotte and know what she would not be put down :) The thing that I am having trouble reconciling is the nursing thing. And if she gets upset because we aren't there. But I guess a phone call away isn't too bad :) Thanks so much for your offer, perhaps I will be calling soon?!?

    Mom - I hear ya! We can't wait to see you guys too. I may take you up on the offer as well :D He did suggest TWO dates!

    I am so grateful to have so many supportive people in my life!

  4. Grammies definitely get first baby-sitting priority! ;)

    Is there anything you can try to substitute for soothing now before date night? Like every third time she wants to nurse you could try giving her a sippy cup while she cuddles you or something along that line? That way it wouldn't be a dramatic change for her when she is left with grammie to soothe her.

    And yes, a phone call away is definitely a good thing! :)

    PS. You can always practice and drop her off for half an hour sometime :)

  5. Pamela. I so understand, I have a 5 year old and we have been pretty much attachment parents. As, a baby I carried my son, co-slept, breast fed on demand. I had the same worry as you when I left him the first few times. Guess what I found out, it was my worry, not my son's. He was fine. We went out twice when he was a baby (sad I know). I nursed him before I left. Left food and breast milk (to be put in a sippy cut). He was fine and enjoyed the novelty of new people (it didn't hurt that the babysitter was head of the Early Childhood Department at big university). He didn't drink much, he waited until I came back to nurse. We just went to the movies and were only gone a couple of hours. But, it brought us closer and helped me be a more patient mother.
    Now, we do not have many date nights now that he is five. Reading your post, I think we should change that. I worry that he is too much of a handful at this age.

  6. Pamela, I just wanted to say that I love the short hair (I know it was from before but I still really like it on you) and I have no advice because I have no experience in this area. I would definitely take her if I could because I love her so much and I long to hold her again but I know that will have to wait. I'm sure the first time will be tough but if you can get through it than it will be fore hte best. I'm sure charlotte will be fine she's a trooper. Give her some extra kisses for me!

  7. You gotta do it - go on the dates, make it work. I can't relate to the baby anxiety thing, but I'm pretty sure that if it's come to the point where he's actually willing to ASK for a date, then you're long overdue. There's a good chance he's just been hoping it would come up naturally for a while before he asked, although maybe he isn't like that.

    But trust me, having done some 'research' on issues that lead to trouble in relationships/marriages, one of the foremost is a lack of taking time apart for each other, especially after kids arrive. It was also my mother's number one piece of advice!