The Greek God(zilla) and I have never really subscribed to the idea of ‘date’ night.
Before having a child, we went out together all of the time. I guess you could call them dates, although we never did. We regularly went to the cinema, out for dinner, or to the pub.
It did not matter if it was a Monday night, or a Saturday afternoon. If the mood took us and we fancied doing something, we just got up off the sofa and we did it.
Then we had a child together and continued to do all of the things we love to do. Only not so much together.
The Greek God(zilla) still goes on his annual cricket tour and for the occasional pint after work. I still hang out with friends, old and new; attend various blogging conferences, pop along to the WI, and have enjoyed a long child-free weekend in NYC, as well as a long lunch in Paris.
Most weekends we will host friends & family, or they may host us. Our collective offspring will run around having fun, while the grown-ups exchange tales of parenting over Sunday roasts or summer barbecues, washed down with chilled glasses of Prosecco.
We still go out to the cinema but as a family, and the films we watch star talking cars, planes and animals. If there is something we want to see that is classified higher than a U certificate, then we simply take it in turns to go with friends.
Our ‘dates’ have certainly got a little more crowded over the years.
A few times a year, someone will invite us to a party where it is not deemed appropriate to take a 4-year old boy, and then my parents will come over to babysit. Usually overnight so we can go a bit crazy, and by that I mean stay out past 11pm.
On our birthdays and wedding anniversary, we will go out for dinner. Somewhere nice where we can order 3-courses and drink red wine out of large bordeaux glasses.
However, these are probably the only occasions we are ever alone together on a night out.
We have been so sociable, that it took us until very recently to even realise that the last time we went out for dinner, a drink, or to see a film for no other reason than ‘just because’, was quite some time ago.
It’s not that we even have the excuse of not having a trustworthy babysitter. I have a lovely local friend who is more than happy to swap babysitting hours with me. I just forget to take her up on it.
It is also not the case that I no longer find my husband good company. I am still interested in what he has to say and he still makes me laugh. Most of the time, anyway. Sometimes his jokes are just not funny, no matter how many times he repeats them.
And, we do still have a full and fun social life, it is just that it is mostly centered around our son.
I guess we haven’t really felt like we needed a night off.
But even just by thinking that, we are spectacularly missing the point.
It is not about having a night off.
It is about having a night out.
Enjoying life with the person we have vowed to spend the rest of it with.
Having his undivided attention, and him having mine.
Reminding each other what great company we are.
For me, an opportunity to change out of my baggy leggings and slap on some make-up.
For him, to come home from work and not have to pretend to dislike Eastenders, while asking questions about what is going on for the entire time it is on.
Having a conversation outside of the home that is not interrupted with questions from a 4-year old about various bodily functions and smells.
People watching. Gossiping. Laughing. Flirting.
It’s not about having a night off at all, it’s about having a night on.