Date night: a comparison of before and after kids
posted by: Christina Antus
My husband and I waited for our dinner and had a glass of wine. After a few bits and pieces of conversation, he whispered to me: “Look at those people. They’re here with their kids, it’s so late.”
It was 8:30 in the evening.
Things have really changed since we had kids. Like most couples, our entire existence revolves around work and our kids. Time goes a lot faster than it did before we had kids. Here’s a quick compare and contrast of our dating life over time:
Then: I wore perfume to dinner every time.
Now: I remember to wear deodorant—most of the time.
Then: I could focus on the moment. Us.
Now: I can’t stop thinking if I told the sitter our youngest could now lock doors, but not unlock them.
Then: We could go on a date whenever and wherever we wanted.
Now: We have to submit an application into our neighborhood babysitter, along with a non-refundable deposit and a response to an essay question. Just to hold our date.
Then: We went on dates involving wine tastings, the beach at sunset and discussing our future together.
Now: We head to the driving range where I can barely hit a golf ball four inches, and then we eat wherever we have a coupon. Our talks of our future together have been replaced with talks of IRA accounts and who will still be awake when we get home.
Then: We looked forward to watching movies every Friday night.
Now: We always start movies, but one of us is asleep in the first twenty minutes, and the other can’t hear because the snoring is so loud.
There was a time when our evenings began at nine in the evening. These days we’re only up until ten, and that’s because it’s the quietest time of our entire day. You don’t just give away child-free time full of sweet, blessed silence.
Going to bed any earlier than midnight would mean giving up invaluable time. Time to do what you can’t do when your kids are awake, like read, pay bills or watch violent shows on TV. This “time” I’m talking about is what gets me through some days. It gives me something to look forward to. All day long I mentally create a list of things I will do with this time. When it rolls around I realize the more I do, the faster it will go.
So, at the end of our day we usually, just sit and do nothing because in our mind, doing nothing is the placebo of creating more time. It gives the illusion of slowing down time. If I can feel like I’ve just added four more hours onto my day, then I’ll lie to myself with idle time.
Good Lord, I’m getting old.