5 Ways Date Night Changes With Kids


with kids

Before Kids:  Preparation would begin at least an hour before it was time to leave.  You would shower and agonize over what to wear.  You would carefully curl your hair and apply just the right amount of makeup.  Your husband would shave and dab on your favorite cologne.  You would casually head out about 7:00pm.

With Kids: Preparation begins days in advance because, now, you have to compare calendars and find a free evening.  Then, you have to secure a babysitter.  When the day arrives, you make lists of phone numbers and bedtime instructions.  About twenty minutes before you walk out the door, you grab you best pair of jeans, slap on some makeup, and throw your hair into a pony tail.  Finally, you say bye to the kids and scurry out the door about 5:30pm.

Before Kids:  You chose a restaurant with a party atmosphere.  It likely had cheap appetizers and a great bar with giant, rainbow-colored “fishbowl” cocktails that you could share.

With Kids:  You choose a restaurant with a quiet, calm atmosphere.  The wine list is extensive.

Before Kids:  You discuss the latest celebrity gossip, friends, and maybe work.  You also discuss your plans for after dinner.

With Kids:  You swear you will not discuss the children and then you do it anyway.  You might manage to squeeze in some discussion about work, politics, or schedules for the coming week.

After Dinner
Before Kids: You used to head to a late movie, go bowling, or take in a concert.  That was often followed by hanging out at a coffee shop or meeting friends at bar for a few more drinks.

With Kids:  You might see a movie, but it’s more likely that you will use the time to run errands, shop for kids’ birthday presents, or end up perusing the aisles at Barnes & Noble.

Returning home
Before Kids: You get home sometime around midnight and slip into a little lingerie.  Eventually, you would fall asleep knowing that you could sleep in the next morning and go out again the next night.

With Kids:  You are home by 10:00. You thank the sitter, check on the kids and give them each a kiss. You tell each other that you must make an effort to do this more often.  Then, you slip into your comfiest pajamas, and go to sleep knowing you’ll be awoken bright and early. And it will be quite some time before you do this again.


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  1. 1


    I never had a time of being married before kids. My wife got pregnant when she was fiance at 19 years old (oops) haha We missed out on the early marriage years before kids but we figure we will make it up when we are in our 40’s and our kids will be in their 20’s :) That time will be nice too because we will actually have money to do things and travel.

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  2. 5


    Omigosh — so funny — and so true, so true! We were together 9 years before we had kids and we managed to have amazing, captivating, engaging, hilarious conversations. But when we had kids, we could only think of topics that involved the kids. I honestly wonder, what the HELL did we used to talk about?! (Of course, our kids are FASCINATING — um, to US, anyway — so we still enjoy talking — but STILL — it IS weird to think about what used to comprise our conversations in the old days!

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  3. 11

    Shannon says

    That is absolutely true. We’ve been married 16 years and have 5 kids. We usually end up at Barnes and Noble or Walmart after dinner. The only bonus is that our oldest is old enough to watch the little ones, so we don’t have to worry about a babysitter. And I can’t remember the last time we went out and didn’t spend almost the whole evening talking about the kids.

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  4. 15


    You really nailed this one perfectly! I especially love the planning part, yes, before children it was a phone call to decide on where you would go to dinner, after children it takes days and more planning than I ever thought possible. I also don’t really trust that I am going out with my husband until I actually leave the house!! Must read article for anyone who is expecting a baby!! Great post!

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  5. 17


    Love it! We often end up at Menards (shopping for home improvement items) and definitely always do the kids’ birthday shopping. AND the bookstore used to be our favorite date spot until our favorite bookstore closed a couple years ago (tear). Everything here is true, but still we love our date nights!

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  6. 19


    So true! I love the preparation one…I never spend any time getting ready any more. I pride myself on being able to be able to shower and do my hair (given up on makeup) in less than 20 minutes and out the door. I don’t know how to break from my regular routine now. And we usually just head home after dinner. Exciting lives we lead these days.

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  7. 21


    Oh, so true. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Well, I laughed, b/c you are funny, Lisa. Why do we always talk about the kids? That’s the one that I don’t understand. I always swear it won’t happen and then it does. Every. Time.

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  8. 23

    Mary says

    We usually end up at Target after dinner! Wine list? We usually end up eating at whatever casual dining restaurant that we like and our kids hate. Plus I usually have a coupon.
    I love the picture. That totally looks like our dog sleeping with us.

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  9. 25


    Hahahahah! SO TRUE!! We almost always end up running errands after dinner. I thought we were the only ones!! I still can’t believe how long it used to take me to do my hair and make up before kids! I wish I had that time back now…and I’d use it for sleep!! –Lisa

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  10. 27


    We always ended up at Barnes and Noble too – because we didn’t want to go home while the kids were still awake! Now our kids stay home by themselves and won’t go to sleep until we get home – which totally kills the romantic date night.

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  11. 29


    Totally said perfectly Lisa and we always end up talking about the kids when we are out on a date. Even the other day, the kids had their first day of pre-school for the year. My husband was off for the day and we went to lunch together. Not only did we talk about the kids, but then went to the Disney Store to shop for them. So, they are never far from our minds even when they aren’t there!!

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  12. 38


    My husband can work from home on Fridays so we like to do daytime dates sometimes. That sounds kinky, but it really isn’t.

    I’ve prided myself on coming up with unusual dates. We’ve done mini-car racing, a SF Giants baseball date (they just beat the Dodgers 19-3 tonight, go Giants!), bowling, and salsa dancing.

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