5 Ways Date Night Changes With Kids

with kids

Preparation
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 7:00 pm.

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 ponytail.  Finally, you say bye to the kids and scurry out the door about 5:30pm.

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Dinner
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.

Conversation
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.

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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.

About the writer

@TheGoldenSpoons

Lisa Witherspoon is a former preschool teacher turned SAHM.  She has three daughters and a traveling salesman husband.  Lisa writes about the joys, frustrations, surprises, and chaos of motherhood on her blog, The Golden Spoons.  You can also follow her on Facebook or Twitter @TheGoldenSpoons.

From Around the Web

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Andrea 2 years ago

I am completely depressed now. My life read something like this before Little One. Now I have a life of searching for sitters and waking up before 8. Not my kind of party…oh but how I love my daughter.

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Yes it is! :-)

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Ha! Amen!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

So true Jean!

Kiera @EasyTravelMom 2 years ago

How this post rings true! I can’t tell you how many times we have ended up at Home Depot or Target on our “date night” after having kids. Sometimes running errands is just.that.fabulous!

SocialButterflyMom 2 years ago

So true! 5:00-5:26 spent writing down info, washing diapers, walking/feeding the dog. 5:26-5:30 spent either putting on makeup, deodorant/perfume or sexy underwear. Ain’t nobody got time for all three!

Jean 2 years ago

I’m always late for date night because I have to wear my crappy clothes until I walk out the door so I’m not walking around the whole night with yogurt on my shoulder.

But, it’s still happened. :)

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Thanks Norine!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Thanks!

Norine of Science Of Parenthood 2 years ago

Alas … so true! Especially the part about coming home at 10 and falling into bed in comfy PJs. Note to self: Replenish the Geritol!
Fun post, Lisa!!

Tamara 2 years ago

I hadn’t seen my husband in three days before tonight and we made plans to talk and snuggle after the kids went to bed. And what did we talk about? Our kids. Crap! I really had high hopes.
Oh, this is painfully true. Barnes & Noble = YES.

Out One Ear 2 years ago

I'm so glad you shared this on my Share Your Story Sunday. Hope you get lots of readers from this.

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Thanks Chris!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Definitely not alone! :-)

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Thank you!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Thanks Kristi!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Ha!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Thanks, JD!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Absolutely – because we can’t stay awake past 10:00 anymore!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

That is very true! By Friday, we are completely exhausted!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Exactly! :-)

Chris Carter 2 years ago

You NAILED it!!! LOL Everything you said is just SO true!! :)

Ten is pushing it, btw.

Marianne Carlson Baker 2 years ago

LOL – this is so us! Nice to see we're not alone!

Cheryl Therrien 2 years ago

Congrats on the post here! So true too. :)

Kristi Rieger Campbell 2 years ago

Congrats for being on Scary Mommy, Lisa! Great post. Except um what's date night again? 😉

Arika Hage 2 years ago

What is "Date Night?"

JD Bailey 2 years ago

Yep. This is basically every date night for me and Hubs. LOL!

Rachel 2 years ago

So so true. And I am so happy to know that others begin their date nights at 5:30pm!!!

Kacie 2 years ago

Also date night is never on a Friday night. Before kids Friday nights were exciting with the promise of a weekend to sleep in. After kids Friday nights are usually the nights when you are the most tired after a week of taking care of the kids and all you want to do is curl up together in your pjs and watch some Netflix before falling to sleep.

Kacie Worrell 2 years ago

Also date night is never on a Friday night. Before kids Friday nights were exciting with the promise of a weekend to sleep in. After kids Friday nights are usually the nights when you are the most tired after a week of taking care of the kids and all you want to do is curl up together in your pjs and watch some Netflix before falling to sleep.

Meredith 2 years ago

EXACTLY. Honestly, I think we all should get bonus points for just trying to leave the house–or even just staying up past 9pm 😉

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Ha! Another reason not to give my kids cell phones yet! :-)

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Wow Frankie! Those sound like lots of fun!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Done! Thanks so much!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Thanks Kate!

Kenya G. Johnson 2 years ago

Where I live nothing else was open. LOL!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

From the comments, sounds like B&N is the most popular after dinner parent hangout!

Linda Roy 2 years ago

Yep. We end up at the grocery store too. Or our kids text us asking for ice cream and donuts. Last time, our 7 yo texted “where the hell are you?” We’d only been gone a half hour.

Frankie Laursen 2 years ago

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.

Out One Ear 2 years ago

I'd really love it if you'd share this post with my readers. I'm sponsoring a Share Your Story Sunday over at Out One Ear and would love it if you'd link this or one of your favorite stories of the week (or month)–anything that will familiarize my followers with you. Since I follow you, I want them to follow you too. https://www.facebook.com/outoneear

Kate McNairy Pierce 2 years ago

Love your blog Lisa!

Kenya G. Johnson 2 years ago

Lol! We’ve gone to B&N after a date dinner. I end up going to look at the kids stuff while my husband looks at some boring photography books. And I don’t know the last time I wore lingerie.

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

So true, Janine!

Janine Huldie 2 years ago

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!!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Ha! We have totally done that – just killing time until we know the kids will be in bed!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

You are most certainly not the only ones!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

We always choose a restaurant that we wouldn’t go to with the kids~

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Yep. Every. Time. :-)

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Exciting indeed! :-)

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

They are still fun- even when we’re shopping for the kids! :-)

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Thanks so much Kathy!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Thanks AnnMarie!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Oh, that built-in baby-sitter would sure be nice! :-)

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

It is hard to find other things to talk about. Somehow, the kids always end up in the conversation!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Thank you!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Thanks Darcy! It certainly seems that everything revolves around the kids now, doesn’t it?

Dana 2 years ago

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.

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Ha! Nope! Not just you! :-)

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons 2 years ago

Traveling after the kids are grown will definitely be nice!

The Dose of Reality 2 years ago

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

Mary 2 years ago

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.

Rachel 2 years ago

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.

Michelle 2 years ago

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.

Jeannine 2 years ago

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!

Kathy Radigan 2 years ago

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!

AnnMarie 2 years ago

I laughed out loud at the “after dinner” with kids. Leo and I always end up at Barnes and Noble. Every.Single.Time. Great post!

Shannon 2 years ago

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.

Ginny Marie 2 years ago

I always tell my husband not to talk about the kids, and then we just stare at each other for a few minutes. 😉 It takes a while to figure out what to talk about when they aren’t with us!

M.O.M – multitasking out of control maniac 2 years ago

What a great post! So true! I will have to share with my husband so he will know it is not just me/us.:-)

Darcy Perdu 2 years ago

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!

Rosalind Moulton Jordan 2 years ago

So true!!! I thought it was only me and my husband who end up at Walmart or the Grocery store after going out to dinner!

Justin 2 years ago

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.