Wednesday night, R and I went out on our first date in about 4 years. Dating when you have children bears little resemblance to dating before children.
Dating before children
Shower, shave. Apply “evening” makeup. Spend 45 minutes straightening hair with a flat iron.
Try on several outfits; pick the one that makes your legs look best.
Slip into your highest heels.
Sparkly earrings are a must.
An extra coat of lipstick never hurt.
Grab handbag and go.
Snag a quick bite while discussing work, current events, and the evening’s plans.
Arrive at ultimate destination of movie/club/party.
Stumble home somewhere in the pre-dawn hours and collapse into bed, dozing off as the sun comes up.
Dating after children
Pre-date day prep: Spend two days preparing children for being left with sitter. Guide them through the stages of grief. Promise to return with presents.
Settle kids with sitter. Feel alternately good and bad about their nonchalance at being left behind.
Decide nobody can see your stubble. Dust on a little powder. Twist hair into a bun.
Put on your all-purpose job interview/date/funeral LBD. Add gut-squishing panties to rein in your postpartum pooch.
Wear flats instead of sneakers, in honor of the fact that you won’t have to chase anyone tonight.
Kid-friendly earrings are a must; ending the evening with a ripped lobe would be a bummer.
Slap on an extra coat of balm. Fancy!
Grab backpack/diaper bag that is your current handbag and go.
Spend two hours eating dinner, while talking about children and how nice it is to eat without them for once.
Note every thing about the dinner that the children would love. Realize you really kind of miss the children. Go guilt shopping for presents for children.
Return home. Get the children to sleep, then collapse, dozing off as the sun sets.
Okay, the above isn’t entirely representative of our evening. We did discuss things other than the children at dinner. But only because we were talking about our wedding. (I proposed; he accepted. Which came as no surprise, as we’ve been discussing getting married for several years now. But now we’re actually planning on it sometime in the foreseeable future.) But otherwise, that about sums it up.
It worked for us, though. Maybe we can do it again in another four years!