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A Mom’s Timeline for a Successful Date Night

Date night takes on a whole new meaning with kids on the scene.

Gone are the days of impromptu happy hours and last-minute dinner decisions. Now, date night needs to be planned weeks in advance, and even then, it’s always a rush out the door.

And although we are refraining from date nights in the current stay at home orders around the world, I know that they will still follow this timeline when they return. Pandemics do not change the chaos and planning of date night for parents! 

Photo by Marcin Skalij on Unsplash

A Mom’s Timeline 

4:00 PM: The sitter is set to arrive in one hour. Where are we going for dinner? What am I going to wear? Does my daughter have clean pajamas? The questions are endless as I try to get everything ready to leave mom life behind for five solid, blissful hours. 

4:05 PM: The aforementioned daughter decides to play in the mud. Not just a little bit but all the way up to her elbows. Which means she needs a bath. Now. Because I still need to layer make-up onto my face and see if any of my nice clothes still fit. 

4:12 PM: The child is splashing in the bathtub, and I find out that she does have clean pajamas readily available (Hooray!). I use this tub time to pluck my eyebrows and ask my husband if he still wants to see the movie that he suggested earlier. All is going swimmingly. 

4:24 PM: The tub is draining, and I wrestle a naked, slippery kid out of the lukewarm water. I win and wrap her in a hooded towel. We head for her bedroom, and I notice that my husband is sitting behind his computer. Making reservations? Paying bills? Who knows? I don’t have time to ask him. Once I get my daughter dressed and comb out all of the knots, I am visibly sweating from physical activity and stress. I leave her room and tell the husband that he is in charge of the kiddo now.  

4:30 PM: I run downstairs to preheat the oven for the frozen pizza that I plan on leaving for dinner. While in the kitchen, I grab a cold beer and head back upstairs to my bathroom to try to fix up my tired-looking self. 

4:38 PM: I stand in my closet and discover that I have nothing to wear. I have the sudden urge to run down the hallway to my best friend’s closet to borrow something – but then I remember that we haven’t lived together for ten years! I text her and drink a few swigs of beer. I think about how much my Saturday nights have changed. I used to get ready to leave the house at 10:00 PM, and now I am hoping to be home by that time because 1) babysitters are ridiculously expensive and 2) I need to go to sleep. 

4:50 PM: I put on makeup, including eyeliner, and I manage to find something presentable to wear. I am on my way to a hair toss, check my nails, real-life Lizzo moment. That is until my daughter crashes my party and says…

“You look like a lost mom.” 

A lost mom? How can that be? I am wearing a black tank top, an open cardigan, skinny jeans, and sensible shoes.

So, maybe she has a point. But it is too late! Date night is imminent. Besides, this is my only option. Everything else is too tight or too baggy. I throw the frozen pizza in the oven, set the timer, and hope for the best. 

4:52 PM: The husband goes upstairs to get ready. He emerges with a clean, button-down shirt. He is ready. 😑

4:58 PM: The doorbell rings. I finish my beer and quickly throw the empty bottle into the recycling bin. My daughter is so excited that she is jumping up and down as I open the front door. I go over the list with the sitter and remind her to turn off the oven when the pizza is done. 

5:03 PM: I exit the house and plop into the passenger seat of my husband’s gray sedan. I haven’t been inside his car since our last date night, and I immediately notice the clean, crumb-free floors. I usually drive the family car, the one with car seat and all of the food wrappers, so this is a welcome change. I feel less like a lost mom and more like myself.

john krasinski and emily blunt on date night

And as we head toward the restaurant and away from our adult responsibilities, we agree to pretend that we are ten years younger. Just for date night. Everything else can wait until tomorrow. 

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