Before baby came along there were no “date nights” as such, there were just nights. My husband and I could freely head out and about just because we felt like it or we simply couldn’t be bothered cooking.
Those days are gone. Now our nights out together are not only few and far between, but organising them takes precision – hence the introduction of the “date night” concept. The only problem is, I seem to place an irrational pressure on myself to get the details of these baby-free hours just right. Afterall, another opportunity may not surface for a while.
So, the internal debate begins – city versus close to home, Indian, Thai, tapas, Mexican, South American, Italian, bar hopping, pub meal, movie …. I DON’T KNOW!! There are too many decisions for my sleep-deprived mind to make.
It’s like committing to plans for New Year’s Eve and I was never any good at that.
In the past, I could take my time to primp and preen before a big night , but on our most recent outing I found myself still breastfeeding and burping 15 minutes before take-off.
I then dashed to the bedroom, clumsily clamoring for clothing (no time to be picky – any outfit will do), and whacked on some shoes, deodorant and make up (I think I did both eyes, or did I?) then heard the taxi beep as I was about to brush my hair.
Un-showered and with hands still sticky from a last minute scoop of hair product, I waved goodbye to my mother in law and little boy and scurried out the door.
The pangs of anxiety and guilt kicked in during the cab ride. Would he be ok? Would he cry too much? Would he settle and go to sleep?
But then I got a reassuring smile from my husband and took a deep breath. It was date night after all. Time to unwind and enjoy.
I then took in my surroundings with excitement like I was visiting a foreign city. “Look!” I gasped, “The pods are finally on the Melbourne Observation Wheel.”
“You really haven’t got out of the house lately have you? Hubby replied.
We ended up having a lovely meal in Chinatown and a drink or two at a trendy rooftop bar. I’m a cheap date now. One cocktail is all I need, which is just as well because with a baby in the house we’re on a budget!
About 60 percent of the conversation did come back to our son and we did send one text message to check up on him, but we had a wonderful night together.
At one stage I found myself glancing at a big group of well manicured twenty-somethings dining, drinking and laughing loudly. I thought back to the days when that was us. A time when we could stay out until all hours if we wanted. Instead, we were home by 930pm, sneaking a peak at our precious baby sound asleep.
Ah, that button nose, those chubby cheeks….I was never a night owl anyway.