When kids come along, the attention quickly shifts from the relationship between the parents to the mountain of needs of the children. It’s really easy to forget that there is an adult relationship that still needs nurturing, and it’s easier to forget who you were before these babies. Someone once told me that before you have babies, you basically live in a date – and from where I sit now, they were right! Dating takes effort on both parties and it doesn’t end when the kids show up. It does get way harder though. It’s a lot easier to just figure you’ll regroup in 18 years.
Here’s the thing, when everyone is touching you, the last thing you want is to add another person to the list. When the work seems endless, you don’t want to put something else on the checklist.
So your job – person that wants to take this lady out – is to make it fun and refreshing. Your job is to make it not work.
I know it’s hard to get in someone’s head when you aren’t them. I’m going to help. Here are my tips:
1) Get a babysitter. She may be cool with taking the kids out for a romantic evening because love is for the whole family! Don’t do it. Don’t fall for it. You need to leave the kids at home once in awhile. If you don’t have a sitter already, ask her friends for recommendations. Make sure you know the rate ahead of time. Tell her you’ll pay a bit extra if as many kids as possible are asleep when you get home and the house is fairly clean! Don’t underestimate the power of a clean house. If you have a teeny nursing baby that you have to take along, you get the baby sling and plan to wear that baby through dinner. You’re the real MVP tonight!
2) Draw her a bath. Add bubbles, get her a drink (probably water because you know those kids haven’t allowed her to refill her glass all day), try mood lighting, start some music, and set the diffuser with her favorite oils. Then, GET OUT! Put as much room between the bath tub and the noisemakers as possible. Shove a towel under the door for more soundproofing if necessary. DO NOT LET THE CHILDREN NEAR HER. She should take as long as she likes. She’s washing off the day and all the touches. Adjust to a later dinner reservation if you need to. This is reset time. This is your investment. Do you know where the local ER is? Then there is absolutely no reason to interrupt. Tell her to take her time and you’ll be ready when she is.
3) Make a giant fuss over her – quietly and with a lot of loving, encouraging looks. You’re trying to reset the day full of sensory overload. All the touches. All the noise. You want to set yourself apart from that, so screaming at her isn’t the direction you want to go. This is chill time. It may have been awhile since she actually put herself together for the evening crowd, so if she’s wearing bright blue eyeshadow and rocking 80s hair, just go with it. Ignore the dark shadows under her eyes. No amount of expensive makeup can hide 4 years of waking up every hour. Think of it like warpaint. She’s a warrior and it shows. Tell her she’s radiant! Also, take selfies because she needs to remember this moment and who she is when she’s not momming. You do, too. You need to post it on social media with something saying how beautiful she is and how proud you are that she picked you. You aren’t the public declarations of love type? Do it anyway.
4) Open all her doors. Not because this is 1923 and she can’t do it herself, but because (you’re a gentleman and) a million other people have touched those doors and you don’t want her to get some weird energy where she feels like she just had to shake hands with everyone that walked into that restaurant for the last year, do you? We’re recovering from too many touches. You’re trying to remind her she’s a lady.
5) Tell her to order whatever she wants. She might be the type that will naturally find the cheap item. Reassure her she can ignore that. Tell her you could never repay her for all she does for your family, but you would like to start with surf and turf. This is where you can plan ahead on the restaurant. Can’t afford the market price lobster? Pick somewhere else. There’s probably a great mom and pop Italian restaurant near by that’s romantic and reasonable. If you’re still worried, pre-party with a sandwich or two while she’s in the bath, and then tell her you’re feeling the cup of soup. You don’t do this often. She’s worth it.
6) Don’t grab her hand. Again, so many touches, and another might give her the heebs. Exception: If you have someone that has a physical touch love language, then you may want to give a giant, strong, hug. If she grabs yours, go for it. You just don’t want to be in the same category of all those grabby small people.
7) If she needs to go to the bathroom, make sure she goes alone. Keep an eye out for the door and when you know it’s vacant, tell her she’s got an opening. THEN GUARD IT! She deserves to use the facilities without an audience. This is a little trickier in public, but you’re creative and strong and you love her. I believe in you.
8) Let her order her own dessert, and eat it by herself. Moms share their food. They share their drinks. They share everything. So just do me a solid and resist the urge to ask for a bite. If she offers, tell her you have all you need right in front of you.
9) Talk about adult things. Talk about her interests. Don’t talk about work. She’ll bring up the kids, so redirect. Make plans. Design trips. Talk about your future dream home. Maybe she hasn’t touched her paintbrushes in 5 years, but once an artist, always an artist, right? If you want to look super smooth, tell her you want her to paint more and make a plan for her to do that. “I’m going to start taking the kids to the park on Saturday morning so you can spend more time doing some things you love.”Seriously, I just handed you gold. Make sure you laugh with her. She’s more beautiful laughing anyway. Giggle like you’ve got some secret. Even if your night is a disaster, if she laughed a ton, she’ll remember having a ton of fun.
10) Have no expectations. Everyone around her has so many needs. Make sure you aren’t just piling on. How much fun is it to give a gift to someone that’s demanding it? Not a bit. But now she’s relaxed. She’s had good food. She’s laughed. You reminded her that she’s more than a mom. These are the type of relationship investments that are worth it. Win Win for both of you!
Let me know if there’s anything you would add! Have a great date night!