Menu

Priorities: Date Night

It's not as hard as you think. Here's 5 tips to ease you into a much-deserved night on the town.

Priorities: Date Night

Before becoming a mom, I considered the notion of date night to be superfluous. It was just the two of us, and all our days and nights seemed like one big date. But after becoming parents, my partner and I started treating date nights as special events. We saved them up for the right time or weather, or waited for the latest bout of baby separation anxiety to pass. And although making date night feel special is great and all, these strictly special-occasion outings (which as time went on, happened less) weren’t the best for our relationship. Having uninterrupted adult conversations are something we all need. And let's face it, watching a few episodes of the latest Netflix series isn't exactly connecting. In the past few months, it's felt more and more important to schedule date nights. I want to date my better half again. On the regular. Tip 1: Schedule regular date nights as soon as you and your partner are out of the hazy newborn zone. And don't let excuses get in the way. As a New Yorker from birth, I consider myself lucky to have family nearby, but it’s also created a babysitting crutch. Up until this point, my son Oliver has never had a sitter outside of someone other than a family member or friend! I know, I know. But if we were going to make this date night thing a regular habit, we needed someone to call when all our favors run out. Tip 2: Get your little one and yourself comfortable with someone outside of your inner circle so that you have more options. Who knows -- that impromptu sitter might just become part of that inner circle before you know it! Which is why we finally took the plunge and decided to try Urbansitter. After having numerous friends tell us about the wonderful experiences they'd had, one recent day I logged onto the site, searched for a good fit, found a favorite sitter of one of my Facebook friends (yay!), and booked. When date night arrived, I talked to Oliver about the cool new sitter that would be coming over to hang out with him. There were tears, sure, and a slight freak-out when she arrived, but the sitter came recommended, with a great review, and like many Urbansitters, with a background check...not that we needed it but, well....ok we needed it. She assured us that everything would be OK, so we decided to rip the Band-Aid off and leave. Gulp. We walked away wondering if we’d scarred our child for life (yet, again). And then a few minutes later I got a text from the sitter with a picture of Oliver smiling! Yes! Tip 3: Find a sitter who's gotten rave reviews, comes recommended by a friend, and with a background check, if that’s important to you. Cut out the legwork with Urbansitter. With an unexpected snowstorm at hand, we wanted to stay relatively local. We are lucky to live in Greenpoint, so we decided to hit the lanes at Brooklyn Bowl around the corner in Williamsburg. At one point in our lives, date night started at 10pm. These days, though, our mornings begin a lot earlier than they used to. We still wanted to make the most out of our date night, so we headed out in the twilight at 4:30pm. (Don't judge.) There’s something really fun and special about being out together, alone, on a late afternoon vs. waiting until your little one's bedtime to spend quality time with your partner. Tip 4: Head out early and give yourself time to connect and enjoy each other. We took a long snowy walk over there from our place in Greenpoint, which even as over the weather as we are, felt like a date in itself. We stopped and paid attention to some of the street art we mostly ignore when we’re rushing off to our next location. And then finally arrived at Brooklyn Bowl. Like many hotspots, Brooklyn Bowl is always very busy, so we knew we’d have some time to kill before they called our names. Two hours to be exact. Luckily it's located on a energetic block, with diversions all around. We contemplated heading to Kinfolk, which was on the opposite corner, but opted to take a seat at the bar at Reynard’s in the Wythe Hotel instead. We had drinks and dinner there the night we got engaged, so it holds some special memories for us. We texted the sitter to make sure all was good (it was!) and then cozied up at the bar. The cocktails warmed us up, and before we knew it, it was two hours later. We crossed the street to the bowling alley and headed to our lane where we egged each other on, said cheers, drooled over the menu and got a lot of gutter balls. It was a win for both of us. We made it home before bedtime and ended our date night with the sweetest smile from Oliver, who had gotten totally chummy with our (hopefully new regular) Urbansitter. Next time maybe we'll stay out past bedtime. His and ours. Tip 5: Plan your next date night the minute you get home! Desperately need a date night? We’re giving away 2 Urbansitter Gift Cards for $100 each! Enter below, then sign up for UrbanSitter with code FORWELL25 and get a one month free membership. This post was brought to you by UrbanSitter.

FEATURED VIDEO

This is how we’re defining success this school year

Hint: It's not related to grades.

In the ever-moving lives of parents and children, opportunities to slow down and reflect on priorities can be hard to come by. But a new school year scheduled to begin in the midst of a global pandemic offers the chance to reflect on how we should all think about measures of success. For both parents and kids, that may mean putting a fresh emphasis on optimism, creativity and curiosity.

Throughout recent decades, "school success" became entangled with "academic achievement," with cases of anxiety among school children dramatically increasing in the past few generations. Then, almost overnight, the American school system was turned on its head in the spring of 2020. As we look ahead to a new school year that will look like no year past, more is being asked of teachers, students and parents, such as acclimating to distance learning, collaborating with peers from afar and aiming to maintain consistency with schooling amidst general instability due to COVID.

Despite the inherent challenges, there is also an overdue opportunity to redefine success during the school year by finding fresh ways to keep students and their parents involved in the learning process.

"I always encourage my son to try at least one difficult thing every school year," says Arushi Garg, parenting blogger and mom of a 4-year-old. "This challenges him but also allows me to remind him to be optimistic! Lots of things in life are hard, and it's important we learn to be positive during difficult times. Fostering a sense of optimism allows kids to push beyond what they thought possible, like biking without training wheels or reading above their grade level."

Here are a few mantras to keep in mind this school year:

Quality learning matters more than quantifying learning

After focusing on standardized measures of academic success for so long, the learning environment this next school year may involve more independent, remote learning. Some parents are considering this an exciting opportunity for their children to assume a bigger role in what they are learning—and parents are also getting on board by supporting their children's education with engaging, positive learning materials like Highlights Magazine.

As a working mom, Garg also appreciates that Highlights Magazine can help engage her son while she's also working. She says, "He sits next to me and solves puzzles in the magazine or practices his writing from the workbook."

Keep an open mind as "school" looks different

Whether children are of preschool age or in the midst of high school, "going to school" is bound to look different this year. Naturally, this may require some adjustment as kids become accustomed to new guidelines. Although many parents may wish to shelter our kids from challenges, others believe optimism can be fostered through adversity when everyone is committed to adapting to new experiences.

"Honestly, I am yet to figure out when I will be comfortable sending [my son] back [to school]," says Garg. In the meantime, she's helping her son remain connected with friends who also read Highlights Magazine by encouraging the kids to talk about what they are learning on video calls.

Follow children's cues about what interests them

For Garg, her biggest hope for this school year is that her son will create "success" for himself by embracing new learning possibilities with positivity.

"Encouraging my son to try new things has given him a chance to prove that he can do anything," she says. "He takes his previous success as an example now and feels he can fail multiple times before he succeeds."

There's no denying that this school year will be far from the norm. But, perhaps, we can create a new, better way of defining our children's success in school because of it.

This article was sponsored by Highlights. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.

FEATURED VIDEO

I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

Keep reading Show less
Life
Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

When Chrissy Teigen announced her third pregnancy earlier this year we were so happy for her and now our hearts are with her as she is going through a pain that is unimaginable for many, but one that so many other mothers know.

Halfway through a high-risk pregnancy complicated by placenta issues, Teigen announced late Wednesday that she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

In a social media post, Teigen explained she named this baby Jack.

FEATURED VIDEO

"We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we've never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn't enough," she wrote.

She continued: "We never decide on our babies' names until the last possible moment after they're born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever."

Keep reading Show less
News