To my love,
I can't believe this is true, but it is. I wracked my (albeit tired and foggy) memory to be sure of it. Our last trip by ourselves was five years ago: the babymoon to Nashville that we took before our oldest daughter was born.
I just did another mental check for when our last date night was. I think it was the concert we went to two months ago at the beginning of April.
It's so hard to get time to ourselves in this season of parenting young kids. Having a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old, and an 8-month-old doesn't scream "romantic getaways!" and "wild nights out on the town!"
They actually, in real life, scream things like, "Let's go to the park!" and "Please don't go out tonight, I'll be scared if you and Daddy aren't here for bedtime."
So right now, they aren't always super realistic. I know that trying to find an available babysitter shouldn't feel like a monumental task to take on, but truth be told, sometimes it does. And I know that the energy required to get dressed and leave the house isn't the same as the kind you need to prepare for and run a marathon, but it feels that way sometimes.
We are both going All. The. Time. We are both constantly putting our three small children before ourselves. We both work hard. We are both exhausted.
That's why I am demanding we take time for ourselves this summer. We can't forget how much fun we have when we're together.
So let's have a summer fling, shall we?
It may not be financially plausible or logistically realistic right now to jet off to somewhere tropical or super romantic like Paris. And there may not be room in our calendar (or our wallets) to go on a date every week. But—we can be more mindful of each other.
We'll have a lot of valuable family time together, no doubt. So let's make a solid effort to put each other first, too.
Let's go on day dates.
Let's take family or friends up on easy babysitting "gets" whenever they're available. If that means 9 am on a Saturday, then let's grab breakfast together.
If it means 3 pm on a Sunday, let's have a late lunch picnic in the park.
If it's 12:08 pm on a Tuesday and for some reason we're both not at work, let's head to the beach. Sans kids! (Imagine?! I mean, I love them, but why do they eat so much sand??)
We often get so hung up on a date being exactly one type of way: at night; either going out to dinner or seeing a movie. But let's get creative and change things up a bit. (Who said we can't be daring? )
But let's also plan in advance so we can get some nights out, too.
Let's go to a concert and sing our hearts out in the warm air with a cold beer. Let's see an outdoor movie and kiss under the stars. Let's grab drinks on the water with friends and laugh over tapas.
Let's try something new like a paint night and see whose art skills are better (yours) or do something we haven't done in forever like go to an arcade and dominate skeeball.
Let's flirt during family time.
How saucy of me, right? (I've still got it.)
Let's go on our family weekend away and let's marvel at this little crew we've created. Let's lay in the bed of our hotel room and drink wine while watching a movie on my laptop, sharing headphones and keeping quiet so we don't wake the kids.
Let's hold hands and walk around the fair together and do happy hour every Friday night as the kids play in the backyard.
Let's slow things down.
A lot of our summer weekends always get snatched up so quickly. But do they have to?
They really don't. We're the mom and dad now; we are in charge. We can choose to say no to some things and instead, prioritize things we want to do. We can keep things simple: beach, pool, ice cream, laughter, watermelon, and burgers on the grill. That's what summer is about.
Let's just have some fun.
The winter felt really, really long. Summer felt FAR, far away. We had a lot of snow and never-ending cold temps. Our kids were sick a lot and it all started to wear on us. It was a rough season.
But now? Now the warm weather is back and the sun is shining again. Snow days are a thing of the past and we feel like we're human again. Let's soak up this exciting, amazing, refreshing feeling and revel in our happiness—together.
Romance is in the air, my dear. It may not be the Parisian air on a getaway for two. It may not be brunch al fresco at noon every Sunday...but that stuff doesn't really matter. All that matters is that, between the diaper changes, the many meals we cook, and the trips to the playground—that we're making time for us, and that we're having some good, old-fashioned summer fun while we're at it.