Sometimes all you can do is laugh.
By Dr. Samantha Rodman
Date night, that night when you gaze lovingly into your husband’s eyes and hold hands like teenagers. Well, sometimes. The rest of the time, your date nights are affected by two variables: how old your kids are and how much you’ve had to drink. I’ll only discuss the first factor here, though.
Here’s what date night looks like at every stage of parenting …
If you’re going on date night with a newborn, I commend you. However, the likelihood of you talking about anything but the baby is next to nil. Also, don’t go anywhere with a long wait, because you’re going to be back home in about 59 minutes, rushing into the baby’s room and waking her up with the waves of anxiety and guilt emanating from your body like the perfume you forgot to put on.
She’s so cute! She’s laughing and rolling over and babbling all the time. So sweet. We can’t possibly leave her for both dinner and a movie. Tell your mom you’ll be back in two hours tops, and spend all of your time showing each other pictures of her on your phones.
She’s still so cute but holy crap you’re exhausted. What happened to your nice stationary baby? Tell your mom you’ll be back in two hours, but then somehow, it turned into three. You deserve a break. During dinner, talk about how you looked away for one second and the baby ran out of library storytime. Snap at your husband if he looks like he may possibly have been about to criticize your parenting.
Tell the sitter you’ll be back by midnight. During dinner, discuss how your child used to be so sweet but now all she does is harass the dog and laugh when you tell her not to take off her diaper during nap time. Discuss when you should put her in preschool and conceive another lovely, stationary baby. Your husband grimaces. You both drink heavily.
Tell your mom you’ll be back Sunday. Yes, in two days. You bring your hottest outfits, because you’re getting your mojo back now that your child is out of the house 8 hours a day. Drink and dance like you did before you were parents. Ironically, this is the night that you conceive another baby.
Any date night after the second baby is born
Tell whoever you can grab to watch your kids that you’ll be back only if they text you that one of them is in the emergency room. Talk about the salad days of having only one kid and how stressed out you felt. Laugh grimly. Then watch videos on your phone of the kids playing together while surreptitiously looking around to make sure nobody else sees you guys acting like total dorks on your date night.
This article originally appeared on Babble.com
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