I genuinely enjoy my husband’s company. I think he is hilarious, smart, thoughtful, and good-looking. When we were dating, we could talk for hours and never ran out of things to say. Once married, some of my favorite memories with him are our road trip conversations, dreaming of our unknown future together.
However, since the introduction of children into our lives, our deep, life-giving talks have become less frequent and a bit too rare. When we’re together, we often have two screaming children running around us, making ANY conversation difficult. The conversations we do have often involve business- bills, work, schedule, kids. We try to squeeze in more conversations, but honestly, once the boys are both asleep at 8:00 pm (on a good night,) we’re both wiped and no longer have the energy to discuss life.
We decided early on in our relationship to make date nights a priority. While my husband was in medical residency, we didn’t have much money, but we always made sure we had a date night as often as his schedule allowed. We knew other couples who went most of residency without ever going on a date, but we knew our marriage needed it. We needed it. Don’t get me wrong, we love our kids. But we also love US. We love our relationship, adult conversations, and time away from the children to talk about us, individually and as a couple. We hired babysitters and asked grandparents to visit to allow us time alone.
Marriage requires investing time to stay connected. Plus, like I mentioned, I genuinely like his company. If I have a free night, I want to spend it with him more than anyone else.
My husband started his “regular” job as an ER physician earlier this year. He works irregular hours and many nights. On his overnight shifts, we see each other after he wakes up around 2 pm until 5 pm when he leaves for work. Our four year old stopped napping regularly and wants every second possible with his dad. When the toddler wakes up, and it’s truly complete chaos until my husband leaves for work. When he works day shifts, he gets home at 6:45 pm, when I’m in the thick of the bedtime routine. Again, he comes in during complete chaos, exhausted from his shift.
Our conversations on work days are limited and again, very business-oriented. So we make date nights a priority. We attempt weekly dates if his schedule allows and have even hired a babysitter for an overnight date at a downtown Corpus Christi hotel. We soak up every minute together to remember who we are as individuals and work on our connection as a couple.
Even after a decade together, he still makes me laugh harder than anyone, challenges me to be the best person/mother/wife/daughter I can be, and encourages me to dream big for my own life and for the life of our family.
Our date nights vary depending on our energy level and how often we’ve seen each other in recent days. They always involve delicious food that is best enjoyed without young children (Yardarm Restaurant, Water Street Oyster Bar, Rock & Rolls Sushi, Dragonfly, Republic of Texas Bar & Grill, and Black Diamond Oyster Bar to name a few) and usually an activity that is more relaxing without children (kayaking, a movie at Alamo Drafthouse, a stroll along the Padre Island National Seashore, or even shopping.) We love exploring new areas of town or new restaurants. Since we are new to the Coastal Bend and live on the Island, we still have so much to learn about Corpus Christi and are never short on date ideas. We also love that so many Port Aransas restaurants are opening back up since we visit there weekly as a family and love to spend our date nights there too. But honestly, the food and activity don’t really matter. What matters is the time we take to focus on our marriage, talk with one another openly and honestly, and invest in our relationship so we can continue to be best friends, partners, and positive role models to our growing boys.