I don't think it should come as any big surprise that my husband and I don't make enough time for each other. Not that we aren't madly, deeply, passionately in love (although it gets harder and harder to say that with a straight face)— it's just that we are parents.
We are exhausted. We watch each other wipe crap off of little people's asses. We shake our heads at each other's lack of parenting skills. Mike has seen me hooked up to a breast pump while sitting topless at our kitchen counter. He's gotten up close and personal with my favorite nursing bra that should probably have been burned three years ago. I've watched him stumble into a wall in the middle of the night while carrying a pee-soaked sheet pulled blindly from Mazzy's bed. I've seen him with the most pathetic of ailments— THE MAN COLD.
Still, we are a team, we make things work and I feel pretty lucky we found each other. We just haven't made spending time alone together a priority in a long time. Unless you count watching television on the same couch while we both play on our iPhones.
This year, we made a New Year's resolution to go out more. Not as a family, but as a couple. Actual dates where we hire a sitter. Not parties, not double dates— BY OURSELVES.
Starting this month, I partnered with HowAboutWe to make keeping our resolution as fun and easy as possible.
HowAboutWe started as an online dating site but has now expanded from "finding love" to helping couples "stay in love" too. They give you a variety of curated date ideas tailored for two (stuff that goes way beyond "dinner and a movie"), you pick what interests you, and then they arrange everything for you at a discounted price.
Which is very helpful for a couple like us who has made this kind of promise before but never followed through. Kids are just too convenient of an excuse.
Mike and I started simple and agreed to use HowAboutWe to go on one date a month, our first date being last Saturday night.
Ultimately, we went with "Dinner and Dancing at Hotel Chantelle" because as our first date, it felt like the most romantic. We got a sitter, dressed up and even braved the freezing cold to get to the trendy downtown venue with a rooftop restaurant and an underground bar.
Then we drank too much, made fun of the fact that we were the oldest people in the place and ate ridiculous things like truffled tater tots and mini lobster rolls— stuff I never would have eaten back in my diet-conscious dating days. When the dessert menu was delivered and Mike said, "Let's get the Nutella Marshmallow Bread Pudding" and I answered "HELLS YEAH!", I knew I'd made a stellar husband choice.
We had such a great time, we didn't even look at our phones once!
We couldn't get many good photos because it was really dark in the restaurant, so here's a photo of Mike pretending to be really old and using the light of his phone to see to the menu.
At least, I think he was pretending.
I took a bathroom selfie because I was scared I'd have no photos of us to use for the post.
Bathroom selfies are very romantic, in case you didn't know.
But then, when we stumbled out the door way past midnight (it was actually 10:45pm, but just humor me), I asked a passing stranger if he would take a picture of the two of us.
I think this picture says it all. Two happy people thrilled to be in each other's company after a successful night out. Just like old times.
Thank you HowAboutWe for motivating us and making this happen!
We needed it.
If you are interested in trying HowAboutWe, you can sign up for free and browse their date options. Plus, you can take $50 off your first date by booking through this promo link.
They are now curating dates in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle with plans to start in more cities soon.
This post was sponsored by HowAboutWe, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.