Why We Don’t Have Date Nights in Attachment Parenting

Gym Hottie and I are, first and foremost, adults who just happen to share a child. Adults need some adult time but who’s to say that date night is completely necessary in any family but especially an attachment parenting family? You’d think breastfeeding on demand, bed-sharing, and even (gasp!) co-showering is constricting on me. I’ll be the first to admit, yes, it is but we manage!

Here are reasons why Gym Hottie and I do not have scheduled date nights:

We don’t like having babysitters, if we don’t have to

Babysitters aren’t cheap, free, or easy if you don’t have immediate family. Now that we live in Seattle, I have plenty of family here offering to watch Humnoy but we’re not hurriedly scheduling an outing without him. For us, being away from Humnoy is when it’s absolutely no-kids-allowed, business-trip, cross-country, emergency-room-surgery type of getaway. Plus, I really don’t want to pump milk if I don’t have to.

We find plenty of opportunities to be adults, with and without each other

Gym Hottie is an avid bicyclist; I have been ballroom dancing since 2009. These are activities that we both understand are important for each other. We both get plenty of opportunities, so no room for whining or resentment, to do each of these because we are adults with our own interests. Who says it has to be together? Oh, and sexy time? Yep, plenty of it.

My marriage is strong enough

… to where I don’t think it would crumble because we can’t leave Humnoy for an activity without him. Dare I say that sharing a child is quite possibly the main reason I like GH as much as I do? (Hi, babe!) The quirky stuff that happens on a date happens in between cooking dinner, when Humnoy naps, or in texts. I have faith in our individual personalities that we can entertain each other enough without having to schedule it outside of our family life.

We like doing stuff with Humnoy

If I can’t take my kid into a bar, maybe that’s a good enough reason I don’t really want to be in a bar or any unimportant kid-free activity. I doubt that we’re the only parents who actually like their kid(s). If we’re going to check out a new restaurant, I want Humnoy sitting right next to us attacking the table with his silverware. If we’re going to check out a movie/show/band, I want Humnoy to be able to be there too. What can I say, our kid is pretty cool to hang with!

We went family bowling for Valentine’s Day!

While this works for my family, I am so glad to hear that date nights are so helpful for other families! Even if it’s once a week, once a month, or just on your anniversary, it’s nice to remember that you’re adults too. Even if it’s not frequent, don’t beat yourself up when people recommend date nights for marriage quality and just remember your child is only a child once and you will have plenty of opportunities to “date,” but sharing your world with a young child does not come by as frequent. What’s important is to realize what is most meaningful for you and your partner.

When was your last kid-free date? How do you manage adult time with your kids?


22 thoughts on “Why We Don’t Have Date Nights in Attachment Parenting

  1. kudos to that.
    My mantra since Melinda was born is “I only get one chance”. She will be a baby once, we have the rest of our lives together…

    and after co-sleeping for two years she now asks to sleep in the ‘melinda bed’ every night. I am so glad I never put her in a crib to ‘cry it out’ or she might not be so eager to go in her own bed.

    We have yet to have a night without her, and I only think about the idea now and then, always with the same conclusion, it’s just not time yet.

    • They’re definitely not babies forever. I always wonder why mothers are expected or assume that nine months of pregnancy is enough and then stick them in a crib in a separate room. I know co-sleeping is not for everyone but I never understood that logic when it’s just assumed and never questioned.

      We have never had a night away from Humnoy either and don’t plan to if we don’t have to. Our last date night was the weekend of Valentines Day and we took a dance lesson. We talked about him all night long!

  2. I’m with you on this. On the road, we don’t have family to watch Lane, and I just don’t trust a babysitter I don’t know (and it’s expensive, like you said). And I like spending time with my son. We enjoy watching his face light up, and we want to share his discoveries with him. That being said, when we do get to go home where family can watch Lane, the hubby and I try to go on a date (always to the movie, coz that’s the one place we can’t take Lane!) But even on our dates, we miss our lil guy.

    On a different note, I nominated you for the Sunshine Award. I’m sure you have a dozen on your trophy chest, but another won’t hurt. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Here’s the link: http://bulldogandbaby.com/2012/06/05/bulldog-and-baby-update-june-5/

  3. I find your parenting style intriguing and I’m alway filled with questions. Many times I chose to not ask them in fear of being smothered by a barrage of cloth diapers by your crunchy mom friends (terms I endearment.) The question that this blog brought up in my mind is education. You may have mentioned this before in a blog I missed, but I’m very curious about where you’re taking Humbiy with his schooling. Are you going to home school him? Or if you chose education out side of the home, how is that going to work for you as such a devoted mom? Also..are you planning to enroll him in any preschool or prekindergarten program or are you planning in taking on his early education? Thanks for indulging my curiousity!

  4. I forget that co-showering is gasp worthy to some people. HA, too funny. Hubs and I don’t have a scheduled date night and I agree with all your points. But when we start feeling a bit disconnected or burnt out, we call up Grandma for some alone time outta the house!

    • Oh, yes. Going back to my Yelp post, co-showering is identified with scarring my child because he sees me and his Dad naked. Actually, any part of that Yelp thread shows that every tenet of attachment parenting is just plain wrong because, after all, they are the experts o_O /sarcasm

      That’s great you and Hubby get to get alone time when you feel it’s needed! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. My partner and I don’t have the support around to have any date nights in the near future, and I don’t think I’d want them for a while anyway. I think it will be more fun to take our little one with us. (And I love your bowling picture!)

    • I agree! We always say it is way more fun with Humnoy there with us enjoying what we’re enjoying. I also think, “Well, has “date night” been the necessary, say, in the ’50s?” I think over time society and life has gotten so hectic and much more mindless that it’s easy to forget oneself and the importance of identity, but identity includes my child.

      Thank you, we had a lot of fun bowling!

  6. I just went back and read your co-showering post – holy moly – that looks like a lot of fun! Will have to try that out once Ben is a little more stable when he sits. We have a giant 2-person-sized stand-up shower and had 2 shower heads installed when we built the house… sounds perfect!

  7. We don’t practice attachment parenting but even we don’t really have regular date nights the way I see other friends do. For me, the only baby sitters we’ve left our little guy with are his grandmothers and his aunt (his regular caregiver). Anyone else would be too much of a hassle to involve in his routine and ways. Plus, like you said, we like to include him in our family activities.

    That said, I remember we were at Bed Bath and Beyond once and I was thinking, “I really want to be here with just me and my husband!” Haha. I think I remembered that the last time we were there was pre-kids, and it made me miss the one-on-one time I had with my husband doing dorky things like shopping for towels.

    But as far as partying and going out, we don’t really plan it but take it as it comes. For instance, we plan to watch a play that doesn’t allow kids, and we’re also leaving the little guy for the first time ever as we go to a friend’s wedding that didn’t invite kids. It’ll be our first time not being in the same place when we go to sleep and wake up. It’ll be a hassle but on the upside I think it’ll be fun to sleep in past 7:30 ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I understand how sitters are really more of a hassle. Not the actual person per se but arranging, trusting, and leaving my child with a non-parent is a hassle!

      I’m actually a bridesmaid for a wedding that is adults-only and it will be the first time ever leaving him that long ๐Ÿ˜ฆ My heart breaks thinking about it but i remind myself it’s only once and for a known period of time.

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