How Can We Find Time to Connect?

Whether you are expecting your first baby or you have 4 kids, connecting with your partner couldn’t be more important. Maintaining your connection with each other will keep the romance alive as well as allow opportunities to have adult conversation to discuss your feelings out of earshot of your kids.

In an effort to keep the romance alive in the midst of a quarantine, I decided to start the practice of a Date Night In. Here’s the plan: Once a week, I would whip up a quick dinner for the kids to eat during our family movie night. Then we’d get the kids to bed before ordering food to enjoy in a slow-paced meal with adult conversation, just as if it were a real date night out on the town.

Date Night In

The first week, we executed the plan flawlessly. I picked up dinner from our favorite restaurant (Joule in Seattle) while my husband started bedtime routines. I somehow managed not to devour the food in the car on the way home with those mouth-watering aromas swirling in my car, and arrived at our house just in time to breastfeed my 10 month old before bed. Then I sand a good night song and snuggled my older kids, before hopping into the shower. I got dressed up, complete with makeup, and set the dining table with our beautiful wedding china. I had even kept our food warm in the oven to make sure it was piping hot by the time we were ready to eat. After my husband showered and put on a nice button-down, we sipped wine and ate good cheese we’d reserved for the occasion. To say the food was delicious was an understatement. Of course, the flavors were fresh, but the fact that I was eating food that someone else cooked, took it to a level of pure decadence!

Date Night In, Round Two

For Date Night In, Round 2, I decided to up the indulgence by ordering delivery from a great restaurant (no need for me to hop in the car!). I timed it out accordingly, and we were scheduled to receive our food just as our older daughters were going to bed. Having requested a no-contact delivery, I checked the front porch for our dinner at the designated time. It was empty. I chalked it up to Covid delays and decided to use the extra bit of time to finish sewing some masks that I had been making for neighbors. The next time I checked the clock, it was over an hour past the estimated delivery, so I requested a status update. The driver was en route to the restaurant to pick up our food which was ready and waiting. We ate the crumbs from our kids’ dinner plates and tidied up the house, awaiting another scrumptious dinner. Another hour ticked by and still no food. This time when I requested a status update, the screen flashed “Your order has been canceled.”

Now, I do not know what happened to our driver or our food, but by this time it was 9:20pm. All other restaurants were closed for delivery. I have been known to get hangry on occasion, and my tummy was certainly grumbling by this point. When my husband offered me my kids’ crackers that I am allergic to as a suitable dinner alternative, I may have overreacted. Angrily throwing leftovers into the toaster oven for dinner, I felt a wave of self-pity crash over me as I mourned the loss of Date Night In. I took my leftovers in the still-hot dish from the toaster oven to eat on the couch. It was not until I was halfway done with my simple chicken and broccoli, that I recognized I was wallowing in a pit of despair of my own making, just because I didn’t get the date night that I had planned. BUT, I was still eating delicious food, the kids were tucked in bed, and my husband and I were enjoying a minute of adult conversation. This was, in fact, still a date, as long as I chose to view it that way. Yes, date nights look very different in Quarantineville, but they can still be special – it is just a matter of perspective.

So, maybe Date Night In, Round 2 was a failure when compared to the fantastic success of our inaugural Date Night In, but I think if Covid quarantine life has left me with some important life takeaways, these are them:

  1. Keep your expectations low, and often you will be pleasantly surprised.
  2. Count your blessings.
  3. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Date Night In, Round 3 is officially on the books!

Our guest blogger this week is Sterling Maximo, one of Nook's founders, written during the stay at home order in Seattle, where she lives with her husband and three children. Her advice for connecting with your partner can be applied during a global pandemic or even when you're housebound during the early weeks of your newborn's life!