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Where Pop tells us the importance of dates

by John on July 16th, 2012
I am on vacation — and as a series of quasi-coherent posts about how wonderful my family is, and how beautiful the beach is, and how drunk I might be at a time that would normally be a completely inappropriate time for me to be drunk might not go over all that well, I have asked a collection of my favorite bloggers to stop by and share something.

Posting today is Pop of Go Pop Go, and Pop is one of my absolute favorite writers. See, when I was starting to venture into the blogging world, I had a lot going on in my life, and I wasn’t entirely sure how things would play out. I was trying to become a dad, and I was overwhelmed — how the heck was I going to make everything work? That’s when I stumbled upon Pop, and I would check his blog, regularly. See, here was a guy who was working, and fathering, cooking, and doing it all with a sense of humor. Simply, his words made me think that, just maybe, I wouldn’t go insane becoming a father (I was wrong in this, but y’all still love me, anyway)

While John’s at the beach–don’t worry folks, John never stops playing with his organ, even on vacation–getting a much-deserved vacation, I’m thrilled to be guest-posting.

And today, I’ll be sharing with you–and reminding myself too–about the importance of dates, especially for parents. No, not calendar dates – although those are hard to keep track of as your Saturday’s fill up for months on end. I’m talking about time you set aside to spend time with someone one-on-one. For you parents out there, when was the last time you went out on a date with your spouse? Do you have a regularly scheduled date night?

Sadly, my wife and I currently do not have a regularly scheduled date night. My wife recently gave birth to our 3rd child (our 1st son) about a month and a half ago – coincidentally, the last time I got a full-night’s rest. The boy loves, loves, loves the boob. At his 1 month check, he was in the 90th percentile for both height and weight. He’s a fixture on my wife’s breasts (I am just tad jealous, if you couldn’t tell). So it’s tough for us to go out now, but once we find the breast pump, we’ll be going out on dates in no time.

Personally, if I don’t have alone time with my wife, I find my affections for her wane a bit. In fact, she becomes like a teammate on a sports team that’s there to help me achieve a goal, complete with slaps on the butt for a job well done, rather than the woman I fell madly in love with. Having alone time allows me to understand how she’s doing, not just what she’s doing. It gives us time to recap, vision, and enjoy each other’s company. Not to mention not having to shove down food while the other holds the baby and praying the food gets to the table before the kids get bored of coloring.

Going on dates is challenging, not to mention expensive with baby-sitting, but it’s a worthwhile investment that I should be making regularly.

And as a parent, I think dates with my kids may be just as important.

Lately, I’ve found my oldest daughter, D1 as I refer to her on my blog, has been doing some strange things. Biting her toe/finger nails, blurting out random, nonsense words loudly, and throwing far more tantrums than she used to. Since a lot of this behavior began shortly after S1 (my son) was born, my wife and I figure it’s her way of getting attention. And then it hit me: when was the last time D1 and I had alone time? It had been a while. So this week, I took her on our first daddy-daughter date since S1 was born. Although I forgot about them, she hadn’t as she shouted out, “YAY! DADDY-DAUGHTER DATE!” when I told her we’d be going out to dinner together alone.

Pancakes, bacon (yup, she’s a breakfast all day kinda gal), ice cream, and quality time with dad made her one happy camper.

Next week, I’ll be taking D2 on a date to her favorite place on the planet: the playground. We’ll swing together, play tag and laugh. A lot. And when S1 gets older, I’ll be taking him on dates too.

As a dad, I often feel like I’m being pulled in a million different directions. So many things demand my energy, time and resources. But as a dad, I need to remind myself how important it is to spend some time giving my undivided attention to each member of my family.

What about you? Do you enjoy dates with your spouse and/or kids? What’s your favorite thing to do on a date with your spouse/kids?

  1. Oh this is sooo awesome.

    When I was young (single-digits young) my father would alternate between taking my sister or me on “daddy date night” once a month.

    We got to pick the restaurant and he’d open doors for us, pull out our chairs, show us how to be treated by a gentleman.

    It was lovely one-on-one time with Dad.

    And the sister who stayed home enjoyed that same time with Mom. We got to pick our favorite dinner without having to compromise with anyone else.

    I think it’s wonderful that you’re trying to do this, too, Pop.

    Lucky kids.
    Lucky daddy.

    • Thanks Julie! I hope D1 & D2 remember it as fondly when they’re older as well!

    • I need to start practices just like that — because it sounds absolutely wonderful. And both Duffy & I get so little one-on-one time, but every time it happens, it’s a wonder of just how much I enjoy the one-on-one time with either of them.

  2. DH and I talk about doing it, but we haven’t implemented yet. I will do better after reading this 🙂

  3. My husband makes sure to take each of the kids alone, but I admit I don’t. Since I’m with them all day I forget that alone time is really, really important. As is date night – another MUST!

    • I make a point over making sure that, any day that I’m home, that I take the kids away from Duffy — even if it’s just a long bath, to make sure that Duffy has some “non-kid” time. But, I’ll admit that I don’t do a very good job of making sure that either child gets one-on-one parent time.

      I need to ensure that we do that – even if it’s only once a week or two.

  4. I love this post because I make special time to be with both of my boys, but special time to be with my hubs sometimes gets pushed to the side, and you’re right, it makes us more like teammates than lovers. That has to change! Thanks for the reminder, Pop!

    • I think I’m finally finding a good balance between children & wife. I try to make time where I give Duffy time by herself every day, and I try to make “Duffy time” most every day (even scheduling a date night every now & then), but I worry that both kids have little appreciation that they exist without the other.

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