I recently experienced something very new and different. For the first time in over 12 years, I had a night away from the six kids with Daddy-o. Yes, first time in over 12 years. His cousin was getting married in Taos, New Mexico. How could we resist?
Now, I know what all you advocates of "date night" and "alone time" are saying -- it's important that we foster our relationship; one day the kids will be gone and we won't know each other; and so on and so forth.
My perspective on the topic is a little different, for a few reasons:
1. I would venture a guess that most people who have six kids really like being around kids in general. Sure, all those two-kid parents love and like their kids, too. But they weren't weird enough to go on and have four more.
2. It's just not practical. Getting someone to take care of six small children is no easy feat. It usually involves roping in 4-6 other adults and dividing up the children. You don't get a lot of volunteers, and quite frankly, it's just a bit too hard. Now that the kids are older, it's easier to leave them emotionally, but still difficult practically. Organizing them to get to their sports, study groups, birthday parties, and social events requires hiring a fleet of cars and a team of chauffeurs. A night away can easily land in the "too hard" bucket once again.
3. Daddy-o and I both travel for work. He travels a lot -- like "every week" a lot. The last thing we really feel like doing after traveling for work is getting away from our children. Family time is pretty valuable in our busy lives.
The way we see it, things are working out just fine for us the way they are. We feel connected, like hanging out with each other, and especially like being at home with our big, happy and crazy family. One day soon, I'll have an empty house. When that happens, Daddy-o and I will have all the time in the world to have our alone time.
Every couple needs to do what works for them. Does "date night" rank as a high priority in your relationship? How often do you have a night away from the kiddos?