Last night we actually did it...we had a child-free night out for two. It would never have happened was it not for Tots 100 and Head and Shoulders cajoling me into it, so I am extremely grateful to them both for giving my backside the gentle kick that I needed.
I had forgotten what it feels like to get ready for a date. The preparation beforehand is as much a part of the experience as the date itself. It felt so decadent to be showering, applying make-up and getting changed into new clean clothes in the middle of the day. Goodness me, I'm usually a shower then straight into PJs kind of girl! Picking an outfit was my greatest challenge. I have a wardrobe filled with clothes, 80% of which I don't wear because the insecure part of me insists that they won't fit, they'll make me look fat, they'll make me look like mutton or they'll draw attention to me in a really bad way. (Or they are something I've hung to since the eighties just in case they come back into fashion.) I really need to work on my body-confidence a bit more and not default to my usual black skinny jeans and vest top combo. However, Ian was suitably complimentary about my attire and I was impressed that he had ditched his oversized, novelty Dangermouse t-shirt in favour of a slim fitting plain white tee. The man scrubs up well!
The restaurant we went to had a reservation for two. There was a vase with a red rose in it on the table. A far cry from my usual table for six in McDonald's. We had a bottle of red and perused the menu in a relaxed fashion - not once did I have to resort to bribery to garner control of unruly family members or ask for colouring sheets and crayons to entertain anyone, as is my usual dining experience with the kids in tow. Ian was impeccably behaved so I was able to drop my motherly duties and slip into wife mode.
We had a fabulous (and rather huge) three course meal followed by coffee and mints ... and I didn't even have to give my After Eights to the kids or anything! I could get quite used to this occasionally eating-out-without-the-little-ones malarkey. More wine followed as the taxi home meant we didn't need a designated driver for once.
The chatter flowed freely as we discussed topics ranging from Christmas to films to 'who had done what to whom'. We laughed, we listened, we flirted and we may have even done a tiny bit of gossiping. Ian really is my best friend. He was my friend for years before we became a proper couple and it was nice to fall back into the comfortable banter we used to enjoy. We did talk about the kids - but as they are our biggest source of pride and joy in the world, we enjoy reveling in tales of what they have done or are going to do. It does not distract from our enjoyment, it adds to it. So kid talk will never be out of bounds...even on date night!
Our date night reminded me how nice it is to dress up for my husband. It gave us a focus to really think about 'us' as a couple rather than our usual default role of mum and dad. Even though we love being parents, I am acutely aware that one day the kids will be all grown up and won't need as much of our attention. When that day comes I don't want to go into deep depression and feel that I have lost everything that has defined me for the most part of my adult life. I may be a mother, but I am also a wife and one half of the partnership that is 'Wendy and Ian'. And this side of me deserves some attention too.
But most of all, date night was really good fun!! I bloody love that husband of mine ;)
Thank you to Tots 100 and Head and Shoulders for providing everything I needed for date night!