After my husband and I married, we had our first child in April in 2016 and immediately had our second child in August of 2017. Yes, I do know how all of this happened. In just over two years I had married my best friend, had two beautiful children, and we purchased a house. Yes, all choices and all wonderful blessings.
So, what is the problem?
If you have been following me, you will know my story. The short version is that following all of these big changes, I finally came to the conclusion that I needed help. I needed to care for myself because I was dealing with pretty significant depression and anxiety. I had never really been in a place like that in the past and I knew it needed to change. Not just for me, but for my children and my husband.
Through dealing with all of this, I lost myself and I am sure my husband felt like he was losing his wife. It was challenging. There is no secret in this. I thought to be a great mom meant that I needed to only focus on motherhood. It felt much like I was surviving – dramatically so…maybe drowning – drowning in great joy and sadness.
Shortly after I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety, I was on my way to paving a new path. I was taking medication and seeing a therapist. I was focusing on how to get better. My husband had asked for a date night. He needed me too. He missed me too and needed to feel better as well.
To be honest the idea sounded overwhelming! Sometimes it still very much feels overwhelming. However, he asked me for this time with him. I decided that I needed to listen to this and follow my heart. I took the time and decided to maintain a routine schedule of once a week date nights.
Now, if you are not married, that is okay too. Do not stop reading this article. It still pertains. When I discuss Date Night I am talking about a form of self-care. Maybe your date night is not spent with a spouse. Maybe it is spent with a friend or time with yourself.
Back to the Intentional Reasons for a Date Night. Why should we do this? Is it beneficial? Who does it serve?
If you are married, you took vows to be with someone for better or for worse. Now, we know in today’s world this is not always a true vow that people honor. When I married my husband, we knew that this was important to us. I did take vows to honor my husband and to live a life with him. I chose this path, I chose him. In that, I decided that if this was something that he was asking me for, that he needed, than I should honor that too. So, I did and I do.
Time to Renew
Our day to day life can often be a barrage of tasks and do to lists. Our conversations become just that too. We speak to the other person to make sure something has been done or collaborate on an issue, a need. We do not spend enough time telling that person we love them, being joyful in their presence, and talking about the growth that they are doing. We need to renew that. Now, in all honesty this can and should happen more than just on date night. Date night is a great time to reserve space for this to start to happen. It may need to feel natural again. It may take time to build that into our crazy lives. With this time, we can provide more energy into our children.
Our children watch what we do. They learn how to feel and act from us. We are their role models. This is a scary thought. I do not always act in a way that should be celebrated or copied by any means. This is a work in progress. Our children need to see the benefits of what a healthy relationship, a healthy marriage looks like. We can show them strong communication, how to argue effectively, how to love another person, and how to make time for the ones we love. We have the power to impact their future relationships.
A Happy Family
Now, we often hear the term happy wife, happy life. Although this term is funny and I have some times jokingly used it with my husband, I find that it is inaccurate. My spouse and my children were not put here to make me happy. They may add to my happiness and create joy for me, but I am ultimately responsible for creating my happiness.
What I have found is that date night does add to the family’s happiness. Now, I am recharged and happier. My husband is also recharged and happier. This allows us to be better parents. Our children see that we are happy and that effects them positively as well. Our kids are happier because we are happier and working together. They also get to enjoy fun time with the grandparents or aunts, so that is a win win as well.
Maintain Your Garden for Longevity
When we were preparing to be married, we took classes in the church. Now, we were not super thrilled, but knew that we would get out of them what we put into them. This is true with anything really. So, we went and worked at it. It sparked conversation and confirmed to us that we were making the right decision.
Before we went to the classes, my mother told me that my uncle had gone and learned that a marriage is like a garden. If you do not tend to the marriage/garden, it will become over grown. It will not be healthy and it will not flourish. There will be weeds. This was very impactful for me and I think of this from time to time. When I am on my date night, I am tending to our garden. I want our garden to be healthy, to grow, to be free of weeds, and to beautiful. I can want and want all of these things, but I need to put the work into it in order to see these results. So, back to the idea that we will get out of it what we put into it.
Intentional Living Tip:
Overall, date night is a very important part of marriage. If you are not married, than date night may be time with your friend or time with yourself. Take it. Your children need to see this as well. They need to see you energized, creating quality relationships, and taking time for themselves. Love yourself the way you want your child to love themselves. It is not always easy, but you want them to be successful. They will learn from you.
Continue to define what intentional living means to you. The definition is only limited by your beliefs. You can have the life you want. It may take hard work, but if it is worth it than you must do it.
Thank you for continuing to stop by and listening to my words. I hope they continue to bring you joy and motivation in your current season of life. Follow me right here or on Facebook. Your support means everything to me friend.
If you have not already, share this blog with a friend, a family member, or something in need. I want everyone to have the opportunity to create a life full of energy and joy.