A date night can be $30-$70 dollars before we leave the house, just factoring in the babysitter and the obligatory pizza for the sitter. Then we have to add the expense of the date itself: parking, tickets, food, drinks, and tips. Then when we get back it’s late, and regardless of it being a weekend or a weekday, our little guy is an early bird and we need to get up early. So after the baby came into our lives, the date night became too much trouble. So we found an alternative, date day.
What Our Day Dates Look Like
We’ll get up as normal, shower, dress then get Junior ready for daycare. Once we’ve dropped off Junior the day date begins. My husband and I are working parents, so we’ve used personal leave or banked credit time to have this special day. Sometimes, we’ll do a half day depending on what we’re planning. On a day when we’ve taken the whole day off, we’ll start by going to a restaurant with breakfast and big booth tables where we can spread out the newspaper and read. Yes, I know it doesn’t sound particularly exciting, but it is one of the things that went away when we became parents. Imagine sitting back at a booth with a view of a downtown street as late commuters and early tourists buzz outside, while you quietly savor your caffinated drink of choice without having to feed and clean your tablemate. This gives us an opportunity to check out breakfast places we would normally never have time to visit.
After breakfast, we might catch a movie, try bowling or something else without the crowds. If we’ve chosen to do a half day, I or my husband will telework for the morning and we’ll get together for a very long lunch, where we can focus on each other. After lunch or the movie, or if we’re feeling very unromantic, errands that are 100% easier without a toddler. Then we’ll take a nap. A nice long well deserved nap, where we’ve set the alarm so we can finish the day by remembering to pick up Junior from daycare.
The Cons of a Day Date
What we don’t spend on a sitter (and food for the sitter) we spend in annual leave and credit time. It helps that we have that, and flexibility with our work schedules, which includes teleworking. We have a day date during the hours we are supposed to be teleworking. For one, I can’t concentrate on my work when there are other people in the house. Secondly, we don’t want a call (or email) from work to do X to interrupt our special time together. Another problem is a day date excludes certain events and shows that are typically night time activities such as live theater or dancing. It’s great for going to a museum, seeing a movie, or a day trip, but not everything is available during the day.
The Plusses of a Day Date
- Daycare or school is the sitter. Kid stays in a familiar environment and you don’t have to buy staff a pizza.
- Fewer crowds. We’ve been the only ones in the movie theater and it was wonderful.
- Lunch or breakfast is cheaper than dinner out.
- Casual dress. This can be a ‘con’ for those who like getting dolled up, but I prefer to dress comfortably. It allows us to blend in with the tourists.
- Less stress. We don’t have to rush to get from home to the date location and then rush back home.
- Activities that aren’t available at night or evening are there for a day date.
- Getting to bed at a decent hour.