Marriage is work.
Recently, Justin and I had a Come To Jesus of sorts about our the day to day portion of our marriage. While we are incredibly strong in our union, and genuinely like each other (which is, you know, important), we weren't making the effort to spend much (quality) time together during the week.
We were falling into the Marriage Roommate Rut.
I just made that up but basically, we've all been there. It's that stage where you see each other in the morning and when you fall into bed and have exhausted yourselves playing the roles of parent, employee, friend and boss leaving zero time, patience or energy to concentrate on your role as spouse.
Luckily, we realized that were headed towards Rutsville and decided to get our selves in line. Upon careful examination and after deep, meaningful conversation (ha, yeah right), we determined that we need to re-shape what we think of as a "date night". We both want to spend time together but are both exhausted by the end of the day. Plus, neither want to shell out big bucks for a babysitter on a Tuesday night. Before we were parents, our typical date night was a dinner out downtown but now that just makes me feel super tired. Can we be in bed by 7 if we do that? I don't think so.
So here's what the brain trust that is our union determined: just because we can't swing a dinner out sans the baby on a weekly basis doesn't mean we can't spend quality time together. Whoa. And it only took 15 months of parenthood + marriage to figure that out.
But here's the rub: it seems that Justin and I both have very different ideas of what a date night at home should look like. In the spirit of marital bliss, we gave up trying to blend or compromise our visions and enacted a His and Hers Style Date Night Policy. We each have our ideal at home date night and we either rotate which one we do or combine them in some sort of date night free for all.
Just in case you're in need of inspiration to avoid the Rut, I'm sharing both of our ideal at home date nights and the cocktails we bring along for the ride.
Let's start with the cocktails - I'm sure you can all guess what I pour for myself but my Husband is a bit of a wild card.
A Classic Moscow Mule
Tito's Vodka (Grey Goose is his second choice)
Gosling's Ginger Beer
Lime Juice to taste (Justin likes a generous amount)
Serve in a copper mug or a rocks glass with King Cubes
(a silicone ice mold that makes super sized square ice cubes)
Crios Rose of Malbec
A one-of-a-kind dry wine filled with notes of wild strawberry, red cherry, and hints of spice for a vibrant, dry and full bodied flavor that pairs well with chicken and foods with a pop of spice. Think a Zinfandel with a rich, red undertone. I've honestly never tasted a blend like it.
Pour generously into a glass without a stem (so that I don't accidentally break the stem while gesturing around for effect)
What can I say? I'm obviously the low maintenance one in the family.
Ok, ready to see what we think counts as quality time?
Her Date Night:
Our back patio, in earshot of a (hopefully) sleeping baby, no phones or laptops, drinks in hand, simple, easy conversation. No distractions, just simple one on one time. And, most likely much to my husband's dismay, lots of conversation. The weather cooling off means we can sit outside until we're starved for dinner or run out of snacks (whichever comes first). I happen to think my husband is really interesting and I never know where our conversation will head. Sometimes we sit for only a minute or two, sometimes an hour slips by, but either way, I love the distraction-less one on one time.
Ok, wanna know a secret?
When Justin started drinking Moscow Mules, I bought him a monogrammed copper mug. He unwrapped it, loved it and had one drink out it. And, being the super domestic diva that I am, I tossed it into the dishwasher. And ruined it. Oops.
So, after my date night plan steeped in deep, meaningful conversation and staring into each others eyes without the glow of our cell phones to distract us, can you even begin to guess what his date night might be?
His Date Night:
Super Mario Brothers in bed.
Two player style until I get frustrated enough with how bad I suck at ice worlds and quit,
then he's solo.
Drinks on our bedside tables, pajamas on, phones and laptops away, zero conversation unless we're high fiving or yelling at Bowser - in case you're wondering, he always gets to be Mario.
And, by request, no photos allowed of this His Date Night (because guys hate photos).
Hey, whatever works!
A bit more about the Crios Rose of Malbec: Susana Balbo, Argentina’s leading and most innovative winemaker, revolutionized the face of Malbec by taking a classic red wine and imagining something new. Each blend she creates has an inspirational message and for the Rose of Malbec it's: "Look at life differently".
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.