Mwahahaha, good luck with that homeschool mama.
Oh wait. This is a blog post. There’s gotta be a tip or two.
Hanging with the kiddos 24-7 (ish) makes date night more of a challenge.
When do you fit in a date night?
You are always available, no matter where you are.
Whether you’re on the toilet, cooking dinner, helping another sibling with math, or when you’re talking on the phone. And when the door is closed. Especially when the door is closed.
You are always available, even when you are asleep.
Teenagers get chatty late at night, middlers still wake from bad dreams, and littles, well, there’s no predictability with little kids’ sleep cycles.
You are always available to be uber mama.
Extracurriculars roam the weekly schedule demanding your extracurricular energy. You’re in the busiest period of your family history. There’s a lot to do and a lot to think about.
So quiet time with your partner?
Some time after the last child has been snuggled into bed, one of you is likely falling asleep in front of their medical journal/American history book/iPhone chess game/YouTube (okay, that might be just in my house).
Midnight! Party time! (Or fall into bedtime.)
So it might not come as a surprise that this home educating lifestyle doesn’t boast increased date time. Say whaaaa? I’ll warn you now, it’s not one of the perks to this homeschool lifestyle.
But we are the engine that moves our family train, so the engine must be fueled.
Ideally, we get away from the house to really see each other and hear each other.
If you’re able, enjoy a night out occasionally.
Maybe a dinner at a fine dining restaurant. Back in the day, we could schedule an occasional trip to a movie theatre or symphony presentation.
Now we might order in a concert to our room, light some candles at a bistro table and serve each other a homemade dinner while the kids play on screens (our youngest is 12).
Even getting outside to do a hike, cross country ski along the canal, or a walk in the neighbourhood just the two of you is so useful.
I personally would never suggest shopping with my special someone (because neither of us enjoys shopping, and ya know, large public spaces for no intentional reason nowadays seems unwise), but I’ve even heard about couples wandering through Costco and dining at sampling stations. Cheap date, anyone?
A week away in a tropical place?
Well, anyway, not in the next few months. Seems divine though, doesn’t it? And in a non-pandemic world, where money was never a concern, and childcare possibilities abounded, definitely go. If you could go, getting away together is powerful.
Have you tried a date night at home?
It’s simpler and cheaper, sometimes.
If I can get the kids to make us a steak in the kitchen while we linger over an aperitif at our bistro table in our bedroom, we can get a few minutes apart from everyone. (Unless the kids aren’t at self-bedtime tucking age). But if they are, we can dance to our favourite Spotify playlist and luxuriate over a bottle of wine.
If they’re young enough, you know what happens. Too much noise, maybe someone yelling “Mom, she’s being mean,” or you fill-in-the-blank. And possibly, you have an inordinate number of dishes to clean up before your bedtime.
But girl, you gotta make that time, find that time, carve that time.
When the kids were younger, I traded kids for an afternoon. I scheduled that afternoon with the hubby, closed the curtains, and lit the candles.
I recently overheard a homeschool mama ask jokingly (maybe?) if her eleven year old was mature enough to look after his three siblings…for the weekend. Might be a bit young, but I get her eagerness.
With my husband’s demanding schedule, our twenty minute trip to town, and a homeschool lifestyle, we haven’t mastered this.
So I turn to the experts: other mamas, and of course, papas.