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The Countdown to Date Night Freedom

My husband and I are giddy with excitement. In just a few short months, our oldest kids will turn 10 and 12, and we will finally, blessedly, have built-in babysitters. For the first time in a decade of parenting, regular date nights are within our reach.

Don’t get us wrong, we love our kids with all our hearts. But after years of scheduling our lives around school activities, sports practices, homework, and bedtimes, the idea of spontaneous freedom is intoxicating. For the past few months, we’ve been daydreaming about what we might do with those first kid-free evenings. A dinner without anyone spilling a drink or melting down over unfinished broccoli? A movie where we can actually follow the plot without pausing for multiple bathroom breaks? Yes, please!

Our kids are at a perfect age to stay home for a few hours – old enough to handle themselves responsibly but still young enough to respect our authority without too much back talk. We’ve started giving them more independence and responsibilities to help build up their confidence and prepare them for the privilege of staying home alone. And we’re making it worth their while with generous screen time and snack allowances on date night.

The countdown is dwindling, and our anticipation grows every day. We’ve been parents for over 10 years, devoted to the awesome but exhausting responsibility of raising kids. Now we can start to rediscover parts of our pre-kid selves and nurture our relationship without Bluey or Cocomelon’s latest hits playing in the background. The freedom of date night, here we come! Just a few more months of patience, and then the fun begins.

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