It’s been very busy in the Jumper household lately. Papa Jumper is in the middle of writing a paper, I’m launching a new wedding collection, and a free night is something that hasn’t been available to us in what seems like months. I was on the phone with my photographer a few days ago, and after we’d gotten business out of the way, we were chatting about our lives, our husbands and our kids. Papa Jumper and I happened to have a date planned for that very night. I surprised him with dinner out, and even hired a sitter!!, to celebrate his accomplishment at work.  My friend, who has two children of her own, told me that she and her husband schedule weekly dates because “dates are cheaper than divorce.” I laughed at the time, but what she said really struck a chord.

Are we headed for divorce? Absolutely not!  But when’s the last time we had time for ourselves?  Quite honestly, I can’t remember.  Between his work schedule (that’s been unpredictable lately), my work schedule (that’s keeping me busy almost every day of the week), health issues (the three of us have been passing a cold back and forth) and the holidays, I can’t even think of when we could have possibly squeezed in a date.  And between our hectic schedules and my mommy-guilt, we’ve certainly put our relationship on the back burner.  So that night at dinner, we talked about setting aside more time for each other, and me becoming more used to the idea of not being super-mom.  We’re excited to try new restaurants, go for walks at the park, or see a movie!

In order to make our monthly date night a reality, we had to come up with a plan:

Be realistic

We have fairly unpredictable schedules, so weekly dates aren’t in the cards for us.  Monthly dates better suit our schedule.

Find a trustworthy babysitter
Last summer, we hired Nanny Jumper and sadly had to say goodbye to her as she went back to college in the fall.  Her college is local and she decided to commute this semester, so she’s living close by again.  She watched Chloe for us when we had date night a few days ago, and we were a little apprehensive since they hadn’t seen each other in a few months.  We asked Nanny Jumper to come a half hour early so they could get re-acquainted with one another while Papa Jumper and I were still at home.  It turns out that wasn’t the case at all, and Chloe remembered her instantly, but it did give us a bit of time to catch up with Nanny Jumper (and we missed her so much!!).   The three of us talked when we got home from our date, and agreed to make date-night a more permanent arrangement.

Plan ahead
Date Nights for us won’t always be on the same day, or at the same time of day, but we always plan ahead.  I make sure to write down a list of emergency numbers for Nanny Jumper, as well as our cell phone numbers (even though they’re programmed into her phone), as well as our address (in case she needs to call 911) and our pediatrician’s information.  I also write down food preferences (lunch/dinner/snacks), and our bedtime routine (if she’s there at night). Can you tell I’m Type-A?

Ditch the mommy guilt
This one is really hard for me.  As much as we want to, we try not to talk about Chloe while we’re out on our date.  This is us time, after all!  There’s nothing quite like uninterrupted adult conversation (and a glass of wine!).

How often do you go on dates?