The Working Couple’s Guide to Dating with Children

Flickr Photo by Carrie

 

If you have kids, when was the last time you threw on (or could fit into!) a cute dress/tailored suit and painted the town red with your partner in crime?

My guess is that it’s been a while.  I’ve heard horror stories of new parents who haven’t been on date since their kids were born. Just like making time for the gym, date night has to be penciled into your calendar on a weekly basis and given as much priority as that 9am meeting at the office with the CEO.

With planning and dedication, this is an easy solution.  But what if between late nights at the office, soccer practice and piano lessons, you find that date night needs to be pushed to the bottom of the list?

If you think skipping this week is your only option, try getting creative with your schedule first. Maybe getting dolled up and sharing a bottle of wine has to be rescheduled.  But could you instead grab coffee together while the kids are at practice? Find an outdoor cafe, write a story together and ask passers-by to help when you get stuck.

Or maybe you could adapt on the fly by bringing the children along on appropriate outings. Because sometimes getting in touch with your inner child can be romantic!

Here are a few ideas that might be a perfect fit.

The New York International Children’s Film Festival

The festival, which is taking place between February 24-March 19 this year, will be showcasing over 100 films from over 30 countries and in more than 15 languages.  What a wonderful way to expose your kids to diverse cultures in a thought-provoking way.  Since 1997, the films at the festival have been recognized for Academy Awards and nominations so it’s an Oscar-qualifying event.  There are Q&A sessions with filmmakers and hands-on film-making workshops among other activities to introduce your kids to the world of cinema and all the different components that go into making a movie behind the scenes.

You have to admit, all of the above sounds like a ton of fun regardless of what age you are. The entire family gets to connect with each other here.  Win-Win!

Alice’s Tea Cup

Flickr Photo by Allen Wong

 

I started going to Alice’s Tea Cup before it knew that the original location was Chapter I.  And I’ll admit, I was probably in the middle of high school, when we would have been “too old” for this. But I don’t care!

I love this place – it’s theme, it’s concept.  Have I mentioned my dream of opening up a tea shop one day? If you subscribe to the hetero-normative belief system that pink is a girl’s color, then this place appears to cater to young girls, which is why I tell Bobby about it all the time.  It’s whimsical and a great excuse for us adults to play pretend.  If you’re a family with two young girls like us, an afternoon at Alice’s Tea Cup can be a great addition to a general “Girls Day Out.”  Throw in some mani/pedis and an introductory trip to Sephora (where maybe dad will treat us to a makeup haul? Ahem.) will make everyone happy. Especially mom.

And a happy mom makes a happy dad 😉

The Museum of Natural History and Liberty Science Center

I am an adamant believer that kids, especially girls, need to engage with the sciences early on.  My dad wanted me to be a molecular biologist but his approach was ineffective. Shoving it down my throat and lecturing me about how all my other interests were horrible choices in comparison just pushed me away from it.  So Bobby and I spend time talking about how we can tailor STEM activities and increase exposure for our daughters based on their interests that will hopefully serve as a starting point to inspire them.

We’re so lucky to be living in a metropolitan region that boasts two fine institutions like The Museum of Natural History and the Liberty Science Center.  What’s great about family trips here is that curious kids are going to turn to you with a whole bunch of questions that they’ll demand you answer.  Maybe you’re the couple who is not smarter than a fifth grader and it can serve as a bonding experience on how rusty your mutual knowledge base is.  Or maybe one of you is an absolute genius who will be able to provide thoughtful responses for all their questions and…that’s just HOT because it creates an environment were you could potentially learn (and see!) something new in your partner whom you thought you had all figured out.

As weird as this may sound, don’t underestimate the potential for romance during family time.  I could make this even weirder by signing off with “Bowchickawowwow!” but I have my limits.

Talk soon!

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