Several months ago, my husband and I found out that our precious, sweet baby was actually a little gremlin (circa 1984 Gremlins, not the mischievous type that sabotage aircraft). She’d be cute and cuddly during the day, but every evening as bedtime approached that would all fade away. If you have been a parent for longer than a minute then you probably know this as the witching hour, but if you are like me, a FTM, it is that time in the evening (7 PM for us) when your newborn suddenly begins wailing like a banshee for no apparent reason and WILL NOT STOP!
Without getting you into the nitty-gritty of all of our family’s little nuances, the dynamics and relationships of our extended family tend to get a little complicated. As though living half-way across the country with a constantly changing address wasn’t complicated enough.
Regardless of all the different sides of our family we have to address when it comes to communication, it was clear that there was an all-around demand for frequent photo evidence that our son was indeed growing up and remaining healthy and cute. A million separate emails or texts simply was not an option and constantly posting to Facebook got tiresome for several reasons:
I planned this story weeks ago to coincide with my first trip travelling with my infant. I intended to give you all lots of tips and tricks for flying with a 5-month old. I polled friends and Facebook for suggestions before leaving. My two carry-on bags were filled to the rim with diapers and toys to entertain DD, but per usual she threw me a curve ball and I ended up not needing a single item in the bags. What worked for me? I nursed DD into a milk coma. At each takeoff I nursed her for as long as it took for her to go to sleep. She slept for about 90% of the flight and was content smiling at the other passengers the rest of the time. My story could end here, but that would not make a very long blog post so instead I’ll share with you what I learned during my 10 days of travel.
BC (before children) my husband and I loved going on dates. Nothing fancy, just simple movie dates, usually matinees (we can’t stay awake during evening movies because we are 87 years old). DH worked at a movie theater in college so when we first started dating he’d take me to the movies A LOT (because it was FREE and I’m a cheap date). It sort of became our thing. We pretty much would go see anything, even if it wasn’t good (i.e., Fired Up, 2009)
During the last few weeks of my pregnancy we went to see every single movie that came out. Some we even saw multiple times (Sisters x3 and Hateful Eight x2). We went to the movies like it was going out of style, and for us, it was. We knew it would be impossible to go out to the movies with a newborn. Okay, maybe not impossible, but extremely difficult and we run the risk of ruining the movie-going-experience for ourselves or someone else in the theater and we just can’t do that. (DH is known for making teeny boppers cry for texting during a film.) If you pay to see something on the big screen, you don’t want to be interrupted by chit-chat, texting, or crying babies. I digress.
Hi, my name is Mallory, and it has been five months since I was last in a movie theater. Now that I’m getting the hang of this mom thing, I’d like to start going out again. I got a hankering for a movie date a few weekends ago and sprung the idea on DH. He was all for it, but there was a small, 15-pound problem. We didn’t have a babysitter and didn’t think we could get one last minute. Okay, no problem! “Why don’t we go to different movie times and take turns watching the baby?” We don’t talk to each other during a movie anyways, so what does it matter if we see it alone? It sounded a little weird and I wasn’t sure DH would go for it, but I think we both needed to get out.
The movie theater is a few miles down the road so DH went to the early showing of Captain America: Civil War and I stayed home and entertained our baby. She was nice and tired when Daddy got home and went right down for a nap. DH handed me the keys and I drove down to the theater. I paid for 1 adult admission and a bag of popcorn then took my seat smack dab in the middle of the theater. Other patrons filed in around me and I started to wonder what they thought of me sitting there all alone: a) is she waiting for her date? b) did her date stand her up? c) is she some weirdo that couldn’t get a date? or d) (the most probable) no one noticed or cared what I was doing.
Once the lights dimmed, I stopped caring what others might be thinking, I started to relax, and settled in for the movie. I was childless. I was alone at the theater and I was happy. I was able to enjoy a whole movie without interruptions and at the loudest volume possible. Of course, I missed my little munchkin the whole time I was gone, but Mommy needed a break. After the movie, I hurried home, smooched my baby’s face off, and put her to bed. DH and I stayed up and discussed the movie over our dinner just as we had done after many dates B.C. It was a great date day and we were finally able to incorporate something from our old life into our new. We have done this two more times since and I think we might make it a regular thing.
Not sold on why this is a great dating strategy? Here is my list of pros:
1) You don’t have to get dressed up for your date – yoga pants, messy bun, no make up – who are you trying to impress?
2) You don’t have to share your bag of popcorn!! You can also take handfuls as big as you’d like and stuff them in your face. If the pieces fall in your lap you can eat’em right up without any judgmental glares from your husband. (This should really be point number one!)
3) You don’t have to worry about your baby. She is home safe with Daddy. If she cries, he knows how to comfort her. As a new mom, I worry about leaving my baby with sitters for this exact reason. I’m sure they are capable, but I just feel better having Daddy there.
4) You don’t have to make small talk before the film. Text and play on your phone at your leisure until the previews start.
5) Not a lot of planning necessary. Check movie times then go to theater.
6) You don’t have to hire a sitter! See #5, not a lot of planning necessary
7) Though the timing is slightly delayed, you can still enjoy the shared experience of seeing a movie on the big screen together!
As of right now, DH and I do not see any cons to movie dating this way. I’d love to hear from other moms, for another round of our MoFoGro: what your dates are like now that you have kids? If you could take a few minutes to complete our survey, I’d really appreciate it.
Mother’s Day was this past weekend and it got me thinking about motherhood and the type of mom I want to be. Of course I want to be a great mom, but what does that entail? Do I need to be strict? Should I only breastfeed? Will my kid miss out if she does or doesn’t go to daycare? How do I avoid being the reason for future therapy sessions? Should I just start saving for it now?