Netflix No Longer Counts As a Date

Image via Rachel Engel

It had been a long day already — taking two kids under 4 to a water park for three hours in the Texas sun. My husband and I were both exhausted and ready to no longer hear the chatter of little children's voices — ours included. We were also excited, planning to relax and enjoy our date night together, which involved ordering a pizza and watching the Jurassic Park trilogy in preparation for seeing Jurassic World.

However, things didn't go as planned.

I woke up at 2 a.m. with my face on a slice of pizza, slumped over onto the arm of the couch, with my husband slumped onto my shoulder, snoring in my ear. The movie credits had long since rolled, and I can't tell you what happened after the first 15 minutes. Oops. So much for “date night.”

{ MORE: 8 Rules for Dating a Single Dad }

It always seems to end this way when we try to do a date night in. On the surface, it seems like a great idea: enjoying each other's company without having to pay a babysitter. Win-win, right? Wrong. Besides getting out of the house, actually seeing what the other looks like in non-parenting clothes (see: white shirts and anything but yoga pants) and being among other adults, leaving the house to go on a date forces us to do one key thing: actually finish the date! No one falls asleep watching the movie in the theater. We never pass out in our $12 pasta plate over dinner. Somehow, our conversation seems more stimulating, the movie more entertaining, and the night much more lively.

That's not to say we don't come home at the end of the night and all but shove the babysitter (love you, sis!) out the door before collapsing in our bed, but at least a full date has taken place before we hit the sheets. Now that we've realized this about our dating habits, we no longer kid ourselves by saying we'll have a Netflix date night on the weekend. We know the night will end with me passing out in bed with the toddler, while my husband crashes on the couch until 3 a.m., when we will make our way to our bed and fall asleep with the light from the satellite screen saver bouncing from one end of the television frame to the other. For us, it's strictly traditional dates from now on. 

{ MORE: What To Do When a Child Can’t Fall Asleep }

… See you when the kids are old enough to want to sleep in, Honey.

What works for you: date night in or out?

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Netflix No Longer Counts As a Date

Rachel is a stay-at-home-mom to her 4-year-old daughter, Sydney, and her 18-month-old son, Jackson. Her writing can be found all over the web, mostly detailing her own parenting struggles and triumphs, as well as her life as the military spouse of an active-duty airman. She also writes about her life as as a special needs parent on her blog, Tales From the Plastic Crib, and spends an unnecessary amount of time on Twitter. ... More

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