Anyone with kids will tell you that it becomes infinitely harder to go out alone as a couple. I know there are couples who make date night a sacred, scheduled part of their lives. Hats off to them because it isn't easy. I think most of us, however, struggle with it. It is not that we don't recognize the importance, it is just that there are so many factors that have to be considered, it can be overwhelming.
Who is going to take care of the kids is the biggest obstacle. We thought that would be a little easier to arrange here, but that hasn't necessarily been the case. In the almost 5 months (ah!) that we have been here, we have been out alone exactly thrice... for birthday celebrations, on days that my FIL happened to be home (which is rare). It is not just a matter of who stays with the kids, it has a lot to do with what time-frame it involves, what the "baby-sitter" will be expected to do (bedtime, meals, diapers) because those details help determine who you can choose to baby-sit.
There are economic factors too. If a family member isn't an option as a baby-sitter, you have to pay one. Which means you have to consider all of the above, plus adding babysitter fees to the cost of the evening out. And really, are you going to look for the cheapest babysitter to take care of your offspring?
There is also the fact that no matter what you do on your night out, no matter how late you come home, you get up at dawn with the kids anyway. (ok, at this point it isn't dawn anymore, but it feels pretty early after a night out.)
This week, I planned a night out with the hubs. I called an aunt that the kids adore. She and her daughter agreed to take them for the night (they slept over). I told my husband what to wear and what we needed to bring. But the rest was a secret.
So last night this is what I surprised him with:
We got on horses at dusk and rode up into the foothills of the Andes.
As it got darker, we saw the (almost) full moon rising above the mountains. When we got to our destination, a little over an hour later, there was a fire waiting for us and a breathtaking view.
Our guide and her Huaso (Chilean cowboy) helpers grilled some sausages and veggies, opened a bottle of pisco sour (what I call the Chilean version of a margarita) and some wine. We sat around the fire, enjoying the view, the sky, the fire, the silence of the mountains. My hubs loved it (he loves fire & mountains) and it was the first time he rode a horse.
It was seriously beautiful! I would do it again in a heartbeat. My only regret is that they started getting us settled on the horses and I didn't have a chance to get out my camera, and once on horseback I didn't dare try to get it out, so I didn't get to capture the beginning part (when it was still light and we were riding up the mountain).
How's THAT for a date night?
Plus, since the kids spent the night at their tia's house, we both got to sleep in until 10:30 (a luxury).
Now, Hubs has to organize the next one (though the bar is set pretty high).